Europe at Peace? Thanks to Uncle Sam

Below somewhere, Conor Friedersdorf makes this observation (I know I’m supposed to be able to link to his original post, but I haven’t yet figured out how):

And isn’t it nice, incidentally, that none of us fear the French, German or Italian overreaction that the former German foreign minister mentioned? Given even recent European history, that is an achievement to be celebrated.

That depends on just what sort of celebration you have in mind. If Conor means the orgy of self-congratulation in which the Europeans indulged themselves a couple of years ago, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, then, actually, I’d say no: Scrap the celebration. If by contrast Conor has in mind circulating a petition around the capitals of Europe to collect signatures thanking the tens of thousands of American troops who have served in Europe since the end of the Second World War the American taxpayers who for six decades now have underwritten the defense of Europe–and if, once the signatures are collected, the petitions were to be formally offered to the American ambassador to the EU during a Fourth of July ceremony in Brussels that culminated in a fireworks display in which bursts of red, white and blue form Old Glory while a brass band plays “The Stars and Stripes Forever”–if that’s the kind of celebration we’re talking about here, then let ‘er rip.