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European Opposition to American Just War

Recorded on April 9, 2003

The Heritage Foundation's Van Andel Center

Europe and America have very different ideas on the meaning of just war. In the war against Iraq, it is a subject that has received intense scrutiny and debate on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. The European commitment to the welfare state turns them away from military strength, even military self-sufficiency, and makes military confrontation basically unthinkable. This is true even when the cause is just, such as removing a threatening and oppressive regime from power. This is an important reason for the European opposition to the war in Iraq. The pessimism about Europe's own future makes Europeans easily resentful of others, especially the United States.