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Gingrich, Romney rely on Eurobashing to "define their America"

Four years ago, Obama campaigned with hope and change. He ran against George W. Bush's track record, even though Bush was not running again. Today, Republicans campaign with fear and "against Europe", although Europe won't be on the ballot box in November.

For Obama, Bush was "the other" against which he defined himself. For Republicans that "other" is Europe. (See all the Poli Sci literature on collective identities and nationalism) Newt Gingrich in his South Caroline Victoria Speech according to FOX News:

Those two choices, I believe, will give the American people a chance to decide permanently whether we want to remain the historic America that has provided opportunity for more people of more backgrounds than any country in history, or whether in fact, we prefer to become a brand new secular, European-style bureaucratic socialist system.

What does secularism have to do with any of this? I think Newt Gingrich is just listing all the "bad" things he can think of and does not care for European differences.  Italy, Ireland, Poland are part of Europe and not that secular. Italy has big economic troubles, Poland not so much. I would leave religion out of it. The Scandinavians are more secular, have less economic troubles and provide more opportunities (social mobility) for their citizens than the US does.

Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff from the German Marshall Fund Blog sums up the Eurobaloney on the Campaign Trail and reminds us that Americans have "traditionally understood their history, culture, and identity in contrast to Europe's."

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Small Town in Sweden Accepted More Iraqi Refugees than the Entire United States

The United States has admitted less than 5,000 Iraqi refugees between April 2003 through the end of March while Sweden has accepted 34,000 since 2003 according to Congressman Alcee Hastings, chairman of the Helsinki Commission, an independent US government agency led by members of Congress.

The International Herald Tribune writes that the commission held a hearing with Anders Lago, the mayor of Sodertalje, Sweden. He said that his small city of about 80,000 was now home to nearly 6,000 Iraqis. "More refugees than the United States and Canada together."

The IHT also points out that "the Bush administration said Thursday it remained optimistic it would meet its goal of admitting 12,000 Iraqi refugees by the end of September."

Related articles in the Atlantic Community by Jan Bittner: Iraqi Refugees: The West Overlooks a Major Crisis and Iraqi Refugees: Open Western Doors to the Most Vulnerable, referring to the Iraqi Christians in particular.