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Encyclopedia > Old Europe

In January 2003 the term Old Europe surfaced after U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld used it to refer to European countries that did not support the 2003 invasion of Iraq, most notably France and Germany. It has come to mean some subset of the countries of continental Western Europe. The United States Secretary of Defense is the head of the United States Department of Defense, concerned with the armed services and The Secretary is a member of the Presidents Cabinet. ... Donald Henry Rumsfeld, (born July 9, 1932) is a U.S. politician and businessman, who was the 13th Secretary of Defense under President Gerald Ford from 1975–1977, and the 21st Secretary of Defense under President George W. Bush from 2001–2006. ... Combatants Coalition Forces: United States United Kingdom South Korea Australia Poland Romania others. ... A common understanding of Western Europe in modern times. ...



On January 22, 2003 Rumsfeld answered a question from Charles Groenhuijsen, a Dutch questioner, about the potential US invasion: January 22 is the 22nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Charles Groenhuijsen Charles Groenhuijsen (April 16, 1954) is a Dutch journalist. ...

Q: Sir, a question about the mood among European allies. You were talking about the Islamic world a second ago. But now the European allies. If you look at, for example, France, Germany, also a lot of people in my own country -- I'm from Dutch public TV, by the way -- it seems that a lot of Europeans rather give the benefit of the doubt to Saddam Hussein than President George Bush. These are U.S. allies. What do you make of that?
Rumsfeld: Well, it's -- what do I make of it?
Q: They have no clerics. They have no Muslim clerics there.
Rumsfeld: Are you helping me? (Laughter.) Do you think I need help? (Laughter.)
What do I think about it? Well, there isn't anyone alive who wouldn't prefer unanimity. I mean, you just always would like everyone to stand up and say, Way to go! That's the right to do, United States.
Now, we rarely find unanimity in the world. I was ambassador to NATO, and I -- when we would go in and make a proposal, there wouldn't be unanimity. There wouldn't even be understanding. And we'd have to be persuasive. We'd have to show reasons. We'd have to -- have to give rationales. We'd have to show facts. And, by golly, I found that Europe on any major issue is given -- if there's leadership and if you're right, and if your facts are persuasive, Europe responds. And they always have.
Now, you're thinking of Europe as Germany and France. I don't. I think that's old Europe. If you look at the entire NATO Europe today, the center of gravity is shifting to the east. And there are a lot of new members. And if you just take the list of all the members of NATO and all of those who have been invited in recently -- what is it? Twenty-six, something like that? -- you're right. Germany has been a problem, and France has been a problem.
Q: But opinion polls --
Rumsfeld: But -- just a minute. Just a minute. But you look at vast numbers of other countries in Europe. They're not with France and Germany on this, they're with the United States.

Rumsfeld may have meant the "old way we think about Europe" or as would be clear in American English expression "the old Europe." However, the expression was also interpreted as a dig against a "sclerotic" and old-fashioned Western Europe. It became a potent symbol, especially after division emerged over Iraq between France and Germany and some of the new Central and Southeastern European entrants and applicants to NATO and the European Union. Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti (Arabic: [1]; April 28, 1937[2] – December 30, 2006[3]), was the President of Iraq from July 16, 1979, until April 9, 2003. ... George Walker Bush (born July 6, 1946) is the 43rd and current President of the United States, inaugurated on January 20, 2001. ... NATO 2002 Summit in Prague The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation[2] (NATO; French: ; also called the North Atlantic Alliance, the Atlantic Alliance, or the Western Alliance) is a military alliance established by the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty on 4 April 1949. ...

Further diplomatic tension built up when Rumsfeld pointed out in February 2003, that Germany, Cuba and Libya were the only nations completely opposing a possible war in Iraq (a statement that was formally correct at the time). This was interpreted by many that he would put Germany on a common level with undemocratic dictatorships violating human rights. Forms of government Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      A dictatorship is an autocratic form of government in which the government is ruled by a dictator. ... Human rights are rights which some hold to be inalienable and belonging to all humans. ...

Later usage

The German translation altes Europa was the word of the year for 2003 in Germany, because German politicians and commentators responded by often using it in a sarcastic way. It was frequently used with pride and a reference to a perceived position of greater moral integrity. The terms altes Europa and Old Europe now frequently surface in European economic and political discourse.[citation needed] According to its web site, the American Dialect Society, founded in 1889, is dedicated to the study of the English language in North America, and of other languages, or dialects of other languages, influencing it or influenced by it. ... Sarcasm from Greek sarkasmos, to tear flesh is sneering, jesting, or mocking a person, situation or thing. ... Pride refers to a strong sense of self-respect, a refusal to be humiliated as well as joy in the accomplishments of oneself or a person, group, or object that one identifies with. ...

In contrast to Rumsfeld's usage of "Old Europe", the term New Europe (and neues Europa) also appeared, reflecting either the European states that supported the war, the newly accepted to the EU Central European states, or a new economically and technologically dynamic and liberal Europe, often including the United Kingdom. New Europe is a rhetorical term used by conservative political analysts in the United States to describe European post-Communist countries. ...

In light of the history of European diplomacy, it may also reflect power conflicts within the EU as member nations resent the power and influence demanded by France and Germany.

