VC-10 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 1999, 3708 posts, RR: 34 Posted (11 years 3 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 2326 times:
Could someone please explain to me why there is so much anti French/German feeling in the US.
America proudly boasts that is is the land of the free and the home of democracy, so why does every other nation have to agree with US foreign policy? Why don't they have a democratic right to disagree?
9V-SPF From Germany, joined Sep 2001, 1375 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (11 years 3 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 2295 times:
I´ve spent the last six weeks in the United States (California, Oregon and Florida) and have not noticed any anti-german sentiment (like always when I was in the USA, I´ve made mostly very positive experiences with the american people) so I absolutely agree with JAL777 that these issues are often exaggerated on both sides of the atlantic.
DoorsToManual From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (11 years 3 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 2285 times:
I totally agree with Daniel.
Broadly speaking, there isn't any real resentment, judging by what American tourists have said when visiting my Uni here in the UK.
I'd say it's limited to a few specific foreign policy issues with the current US administration. Whether American people really believe in the Bush doctrine is another matter, but 'patriotism' is a special issue there, and perhaps people feel more inclined to support Bush than to question him (although that seems to be changing, which I think is great - people should hold their elected leaders accountable, not worship them).
A.net doesn't in my opinion represent the real world and I am confident that about 80% of respondents here are acting purely emotionally to each other's rhetoric - and some people love to use provocative language.
An interesting site for those interested in US-Europe relations is Transatlantic Trends (try Google).
I for one prefer not to get too embroiled in politics, and America's diversity still fascinates me. A really great vacation spot!
VC-10 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 1999, 3708 posts, RR: 34
Reply 5, posted (11 years 3 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 2265 times:
people feel more inclined to support Bush than to question him
Just to expand on that, recently some journalists have been asked why Tony Blair is feeling more heat than George Bush. The general consensus was that if journalists at the White House briefings ask any searching questions of Bush they will find themselves out in the cold thereafter
Sebolino From France, joined May 2001, 3682 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (11 years 3 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 2254 times:
The Anti-French campaign cannot be denied. Just have a look at the Republican party site, that's incredible.
It doesn't mean that you can find this sentiment in the population, only Americans could answer this question.
I guess the main reason for such a sentiment would be patriotism. Americans are known to be very proud of their country, that may explain a lot of their reactions.
VC-10 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 1999, 3708 posts, RR: 34
Reply 8, posted (11 years 3 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 2234 times:
I've spent two months in the US myself this year. I was at SDF, EWR, JFK and RDU and never came across any anti-Europe opinion. Even if I expressed my own views, which were/are against the Iraq intervention, my opinion was respected. It just seems on this board there strong feelings against the French/Germans.
B747skipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (11 years 3 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 2221 times:
Dear VC-10 and friends -
I am fortunate to be a very international person, born in USA with American father and Belgian mother, went to school in France, then Belgium, then USA, served in the US Air Force as pilot and had a career as pilot with PanAm, and now, a citizen of Argentina, where I live since 10 years. No need to tell you that I travel much and talk to many people of both sides...
There is no anti-Europe feelings in USA, nor is there anti-USA feelings in Europe. All this is fueled by sensationalism of television. Definitely, there is an anti-French/German feeling in the high circles in Washington, as there is an anti-USA sentiment around Jacques Chirac's entourage, but the people of the streets and the country do not have such opinion.
The great weakness of USA people is lack of "international" knowledge. They could hardly place countries on a world map. Their other weakness is limited ability to understand other languages. In Europe, the people are extremely well educated about what USA is, but their education about USA is from the Hollywood movie industry.
Look at the news media in Europe, and in the USA... television and newpapers. A typical European newspaper has at least 2 or 3 pages of international news, many of them carried on the first page. In USA, the newspapers are hardly carrying any foreign news, sometimes less than a page (could be on page 3 or page 7) if it is not filled with advertisements. My criticism also of television news in USA... they "feed the people" with what they want them to believe.
DoorsToManual From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (11 years 3 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 2214 times:
In Europe, the people are extremely well educated about what USA is, but their education about USA is from the Hollywood movie industry.
This doesn't seem to add up!? Are you saying Europeans learn about the USA from Hollywood movies, and that this leads to 'extremely well educated' individuals?
I think most people can draw a distinction between fictional movies & reality outside the cinema, but I have to say this: the portrayal of high schools is totally accurate! I spent one summer in the US at a school in California - the atmosphere was entirely different to that in Europe, but I still enjoyed it!
One thing is for sure: no one parties like the American high school students!
