June 7, 2004

Truth Invades Europe

Denis Boyles, covering the European press for NRO, says that for a day at least it was a bit unseemly to be America-bashing:

The death of Ronald Reagan on the eve of D-Day ceremonies in France provided a very awkward weekend for those in the European press who had grown fat and comfortable taking potshots at American policies and politicians. Perhaps because these two events fell at a time when French-German and American mutual loathing has reached an acute stage, it seemed for a day that cynicism had been ambushed by remembered facts.

First came the news, reported in the Daily Telegraph, that Bush and Chirac may have reached some sort of agreement on a U.N. resolution concerning Iraq. Whether this really has significance is something we probably won't see until after the G-8 meetings conclude this week, but still, the thaw in U.S.-French relations seemed palpable enough.

Then, as preparations for the Normandy commemorations were rolling out in Arromanches, came word that Ronald Reagan had died. The confluence of the symbols of both American sacrifice for Europe and a principled regard for European liberties created a kind of inescapable potency that made it, for a day anyway, difficult to continue the great project of diluting or expunging the U.S. from the history of Germany and France.

Posted by dan at June 7, 2004 11:49 PM