Back to Index

US Foreign Policy: Name calling

I have long wondered about the wisdom of the US policy of name calling. A panel on Reagan at the American Enterprise Institute praised his invention of the expression "The Empire of Evil", the model for the present "Axis of Evil". How would Americans react if such terms were applied to their country? A Reuters dispatch (1/27/03) reports on French and German reaction to an unflattering remark about them: "German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder said the current rift between some European states and the US over the Iraq crisis underlined the need for the EU to develop a common foreign policy. Germany and France have angrily rejected criticism by the US that the two countries were isolated within Europe in their effort to avoid a war in Iraq. German and French media across the political spectrum also reacted angrily to US criticism that the two countries belonged to "old Europe" and were isolated in their opposition to war in Iraq. US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's dismissal of French and German opposition to bloodshed as the view of "old Europe" made the front page of French dailies Le Figaro, Liberation and Le Parisien and most German dailies too. The spat has deepened divisions in the transatlantic alliance and angered even strong advocates of US policy in Berlin and Paris".

Ronald Hilton - 1/27/03