Yyz717 From Canada, joined Sep 2001, 16367 posts, RR: 56
Reply 12, posted (11 years 3 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 2196 times:
it makes me very glad to see that you don't encounter anti-Europeanism in the US, just like I do not see/hear anti-Americanism in Europe.
Whenever a US President visits Europe, there are large protests against him. You never see such protests in the US when the French or German leaders visit. There does appear to be a strong undercurrent of anti-US rhetoric at all levels of European society, in old Europe at least.
This proves again that people like B757300, Yyz717, Galaxy5 and a lot of others are just a bunch of extremes that will never change.
Whatever. Extremism is relative from where you're looking. Which speaks volumes.
Panam, TWA, Ansett, Eastern.......AC next? Might be good for Canada.
Captainstabbin From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (11 years 3 months 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 2178 times:
I think Doors to Manual and Daniel have hit the nail square on the head. The anti-Europe feelings has only been suggested by a few high-placed public figures, some websites and has been totally overblown by the media.
I live in the US and I really haven’t come across anyone who hates France and Germany for being who they are. I think people here feel somewhat betrayed that they did not participate in the Iraq war, but really only a few individuals have expressed this sentiment in terms of boycotts.
By the way, like YYZ717 alluded to, you will never see any violent protests at some European-owned chain here or at the French or German embassies like you would with American ones in Paris. That is the truth.
When you think about it though, anti-American sentiment has existed in Europe for a long time, even before 9/11. I know it has existed because my mother is from Greece and I always got this feeling everytime I went to visit my relatives there. The difference then and now is that Americans started noticing what the rest of the world has always been thinking of them after 9/11 – and they didn’t necessarily like what they heard.
So, what’s good for the goose...
Personally, I think French politics are hypocritical, dishonest and immoral, but I’m going to enjoy my French wine and try to mack on French girls living in NY or through the Internet. Hell, if it wasn’t as expensive as it was to fly to CDG on short notice, I would be going there instead of London next week-end.
Kilavoud From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (11 years 3 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 2151 times:
People in every nation is reacting within the limits of their culture. It is something to be respected. For this reason it's quite natural that a situation, difficult or not, has not always got the same vision from outside. How do you want an American to react like a French or vice versa ? I can understand this because I am living throughout the year shunted around from European culture to Indian culture : January, March, May, July, September, November in Switzerland for work and the six other months in India with my family. I appreciate both culture because I know the limits of each of them. Since I am on Airliners.net I am more happy because I am discovering the US culture, a great culture with great people. Regards. Kilavoud.
IHadAPheo From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 6027 posts, RR: 55
Reply 17, posted (11 years 3 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 2149 times:
Some in the US also feel that there is a double standard regarding America in the rest of the world. Some feel there is a thought process along the lines of "look at what those evil Americans are doing if America acts but if America there is a cry of "Why isn't America doing anything about this" There also may be a feeling by some Americans that no matter who America acts there will by some who will hate America just for being America.
My financial, family and health situation precludes European travel so I cannot comment firsthand on any anti-American feelings on a personal level. My travel is limited to Canada recently and have found no one who in any way expressed any anti American feelings.
Just a a personal observation...since the events of 9-11 I have to point out the lack of any true anti-Arab attacks in the US, Living in a boarder city with a large "Arab" population including the Lackawanna 6 I have not seen any rioting in the streets, no lynching of suspected "terrorists" by the populus, no bombing of Arab institutions.
In my job I have seen many of the family and friends not to mention some of the confessed members of the Lackawanna 6 come though the doors and did we treat them any different??? No.
In summary of a tirade by an overtired old man .....
Some feel that the Us is damned if we do anything and damned if we do not do anything and resent the comments in either situation, I have yet to run into any Americanism in my (limited) travel nor have I seen any real anti Arab feelings. I feel that we are pretty tolerant of those living here who do not agree with us or even want to blow us to bits.
I'm American and evil Republican to boot but at present I do not agree with many of the Bush administration's polices and can see the point of some of the critics out there. Nor am I blind to some of the encroachments on freedom made by the"Patirot Act". The world now is a complicated place and there are no easy answers but do I hate anyone for not being in complete disagreement with us? again the Answer is NO, do I dislike the venom filled rants by some regarding ANYTHING the US does or doesn't do? Yes I do.
Pray hard but pray with care For the tears that you are crying now Are just your answered prayers
MoPac From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 215 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (11 years 3 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 2111 times:
The anti-America sentiment which is greatly spread in Europe IS LIMITED TO THE CURRENT ADMINISTRATION
When you think about it though, anti-American sentiment has existed in Europe for a long time, even before 9/11.
Anti-American sentiments on one level or another have existed in Europe for a long time.
