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Obama Losing New Europe?

James Joyner of the Atlantic Council was wondering the other day, if the United States are now Losing New Europe, Too?

Bush lost Old Europe with the Iraq war, the argument seems to be. And now Obama's "Reset" policy with Russia annoys New Europe. James cites the Economist with "After two decades of sometimes fervent Atlanticism in the ex-communist world, disillusionment (some would call it realism) is growing" and points to the recent Transatlantic Trends survey by the German Marshall Fund, which suggests that "the ascent of Barack Obama has boosted America's image in most [European] countries, but only modestly in places like Poland and Romania."

And all that was before Obama decided to scrap the missile defense plans for Poland and the Czech Republic. Let's get ready for some angry responses from all Central and Eastern European countries in the next few days.

US Blogger Greg Lawson asks on atlantic-community.org whether Obama abandoning Eastern Europe?:

This, ultimately, raises the question of why President Obama would essentially throw two allies (who used to suffer under Soviet puppet regimes) under the bus.  Those who know history understand that both the Czech Republic and Poland have been cast aside by Great Powers on any number of past occasions as part of the old school (and by no means dead) balance of power thinking.

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Pamela on :

There is no mystery here except to people who weren't paying attention. This is not a man who cares about the principles of the United States. He is on a mission to correct the sins. If he had not stepped in it with this health care nonsense (and just wait for the climate cap-and-trade war coming right up) - he'd be trying to get the US into the International Criminal Court. He is not about to piss off Russia. Russia he absolutely understands. I'm just waiting for another 'apology tour'. Oh, and for those of you who are in Europe and don't have access to our TV stations - this guy CANNOT shut up. He is Obama 7/24. The channels are getting upset because they have to cover his speeches and they lose advertising revenue. Maybe they should ask for a bailout.

Zyme on :

Ah I can't say I was particularly sad about this one. In fact I had a good laugh. Apart from my personal glee, I think it was the right decision to do so. The threat of Iran going potentially intercontinental with potentially nuclear weaponry probably was simply that - a bit too potentially. So Obama is right when he considers short and mid-range rockets a realistic danger, should Iran acquire nuclear weapons. And in that case a shield in Europe protecting America would have been completely useless. In the meantime I can't help but to smile at the thought of those naive Czechs and Poles, once again left to their own resources. Have they really believed to have found a foreign power which would altruistically protect them? Again?? :D Now would be a good time for a high-level meeting of Russian and German governments, assessing the fruits of hard diplomatic labor :)

Pamela on :

A shield in Europe protecting America? What are you smoking? I want some.

Zyme on :

Wasn't that the purpose? Rockets shielding America by intercepting intercontinental rockets flying over Europe?

Don S on :

Pam, I think the ultimate design was to knock down the missles in the early stages of flight, in mid-flight, and during re-entry. The Polish deployment was the early stage.

Zyme on :

Yes this is how I understood it.

Kevin Sampson on :

Molotov Ribbentrop 2.0

Marie Claude on :

I'm like Zyme got a smile too ! May-be these 2 countries will learn geography, and realise where they really stand. We didn't have the impression that they were european in the last decade. So how can we really empathy with them, especially Poland who was the leader of the anti-european movement. BTW the event has been discussed there too, wher I gave my opinion http://pajamasmedia.com/richardfernandez/2009/09/17/sending-signals/#comments

Zyme on :

"We didn't have the impression that they were european in the last decade." Exactly - when they behave like good Europeans, nobody is having difficulties. I bet Chirac and Schroeder would have met after these events, were they still in office :)

Marie Claude on :

pprobably they got themselve on phone, er Hmm, I bet they would say sumthin like " it's the "retour du baton" or of the boomrang

Don S on :

Being a 'good' European is defined how? Loyally following those would-be superpowers France and Germany?

Marie Claude on :

aw come on Don don't be so bitter besides you are the artisans of this big mess http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Es2ww1uBTQ

Don S on :

Bitter? Naw, franchie. I've seen this story before. France and Germany are trying on precisely the tactics which you so angrily decried from Bush a few years ago. All Europeans are equal but the French and Germans MORE equal. When Sarko l'Authoritaine and Kaiser Bumdestag agree on something, all others must line up behind and salaam to the masters. It's quality entertainment. I make popcorn & watch..... ;)

Marie Claude on :

you're spoiled with Brit dailymails LMAO but was'nt EU ment for reconciliating Germany and France at the very beginnings ? now, you're complaining about the successful job LMAO

Don S on :

Not complaining. Observing sentiments from French and Germans which make Bush & Cheney appear modest by conparison. The EU has grown far beyond the little club of 1957 which France and Germany could easily dominate, yet the two nations try to govern it the same way, to the point of attempting to impose a constitution which empowers you while disempowering everyone else. It hasn't worked and it won't work.

