Skip to content

Are Europeans Hiding in the Bush, or is Transatlantic Panacea to Come?

There has been speculation on both sides of the Atlantic about whether America’s next president will be able to revitalize the acidulated transatlantic partnership.  Con Coughlin has captured a common sentiment in an op-ed published by the Telegraph:
Whether it is a Republican… or one of the two remaining Democrat contenders… none of them will arouse anything approaching the level of controversy and hostility that has been caused by President George W Bush's seven-year tenure.
President Bush has certainly been a divisive figure, both in policy and style.  However, it is hardly a foregone conclusion that there will be a panacea in transatlantic relations once Bush decamps.  As suggested by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in a recent interview with Spiegel Online, transatlantic differences run deeper than one administration:
SPIEGEL: Isn't German and European opposition to a greater military involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq also a result of deep distrust of American power?

KISSINGER: By this time next year, we will see the beginning of a new administration. We will then discover to what extent the Bush administration was the cause or the alibi for European-American disagreements. Right now, many Europeans hide behind the unpopularity of President Bush.
Kissinger brings to mind a good question: has European hostility toward the US been solely the response to poor leadership by Bush, or is there a more fundamental schism in the Alliance?

Crispin Williams weighs in at Social Europe Blog, arguing that Bush has left a scar on transatlantic relations that will not easily heal:
... for all the commentary on the advocated changes to US foreign policy by Senators Obama and Clinton, one crucial point seems to have been at best massively understated and at worse, disregarded.  This point regards the changes to the world that have occurred during the tenure of Bush and the limits that they will impose to creating a new style and substance to US foreign policy. Two changes in particular, the loss of the US’s moral legitimacy and the rise of the emerging superpower China will have the greatest impact.
This argument sounds fair enough, but then William’s loses credibility by continuing with this revisionist view of history:
It may seem like a distant memory, but at the beginning of the 21st century before Bush, many looked to America to fulfill the role of a global policeman. Such arguments would forward that although no country was purely altruistic, when America acted it would be from a position of moral legitimacy because of the principles which underpin the country. High moral and ethical values such as the protection and promotion of individual freedoms, human rights and democracy meant that when there was a global crisis, e.g., Kosovo, people looked to America to lead the world’s response.
Did Europe really look toward America with glowing eyes to fulfill the role of global policeman?  At best this is an overstatement; Europe has never been comfortable with the idea of complete dependence on the US, and indeed has long desired (and to a lesser degree, achieved) greater autonomy.  Williams’ use of Kosovo as an example suggests a lack historical understanding: Europe did not want America involved when the Balkans first began to dismember, and even ill-fatedly declared that bringing stability to the Balkans would be “the hour of Europe.” 

It is true Bush has decreased US moral legitimacy, but one should be careful to not view Bush as the sole cause of transatlantic tensions.  There have always been disagreements among the Allies, just as there always will be, regardless of whom the leadership is.  Tension is intrinsic to any relationship.  While accepting there will be perennial disagreements, it is also important to understand that disagreements do not mean the Alliance does not have value. Just because a husband and wife fight, it does not mean they should divorce.

The next president will be able to minimize and even reverse some of the transatlantic drift seen in the Bush years. This is partly because the three major candidates have all argued for a more multilateral foreign policy approach, but also because they all support policies closer to Europe on issues such as improving US human rights records and environmental standards.   For example, see McCain's response when asked if he would  get along better with Europe than Bush in an interview with Spiegel Online:

Yes. I would announce that we are not ever going to torture anyone held in American custody. I would announce that we were closing Guantanamo Bay and moving those prisoners to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and I would announce a commitment to addressing climate change and my dedication to a global agreement.
And if many Europeans agree with former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt that, “We want to be able to love America again,” then rapprochement efforts by the next US president will be well received in Europe (Die Zeit op-ed, in German).

Trackbacks

No Trackbacks

Comments

Display comments as Linear | Threaded

Pro-European, yet not Anti-American on :

It is one thing to have a balanced give-and-take relationship, than a one-sided relationship, where Europe is just told what to do by Americans. It is foolish to think things will be much different after Bush: the same interventionist, empire-building course will continue. What comes to the concept of Atlanticism, it was coined to simply keep America's European lackeys in line and to ensure American hegemony over Europe.

Kyle Atwell on :

It is an overstatement to say that Dems are not different from Bush-Cheney on foreign policy. Bush-Cheney embody the neo-conservative belief that US power is omnipotent and the US military can be used globally without restraint. This has led to a belief that the US can extend its military resources extensively abroad without concern for failure. This leads people like McCain to think we can stay in Iraq 100 years, maintain a war in Afghanistan, attack Iran, and possibly maintain "other wars" as well. The Democrats seem to have a better grip on the reality that US power has its limits. They accept that unilateral action is acceptable in the face of imminent danger, but also realize that for the problems of today cannot be solved by one country alone. They recognize that record defense budgets (save WWII era) are not sustainable (although there has been some debate about whether Dems will actually decrease budgets at AR recently). They seem more open to talking with countries like Iran, where the Bush administration has been recalcitrant. These seem like major differences from the Bush-Cheney years--US "hubris" will decline if a Democrat is elected president.

franchie on :

"We want to be able to love America again", yeah, clear, but when will America consider us as "equal" alliees and no more as vassals ? or just as providers of foreign legionnaires for the US agendas ?

Zyme on :

"but when will America consider us as "equal" alliees and no more as vassals ?" Remember the famous quote of Nato´s use: While back then it was to keep the germans down, nowadays it is keeping all of Europe down. The americans won´t consider us equal before we start to play by our own rules again.

Don S on :

"yeah, clear, but when will America consider us as "equal" alliees and no more as vassals ?" The US doesn't regard you as vassals. Firstly, we aren't your liege, and secondly, vassals come at the bidding of their liege. Look at the Kosovo war. The Balkans will never be more than a very marginal US interest, above Outer Mongolia but below any place in the Americas and Asia. Nonetheless we came and fought Europe's bloody war for you. Has continental Europe come to Afghanistan and fought for the US? Not hardly, with a few exceptions. Not to mention Iraq! In NATO it's the US who is the vassal and Europe the master - not the other way around! " or just as providers of foreign legionnaires for the US agendas ?" You're joking, correct? The US has been the supplier of increasingly despised mercenaries to suitr Eurpean agendas. Unpaid but not unaccused myrmidons. If ANYONE is a foreign legionaeire it's the US armed forces. In Afghanistan the US asjked for repricocity for 50 years of defending Europe and for Kosovo, but we didn't get it except for a few countries. Oh no..... The past decade (Kosovo and Afghanistan) have shown NATO for what it isn't; an alliance of equals. Europe calls and we come - we call and Europe mostly doesn't and not effectively where they reluctantly drag in....

franchie on :

"You're joking, correct? " that has that appearance, though it is a shared opinion for some people the thing I feel that every body is "fed up" with the actual developpement of Nato ; so you say your the great contribuator, may-be, but your country defined the rules. now let's see if we can have new rules

Kyle Atwell on :

Franchie: What would you propose those new rules be?

