The Public Interest

Secular Europe, religious America

Brian C. Anderson

Spring 2004

AMERICA and Europe, or at least the nations of “old” western Europe, have been increasingly at odds since the end of the Cold War. Even a casual observer can see this in the rampant anti-Americanism on the continent. The hostility manifests itself with particular force among elites: The European Union deputy and French political scientist Olivier Duhamel, to take just one example, recently described the United States as a “degenerate” democracy—an irrational nation and a threat to global order. A recent poll ranked the American “hyperpower” second only to Israel as the greatest danger to world peace. Political relations between the United States and Europe have become so chilly that France and Germany openly worked to undercut their long-time ally in the run up to war in Iraq.

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