News

    US-France Relations May Be Most Complicated to Mend

    Even before his European diplomacy began, Mr. Bush had talked about the importance of the transatlantic relationship. But Europe is composed of many different countries, with different attitudes towards America.

    Perhaps the most complicated relationship is that of France and the U.S. While these two countries have been allies for more than 200 years, there has always been an underlying tension between them.

    But Europe is many different countries with different attitudes towards the United States. French singer Vigon performs American music every night at the restaurant The American Dream in the heart of Paris. He says French people love America. "I have been singing American music here at the American Dream for over 40 years and people here love it," he said.

    At the other end of the spectrum Frederick Royer is so critical of U.S. foreign policy that he started his own satire publication and called it L'Anti-Americain. The articles poke sophomoric fun at American stereotypes. In one issue there is a contest to rename the United States and a fictional day planner belonging to President Bush listing such activities as bombing Iraq and talking to God. 

    "This is a response to the French bashing that has been going on in the United States," Mr. Royer said.

    Both viewpoints characterize the love/hate view that many French people hold about America. Andre Kaspi, Professor of American History at the University of Paris-Sorbonne says the underlying tension is not just about current politics.

    "We consider globalization and 'American-ization' is the same and therefore if you walk along the streets of Paris you will find a lot of people wearing cloths like in the United States, eating like in the United States and at the same time regretting this American influence because of the loss of national identity," he said. "That is why I think you will find at the same time a fascination for the United States and strong hatred for what they call American civilization."

    This loss of cultural identify combined with a serious disagreement over the unilateral use of American military power in Iraq threatened to undermine the transatlantic alliance. But the recent Iraqi elections, the Bush administration diplomatic initiative in Europe and recognition by both sides that they need each other offer hope of renewed cooperation.

    "The Europe powers mostly France know that they have to do something with the United States in Iraq," Mr. Kaspi said.  "Because if in Iraq the United States is defeated, that will be a defeat not only for the Americans but also for the Europeans, that will be a defeat for democracy and since we have the same kind of political values, if you lose, we lose."

    What could significantly alter the relationship between European countries and the United States in the near future is the prospect of a united Europe.

    French National Assembly Representative and president of the country's delegation to the European Union Pierre Leguiller says some sort of United States of Europe would be a stronger and more influential partner to both support and counterbalance their American allies.

    "In the future we will have better chances of having a united Europe and those problems, especially in the Middle East and in Iraq, but not to be against America but to be a good supporter of America," he said.  And he says while good friends and supporters can sometimes disagree, a strong, united ally will be harder to ignore.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.