Anonymous on :

kyle, Nato is obsolete an EU equivalence would be fine

Kyle Atwell on :

@ Anonymous: "an EU equivalence would be fine" Am I supposed to know what this means? If you are going to comment, please add a little substance--for example defining what you mean. By EU equivalence are you saying an EU defense force to protect Europe, and the US can maintain its own defense separate from Europe? If this is the case, then I doubt Europe will jump on board because they benefit too much from NATO. Or do you mean the US and Europe should have an EU-like relationship, such as that proposed by the Transatlantic Policy Network, who are pushing toward the creation of a Transatlantic Common Market by the year 2015, which appears to be endorsed by President Bush? If this is your proposal for the direction transatlantic relations should take, I am all for it... although I do not see how the defense networks between US, Europe and Canada will be maintained... would it be a kind of defense interaction like happens between current EU countries?

Anonymous on :

kyle, I ment a real Euro force, sorry, I haven't enough dexterity in english to better develop my opinion anyway, if what I read from the conservative parts of US, (not just here) is "possible", we may have another war in EU, possibly with the Russians, that the Kossovo affair is implying, even if it not in the tomorrow plan, we'll have to prepar for later. the OIl that comes from there, may be determinating if the Russians turn the tap off. Well, I am not that pessimist, but we do have to think about a commun army Yes, I know that the EU countries that have bases, then some valuable revenues, will not jump on the opportunity soon ; depends if the US can still afford them, I doubt it ; their objective will be absorbed with the China threat, so turned on the pacific. knowing that building an army take years (carriers... organisation, etc...) then it is urgent to think about it. Yes, I am afraid that we are the lonely one or may-be the UK too that have this view now. the transatlantic union will only be a trade union I suppose, we allready sell to the US many planes components, eurocopters... anyway good to know that we'll still can exchange without cutoms fees.

Joe Noory on :

Doesn't what's happening in the Afghanistan deployment tell you everything you need to know about the falseness of your sentiment? It is a clear case of sponging on the part of European parties to NATO who are permitting the US, Canada, and the UK to take the hits, do the heavy lifting, etc. Set aside the illusions and look at why NATO is there to begin with. They are there because the European NATO members kept begging to be involved in order to show some equality with the US while deploying comparatively little in the way of actual force or risk, to look viable themselves, and thus present the figure of nations who one would be able to conclude were not pushovers to any threat that might require a public committment. Remember "please don't go it alone!"?, or is that just not a convenient and satisfying emotion to remember today? In fact the same was true of the former Yugoslavia, even though it's as far from Sarajevo to Paris as it is from Washington to Chicago. It isn't Europe dancing to the US' tune, it's the other way around. The European NATO members participate, but in a very limited and conditional manner. Don't think that jihadists don't notice this. It's also safe to assume that they dont see it as a tacit sort of olive branch, but a unwillingness to act. In the AO, the US, Canada, the UK, Netherlands to a degree, is at war in hostile areas while half of NATO has a population back home bificated somewhere in between parading their (eternal) superiority end expecting thanks, and demanding that their governments not risk a single drop of European blood to keep the fight out of Europe. If sentiment really is that strong, why not publicly call for a referendum in the various nation-states and ask the public if they want to leave NATO, and end this game of "include me, do my will, but don't ask for anything". There's no such thing as being kind of pregnant.

franchie on :

They are there because the European NATO members kept begging to be involved in order to show some equality with the US while deploying comparatively little in the way of actual force or risk, to look viable themselves, and thus present the figure of nations who one would be able to conclude were not pushovers to any threat that might require a public committment. Remember "please don't go it alone!"?, or is that just not a convenient and satisfying emotion to remember today? bizarre, I have another version ! anyway, suppose your right, then "which" Countries in EU begged to be involved with you ?

Kyle Atwell on :

Franchie: "anyway, suppose your right, then "which" Countries in EU begged to be involved with you ?" Europe has expressed its desire to be involved in Afghanistan in several ways: 1) invoking Article V 2) supporting the initial invasion, and wanting to be actively involved in it (which the US actually turned down originally, remembering the difficulties associated with "war by committee" from the Balkans conflicts). Here is a quote from an article I presented and later published at the EU Conference at Scripps College from 2005: "the United States grew impatient of needing to strategize in accordance with its allies in what has been termed “war by committee.” US impatience in dealing with its allies was fully revealed in 2001 when the United States quietly declined European offers to assist in planning the invasion of Afghanistan, after Europe took the unprecedented step of invoking Article V of the Transatlantic Charter. The US learned from previous experience in the Balkan wars that it can more effectively wage war alone" 3) Having NATO take over ISAF and then pushing for the ISAF's mission mandate to be spread beyond Kabul 4) The fact that European troops are there in the first place... Both France and Germany have over 1000 troops in Afghanistan, and yet they are not willing to send them to the tough spots and they chose to place caveats on them (perhaps this will change with France's new contingent to support Canada, which is kudos for Sarkozy). Europe has pushed for involvement in Afghanistan, only to push back when that involvement may mean stepping up to the tougher tasks.

franchie on :

I said previously that Afghanistan was the empathical decision to assist you after 9/11 ; effectively we were there at the beginning too ; dunno who chose to give the duties, but it seems that there were a disconfidance feeling towards France to let her go on the operating places. So Kabul is fine, we do a good job there I suppose, renseignments as well. Anyway Kabul need a force too. as far as who were vonlontaries to get into Nato, first the eastern counties, they saw there an assurance to really integrate the "West", and that they wontn't have anymore to be balanced east-west-east-west. "when that involvement may mean stepping up to the tougher tasks." that is the question on board actually, and that it will be not avoid I suppose. The deeper involvment of France meens that she wants to count in the next negociations for Nato, definition of Nato agendas, organisation...

franchie on :