Zyme on :

Being a good European goes like this: Watch which way the winds are blowing in Brussels and set sails accordingly. These countries have yet to find out that they cannot sail into a different way than the two major masts, which happen to stand in Paris and Berlin, while the one in London mostly refuses to set any sail.

Don S on :

Or perhaps it is the 'main masts' which will have to do the learning? Is the EU really a 'ship of state' anyway? Is that anything like a good analogy?

Zyme on :

This analogy came to my mind because like a huge sailing ship, it has a big number of individual states who like sails can propel the entire unit into the same direction (-> progress achieved) or into different directions (-> caught in deadlock). And like such a ship, the EU is big but very hard to maneuver. So the biggest states need to assume leadership over the others, otherwise we will never come to a common position. "Or perhaps it is the 'main masts' which will have to do the learning?" The big masts are indispensable. The smaller ones, on the other hand, are not.

Pat Patterson on :

I can only assume that Zyme has never sailed as it is the wind that determines speed and direction. The large sails are the stupid part of the ship merely holding it as close to the wind as possible while the smaller sails add speed and agility to what could be a cumbersome hulk trying to sail upwind and failing.

Zyme on :

I knew sooner or later somebody's pedantry level would be high enough to merely concentrate on the technical details instead of the content of this metaphor.

Marie Claude on :

LMAO, pedantry ? I'm experiencing that each day with our friends across the pond ! BTW, did anyone notice that the Poles finally re-joined EU, they strike with the French and the Germans for the milk prices ! LMAO, sure milk is an every day worry in a man's life, wile missiles were a dream of a nomenklatura priviledgieds ! Germany and France will be for ever the admiral ship for EU, the others are the escorters ! and UK, never knows where its stand, depends on its interests, today the are on the continental EU revendications, ah OK, Obama forgot t'em in his favors, sure the Brits put his father in jail once upon a time LMAO

Don S on :

"Germany and France will be for ever the admiral ship for EU, the others are the escorters !" And here face down beneath the sun Here upon Earth's noonward height To feel the always coming on The always rising of the night: To feel creep up the curving East The earthy chill of dusk and slow upon those underlands the vast And ever climbing shadow grow And strange at Ecbatan the trees Take leaf by leaf the evening strange The flooding dark about their knees The mountains over Persia change And now at Kermanshah the gate Dark empty and the withered grass And through the twilight now the late Few travellers in the Westward pass And Baghdad darken and the bridge Across the silent river gone And through Arabia the edge of evening widen and steal on And deepen in Palmyra's street The wheel-rut in the ruined stone And Lebanon fade out and Crete High through the clouds and overblown And over Sicily the air Still flashing with the landward gulls And loom and slowly disappear The sails above the shadowy hulls And Spain go under and the shore Of Africa the gilded sand And evening vanish and no more The low pale light across that land Nor now the long light on the sea: And here face downward in the sun To feel how swift how secretly The shadow of the night comes on... -- Archibald MacLeish

Marie Claude on :

Aww Don, you don't like the reality ! you don't need to push your "chansong" ! the problem is that the Americans will never understand Europe, cuz they built their patry on merchands behaviours !

Don S on :

Archibald MacLeish was a British poet, Franchie, and no merchant. So it's no use to sneer at merchants. Once it was said that 'All roads lead to Rome'. Later that could have been written about Madrid, then Paris, then London, then Berlin perhaps. No more. One might add New York or Washington, DC to that list. That is what the poem is about, the shadows falling as the sun sets on various locales which were once bustling and influential, but are no longer. Things change. Germany and France can no longer steer the EU the way they once did. That doesn't mean other countries have seized the tiller, but rather than the EU is increasingly ungovernable. Certainly the EU cannot be steered without Berlin and Paris, but the evidence is that it also cannot be steered without Dublin, London, Madrid, Rome, Athens, etc.....

