Published for Americans abroad, the International Herald Tribune expressed the problem from a European point of view. “A brief flurry of support for the United States after the attacks last September evaporated because of what foreign officials consider a dismissive U.S. attitude toward international treaties and coalitions [and] a tendency to view problems through the distorted lens of the war on terrorism.” The Financial Times feature countered with “Americans believe that Europeans live in a dream world, made possible by American protection.”
Other articles in the Financial Times sought to take a more objective view of the growing transatlantic gap. One said: “September 11 crystallised a profound change in the relationship between Americans and Europeans. The shift-not so much a rupture but a progressive estrangement-was visible in outcome during the decade after the end of the Cold War.”
Recently U.S.-EU trade disputes are back in the news as well. Earlier this year steep new American steel tariffs threatened to hit foreign steel fairly hard. Subsequently over the months the United States has tried to ease tensions with the European Union by exempting many products from the tariffs. To date, however, the EU still threatens retaliation.
Difficult-to-solve differences of outlook between America and Europe also arose at the recent Earth Summit conference in Johannesburg. In addition, there have been many difficulties over the new International Criminal Court as the United States seeks bilateral treaties with individual nations to exempt Americans from its presumed jurisdiction.
Michael Ingnatieff of Harvard University recently reminded Europe that “it would be good if Europeans, especially the left, woke up to the reality that they are being defended by Americans, that their core values of freedom are nearly … identical and that it is neither in their interests nor consonant with their values to let the West fragment into two camps” (Financial Times).
Derek Chollet, formerly of the State Department and now a member of the American Academy in Berlin, spotted this divisive trend months ago. In a feature article for The Los Angeles Times he stated: “Listening to the voices from both sides of the Atlantic, it is easy to think that the United States and Europe are headed for an irreparable break. Whether it’s about Ariel Sharon, Saddam Hussein or steel, the U.S. and Europe just can’t agree.”
Whatever may or may not happen in the short term, Bible prophecy indicates that a coming rift between America and Europe will expand to the point that conditions will once again mirror the mid- and late 1930s, setting the stage for catastrophe. To understand further, please request our free booklets The Book of Revelation Unveiled and The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy. (Sources: Financial Times, The Times [both London], International Herald Tribune, Los Angeles Times, USA Today.)