Something that I've come to realize is that genuine gratitude is in short supply in today's civilization. I guess it is human nature that breeds resentment in the heart of the benefactor. It seems that helping those less fortunate than ourselves causes them to face up to the hard truth that they were unable to help themselves.
However, I find this explanation less than satisfactory in the case of present-day Western Europe. It does nothing to explain why the Europeans seem determined to act the obstructor in our efforts to fight Islamist terrorists.
This really puzzles me since the Europeans have nearly as much to fear as we Americans do. While we may be "public enemy number one", they have much larger numbers of Muslim immigrants in their midst which makes them more vulnerable. You would think that after the terror attacks in Spain and England, wilding Muslim youths in France, and foiled terror plots in Denmark and Germany, that the Europeans would be more supportive of the War on Islam.
You would think that. But you would be wrong. Witness the latest brouhaha over the CIA's operation of secret prisons in Eastern Europe. Leave aside for a moment the fact that, given the European's vulnerability to terrorism, they should be with us. But aren't those countries which helped us to operate this network of prisons sovereign? Don't they have the right to decide for themselves whether or not to assist us in this endeavor?
I am convinced it is not a coincidence that those countries with the most recent experience under authoritarian governments are our most faithful allies in this effort.
The Europeans, on the other hand, spent nearly 50 years enjoying the aegis of American protection from the Soviet threat. I think this is the prime cause that has bred the resentment to the United States; the fact that they were unable to stand up to the gravest threat of the latter half of the 20th century.