Choosing the wrong target

A reminder in The Times today about who the real target is. The paper’s leader reflects on the growing tide of anti-Americanism, ranging from left to right, from good Europeans to little Englanders, and rightly says that the recent killings at Al-Haditha must not become the subplot of a “morality play whose demon king is not terrorism, but the use and alleged abuse of US power”.

The piece goes on to talk about the problems that Western democracies face in the open-ended battle with terrorism and of the pressures this will put on the Atlantic alliance.

“Democracies are psychologically ill-adapted to open-ended confrontations where there can be no decisive victory, the essence of the effort to subdue global terrorism. Eternal vigilance is a wearisome business. The more vulnerable that Europeans feel, the more liable they are to shift blame across the Atlantic.

“The strength of disdain is a measure of Europe’s weakness. Smugness is one of Europe’s great contemporary exports.”