"The americans won´t consider us equal before we start to play by our own rules again." either it will work, then we need strong political leaders (not that supra EU commission with a fieffé arrogant idiot at the head) ; it will fail, then each state has to handle its responsability ; I hope for the "important" political decisions makers, such as GB, Germany, France, Spain, (may-be Italy), that they will reconcentrate their arms manufacturation choices, (problem of money wastes that a lonely state can't afford by itselrf). It seems there is a hope in that direction, that the new generation will have less complexes to move on ; over the papa's inhibitions ! :lol:

Don S on :

Europe needs a little more than strong leadership, it needs a strong committment of real resources. Merkel can be strong as hell but if Germany continues to spend 1.3% of GDP on military she won't have much to be strong with! No budget, no experience - but Germany does a helluva anti-war rally. Germans are the absolute world leaders at branding their allies as fascist scum. The same with Sarko and France, perhaps to a lesser extent. France spends more than Germany and actually has some crack troops, although not many. The threat was clear in 2001 but most of Europe spent the first few years complaining & marching and doing little to prepare for the challenge, preferring to allow the despised 'mercenaries' from the UK, US, and Canada fight and die instead of taking any action. You wish a stro9nger role in NATO? You may be about to get your wish. If the US pulls out the way Canada seems to be doing you will have the leadership role you tearn for!

franchie on :

Don that'll never end, didn't see much of your troops in Africa though, not interesting there ?

Don S on :

The French colonies, franchie? Doubt if we'd be welcomed by the French - though possibly by the natives in some cases. The Preisdent of some of those burgs have to ask French permission to evacuate his bowels - or so I hear.... Not sure we want to become co-oppressors. Besides, France isn't a military participant in NATO, perhaps because they wanted command over the 6th Freet to join?

franchie on :

I didn't volontary specify the "colonial side", I was sure you would pointed it :lol: well it is said so many things, naturally you can sort your version, I can sort my version, nevermind, I am tired to argue (tonight)

joe on :

Kyle, What value? What value to Europe? What value to the US?

Kyle Atwell on :

Joe (and Franchie further down): Without providing an exhaustive list, here are the big ones that come to mind: Value for Europe: a) access to US military capabilities (Berlin Plus style); b) seat at the strategic dialogue table c) having some influence on US policy d) can gain military and moral support for European missions (Balkans 1990s as an example) Value for US: a) access to European policing and financial capabilities (reverse Berlin Plus style, and also Balkans today) b) strategic dialogue with Europe c) having some influence on European policy d) can gain military and moral support for US missions (Afghanistan as an example)--military important because it relieves US forces, and moral important so US is not seen as the unilateral hubristic hegemon as it tries to conduct a mission like Afghanistan The underlying value transatlantic cooperation for both sides: missions that the US and Europe undertake, whether in cooperation or not, almost always benefit each other. When it comes to defense issues, the transatlantic relationship is positive-sum. The US gains from European troops providing stablization forces in the Balkans and from US contributions to Afghanistan, and most other missions Europe will take, especially since EU mission objectives are defined by the Petersberg Tasks (for example, if Europe decides to provide stabilization in Chad or has a policing mission on the Rafah border, does that hurt or help the US?)... I can't think of many military missions Europe would realistically take that the US would be damaged by. It may be that Europe's top priority missions are not on the top of the US list of priorities, but they nonetheless are favorable to US objectiveds worldwide. The same is the other way around... Europe benefits from US operations in most cases (though I am guessing some will argue Iraq is an aberration to this concept). US and Europe can more effectively coordinate these joint interest missions at the strategic level through NATO dialogue, and sometimes cooperate at the operational level where possible... I think a lot of heat with NATO now comes because at the strategic level Europe and America agree Afghanistan is important (an achievement in itself), but it is at the operational that the US is frustrated by its alies I think NATO needs to be reformed in a way that operational cooperation becomes less of a heated issue, so countries don't feel like they are getting the shaft on burden-sharing. As I previously suggested, this could be done perhaps by tying your strategic say on an issue with the amount of operational capability you contribute... Franchie suggested the "rules should be changed" in an above comment, and I was hoping with this comment Franchie would provide more details on how the rules should be changed... as in does that mean that Franchie has proposals for how NATO should be reformed, or does Franchie want NATO to be abolished as well?

Hoover on :

The hostility to Bush is a temporary sideshow. Eventually, history will see him as one of America's greatest presidents. He has calmly and surely addressed the major threat of our time, showing leadership and resolve on behalf of the west. Furthermore, he is courageous and visionary, and his policy towards the middle east is bold and correct. I suspect that readers here can only understand Bush in the immediate context of here and now. But when you consider how Reagan's image has changed over the years, (didn't Hillary and Obama both praise Reagan recently?) or Thatcher's for that matter (we saw her visiting Gordon Brown, no?), it becomes easier to take the long view. -- Hoover

David on :

For those who reside in a reality-based world, here's the consensus view: [url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/12/01/AR2006120101509.html]Bush is the worst president ever[/url]

John in Michigan, USA on :

David, You keep shooting yourself in the foot! You post about the consensus view, and then link to an article that represents the view of one Eric Foner, who is [b]one. single. historian.[/b] at an important but notoriously left-wing university. And even he is honest enough to admit: "Historians are loath to predict the future. It is impossible to say with certainty how Bush will be ranked in, say, 2050." and that it is all just his personal, although educated, opinion: "[b][i]I[/i][b] think there is no alternative but to rank him as the worst president in U.S. history." Hoover, If, for example, Iraq continues to improve and becomes a stable country, history will be much kinder to Bush than public opinion is now. However it is too soon to tell, and even if things turn out for the best, I would have a hard time ranking Bush as high as, for example, Reagan, who I admire greatly.

David on :

How am I shooting myself in the foot/ Most historians share this assessment. A [url=http://hnn.us/articles/5019.html]survey[/url] conducted by George Mason University (is it also left wing?) of 415 historians revealed that the overwhelming majority (318) viewed the Bush presidency as a failure. Of course, there are history departments that teach that Bush is the most wonderfulest president. The right-wing Madrassa Patrick Henry College comes to mind. The science department there also instructs its students in [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Young_Earth_creationism]Young Earth[/url] theory.

John in Michigan, USA on :

Typical demagoguery: make an outrageous accusation, then pretend you never made it. Originally: worst president ever, by consensus. Now: just "failure". Support for the new position is an "informal, unscientific survey", and even then includes this gem of a quote: "Twelve percent of all the historians who responded rate the current presidency the worst in all of American history" In other words a consensus (88%) agree that Bush is NOT the worst president ever! Now that both your feet are wounded, I beg you, put the gun away.

joe on :

John, David had a really big glass of Kool Aid before he posted that.

