Amid all this talk of irrational anti-Americanism, let’s remember that American foreign policy nobody is more responsible for the recent spike in disgust with the United States than Richard B. Cheney (policies) and George W. Bush (inept, unwittingly offensive attempts at explaining/defending same). The latest casualty appears to be NATO participation in Afghanistan; the question of Italy’s military cooperation with the U.S. just toppled Romano Prodi’s razor-thin center-left/left coalition government:
“We have not supported the neoconservative politics of the American administration and we have not sent soldiers to Iraq,” [foreign minister Massimo d’Alema] told his colleagues. “There is a profound difference between the military operations in Afghanistan, approved by the United Nations, and those in Iraq.” He added that the support of expanding the base was essential to good relations with America. “To change course would be a hostile act against the United States,”
The course was changed, at least for now. Two far-left deputies bolted, and the Italian government collapsed. Of course, Italian government collapse fairly often, but it shows that doubts about Afghanistan are transforming into policy decisions, and not just in Europe.