Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Whole New World

In 2006, my oldest son spent 3 weeks in Europe - a great college graduation adventure gift from his Grandmother. He went with his best buddy, had every guidebook, phone card, train ticket, pocket translator, and back pack specialty known to humans. We worried about only one thing.... That he would look like an American. Because in 2006, you may remember, we were not the belles of the international balls. In fact, our no-end-in-sight war on terror...yes the one declared "Mission Accomplished" in June of 2003...was anything but accomplished, and the mission had become more than a little muddied. Our friends and allies in the EU talked about the war in Iraq this way: "the U.S. led invasion of Iraq," and in March of 2006 a survey showed a majority of Europeans believed the invasion had increased the threat of terrorism in the world. The UK was beginning to withdraw troops. Italy's president was promising complete withdrawal of Italian troops by December 2006. In Poland, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Romania, Denmark and Slovakia (all countries with troops in Iraq), public opinion was turning sharply against the war. And our president was quite unpopular.
Prague
London
Amsterdam
Next week, my younger son leaves for a month in Europe...a touring trip with his band, Balmorhea. Our preparation focus has been on securing bass bows and eliminating anything bulky from his very limited luggage space. This time, our biggest concern is that he'll fall in love and never want to come home. Americans - in 2009, post G20 - are quite popular. All he needs is an Obama sticker on his bag.
President Obama, Prime Minister Berlusconi (Italy), President Dmitry Medvedev (Russia)
What a difference a few years, a political awakening, an election, and a real leader in the White House makes. By the time I get to Europe - perhaps it will be my turn in a few years - I pray the entire world is at peace. Could happen...

1 comment:

gay said...

A whole new hope, another reason to be glad President Obama was elected.