Pat Patterson on :

I would have hoped that David would have noticed that the poll he linked to was published in May of 2004 and the data used was collected in the 4 or 5 months prior to publication. I'm sure that there is a poll somewhere taken in 1952 that GW Bush was also the worst preschooler ever. What made me somewhat dismissive of that poll was that Calvin Cooidge was listed as one of the worst and most corrupt of the century. Coolidge left office more popular than Bill Clinton, was widely admired for cleaning up the corruption of the Harding Administration (Teapot Dome comes to mind) and presided over one of the longest and largest peacetime expansions of the US economy ever. It took FDR more than 15 years to get the GDP back to where it was when Coolidge left office in 1929 and the unemployment rate didn't recover till the JFK years. More than biased I would say.

Kyle Atwell on :

Hoover: What about Bush's presidency is so remarkable? What is this great act that he has done that will have him remembered as the greatest president in history? Is there something I am missing. It is true that some leaders who are despised by their contemporaries are later lauded for having done something great... Fabius Maximus and Harry Truman come to mind. But with Bush things really aren't looking so great. Perhaps you could enlighten me to what it is specifically I am missing right now, rather than providing sweeping generlizations about how great he is and how blind I am for not seeing this? Otherwise, all I see are polling numbers that put Bush's approval at just 19% of Americans (down 15 points from January!). Polling numbers by the American Research Group: http://americanresearchgroup.com/economy/

joe on :

Nothing much new here – piss, moan, whine, chatter and more talk by the euros. Pretty much what the resentful do and this resentment has existed for a very long time. This seems to be the constant refrain. We demand to be equals. You will not let us. We want to love you. You will not let us. Well why are you not equals? As for love, I believe the US can actually survive without it despite what you might believe. The very simple solution to all of this is to disband NATO. The results of such an action would be Europe would no longer be militarily linked to the US under the current rules. You would then be an equal to the US. The EU and the US equals. Europe would be free, totally free, to act in its own best interests. The EU could determine if the Balkans are a vital interest or not. If it were then they would be free to take whatever action they deemed necessary to address this vital interest. They would not have to cede anything to the US. The EU would be free. There would be no repeat of history because there would be no NATO. The price of providing for your own defense/security would seem to be a small investment/price compared to the animosity that the current alliance provokes both among your elites and citizens. You already have in place the framework for your defense, the EDSP. You have battle groups formed. You have forces deployed out of sector to Chad. So you are quite capable of providing for your own defense. You do not see Afghanistan or Iran or for that matter any threat to your security. Besides any real threat can be addressed by signing a treaty with those who might threaten you. So the question is why don’t you invoke article 13 of the NATO treaty? Why be a part of NATO, an organization that seems to cause more irritation than anything else.

franchie on :

Nato is useful to the US, thus they can control EU, set the mess whenever it is needed among the members... just so that they don't get unified

joe on :

frenchie that would indicate you also believe the euros to be as stupid as I believe them to be

Zyme on :

I agree Frenchie. And proof can be found at Turkey seeking to join the EU. Pretty much everyone in Europe has the feeling that the EU has become large enough and needs to be intensified before it grows even further. The US government of course wants to undermine this change and keep the EU growing so that it cannot intensify and might eventually fall apart. The main reason why the americans continously support Turkey´s european ambitions. One cannot blame them. Who is not tempted to weaken potential enemies? I consider it no different than european countries supporting dissidents in China for example. But then again Europe and China are in no alliance.

Don S on :

"Nato is useful to the US, thus they can control EU," How is it that NATO controls the EU, Franchie? I don't see it doing so at all. Just because France doesn't control the EU any more does not mean the US does. It's not an either-or! The EU is increasingly anarchic, one reason why they are having such problems.

franchie on :

Don this has nothing to be only related with France, when your administration wants to set missiles in Poland or pushing Turkey into the EU club, I am not sure he did previouly take the advice from the EU countries ; I didn't hear that Germany was pleased with these missiles, and I am sure that Eu countries want Turkey in, except UK, but they are already under sharia rules

franchie on :

I wouldn't say so, just that some have to grow up

joe on :

frenchie Is that a response to my question about the value of NATO to the US? If it is, then what is the value of NATO to Europe? I should point out any or all European nations who are members of NATO can invoke article 13 at any time. So it would appear the euros have an option to rid themselves of the burden of NATO and the influence of the US in euro affairs. The question becomes since both the burden and the influence are so distasteful, why not invoke article 13. I am sure the chocolate summit could do this in mass. I even bet the affiliate member nations of this group, Spain and Italy, would join them. So instead of pissing, moaning, whining, and talking, do something. Take action. Follow the precedent established with the deployment of EUFOR to Chad. This clearly demonstrates if the issue and the mission is really important the euros can come together.

Franchie on :

Joe, you seems not to know that France isn't a Nato member, though she is your alliee in Afghanistan, this is more of a free decision ; at least,if we consider how we have been bashed during the former years, we should not had gone there. Your right about the EUFOR, it's a start, hope this kind of operation will carry on. Zyme, yeah, seems that Bush want to reward Turkey (of being a good Nato support for Irak) on our backs ; hey, about the same subject, I said once why doesn't he make Turkey the 51th US :lol: I am afraid that, as 6 main EU states, so long we can't get along on the same foreign policy, the US will play tricks on us

joe on :

froggy, france is a member. It is not part of the military aspects of the treaty. You should have remembered this from the run up to Iraq when Turkey asked for the deployment of AD assets. This request was frist debated in open forum where france took part and later was approved in close session by the military committee which did not include france.

