An interesting essay on Europe, Obama and anti-Americanism in the Times Online.
"...there isn't an American president since Eisenhower who hasn't ended up, at some point or other, being depicted by the world's cartoonists as a cowboy astride a phallic missile. It happened to Bill Clinton when he bombed Iraq; it will happen to Mr Obama when his reinforced forces in Afghanistan or Pakistan mistake a meeting of tribal elders for an unwise gathering of Taleban and al-Qaeda. Then the new president (or, if McCain, the old president) will be the target of that mandarin Anglo-French conceit that our superior colonialism somehow gives us the standing to critique the Yank's naive and inferior imperialism."
A slowly creeping disillusionment with Obama - should he be elected - will almost certainly replace Europe's current euphoria - once the average observer realizes that American interests remain American interests - however they are packaged.
Case in point: Over the past few months, Germany's Social Democrats have continually toasted Obama and proclaimed: "Yes, we can!" Recently, however they realized that Obama will almost certainly demand more German troops in Afghanistan and quickly reversed to: "No, we can't!!!!"
"Obama should only ask of us what we are able to deliver," Niels Annen -- a member of Germany's federal parliament, with the left wing of the SPD -- told SPIEGEL ONLINE Monday. "We won't increase our number of troops."
One has to wonder how Obama's demand for more German involvement in Afghanistan will go over with his gushing German fans. Spiegel Online has already taken a decidedly realist tone - declaring that German's love-affair with Obama may not survive his speech this week.
Obama's visit presents additional ironies: While so many Germans embrace Obamamania and a "new America" - Germany remains light years from the election or appointment of a minority to the prime ministry, presidency or any significant cabinet post.
On trade, Obama will almost certainly chart a more protectionist course - which would likely conflict with Germany's economic interests as one of the world's largest exporters.
Finally: It is particularly striking that so many Europeans proclaim such affection for Obama - without really being able to specifically explain why they like him so much. Simply being the leading anti-Bush is enough to be loved in Europe - yet it is the Americans who are continually accused of harboring a black-and-white view of the rest of the world.