Assume that Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network decided to drop a 757 on the Sydney Opera House during a full concert or perhaps the London Stock Exchange during working hours? Take your pick or think of a different, comparable act to one of our allies.
While reading some other threads around here (notably Backing the US is the only answer for the future… ) I noticed many of our non-American dopers (and more than a few American ones as well) taking exception to the notion expressed in the title I just linked. On the face of it I don’t blame them one bit.
However it occurred to me how they would feel had it been their country so violently attacked. I’ll grant that many if not most of America’s allies have experienced terrorism for a long time and till now America has gotten off rather lightly. However, I don’t think anything quite so spectacular and singularly devastating has occurred to any of them so I doubt they could just let it roll off their backs as another random bombing.
It also came out in the other thread that Europeans (and Australians and other allies) don’t like America’s heavy handedness, especially as regards America’s self-imposed notion of policeman to the world. Nevertheless their own militaries are almost across the board shadows of their former selves. Only the US really maintains anything approaching a worldclass military (as in project power worldwide…theoretically Russia does as well but the reality is likely very different).
So again, what do you think they (US allies) would have done had some similar atrocity to the World Trade Center attacks been perpetrated on their country? Certainly there’d be a lot of gnashing of teeth but what UN backed embargo would work against Afghanistan? I’m sure that’d devatate their drug trade. Withdraw diplomatic recognition? Afghanistan mostly didn’t have that anyway. Would they come hat-in-hand asking the US to go kick some ass on their behalf? I wonder because I can’t think of a single US ally that could do that alone even against Afghanistan. Would the US just go and do kick ass anyway with or without a request? Maybe (knowing Dubya). Would our allies still take the US to task for taking matters into its own hands? I wonder that too.