Joe Noory on :

Listen, you bufoon: isn't it obvious that when France re-entered NATO, they carefully structured the way they refer to it dom-tom as "not really" being members? Go to any conference in the US where they are represented, and they flatly call themselves full, enthusiastic, "you damn well better notice" memebers. And if you recall that Turkey wanted in on Iraq in order to "vernicht" Kurds, were rebuffed, and privately threatened invasion several times, they weren't exactly "playing along". The US advocacy for Turkey in th EU comes from the US advocating something that the Turks clearly wanted to do - they wanted the US as a big player to make Turkish membership seem relevant to the Europeans.

joe on :

Joe, froggy likes to rewrite history to reflect his view of the world. His template is much like that of pen, or David or M$M.

franchie on :

ah, well branle-bas-de-combat, that's great ! the cliché is back, when one is not admirative of your big enlighten view, then MSN ; didn't see yet "lefty" though, ok joe ? "We want to be able to love America again" it's a long way till there ! "isn't it obvious that when France re-entered NATO" it looks like so, but the agenda is not what you think, it is at the end to get an EU Nato, where the objectives will be of our definition. didn't you wish to get rid of the actual Nato ? "Turks clearly wanted to do - they wanted the US as a big player to make Turkish membership seem relevant to the Europeans." that's precisely what we don't want

joe on :

froggy, I nor does America need or require your love. You seem to confuse America with David. Now David might want and need your love but I cannot speak for him. Nor will I speak for the other Americans here. They in fact might want and need your love. In fact, I would rather for you to continue to love yourself. Hopefully you are correct about the reasons france rejoined NATO (which is not a member of NATO per an earlier post but now is). If those are the real reasons then I for one can only wish you and france both full and quick success in accomplishing your goal. The euros would be a lot happier and so would the American taxpayers. I guess it will be a bit of a race between france's efforts and the muslins.

franchie on :

Joe... have some fresh air, don't need your love, we never did, you never gave it... we are in use, so what, you don't like us, but we are still there because we are incontournable, your administration needs us, then try to stay fair, watch the borders

David on :

I guess I should be flattered by your obsession with me. I am just your average American Democrat; one of the majority party in the US, but the only one who bothers to comment here.

Joe Noory on :

"Love America Again?" No they don't. I've been watching this same self-absorbed psychodrama for 25 years. There's nothing new, they've just found younger, needy, and indoctrinated college punks to suck the oxygemn out of the room. Case in point this quote: "has European hostility toward the US been solely the response to poor leadership by Bush, or is there a more fundamental schism in the Alliance? " This more or less amounts to telling a child that "Daddy drinks because you cry". The antagonism, especially the cultural social antagonism is almost entirely European in origin. The US has found itself having to act bold and with hazards because it's always a day too late to wait for the "partners" whose agenda is to forestall any action for as long as possible, and thereafter listen to people say that 2000 troops amounts to the US "conscripting" them and puttin them in harm's way in front of them. That argument, which you made earlier is so morally repugnant that it's unmeasurable. Tell me, then Mr. "Peace is worth a lot of dead Americans and Canadians", how is that committment to Chad coming along? After 4 years of planning and handwringing, and calling in favors, they could barely scrape together 3500 squaddies and a dozen helicopters out of a fleet numbering in the thousands.

franchie on :

"That argument, which you made earlier is so morally repugnant that it's unmeasurable. Tell me, then Mr. "Peace is worth a lot of dead Americans and Canadians", how is that committment to Chad coming along? After 4 years of planning and handwringing, and calling in favors, they could barely scrape together 3500 squaddies and a dozen helicopters out of a fleet numbering in the thousands." "former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt that, “We want to be able to love America again,” I made a derision with Helmut Schmidt quotation, seems I was right though ! did I mention anything else ? your prompt to jump on your own conclusions if you think that we rejoice of dead soldiers, then your out I return your image : "This more or less amounts to telling a child that "Daddy drinks because you cry".

Joe Noory on :

to qoute you: "Nato is useful to the US, thus they can control EU, set the mess whenever it is needed among the members... just so that they don't get unified" The US does not want to "control" the EU, and the idea that a retired german stateman wants a nation to beg for his approval and affection is a typical, but sad emotional ploy to take the place of committed action. BY that same measure, why shouldn't the White House ask this shapeless cloud called EU policy to be serious, consistent, put it's money where its mouth is so that nations other than their former colonies who are economically dependant on them actually take their pronouncments seriously.

franchie on :

joe noory reread all the posts, anyway, there aren't any information that has been thrown, just anathems against EU, and especially against France, (because of me I guess, though I am not "surrendering" in cat-fights) ; there is something "jubilatoire" (at times) : it is such an habit from people of your side-view ; I must admit that your very soldiers, marines, are fairer in the kind of discussion, may-be cause they know life price and reality ; we are, as frenchs, better viewed , simple as it might be, cause Sarkozy's discourses are reassuring them, (Sarko's father was a legionnaire) that they won't be forgotten in the fields of no glory. (what do you do for your vets ?)

Elisabetta on :

First off, the most interesting part of the interview has been omitted from Kyle's piece: "The problem now is: Nation-states have not just given up part of their sovereignty to the European Union but also part of their vision for their own future. Their future is now tied to the European Union, and the EU has not yet achieved a vision and loyalty comparable to the nation-state. So, there is a vacuum between Europe's past and Europe's future." Sly Henry is right in one; this talk of needing a new American President is irrelevant for European-scale political considerations, until the EU ceases to be an uncertain amalgam of nations and coalesces into an coherent, effective federal political entity. It seems that outside of the business establishment, the middle class, wasn't being an Erasmus student in Leuven wonderful?, and the political class (sinecures in Brussels for the unelectable) there does not seem to be much enthusiasm for substantial federal integration. All this casual talk of lackeys, servants and vassals is crap. If American had wanted to impose its will on the continent, it would be obvious and not a speculative topic of discussion. Moreover, the US despite misgivings about the European project has been quite supportive of the European project all told. Common opinion is that a unwillingness to accord true democratic representation on the legislative level, strange francophilic elevation of common bureaucrats to unassailable instruments of legislative and executive power means you are doing it wrong, but no senator or President has spouted off in public or talked about the 'democratic deficit' in European politics.

Zyme on :

How do you know Europe does not have visions? In this case, I am referring to its governing body, the Commission and the Council. They might not have published something you would call a vision - but does that mean they don´t have any? There is no electorate the Commissioners need to impress - they are free to chose the direction. Personally I would advise you to look at the creation of Germany in the 19th century. From loose tariff unions to a compact nation - Europe is taking the same road. If that isn´t a vision, what would you consider to be one?

