November 08, 2004


Franco Aleman on bilateral anti-Americanism:

Anti-Americanism in Spain is a double-whammy, because unlike many countries, it affects both sides of the political spectrum. On the right, they still remember the US took Cuba and the Philippines in the Spanish-American war at the very end of the 19th century, signaling the complete end of the once, they reason, vibrant Spanish empire's domination of the world; plus the propaganda during the Franco dictatorship (1936-1975) was, particularly during the first 20 years, heavily anti-American because, after all, the US had defeated Franco's ideological cousins, the Nazis and fascists, during World War II.

On the left, well, it's like everwhere else, only worse ...

Posted by Tim Blair at November 8, 2004 11:41 AM

Cuba and the Philippines...sheesh. You guys want 'em back? Go land your army on the beach and take 'em all over again.

(The Cubans might welcome you, come to think of it - they wouldn't be any worse governed and they'd probably be eating better. I doubt the Filipinos want any part of you, though, especially considering your spineless cave-in to Muslim terrorists.)

As for Mr. Zapatero, well, let him stand with Chirac and Schroeder if it gives him a thrill, but he's still ``Old Europe'' and so are they, and they are losing on all fronts. And someone who got into office with as much of the popular vote as Bill Clinton got in 1992 (43%) can hardly call that a ringing endorsement.

Posted by: Annalucia at November 8, 2004 at 12:43 PM

There must be something about Spain that makes people hold grudges even longer than usual. Osama and his merry band are pissed about 1492, the Spaniards themselves are pissed about losing their colonies more than 100 years ago...

There's something to be said for being the decisive loser of a World War (or two of them)...few people in Germany have aspirations on recapturing East Prussia anymore.

Posted by: PW at November 8, 2004 at 12:50 PM

And don't forget the Crusades! Where was the USA when Christendom needed it?

Posted by: Clem Snide at November 8, 2004 at 12:51 PM

So, they are saying no one in Spain likes America?

Well, now. I would just say "So what?", but that doesn't even come close to expressing the level of unconcern I have over this little bit of news!

Posted by: rinardman at November 8, 2004 at 01:14 PM

Don't worry. I'm sure Spain isn't to worried that Americans don't like them.

Posted by: Andy at November 8, 2004 at 01:46 PM

Thanks for that real interesting addition to the discussion, Andy.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at November 8, 2004 at 01:52 PM

I'm sure Andy's right, though. They really should be more worried about the Islamic terrorists in their midst. And having the duplicitous French as their neighbours. And having a child-bearing rate that barely breaks 1.0 these days. And having plenty of Moroccan immigrants exacerbating the previous problem. In light of those facts, Andy's snide dismissal (which is really all he ever posts here, in any thread) is oddly appropriate, considering he seems just as oblivious to most things around him as many Spanish (and, really, many European) people do.

Posted by: PW at November 8, 2004 at 02:25 PM

Sometimes, just sometimes, I'm tempted to suggest the U.S. get the attention of Europeans. Something that really says, "You know, it's foolish for you to even be considering ticking the U.S. off."

Something like, oh, recognizing a Basque Authority run by a member of ETA, giving it millions of dollars, announcing our support for a two-state solution to the Basque problem, and denouncing Spanish use of force against terrorists as feeding a cycle of violence.

Posted by: Warmongering Lunatic at November 8, 2004 at 02:26 PM

Too bad the good warrior Spaniards recently elected to become French poodles, instead. How do these people left or right think Spain once became a great world power- by shirking and pouting?

"Franco Aleman" is a wonderful pundit, BTW.

Posted by: A at November 8, 2004 at 02:29 PM

The liberal daily El Mundo described Zapatero, who clearly had pinned his hopes on Democratic challenger Sen. John Kerry, as "having been doused by reality."

Like 47% of the United States. At least it seems that Zapatero is dealing with it better; at least he isn't threatening to set himself on fire or some other silly act.

But I ain't hold my breath in the meantime. Zapatero has made his bed, and the people of Spain have to sleep in it. That's no fun given all of their problems as part of "Old Europe".

Posted by: The Real JeffS at November 8, 2004 at 02:47 PM

Don't slag off countries because they have their share of wankers. In most countries there are Anti-western & anti american fools but also their opponents. In the case of Spain there is Aznar and his supporters, in Germany there is Angela Merkel and her supporters, in France er... well you can attack the French of course.

Posted by: Ross at November 8, 2004 at 02:52 PM

We shouldn't worry ourselves too much about al-Andalus. They have bigger problems than hating Americans.

Posted by: Rebecca at November 8, 2004 at 02:52 PM


I think the US now has Aznar and he's teaching at Georgetown. Their loss, our gain.

