Forty-four years ago, a few months before his assassination, John F. Kennedy traveled to then divided Berlin and gave a round of historic speeches. "Ich bin ein Berliner" is the line everyone remembers, the crowd's roar soaring in approval of the young president whose country would one day liberate the people on the other side of the wall. But there was anoth-er line, his last public utterance in Berlin. It came during a speech at Congress Hall, a gift from America to the people of Berlin. "Americans may be far away," he said, "but ... this is where we want to be today. When I leave tonight, I leave—and the Unit-ed States stays."
It didn't turn out that way. Over the decades, America floated in and out of Europe's graces. Probably Washington's darkest hour in Europe since Vietnam was the 2003 invasion of Iraq and its grim aftermath.
Iraq split the continent in two—in-to "old" and "new" Europe, in former U.S. Defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld's memorable formulation. Millions of protesters filled Europe's boulevards. In Britain, Spain, Italy and elsewhere, governments fell or were wounded by their association with George W. Bush. At Congress Hall in Berlin, on the eve of "shock and awe" over Baghdad, Middle Eastern artists mounted an antiwar exhibit dubbed "DisORIENTation."
Now the tables have turned again. From Iberia to the Russian border, European governments are rebuilding transatlantic bridges. Remarkably, the continent's political elites are embrac-ing pro-Americanism at a time when people on the street are as an-ti-American as they've been since Coalition forces rolled across Iraq. By going against the public grain at ob-vious political risk, Europe's leaders are demonstrating just how deter-mined they are to bury anti-Ameri-canism.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are on the leading edge of the New Atlanticism. The two of them behave as if Chancellor Gerhard Schroder and President Jacques Chirac belonged to another era, with Sarkozy attempting to revive an al-liance that dates back to the American War of Independence and Merkel, as the leader of the world's largest ex-porter, championing what her officials call "a larger common market" with the United States.
Similarly, the countries of Central and Eastern Europe are exhibiting such rampant pro-Americanism that Moscow, their old master, is growing restive. Even Spain under Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapa-tero, whose first big foreign-policy initiative was to pull his country's troops out of Iraq, is warming to Washington—cooperating, for exam-ple, on counterterrorism matters.
The driving forces behind the de-cline of anti-Americanism are not hard to discern. First among them is the departure, in 500 days or so, of Bush, the most reviled American president in European memory. Sec-ond is the fading of Iraq-not as a catastrophic problem, but as a bilateral issue that has leaders lunging at each other's throats; as French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner told NEWSWEEKMinister Bernard Kouchner told NEWSWEEK "We're turning the page and finding a new spirit."
But there is also a hunger for transatlantic economic cooperation at a time when China and India are on the move; a growing European dread of Al Qaeda's terrorism; a resurgence of the European center-right, com-bined with the growing dominance of pragmatism over ideology, be it American neoconservatism or old-style Continental socialism. Then there's a yearning, particularly in the old Soviet bloc, to seek U.S. protec-tion as Vladimir Putin's Russia flexes its muscles, giving rise to loose talk about a new cold war. Finally, there's an understanding, however grudging, that major international challenges, from Darfur to climate change, cannot be met without Washington's collab-oration.
The promise of further steps after Bush, perhaps under a Democratic president, is heartening to Europe. Washington's growing willingness, so far at least, to work in tandem with European governments on such issues as Iran's nuclear ambitions and conflict in the Middle East is also welcome in European capitals. Alex Bigham of the London-based Foreign Policy Centre argues that the aftermath of Iraq has taught the United States that "a uni-lateral coalition does not work" and that multilateralism can be more ef-fective.
Ich bin ein Berliner 我是柏林人
shock and awe 震懾行動
tables have turned 時來運轉
against the public grain 違反民意
lunging at each other's throats互相攻詰
on the move動起來
flexes its muscles耀武揚威
in tandem with 協同合作