Elisabetta on :

Zyme: are you referring to the growth of Germany from the Zollverein to the 1867 War of Prussian aggression against my beloved Saxony, Baden, Bavaria, k.u.k et cetera? The constituent States that made up the Second Reich were not all there of their own free will. Well, I hope Europe does not implement that type of vision. Outside of foreigner invasion, I can not think of anything that could galvanize Europe's disparate cultures into a functional trans-national culture. The variations are really too steep. Even if the continent allows God's language, English, to assume its rightful place as the lingua franca of all educated and honourable men, the societal differences will not be erased. When Harry K refers to 'vision', he is referring obliquely to societal worldviews of indiscriminate focus; the whole enchilada--historical national foreign policy objectives, the proper role of the state in business, an appropriate or tolerable level of criminality amongst the political class, gender roles, as a Czech is it important to make Skoda cars? It is highly improbable post 1848 that a central governmental force can impose a bare uniformity of social universality over so many peoples. I would say look at Franz Josef's troubles and successes in attempting to rule a kingdom of slavs, austrians, jews, italians and magyars. He at least had the Pope's blessing and 700 some odd years of tradition as a crutch and shield. Do you really think a petit bourgeois, former Maoist from Africa (Portugal) who dreams of heading an Empire has any vision but his own self-aggrandizement and profit?

Zyme on :

Oki you offer a lot of statements to argue about: "Outside of foreigner invasion, I can not think of anything that could galvanize Europe's disparate cultures into a functional trans-national culture." That is almost right in my opinion. No invasion is needed, but foreign threats are the essence. The peoples have to be afraid of the same foreign power. During the german unions before 1871, most german nations were afraid of the power that had haunted Germany many times before: France. Only by this common identification they could align together. Only by defeating the hated enemy the new Reich could begin. From this point on, the differences between the various german peoples did no longer matter in politics. That does not mean they have vanished. You will probably find more similarities in the character traits between north germans and skandinavians than between the former and south germans. But these differences have ceased to prevent a common national identity. There are common fears rising in the european public today. They can be witnessed throughout entire Europe in varying degrees: Europeans fear the Asians when they think about the economy, they fear the Americans when they think about peace and they fear the immigrants when they worry about stability in our societies. What could bind even more to form a common identification? "The variations are really too steep." There undoubtably are more differences between the portuguese and the latvians than within the german peoples. That is why José Manuel Barroso so tellingly called the EU an empire during an interview when he carelessly dropped diplomatical consideration. When such a number of peoples with so many different languages is included, only an empire can hold all of them together. It must be independent from the erratic will of its people, as its people is not yet fully aware of the european identity. The advantage of the imperial structure is that Brussels provides only guidelines which have to be carried out in the "provinces". For the various peoples in those provinces the national governments remain the primary contact. This way the differences between the peoples are kept out of the daily buisness in politics. "Even if the continent allows God's language, English, to assume its rightful place as the lingua franca of all educated and honourable men, the societal differences will not be erased." God has little place in an enlightened continent. I guess that is why we went with having French and German next to English as european officialeses ;) Seriously, you have to limit the numbers of languages. I believe the languages of the three leading countries are a number that can be handled. Even tiny Switzerland can do with three officialeses. "It is highly improbable post 1848 that a central governmental force can impose a bare uniformity of social universality over so many peoples." It has become highly improbable that one can do it openly. You certainly underestimate the influence of deception. Do you think more than a tiny fraction of the Europeans know how little of the laws passed by their national legislators are actually of their mind? The majority of our laws are simply orders from Brussels that have to be embodied in our national legal system. This public ignorance is the effect a EU-friendly press can achieve, when it is only reporting the popular facts about Brussels. The political apathy of the public in our times helps too, of course. But one of the oldest effects does still play a role: The capital being far, far away. The rulers in Brussels are faceless. They are not on the radar of the ordinary people, who instead focus on their national politicians. In fact the method of constructing uniformity over entirely different peoples seems to have never worked better in Europe than today. Even the countries around the empire who want to become part of it are industrious at rewriting their entire legal systems to implement european law. When could such anticipatory obedience be witnessed among nations in the past? "Do you really think a petit bourgeois, former Maoist from Africa (Portugal) who dreams of heading an Empire has any vision but his own self-aggrandizement and profit?" Personally I do not know much about Barroso´s visions. Brussel´s influence is not bound to charismatic characters. Its influence is spread through its faceless bodies. Barroso happens to lead the Commission today. Somebody will succeed him. Faces do not matter here, as there is no electorate - only the work of the body matters.

Kevin Sampson on :

Elisabetta, Zyme is right on this one. The EU does indeed have a vision. They are fully aware of the vacuum between Europe’s past and present that you mentioned. And the vision they have to fill it is of the EU as a ‘counter-balance’ to American ‘hegemony’. The problem is that in order to realize this vision they are going to have to a) make European economies competitive in the global market, and b) increase Europe’s power-projection capabilities enough to rival the US. Neither of these objectives can be accomplished with the modern European welfare states intact. In order to induce their respective populaces to accept the necessary changes to their way of life, it is necessary to find, or create, an external threat to blame for their sacrifices. This is where we come in.

franchie on :

I agree with you in the big lines ; just I would not define that as a competition with American hegemony ; in the financial domains, you don't know anymore what is american, what is european, what is arab, what is asiatic... Yes, it's a need to adapt to the global market, that's also why the different EU countries have to concentrate their creative abilities in one or a few big industries, not in myriad average or small enterprises that want to make the same things of their own ; that was the view of the founding fathers of EU, first, the creation of a partnership for carbon and steel... I would not say that the welfare is a handicap, just that we need to make a better management of it : there are many administration rules that are obsolete or nonavenue. I also think that all the "new economical countries" that appeared in the last decade will also have to deal with a welfare system, sooner or later. "it is necessary to find, or create an external threat" it's not necessary, it's real : the race for energy, for water, for arable soil...

Zyme on :

It would sure help if european companies would have to work together in giantic research projects so that less money is wasted on parallel research. But keeping the myriad of small companies that interlink the production lines and supply niche markets is essential in having a flexible economy. What happens when only a handful of companies control their market can be seen in the american defense and space industry. Just look at the huge sums their contracts cost the american taxpayer, and how little is gained. In Germany the medium sized companies form the backbone of our economy. This also pays off in our defense and space contracts. Considered the amount our government spends, one should expect our products to be totally backward (compared to american spending). Yet this is a perfect example that the amount of money spent does not directly affect the amount of results gained.

Don S on :

Who says that Germany doesn't have small, entrepeneurial businesses?!!!! Germany could not function without kebab shops and currywurst stands!

David on :

"It would sure help if european companies would have to work together in giantic research projects so that less money is wasted on parallel research" Zyme, that is being attempted,but it proving not to be so easy. I have been following the Franco-German project to come up with a search engine alternative to Google. As far as I can tell, "Quaero" is stalled because the Germans and the French keep squabbling about funding, direction, etc. Meanwhile Google dominates, with over 60% of all searches in Germany. (in 2007 Google had over EURO 1 billion in revenue from the Germany market). An innovative Norwegian search engine - FAST - is now being acquired by Microsoft.

