America is Great! Commentators from around the world were asked if America was in decline. They thought collectively, not so bad. Battered by snow storms, and riots due to near economic collapse, Europe and Europeans in general are feeling bruised. In Germany, Peter Klein, the Berlin Bureau Chief for RTL Television said that Europeans hope first for a revitalized U.S. economy. The Germans feel strongly that they do need American leadership, they do need a strong America because you cannot solve any of the major problems or crises in the world without American leadership.
There have been serious rifts with Europe over the U.S. invasion of Iraq. More recently problems with the release of Wikileaks which reveal what American diplomats really think of European leaders. Those documents on that web site reveal American Diplomats referring European leaders in less than stellar profiles. For example, Sarkozy of France as “…thin-skinned…”, or Merkel of Germany as “…inexperienced…”, and Berlusconi of Italy as “…feckless…”. Despite the lack of respect by America for European leaders, Europeans agree that they will never have the political ranks with Russia or China that they share with the U.S.
Tim Marshall, Diplomatic Editor in London for Sky News said, “ I don’t think America is in decline and I think it is a overstated case. China is growing in power; Japan and Germany will become greater economic powers, so, that brings competition. That does not mean that America will be weaker. Militarily, America has a good 50 years ahead of everybody else.” In as much as Europe has resented American military supremacy, they still depend on it.
Most people in the Netherlands feel that if America is indeed loosing influence in the world, that is bad news. Stephen Sharper is a political reporter with RTL Dutch TV. He said, “ The Dutch politicians and people believe that America is their line of defense and their nuclear shield against aggressors.” America’s greatest strength to the world is its innovation. Maria Caffaro, News Anchor for RHY TV in Italy said,” It’s America’s youth and drive that inspire others around the world. America is the country where you can become President before you are 50 years old. That is from Italy’s point of view that most politicians around the world stick to their leadership chairs to the age of 75 or more.” So, Europe hopes that the statements made that America is in decline is something that is greatly exaggerated.