The Republican presidential candidates demonstrated some suspicion and negativity towards Europe, concludes the Atlantic Community:
Huckabee claims Europe is (unintentionally) to blame for some of the US' biggest terror threats, Romney is using an anti-European stance to further his campaign, Giuliani is turning away from Europe to focus on Asia, while McCain, appears committed to revitalizing transatlantic relations.
What do you think? Is that a fair assessment of the candidates' statement on Europe? And if yes, is their suspicion and negativity towards Europe justified?
The good news is certainly that John McCain is the frontrunner. For Europe he would be better than any other Republican candidate.
I appreciate your comments here and on Atlantic Community. Full disclaimer: Atlantic Community is my day job as editor-in-chief. Registration is required for commenting, but is real fast.
"With American goods already flooding Damascus, analysts say lifting restrictions will help counter Iran's influence," writes the Christian Science Monitor:
Provided that goods are not manufactured in the US or produced with more than 10 percent of American content, both increasingly the case with the globalization of production, American companies are not restricted from selling goods in Syria although the goods are not then classified as American. "Typically you have Ford cars inside the market. When they opened the showroom you had people from the US embassy attending. Ford cars are manufactured in Germany, not the US, so they are not banned from being exported here," says Syrian economist Jihad Yazigi.
The Washington Post describes Michael Vickers' plan to build a global counterterrorist network. The plan is focused on a list of 20 "high-priority" countries. According to the Post, "Vickers hints that some European countries could be on it."
The plan deploys a variety of elite troops around the world, including about 80 to 90 12-man teams of Army Special Forces soldiers who are skilled in foreign languages and at working with indigenous forces.
Vickers is Assistant Secretary of Defense and used to be the principal CIA strategist for the paramilitary operation that drove the Soviet army out of Afghanistan in the 1980s. The movie "Charlie Wilson's War" portrays Vickers in that role.
Continue reading "Charlie Wilson's CIA Strategist is in Charge Again"
I appreciate very much the many smart and insightful comments on Atlantic Review. (Thank you all!) Once in a while, someone leaves a stupid comment. Yesterday someone called Ahmed left such a comment on "Racism in Germany" posted in May 2006. His comment starts with "Racism in Germany is an inborn error, from which every German citizen suffers." I wonder whether Ahmed realizes that this statement is racist? The comment is so stupid that it is funny.
Asked by the BBC (video) where he sees the biggest threat coming from, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff answers that the US is increasingly concerned that "Europe will become a platform for terrorists." Chertoff said he had seen "home-grown terrorism begin to rise in Europe".
The Homeland Security officials have been increasingly concerned for a long time now. In July 2005, Atlantic Review quoted a Brookings Fellow writing in Foreign Affairs: "The growing nightmare of officials at the Department of Homeland Security is passport-carrying, visa-exempt mujahideen coming from the United States' western European allies."
Apparently the nightmares have not been all that bad in the last two and a half years. Business is considered more important. That's why the US is not canceling the the visa-waver program for Europeans. The Bush administration is not as tough in the war on terrorism as they present themselves.
Related posts: "Terrorists on Honeymoon" in Lower Saxony and WSJ: Russia and Jihadists Target America's "Giant Aircraft Carrier with Sausages" and NYT's Correspondent Mark Landler's Shrill Coverage of Germany
Meanwhile, Germany is preparing to send 250 combat troops to northern Afghanistan as part of NATO's quick reaction force to join in the search for and fight against terrorists. This marks a departure from the Bundeswehr's current mission. To date only stabilization forces have been deployed to the main German base at Masar-i-Sharif, reports DW World.