Europe Goes Missing in Obama-Romney Foreign Policy Debate (La Stampa, Italy)
"It is striking
how American is increasingly gazing across the Pacific rather than the Atlantic.
Of course, Europe has been discussed in previous debates (almost always
negatively) when dealing with economic issues. But when it comes to discussing
major global issues, in Washington's eyes, everything European is, for the
Try this: take the complete
and official transcription of last night's debate between Barack Obama and
Mitt Romney (yes, it is already available online at several American Web sites)
and try to find the word "Europe." You will find it only once, in a passage
where the president of the United States explains to his Republican opponent
that American alliances "have never been stronger. In Asia, in Europe, in
Africa, with Israel where we have unprecedented military and intelligence
cooperation." Thatís about the only intrusion of Europe into the only
presidential debate entirely devoted to foreign policy.
To tell the truth, there were a couple of sentences out
of which popped the word "Greece" - in both cases used negatively by
Romney to warn Americans that Obama is taking them "down the road that
leads to Greece." No words were spared for Germany, France, the European
Central Bank, the European Union or the euro. In essence, for the two
candidates and the man who interviewed them, journalist Bob Schieffer,
nothing that forms part of our daily concerns in old Europe was worth bringing
to the debate on foreign policy.
America is much more interested in talking about China,
the Middle East, Israel, Iran, Russia, Pakistan or Latin America.
But the fact is that there is nothing new under the sun:
in the last three U.S. presidential elections, Europe has hardly gotten more
attention than it has this time around. But it is striking how American is
increasingly gazing across the Pacific rather than the Atlantic. Of course, Europe
has been discussed in previous debates (almost always negatively) when dealing
with economic issues. But when it comes to discussing major global issues, in Washington's
eyes, everything European is, for the moment, secondary.
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