Zyme on :

I have to disagree here. With the Lisbon Treaty enacted, majority voting will be extended vastly, which will increase the power of the biggest countries - most notably Germany, which for the first time gets the biggest share in the European Parliament, ahead of France and Britain. "Within those areas to be decided by qualified majority voting, the current rules require the support of a little over 72% of member states for a law to be passed. Under the new system due to come into effect from 2014, a vote can be passed if it is backed by 55% of member states, and secondly, if these countries represent 65% of the EU’s population. It can also be passed if less than four countries oppose it. The changes mean that it will be easier to pass legislation, and more difficult to block it. Countries with smaller populations will have less chance of blocking legislation." (http://www.independent.ie/special-features/your-eu/the-lisbon-treaty-for-dummies-1376340.html) France, Britain and Germany amount for roughly 40 % of the EUs population. Take in a few smaller countries that are easy to convince and you have a deal. Also the Eastern European extension has strongened Germany's influence in Brussels significantly, as most of the new members (and members to come) are traditional friends of Germany and have had difficult times after war as well. As such they are very open minded to Berlin's proposals. This includes almost all of Eastern Europe with the exception of Poland and Czechia.

Marie Claude on :

if you can read french, the last link said that Poles are open to a Europeanised Nato fot their defence, and that the whole Europe ought to be Natoised, including Russia, ie Ramunsen !

Marie Claude on :

you forgot Moscow, the future passes through the Brussels-Moscow axis, since Obama is disnterested by EU affairs

Zyme on :

Ahhh :) It is a beautiful poem, unfortunately I am no native speaker. You are pointing out that nothing lasts forever? I won't doubt that, but this cooperation will surely last until the new order is safely in place. What happens when a critical amount of national sovereignty has been transferred, nobody of us can predict I assume.

Don S on :

Those are the words of a famous poem titled "You, Andrew Marvell". The title is an allusion to Andrew Marvell's poem "To His Coy Mistress", which references "But at my back I always hear Time's wingèd chariot hurrying near". http://www.bartleby.com/101/357.html My point is that there is no such thing as always, or forever. That holds as truly for the US as for France or Germany, of course.

Zyme on :

So I got your point :) And of course, I concur with it.

Marie Claude on :

so far the best report I have read on the crisis : http://www.lepetitjournal.com/content/view/47060/1091/

Pat Patterson on :

If the analogy is inaccurate then what follows can not be considered analogous. But if you want to describe the mainsails of a ship as stupid and brute and compare it to the EU then by all means go ahead.

Marie Claude on :

Clap clap clap, uh, baby aren't you livin in California, how can you have an objective approach of what we are livin here ? Say, Schumi still sponsores your site ? but for how long ?

Pat Patterson on :

That made as much sense as your posts over at the Belmont Club. Schumi?

Marie Claude on :

ach, you're a misanthrope LMAO but still with the pedant orb

Pat Patterson on :

Learn a new word? Can't figure out how to answer in sentences that are coherent and make sense? Can I assume this all comes from ab irato? Try a reponse that is not an ad hominem, as mine were not at the beginning when addressing Zyme's weak analogy. Which if you had bothered to check is not pedantry.

Marie Claude on :

But, that pedantry ? it does fit you in this occurence ! and certainly,I'm not rising "al Irab", but rather ab ironico be patient, I'll draw your exact copy soon

Pat Patterson on :

Before everyone's heads explode it might temper the situation to realize that both Poland and soon the Czechs have been promised Patriot 3 anti-IRBM systems which are more of a tactical threat against Russia then the system that is being abandonded. Plus the US and Turkey are in the final stages of negotiating placement of the European promised system in Turkey. Which might actually lessen Russian and European whining while at the same time create a tactical problem for the Russians that they haven't noticed yet. Having theater range solid-fueled missiles controlled by its former "friends" will keep plenty of generals of the Strategic Rocket Forces awake at night. The mention of AEGIS equipped US Navy warships as part of a replacement system leaves out that those ships are compatible with the Israeli and US developed Arrow system of anti-ICBM solid-fueled missiles. A few months ago the system was succesfully tested, via an Israeli F-15, against an Israeli ICBM (Blue Sparrow) which is considered identical in payload and range to the Shahab-3 missile that NK and the Iranians will and probably will arm with nuclear warheads.

Shah Alexander on :

This is not just the problem with New Europe. The scrap will have some negative effects on "Future Europe", notably Ukraine and Georgia. Current Russia is in widespread cult nationalism, and I am afraid this deal will invigorate Russian rightists furthermore.

Pat Patterson on :

It is interesting to see how The Economist has gone from full throated adulation of Pres Obama to its latest cover where the wonder aloud at the intelligence of a US president that would start a trade war with China. But in fairness, inspite of the catastrophic world wide problems this could cause, China would be on the short end of the stick if it finds its exports selling at above locally produced items.

observer on :

I don't see any europeans on this thread. Only people dreaming how their countries should be "the masters", should controll Europe, etc.

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