Nicolas Sarkozy is so proud of what the EU at the behest and through FRANCE has achieved in Georgia:
At the behest of the French presidency, Europe put itself on the front lines from the outset of hostilities to resolve this conflict -- the third on European soil since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Throughout the first phase of this latest crisis, Europe's commitment was decisive: It was the European Union, through France, that created a space for diplomacy
¡No Pasarán! comments on Super-Sarko: "Proud to be Ineffectual."
A German diplomat has criticised a group of Bundestag MPs over their behaviour on a recent visit to San Francisco, accusing them of using a racial slur and of choosing sightseeing and shopping above meetings with US counterparts. Rolf Schütte, the German consul general in San Francisco, wrote to the foreign ministry in Berlin to express his outrage. His confidential letter, which is furious and frank in tone, has been leaked to the German press and created a public debate about the legitimacy of publicly funded foreign political trips and whether they should be more tightly controlled.
One of several articles in the German press: Die Welt: USA-Dienstreise wird für Politiker zur Blamage
Correction of the Guardian article: Not a member of parliament, but a parliamentary staffer is accused of the racial slur.
"Georgia crisis sparks Anti-American sentiment in Germany," declares Dialog International:
I know George W. Bush is unpopular in Germany (as he is in the US) but I was unprepared for some of the pro-Putin opinions that have been expressed in the German media and especially in the German blogosphere. There was considerable Schadenfreude on many German fronts that Russia's invasion of Georgian territory was a blow to the foreign policy of the US, and the conflict in Georgia is viewed by some as a proxy war between Russia and the US, with jubilation that Putin has been victorious on all fronts.
Is the German media really supportive of Putin?
Compared to US media that might indeed be the case, because large parts of the US media tend to support poor little Georgia -- one of the first Christian nations, as McCain reminds us -- against the big Russian bear, who ran the communist, evil empire. Okay, the US media is a bit more sophisticated, but many media reports painted a picture of good guys and bad guys:
Continue reading "German and US Media Coverage of Georgia War is Biased! What a Surprise!"
Wess Mitchell, director of research at The Center for European Policy Analysis, writes that the EU's largest states are more interested in avoiding a rupture with Moscow than in protecting the vital interests of the Union's eastern members. Therefore, the United States should announce its intention to transfer the entire Europe-based American military establishment to new locations in Central Europe. Read his Op-Ed for the Atlantic Community: "How America Should Respond to Resurgent Russia
One familiar commenter suggested:
We are in agreement about the need for the US to redeploy its forces in Europe. We are in disagreement as to the direction. You want them moved eastward and I want them to move west, as in to the United States. The US should withdraw from Europe until such time as the Europeans take their security seriously. They don't and have not for a long time. I am sure the members of the chocolate summit can devise a treaty which will make the Central European nations feel secure.
Here's part of Wess Mitchell's response:
Continue reading "Responding to Resurgent Russia: Should US Troops Go East or Go West?"
On the Cato at Liberty blog, Benjamin H. Friedman notes that many commentators fatally misunderstand Russian foreign policy, due to an excessive focus on the intentions of the current government:
Continue reading "Russian Interests"
Commentators of all stripes seem to assume that Russia’s move into Georgia was driven by its increasingly autocratic nature. [...] It is worth considering whether this is a misperception. A powerful body of political science argues that states’ foreign policy actions are driven mostly by their circumstance and interests, not their regime type or the personality of the leaders. Regime type and personality affect how states interpret their circumstances, but maybe not as much as we tend to think. The United States is not particularly tolerant of seemingly hostile states in its near abroad either, whether they are democracies or not.
The United States has done so much for Germany in the 20th century. I thought we had to be eternally grateful. Nope, not anymore. Germany has saved Americans from themselves. Now we are even. Yeah! ;-) Read what Justin Logan, the associate director of foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute, has to say:
Recall that President Bush made a full-court press to get Georgia (and Ukraine) onto Membership Action Plans at the recent NATO summit in Bucharest. In a heroic move, the Germans spiked the deal, saving us from ourselves. But both Barack Obama and John McCain favor Georgian accession into NATO - and with it, a full-on security commitments as Article V of the NATO charter makes clear.
Let's hope that even more Americans will realize Germany's opposition to NATO membership action plans for Georgia was a "heroic move" rather than appeasement of Russia. Seriously: While I do think that Justin Logan exaggerates quite bit, I agree with his basic point.
Endnote: The CATO blog is pretty cool. Benjamin Friedman, for instance, warns about China Rising by linking to a Defense News report that notes: "China has banned its air force pilots from drinking alcohol at lunchtime." We better watch out. The West's real threats come from the Far East, not from Eastern Europe. Russia + Vodka = Yoga! ;-)