Of all the differences Americans perceive in Europe, it's the old continent's moral decadence that seems to enrage them the most. It's that ethical lament that's the most intractable rift because it's not a policy debate at issue, but the status of one's own way of life. Citing conservatives such as Richard Perle who noisily lamented Europe's loss of "moral compass" and France's loss of "moral fiber," Timothy Garton Ash succinctly summarized in the New York Review of Books the widespread American stereotype of Europeans as godless wimps during the run-up to the 2003 Iraq war. "They [the Europeans] are weak, petulant, hypocritical, disunited, duplicitous, sometimes anti-Semitic and often anti-American appeasers," Garton Ash wrote of America's implicit disdain for its allies.
(Simon Tisdall, Venus Envy.)