True, the union has underlying strengths with which to offset America's imperial might. It is much closer to Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia and has a better grasp of the sensibilities of these regions: the French, like the Russians, have a large and fast-growing Muslim population. The European social model is far more appealing to most of the rest of the world than the hard-edged "American way of life," and Europe's long experience with transnational institutions makes it a model international citizen. Globalization, which has increased international apprehension about American motives, is in some ways working to Europe's advantage. And while it is true that Europeans today abhor war, only in contemporary Washington is this widely viewed as a cultural shortcoming.
This, in a nutshell, is what is wrong with the NY Times. This paragraph is dripping with contempt for the "American way of life" and the war-loving American government that just cant grasp those delicate Third World sensitivities. Maybe thats because we didn't rape their continents for two centuries straight. And this is not from an editorial, but a front page news article. Am I the only one sick and tired of this kind of shallow, cotemptuous Euro-Leftist propaganda being allowed to strut around masquerading as objective reporting? The last line especially bothers me, 1) Europeans don't "abhor war", they just want other people to fight it for them, preferably us. 2) The US doesn't consider this a "cultural shortcoming", but a serious threat to the future of democracy. The French/German preferance for appeasement is not just an annoyance, in today's world its a disaster waiting to happen. No doubt the guy who wrote this is a Harvard graduate.