Posted by: A at November 8, 2004 at 03:01 PM

In most European countries, the traditional right, who are interested in "national glory" and so on, think they have something to bitch about when it comes to America. In Britain, it's Suez. In France it's Suez and the Gaullist dislike of Anglo-Saxon power. In Spain, it's 1898. What is more important, though, are the relative numbers of such people, and how strongly they hold their views. In France, such people are numerous. In Britain, anti-American rightwingers aren't particularly many. In Germany, it's residual anti-Semitism. In Spain I would guess, it's roughly between the two, though they have a strong reason to dislike Britain (Gibraltar). So the British right is an ally, the French right isn't, and the Spanish right will be sometimes an ally and sometimes not.

Still, I hope all those American companies who talked about relocating to Spain from Germany or France during the war realise how wrong they were - a simple glance at opinion polls would have told them that 94% of Spaniards were against the war. America's only truly dependable, thick-and-thin allies are Britain and Australia. Australia is too small to provide more than token support, but Britain is of course a valuable ally. And Japan will be useful too, if instability ever spreads to East Asia.

Posted by: PJ at November 8, 2004 at 03:37 PM

I feel have to cut the Spaniards some slack, after all the losers have only been out from under the dictator's boot since the middle '70s. And even then it took Franco's dropping dead rather than than Spanish bravery in throwing him out that has led to Spain's achieving whatever it is they have today.

But then again who really gives a shit what the Spanish think, the Brits still occupy part of Spainsh territory and for the most part the Spanish people are sitz-pinklers. Screw 'em.

Posted by: Harry in Atlanta at November 8, 2004 at 04:49 PM

Rebecca... re:"We shouldn't worry ourselves too much about al-Andalus. They have bigger problems than hating Americans."

Woooooohoo! Subtle, subtle.

You GO, girl! LOL! :D

Posted by: mamapajamas at November 8, 2004 at 05:03 PM

Andy of course has a point, the average Spaniard is not going to spend half a second worrying about what the collective opinion of the USA is about Spain. Like southern baptists give a hoot what the pope thinks of them? Like an Air Force fighter pilot cares what a paratrooper thinks of him? etc etc.
So inexplicable (or irrational) anti-americanism is rife in Spain? This would give Spain a helluva lot in common with an enormous chunk of John Kerry voters. Spain is having strong economy & shortage of workers, resorting to encouraging the return of the Spanish diaspora from South America. SO!!!... It would seem that Spain may be a much more palatable as a destination for the "Bush is president, I'm leaving" squad. The bush haters get a suitable home, the Spanish people get their toilets cleaned & ditches dug, & decent countries such as Oz, NZ & Canada don't have to repel an influx of anyone-but-Bush lemmings?

Posted by: steve at the pub at November 8, 2004 at 06:55 PM

The Spanish may find that events catch up with them and alter their geopolitical perspectives. With a serious population problem, and projections that their social security system will collapse within forty years, added to an inexorably increasing Muslim population, they may also find that the reconquista of 1492 will be reversed. At this rate Islam will not only regain Andalucia, but all of Spain.

Posted by: Blindside at November 8, 2004 at 08:53 PM

If the Spaniards don't care what people in the US think of them, then why expend so much energy on America-hatred? There really isn't a lot of reciprocal Spain-hatred here in the States -- most Americans are aware that Spain exists, of course, but I doubt many people waste even one brain cell worrying about what they think of us over there, much less base their entire political belief system on it. Mostly we think of Spain as that place Antonio Banderas came from.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at November 8, 2004 at 10:15 PM

A large part of Europe's (and Asia too for that matter) problem is that while the morality of the supremacy of the individual is becoming more widespread and better understood, it is so suppressed that many of the enlightened people try to get to the few islands of relative freedom.... Australia, USA, England, etc. When they have departed, only the idiots remain. We need to setup an exchange program... our idiots for their enlightened. I know that we can always use more reality based people in the USA and expect Australia would welcome them too.

Posted by: Frank in Okla at November 9, 2004 at 02:04 AM

Another reason to substitute Aussie wines for someone else's.
I've never heard of a good Spanish beer either. The real San Miguel is made in the Philippines with a painted label.

Posted by: bc at November 9, 2004 at 05:02 AM

Ah... SPAIN!

30 years behind the rest of Europe and working 3 days a week to catch up.

Posted by: arlo at November 9, 2004 at 01:23 PM

If the Spaniards don't care what people in the US think of them, then why expend so much energy on America-hatred?

For the same reasons that the Kerry Kamikazes do it; the same reasons that some EUropeons do it; the same reasons pretty much everyone else that does it does it.

It gives them someone they can feel superior to. Looking down on someone does that for some people. Looking down on someone you feel is big makes you feel bigger.

Posted by: DarthVAda at November 9, 2004 at 02:31 PM