Hey, this is Europe. We took it from nobody; we won it from the bare soil that the ice left. The bones of our ancestors, and the stones of their works, are everywhere. Our liberties were won in wars and revolutions so terrible that we do not fear our governors: they fear us. Our children giggle and eat ice-cream in the palaces of past rulers. We snap our fingers at kings. We laugh at popes. When we have built up tyrants, we have brought them down. And we have nuclear f***ing weapons.My reply:
I hope they were kidding. Every square inch of Europe was stolen by its current inhabitants from someone else. They absolutely do fear their governors more than any American. Still do. The liberties they "won" were won by us, including not only all of the 20th C but the practice of representative democracy (though I'll give the Brits some credit there) itself. Bringing down tyrants in their own land they haven't been much good at. They have relied entirely on each other for that, and not happily. More recently, they've relied on us.
I don't know where you got the quote, but such things are a common attitude in Western Europe. I used to post on a European board where people would argue with a straight face that they were in as much danger from America as from Russia during the cold war. Well of course they had to think that. After abandoning all of Eastern Europe to the Russians the sting of self-honesty would be too great for any nation to bear. So they had to find someone else to blame. We're a good choice because they know we won't punish them.
Remember that they are essentially children - those teenagers who are so sure they know better than their parents.