The current national and international bickering over Iraq really saddens me, because it shows how easy it is to let disagreement widen into a serious rift between friendly nations. There has certainly been a lot of heated transatlantic rhetoric these last months, and too little of it has been focused on common goals and purposes.
To suddenly dismiss Germany, France and other european countries as no longer being friends of the US, makes as little sense as it does to suddenly dismiss the US as a war-loving country bent on military protection of its oil interests. Neither position is true, but both positions are closed to opposing view points, and serve no purpose but to widen the distance between allied countries.
A better way would be to respect others views. We don’t have to agree, but if we respect other nations’ rights to have an opinion different from ours, it’s easier to get along.
And if we look at long term goals, there’s probably no difference in what Europe and the US want. For both of us the end goal is peace and stability in the Middle East and democracy in Iraq. We want the same results, we only disagree on the best way to obtain these results!
Speaking as a european, I have the highest regard for the US and it’s people. The current situation and disagreement does not change that fact. I disagree with the Bush administrations position on Iraq, and I have a strong feeling that a war in Iraq will not have many positive consequences, and could cause countless tragedies. But I respect the goals they’re trying to achieve.