March 16, 2023•834 words
🇺🇸 I started to sense a strong anti-American sentiment in Europe during the Trump administration. Something I had never experienced before. It really disturbed me. I became really concerned about the USA's international relations and global reputation. That's when I became interested in foreign affairs.
I started following the leaders of each European country, the leaders of the European Union, and all of our other allies in the Indo-Pacific. I was listening to everything they had to say to try to understand their perspective on current world affairs. The rhetoric was scaring me. I was seriously alarmed by it all.
I tried to intervene. I tried to manage our international relationships single-handedly without any training. I wasn't employed by the State Department or any other US government agency. I was simply a concerned citizen. But I noticed that I was making a small impact. I was persuasive at times, and it was making a difference.
The more I read now about the historical decisions of past presidents and American diplomacy, especially towards the French, the more I understand the decisions and caution of French diplomats today. I have learned that anti-American sentiment is not new in France or the rest of Europe, it was just new to me. I also understand how it manifested long ago, and unfortunately, it's not entirely unwarranted based on what I have read. We were really unpredictable. I guess that hasn't really changed.
I strongly believe that building a strong relationship of trust with France is essential to the security of the transatlantic region. No matter who the French president is or which political party is in power. France is the most powerful nation in Europe, especially now that the UK has returned to their old world policy of isolationism by withdrawing from the European Union. Past presidents like FDR, did not understand the importance of this. Most Americans are familiar with FDR's Four Freedoms, and we are very proud of his ideals to create a world founded on those Four Freedoms, but most of us are not aware of his poor judgement in international relations. He was very condescending to the French and the British, but especially to the French, while courting a friendship with Russia's Stalin, of all people. Stalin obviously had no interest in the Four Freedoms. Stalin manipulated FDR, and took advantage of his good will, and many Eastern European countries suffered from the consequences of his poor judgement. It's shocking that an Ivy League grad like FDR could so easily forget that France funded the American Revolution, and that the USA would not even exist if it wasn't for the French. We have a lot in common with the French. We share the same values as the French – liberty, equality, and fraternity. The US government is based on a system of checks and balances that were originally French political ideas and philosophy. French-American relations should be stronger than ever.
The AUKUS agreement between the USA, the UK and Australia is an important agreement to help Australia and our other partners secure the Indo-Pacific region and protect themselves from Chinese aggression. But the way it was handled was a blow to the French, and only enflamed old anti-Anglo-American sentiments. I believe PM Boris Johnson intentionally masterminded that scenario, while President Biden was preoccupied with numerous other issues at the time, and did not realize what Johnson was conspiring. The president made a huge mistake with the way he handled that deal, but he does deserve credit for acknowledging the mistake and restoring trust between the USA and France.
Restoring UK-EU relations should be considered a high priority for the USA as well. I believe the USA is partly at fault for the UK's return to isolationist policies, so we should take responsibility for helping to restore UK-EU relations. I suspect the Trump Administration, specifically Trump, convinced the UK, specifically Johnson, to take this path. I'm surprised that the current administration does not work harder to improve relations between the UK and EU. I am also surprised that the current administration has not worked on a trade agreement with the UK yet. Punishing the UK for the mistakes of one prime minister, especially when he was likely following the advice of a former US president, is wrong and not in our best interest. Imagine if our allies punished us for the mistakes of past presidents. We have to accept the current situation and work to improve the current international geopolitical landscape with new policies. A free trade agreement between the USA and UK would be beneficial to both countries, and even to all of our other allies.
There is no doubt that the Europeans prefer to work with the Biden Administration rather than a Republican Administration, especially through such challenging times with Russia and China. So I am going to support President Biden, but I am not going to stop pushing him to do the right thing or calling him out if he doesn't.