It has also been used to describe the problems for several Western European countries having an ageing population and potentially unfundable pension plans. However several Eastern European countries considered as New Europe tend to have an older population profile due to plunging birth rates, little immigration and the exodus of younger adults to work in Western Europe. A pension is a steady income given to a person (usually after retirement). ...

Rumsfeld made fun of his statement shortly before a 2005 diplomatic trip to Europe. "When I first mentioned I might be travelling in France and Germany it raised some eyebrows. One wag said it ought to be an interesting trip after all that has been said. I thought for a moment and then I replied: 'Oh, that was the old Rumsfeld.'" [1]

Antecedent uses

The Communist Manifesto of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels starts with the words: Malayalam editon of the Manifesto The Communist Manifesto, also known as The Manifesto of the Communist Party, first published on February 21, 1848 by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, is one of the worlds most historically influential political tracts. ... Karl Heinrich Marx (May 5, 1818, Trier, Germany – March 14, 1883, London) was a German philosopher, political economist, and revolutionary. ... Friedrich Engels (November 28, 1820, Wuppertal – August 5, 1895, London), a 19th-century German political philosopher, developed communist theory alongside his better-known collaborator, Karl Marx, co-authoring The Communist Manifesto (1848). ...

A spectre is haunting Europe — the spectre of communism. All the powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre: Pope and Tsar, Metternich and Guizot, French Radicals and German police-spies.

When Marx used the term in 1848, the year of failed liberal revolutions across Europe, he was referring to the restoration of Ancien régime dynasties, following the defeat of Napoleon. Of his three sets of pairs, each pair links figures who might on the surface be considered adversaries, in alliances that he clearly sees as unholy, to set up one of history's most effective conspiracy theories. An "Old Europe" must find a mental contrast with a posited "New Europe". The current Pope is Benedict XVI (born Joseph Alois Ratzinger), who was elected at the age of 78 on 19 April 2005. ... Tsar (Bulgarian, Serbian and Macedonian цар, Russian  , in scientific transliteration respectively car and car ), occasionally spelled Czar or Tzar and sometimes Csar or Zar in English, is a Slavonic term designating certain monarchs. ... Klemens Wenzel von Metternich Klemens Wenzel Nepomuk Lothar Fürst von Metternich-Winneberg-Beilstein (May 15, 1773 - June 11, 1858) (sometimes rendered in English as Prince Clemens Metternich) was an Austrian politician and statesman and perhaps the most important diplomat of his era. ... François Pierre Guillaume Guizot (October 4, 1787 -September 12, 1874) was a French historian, orator and statesman. ... —Alexis de Tocqueville, Recollections The European Revolutions of 1848, in some countries known as the Spring of Nations, were the bloody consequences of a variety of changes that had been taking place in Europe in the first half of the 19th century. ... Capital Paris Language(s) French Government Monarchy King  - 1814-1824 Louis XVIII  - 1824-1830 Charles X Legislature Parliament History  - Bourbon Restoration 1814  - July Revolution 21 January, 1830 Currency French Franc Following the ousting of Napoleon I of France in 1814, the Allies restored the Bourbon Dynasty to the French throne. ... Ancien Régime, a French term meaning Former Regime, but rendered in English as Old Rule, Old Order, or simply Old Regime, refers primarily to the aristocratic social and political system established in France under the Valois and Bourbon dynasties. ... For other uses, see Napoleon (disambiguation). ... A conspiracy theory attempts to explain the ultimate cause of an event or chain of events (usually political, social, or historical events) as a secret, and often deceptive, plot by a covert alliance of powerful or influential people or organizations. ...

See also

Wikinews has news related to: Capitol Hill fries and toast French again Freedom fries was a failed attempt by some in the United States to rename the term French fries. The freedom fries affair was an example of anti-French sentiment in the United States. ... The term axis of weasels is a conscious pun made on President of the United States George W. Bushs term axis of evil (coined partly by Bush speechwriter David Frum), frequently (and erroneously) attributed to US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. ... The Old World consists of those parts of Earth known to Europeans, Asians, and Africans before the voyages of Christopher Columbus; it includes Europe, Asia, and Africa (collectively known as Africa-Eurasia), plus surrounding islands. ... Atlantic derives from Ancient Greek mythology: Altas as one of the Titans at the Rockefeller Center in New York City Transatlantic relations refers to the historic, cultural, political, economic and social relations between countries on both side of the Atlantic Ocean, specifically between the United States, Canada and the countries... State of Affairs and Definition Today the EU is like a sleeping peace-power between the deficit of sovereignty, pressure of cohesion and world order. ...


  Results from FactBites:
Old Europe - definition of Old Europe in Encyclopedia (500 words)
In January 2003 the term "Old Europe" surfaced mockingly with U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, to refer to those European countries who were not in favour of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Rumsfeld's "Old Europe" is probably equivalent to the European Union, with the exception of the United Kingdom, Spain (where the government supported the U.S. in defiance of its people, which was later voted out and the new government pulled out its troops), Ireland, Italy, Denmark, Portugal and the newly joined Central European states.
Old Europe is also a term used by archaeologists and ethnographers to characterize autochthonous ("aboriginal") peoples who, according to one theory, were living in Neolithic Europe before the suspected immigration of Indo-European peoples.
  More results at FactBites »



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