The Terrorist Attacks In New York And Washington Dc On 11 September 2001, and the killing of thousands of people were not sufficient to dispel a mood of suspicion in European public opinion towards America. Of course, during the very first days after the attack, there was widespread grief and sorrow about the event among Europeans. But, as soon as discussion on the right strategy to pursu to combat terrorism began, the initial mood of identification with America started to change. And when America, although backed by a large international coalition and legitimated by two UN resolutions, moved towards an armed intervention in Afghanistan, European anti-Americanism emerged again. Thus, during the armed intervention in Afghanistan, especially when the bombing led to the death of innocent victims, a social mobilization against the American war grew day after day, with its critics apparently losing sight of the fact that a dramatic terrorist attack on America had recently taken place.
The interesting question is why does anti-Americanism re-emerge regularly in large sections of European public opinion? This intermittent Anti-Americanism appears more in southern and continental Europe, than in the northern British Isles and Scandinavia, where it is outdone by a more vociferous anti-Europeanism. In the latter countries, anti-Americanism takes the form of uneasiness with the United States. In fact, in spite of Britain's traditional special relationship with the United States, the fact cannot be denied that post-war British elites grudgingly accept their inferior status in that special relationship. But, of course, frustration with America is not the same as anger towards America. In any case, in (continental) Europe, anti- Americanism seems to be one of the few public philosophies that can unite large sections of the left, the right and the Catholic Church. It is a public philosophy which emerges especially in periods of war (and of international crisis in general).
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