I just finished reading an interesting series of articles in The Economist, pretty much trashing America.

Oh, they were well written, even erudite and all that, but they made clear, in the eyes of much of Europe, that we are cowboys. And what's more, when it comes to Iraq, we are bullies -- forcing our bellicose ways on unsuspecting nations.

And it hit me like a brick: These guys hate us.

But it amazes me when push comes to shove, how much they come running, even crawling back to us.

They couldn't handle a butcher in their backyard 60 years ago, so we handled it for them.

They couldn't deal with another butcher Slobodan Milosovich in their own backyard 50 years later, so we dealt with it for them.

They couldn't muster a forceful condemnation of the attacks on Sept. 11, so we mustered it for them.

Time and time again, when they've cowered, we've crushed.

I don't think this country looks for a thank you. But I'd like to think we're due better than a "screw you."

What's amazing in the world of global opinion is Saddam Hussein is trusted more than we are. Our track record isn't perfect in this country, but I'd venture to say it's considerably more reliable than Saddam's. Nevertheless our friends second-guess us, look down on us and all but dismiss us.

You know, I've always wondered how would they act if terrorists had bombed the Eiffel Tower, or destroyed the Berlin Opera House, or worse. How then would they respond?

You know, people say, we shouldn't do anything without these guys.

You know what? I've seen these guys. I know these guys. I don't like these guys. I say, for god's sake, with friends like these, who "needs" these guys?

Better to go it alone with friends you can count on, than back-stabbing, double-crossing, second-guessing, weasel-popping phonies you'll never be able to rely on.

See how they like it when terror hits them in the face and there's no one there to help wipe the egg off.

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