Anonymous on :

David, your right, it's not the alone companie that has this dilemn, lately the Airbus was in the actuality. These problems of management are "new" here, rules must be found ; it will be less difficult for the next generation (the after baby-boomers), cause they are in use to meet different countries persons, during students exanges, jobs trainings ; my elder son went into Germany, then in UK, now in Luxemburg.

Joe Noory on :

I can't imagine anything that's more anti-competative and more likely to fail than a government body or a government-funded body trying to tell what companies should be collaborating on what. Case-in point is the fact that Airbus used to be a collection of private and semi-private companies which are now a costly ward of the state that can blackmail governments with threats of layoffs. The people who design and make things can find their own depth and expertise.

Don S on :

"As far as I can tell, "Quaero" is stalled because the Germans and the French keep squabbling about funding, direction, etc." I just googled Quareo, and the wikipedia entry says that the Germans split off their effort into a less ambitious text-based search engine named Theseus, although it appears that german corporations are still involved. Seems to me that Quaero may be suffering from in-betweenism. When Google began it was an intensely personal effort of two brilliant research students at Stanford with some government research funding. I think it was meant to be an indexing tool for libraries. Taking what they learned they formed a company to create a commercial search engine but it still began relatively small - but with a trong vision and one direction. Today Google is anything but small and unidirectional, but it's R&D budget has to dwarf anything the French government can come up with for the purpose. I suspect the project has no shortage of vision (and visionaries), which may be the problem: too many competing visionaries, lot's of wrangling and meetings, no product. I tried to find a Quaero search engine on the net. Quaero.com pulls up a marketing company, Quaero.net is invalid, and Quaero.fr is a document in french which may be about the project - but nothing recognizable as a search engine. No links from the wikipedia page, either. This is very bad news, I think. After more than a year they don't even have a prototype up abd publically available! How else are they going to learn! Chirac should have emulated the Chinese government. Set up edge servers to control internet access into Europe, and threaten to firewall google out unless they give the French a controlling voice....

Joe Noory on :

I came within a couple of days of buying the Quaero.com domain name, a prospect I found rather amusing.

franchie on :

Chirac should have emulated the Chinese government. Set up edge servers to control internet access into Europe, and threaten to firewall google out unless they give the French a controlling voice.... wouarf, the last dance ! well it's not anymore in the actualities, BTW, the chineses are clever to enter into the penthagon program uh, Linux had a better fate, though of french creation

Pat Patterson on :

Linus Torvald and Richard Stallman are French? Who knew? Plus another big European project that seems to have disappeared is Galileo.

Nanne on :

Galileo has not disappeared, funding was approved on [url=http://www.euractiv.com/en/science/eu-launch-galileo-despite-spanish-opposition/article-168786]November 30th, 2007[/url]. So it's now being built.

joe on :

nanne, That is very funny. I do like your sense of humor. You will be paying for this boondoggle for years and years to come. I hope it does as much for your ego as it seems to do for your elites. This BTY was one of frenchie's proud examples of collective effort. As such it is over budget, long delayed and will be obsolete before it is ever completed BUT it will be all your's.

Nanne on :

Joe, Thanks. If you allow me some additional humour: I do think you should write your Congressman about the redundant GPS III boondoggle now that the Europeans are already building a superior system. And, now, let's talk about [url=http://www.insidegnss.com/node/393]American problems[/url] (pretty neat site, as an aside). After all, if minor budget issues for Galileo or problems in Airbus demonstrate that the EU can never work, budget tussles over GPS III; problems with the Boeing 787, and record losses at General Motors must show how the American system is fundamentally broken, right?

joe on :

Nanne, The upgrade to the US system already makes what the EU is doing obsolete. Both Glove A and Glove B fall short of GPS III. So an entire new system is going to have to be developed. A good benchmark as to how well the euros are dealing with this will be to see if they get 4 operational systems up by the end of 09 for validation testing. Given how long and the funding costs of the euro system. GPS III will be deployed long before the euro system is operational. What is interesting about the current euro cost estimates is they fail to include a lot of known costs. I think this was done intentionally to hide the total. If this number was placed on the table from the beginning some nations would not support funding. This technique is much like what the USAF use to use when build a new base. They would put in the runways, build family housing, clubs and rec centers, the golf course, etc. Then they would be out of money and return to Congress for funding to build the hangers, fuel storage, etc. Congress was kind of stuck as so much money had been spent already. Well your system is just like this. The costs will grow with each review. The position your elites will take is that we have spent x euros and we only need y to complete the project. If we don’t get “y” then all of “x” has been wasted. Right now the costs are probably understated by a factor of 2. I could also turn your argurement to me about writing my Congressman about funding for GPS III around on you. I could easily say “Why are you building a system when there is already one operational which is free?” I will not because I realize you have no one to write too as these decisions are not being driven by the citizens of Europe. As I said – Go Forth. Do Good. Stroke your Egos. But be prepared to pay and pay and pay. As it is not my tax money I really care less what you chose to do.

Zyme on :

Joe - unfortunately I am not yet informed about the capabilities of the latest GPS generation. Assuming it has the same or even better performance than Galileo does not make the latter obsolete though: One of the main goals of the Galileo program is to become independent from the americans in this regard as well. Sure GPS is indeed for free, but control can easily be limited in case of war for example. Just imagine a nation that wants to challenge or is challenged by the US and is then cut off from precise satellite positioning - with Galileo there is another source to go around. Also we have more maneuverability when we cannot be blackmailed with exclusion any more. Thus we need our own system we can rely upon. Which are the main reasons the americans opposed the Galileo program from the beginning.

joe on :

Zyne, I am sure you have a long list of incidents where blackmail has been imposed upon the EU. The US has given assurances to the EU about a disruption of service. Your argument implies you do not accept those assurances. Fair enough but if you are unwilling to accept those why are you so willing to accept the US will come to the defense of Europe. A rational person would think the latter would be more important than the former but then I keep forgetting rational is not something which is being demonstrated by the European in a range of issues and besides Europe faces no threats so defense is not a real concern. Equally by citing the military aspects of your system are you implying that one day in the future the EU will go to war with the US? As for the aligning with nations hostile to the US, Russia and China already have under development such systems. So who will be Europe's allies in this great war? The muslins?

franchie on :

