The Europeans can’t stand America because America represents their lack of ability to protect themselves or even to sustain their economies independent of the United States. The Norwegians awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to President Obama in some bizarre hope that Barrack Obama will revert to some previous Presidential policy that will consult with them and actually allow them to guide if not directly veto American foreign policy. I think what the Norwegians are missing is the same thing that Western Europe is missing and that is how fed up the average American is with the Europeans.
During the 19th Century the Europeans invaded and colonized most of Africa. Actions which they either choose to ignore or see as a benefit to the Africans. What they did was to create totally impossible countries which have led to seemingly endless bloodshed in Africa as one tribe fights another and the national borders are ignored because of their artificiality. This European arrogance carried over into the 20th Century as the Europeans continued their centuries old internal battles and squabbles. By 1914 these squabbles led to WW I and the horrendous slaughter as a whole generation was wiped out. It would have even been worse had not the power of the United States interceded and brought the war to a close.
But European arrogance didn’t end with the first war, they continued their age old games of diplomacy as they divided the spoils and laid the foundations for WW II, the Iraqi wars, the Jihadist War now under way and the wars between Israel and the Arab World. It was the European nations that stood by and watched Hitler rise to power along with Lenin and Stalin. From 1919 until 1939 it was peace at any price in Europe and the Nobel Peace Prize went to Neville Chamberlain for his claim of “Peace in Our Time”. The world wallowed in the Great Depression as Europe watched Communist Russia rise fearful that Marxism would spread and hoping Hitler would be a counter force. Finally Hitler made his move and so once again Europe turned to the US to bail them out of a mess that they created, but this time things had changed.
The US became a world super power facing the Russian colossus over a prostate Europe. With the end of WW II the former European powers of France, Germany, and Britain no longer mattered or at least didn’t matter very much. The relationship between the US and Britain suffered a total reversal. Instead of Britain being Lord of Seas with the US being a client, now it was the US who was Lord of the Seas and Air while Britain was – and continues to be – a client. By 1947 what Europe wanted or didn’t want really didn’t matter, the US consulted them but acted on its own. Europe never recovered its military strength or even its economic power. Europe sank into a socialist funk where the people wanted the government to take care of them. They just wanted to be comfortable, to sit in their cafe’s and watch the world go by – which it has. Western Europe is virtually irrelevant today since they have little to no military power and rely on the US for protection – all the while criticizing America for its bellicosity, materialism, and untrustworthiness.
Since the liberation of Europe by America, the Europeans have been rebuilding their economy but they are no longer the great mercantile nations they once were but have become welfare states with high taxes and a work force more interested in vacations than in wealth accumulation. They are terrified that their great protector – the US – will embroil them in a war. They can no longer rely on American to honor their wishes relative to foreign policies. They still consider America to be run by cowboys who have no sense of history or the value of their more sophisticated world view. The Europeans liked Kennedy because he said things they agreed with ignoring his brinksmanship with the Russians and Viet Nam. But since tha time they have hated virtually every other President but they particularly hated George W Bush because he acted unilaterally. They were stunned when he consulted them after 9/11 but then ignored their advice.
Now we find the Norwegians awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to President Obama solely on the basis that he isn’t George Bush. They forget that if it weren’t for those American Cowboys who saved them they would be speaking German. They ignore the fact that it was America who rid Europe of the USSR who had been a threat to them for 70 years. They ignore the reality that Eastern Europe is moving away from socialism and sides with the US on the world stage while Western Europe is in decline due to their heavy socialist programs. The Nobel Committee saw in Obama some one who they think shares their view of socialism and America’s place in the world. That place being where it was in 1914 – subordinate to the will of Europe. Alas those days are gone – never to return no matter what the Norwegians would like to see happen.
President Obama is locked into the reality of the world. He is faced with two wars which he cannot lose because it would threaten world stability for years. His socialist programs are under heavy attack at home and his economy is in a shambles partially due to his attempts to push his socialist agenda. Then he is faced with the economic reality of the rise of India and China both militarily and economically. So while the Norwegians are glad that George Bush is gone what they thought they got may not turn out to be what they wanted, because they represent the past while the US must face the future and President Obama cannot ignore these realities.