-Going back to the 50s and 60s when America's middle class began vacationing in Europe en mass the catch phrase "Ugly American" was born. "Ugly Americans" was also a book published in the late 50s/early 60s.
-In the 80s there were widespread protests of the Reagan administrations plan to base missiles on German soil.
-In the 90s everything from Americanization, hegemony, American "hyperpuissance ", McWorld, etc.
All in all there is at least a 50 year history of anti-Americanism, disdain, or whatever you want to call it.
Sabena 690: Seen the remarks over here, I don't have the impression that the anti-Europeanism and anti-Frenchism is limited to Chirac...
For what it's worth Frederic, I haven't seen a single "Bomb France First" bumper sticker on any cars/trucks/SUVs here in Texas. I really don't think most people get too worked up over France/Germany disagreeing with U.S. policy, especially since a big chunk of them actually agreed with France in the first place.
Some people, especially the older generations, think that Europe has forgotten a lot of the sacrifices America made for them in the past and aren't living up to their end of the bargain. But never have I encountered any Anti-French/German sentiment, at most it's disappointment.
StarAC17 From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 3410 posts, RR: 9
Reply 20, posted (11 years 3 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 2088 times:
There are however, those in the media actively encouraging the boycott of France, their product, their tourism, etc
The Sean Hannities, the Bill O'Reillys (as can specifically be seen here on his website),, the Michael Savages, etc.... and to be honest, I pretty much agree with them (despite being 1/4 French, 2nd generation) on this issue.
The fact that grown adults are doing this sort of thing on TV is so childish, I have also seen them boycott Canadian stuff too however it didn't last very long from what I hear. People like Bill O'Reilly should be ashamed of themselves for acting this way, there full grown adults for crying out loud or is it because they are simply stupid.
ConcordeBoy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (11 years 3 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 2081 times:
... or, it's because they simply believe that support should not be given to a [currently politically] hostile country; and they're providing a forum which enables others of that belief to do the same.
B747skipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (11 years 3 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 2062 times:
I found this discussion rather interesting... may I mention a few points...
At age 7, I moved with my parents to Paris, exclusive area, my dad was the assistant air attache at the US Embassy there, my mother insisted I went to a French school there, rather than the American School. I learned to speak French with my classroom friends and my buddies from the street. I was in fact called "le petit yankee", nothing bad about it.
Many parents of my friends liked me. They always were mentioning the help USA gave them, Normandy "D Day" and the many GIs who lost their lives there, how much they were grateful to USA, got the help in 1944, and also the help in 1917. My dad was a B-17 pilot during WW2, and got shot over Belgium on his third mission... the reason I exist, he met my mother there, a Belgian girl in the underground who escaped the Nazis, with him escorting him through France, Spain and Portugal...
In 1954, France had bad problems in Vietnam (Dien-Bien-Phu) and they asked for help from USA, but USA did not. Eventually, this led to De Gaulle era, in France, and USA "nowing better than the French" in Vietnam...
By the way, there were French elite troops in Korea in 1952 assisting USA... French Foreign Legion, Berets Rouges (paratroopers). A few French fighter pilots flew F-86 in the USAF... my father mentioned that to me...
President De Gaulle was not a friend of USA, eventually, this lead to the NATO headquarters transfer to Belgium, my father became air attache in Brussels. The Belgians loved us. I could imitate Paris or Brussels accent when speaking French. Also learned to speak Flemish (a Dutch dialect)
I never was rejected by the French or the Belgians... I went back home to the USA twice a year, vacations... there I was called "Frenchie" or "Froggy", the people there, my friends parent's had no clue about Paris or Brussels, all they knew was "De Gaulle is an idiot"... "how can you live in Europe"... "why dont you come to school here"... There was more rejection of Europe on that side of the Atlantic. Many asked me if I was even an American, since I "was from there", did not know anything about baseball or football, and that I ate my meat rare rather than cooked like an old shoe, or even dare eating raw meat (steak cannibale)...
Throughout my life in France and Belgium, I defended USA, and when in USA, I defended European's culture and points of view. I was a stranger, and a foreigner in my own country.
Now in Argentina, since 10 years, I have never been rejected either. They call me "el piloto yanqui" in the street I live, my kids speak English or Spanish with me, although their country is Argentina, they love USA as their "other country". On SEP 11, the people of the street brought us flowers with little USA flags, and hugged me, as they think that New York is where all Americans are from... But I know USA severely criticizes Argentina, a nation that likes Europe, but is definitely aligned with USA politics. Yet there is little help offered by USA to assist us from the economic problems we have... We get more help and support from Spain, Italy and France, to tell you the truth.