We Americans love tags and sound bites. They help us organize and memorize things. Better yet, tags and sound bites allow us to pretend that we understand things even if we haven’t even tried to look into them.
Take, for example, KGB. Call someone KGB, and no further insight into the thoughts and the actions of the person is needed: he’s authoritarian and evil. Or take Mullahs. Just call the rulers of Iran Mullahs, and the discussion of their policies stops here: what is there to discuss with a bunch of unpredictable religious fanatics?
The newly-elected French president, Nicolas Sarcozy, has been tagged "pro-American," and his election was hailed by those who once renamed French fries into Freedom ones.
Pro-American president of France? Vraiment?
True, Sarkozy’s passion for efficiency and responsibility leans him toward the "American" model of governing and, given the notorious inefficiency and irresponsibility of the Bush administration, makes Sarkozy more American than Bush. However, Sarkozy’s real goal — and he was quick to remind it to his supporters on the night of election — is to make France "great." Does anyone in the Washington seriously believe that in his pursue of the greatness of France, Sarkozy will sacrifice even a tiny bit of French sovereignty?
For as long as the US refuses to take into account the interests of its friends, allies and admirers, being pro-American in Europe will be a liability, not an asset — just ask Tony Blair. Pro-American Sarkozy is just too smart to proudly display his "pro-American" tag.