"are you implying that one day in the future the EU will go to war with the US? " same old refrain, "either you are with us, either you are against us" now, in your preformated brain, envisage the aspect that your country is under a bankerupt storm that the actual low dollar rates are implying, that your super GPS falls under mexicans, muslims or chineses hands... so if we don't want to get the symptoms of your "virus", then we have to make sure our system works ; we might be then the ones that can go and help to restaure democrathy in the land of "Know it all"

franchie on :

so, the dollars are doing well ? Rendez-vous next years !

joe on :

Don, Not to worry there is hope for this project yet. I am sure it is only a matter of time before the EU takes some anti-trust action. This should level the playing field for the french and germans.

franchie on :

OK, I apologize, when it comes to that sort of stuff, I tend to believe anything, and not verifying the sources, as far it works, it's ok for me : I am a basic computer user

Joe Noory on :

Why not just send out the army at the service of SFR and Bouyges? How about double or triple jeopardy suites against Microsoft, Apple, and Sun too? If that doesn't work, well then, let's just make the theft of their product illegal! Declare DRM invalid!

Anonymous on :

'Just look at the huge sums their contracts cost the american taxpayer, and how little is gained.' Care to provide some examples, or are we just supposed to take your word for it?

John in Michigan, USA on :

I want to thank Elisabetta for moving this discussion away from an unsatisfying war of words and sentiments we've mostly heard before. She started a thread that, for me at least, is quite thought-provoking. I also want to thank those who have responded to her in the same spirit. This idea of the EU as a sort of empire is fascinating, and I haven't heard it expressed very much, at least not the way it was here. Like any good analogy, it suggests many interesting lines of discussion. It is tempting in this post-modern world to declare that the era of the nation-state is over, but the old patterns (tribes, cities, nations, empires) are remarkably persistent. Since everyone says they want freedom and democracy, why do empires persist? Perhaps sometimes the human heart can't help but choose greatness over freedom from time to time. And thanks to Kyle for the topic and presenting both sides. There will be no transatlantic panacea, but the Atlantic relationship will endure.

Don S on :

Kyle left out many of the juicier Kissinger quotes from the interview, so in the interest of full discolsure I will do so here: Kissinger: "And this administration made several mistakes in the beginning. SPIEGEL: What do you see as the biggest mistakes? Kissinger: To go into Iraq with insufficient troops, to disband the Iraqi army, the handling of the relations with allies at the beginning even though not every ally distinguished himself by loyalty. But I do believe that George W. Bush has correctly understood the global challenge we are facing, the threat of radical Islam, and that he has fought that battle with great fortitude. He will be appreciated for that later. SPIEGEL: In 50 years, historians will treat his legacy more kindly? Kissinger: That will happen much earlier."

Elisabetta on :

that was pointless catty; however, the point remains: if Franz Josef, Napoleon, Hitler, and Stalin could not create a European system stable enough to survive their passing, what hope does a bureaucracy of second-rate politicans and bureaucrats have?

franchie on :

"what hope does a bureaucracy of second-rate politicans and bureaucrats have" precisely the hope to get rid of them as far as Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin or Franz Joseph, that were other times, other geopolitical contingences ; now we are a continent where each country has its own culture, its own language, the effective union can't be decreted in a few decades ; we have to try something, analyse how it works for all, if not, try something else... The people there know that we can't be perfect so quick ; yeah, I know, in your country you are in use while changing a president, the administration changes too. here, things go slowlier, but they still move on. I don't see a person that wants to return back in the fifties

Patrick Burbine on :

"...one should be careful to not view Bush as the sole cause of transatlantic tensions." I do view Bush as the sole cause of exacerbating transatlantic tensions to the point where instead of a bickering husband and wife, you have an alcoholic husband who can't support itself anymore, and desperately needs the help of his wife who is starting to think (perhaps or perhaps not mistakenly) she's better off with another man. Maybe China, one or more of the ex-soviets (It seems like they come as a package these days) or maybe even the guy named Africa who's always wanted her attention, but only been used for a free dinner. Or maybe its time to just be an independent woman like Kelley Clarkson. It was one thing when the United States was intervening with clearly defined motives, and another when it began to work off a "One Percent Doctrine." In choosing unilateralism and coalitions of the willing over long-standing alliances, the Bush administration has seriously blown of its own foot, and damaged the United States in the process.

Pat Patterson on :

Do we still get conjugal visits from our "wife?"

Joe Noory on :

Putting the US in the role of the woman in your analogy seems rather self-indulgent. Moreover, trying to frame US policy as unlclear also obviates the opposite peevish criticism that the US Government and society at large are otherwise icapable of "nuance", are inept, etc., etc., etc. That's also to say that the "dynamic" actors in this scenario are the Europeans is one of the most specious lies I've ever heard. Europeans governments and their collected navel-gazing bodies have over the past 2 decades done whatever they could to rationalize around the inaction that has lead to the wars and mass murders that the US had to demonstrate some willingness to deter by retribution. The press has also played a role in all of this too to stoke the temprament of the population in one and only one direction. How is it that the French itnervention in the Ivory Coast is forgotten? How about the abject negligence of Sudan and Chad? Doing NOTHING about the wars in the Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia, mumerous other places that European populations wring their hands about, and so forth... What the hell is so "peace inducing" about that form of hateful inaction that "our wise European betters" have advocated for the US every 12 minutes for the past 4 decades?

franchie on :

jojo your a jackass, you repeat always the same refrain, did you have a probation at fox sheep dog station ?

Patrick Burbine on :

Pat: I hope so Joe: You seem very angry. Actually, the US is the drunk husband. On a side note, I'm not entirely sure how the opposite would be self-indulgent; I think you might be reading a bit too much into the whole thing... Anyway, I don't know how, but I think this might change how you read my post. Last, I don't believe I was making any claims about European valor. My main point was nicely put by Kenneth Roth, XD of Human Rights Watch: “The U.S. government has embraced democracy promotion as a softer and fuzzier alternative to defending human rights.” Reclaiming the moral high ground will be key to the future of the United States.

Kevin Sampson on :

Human Rights Watch is a bunch of bare-faced liars. "Reclaiming the moral high ground will be key to the future of the United States." How so?

Add Comment

E-Mail addresses will not be displayed and will only be used for E-Mail notifications.

To prevent automated Bots from commentspamming, please enter the string you see in the image below in the appropriate input box. Your comment will only be submitted if the strings match. Please ensure that your browser supports and accepts cookies, or your comment cannot be verified correctly.
CAPTCHA

Form options