Alpha 1: Klaus, I think you mentioned something that I was thinking: you're basically saying that Europe's position is that if the American people are only smart enough to elect someone not objectionable to Europe, things will get back to normal. If they don't, well, then that's just too bad.
Nope. I just described the situation as I see it and that I don´t have hope for improvement as long as Bush is still in power. No threat, just an assumed consequence
Alpha 1: A little more blunt than what you said, but that's the import as I get it. If that's the attitude of Europe as a whole, the American people are going to basically tell Europe to stick it, and, just out of spite, may re-elect George W. Bush to another term.
Yeah, jump off a cliff just to spite us. That´ll teach us!
And by the way, what do you mean by "re-
Alpha 1: And what do you consider someone "acceptable"?
Anyone who can pursue the interests of his own nation without steamrolling over other nations in the process. I know, fancy stuff.
Alpha 1: Someone who doesn't put the safety and security of the American people first and foremost?
A reputation of aggressive egoism
will most definitely
not serve your interests. Europe has made plenty of bad experiences with that kind of thinking.
Alpha 1: Remember-I am one who doesn't agree with going to war right now, but beyond that, it seems that Europe's taste for even the terrorist hunt is waning.
With Bush going off on a tangent while the rest of the world still attempts to hunt down the terrorists (as evidenced by continuing raids, captures and even trials)? With no evidence whatsoever for a link between Saddam and Osama? Either I don´t get it or you don´t.
Alpha 1: But one thing Europe just doesn't seem to understand is the huge psychological impact 9/11 had here. Again, it wasn't just ANOTHER terror attack-it was the mother of all attacks, and it has permanently scarred the American people.
You´re wrong again
. Your "mother of all attacks" is positively puny
against the horrors and destruction that europeans still remember vividly from the past decades. And we´ve got the scars to prove it.
I think it´s rather the reverse: The US community is still reeling from the shock, and still unable to get the emotions in check
, not even temporarily
, while the government actively exploits
the sadness and the fear for their agenda and does everything to prolong
this emotionalized state as far as possible, instead of attempting to start the healing
Being sad and shocked is perfectly understandable under the circumstances. But political agendas do not just vanish while you´re in mourning; Some
people are still in charge, and they need to be controlled. As things stand now, checks and balances
have largely been abandoned
for a false sense of unity and universal patriotism. And the lack of a functioning opposition shows
Alpha 1: While I see Europe's frustration with Bush, the frustration on this side of the pond is equally great. Europe isn't faultless in all this. Neither Bush or Clinton agreed to Kyoto, yet Europe is trying to give Americans a guilt complex over something most Americans feel is harmful to them economically;
In a climate of mutual
respect and interest for the other´s position, such issues can be resolved (and often have been, in the past).
Alpha 1: most Americans are for the death penalty, yet Europe beats the U.S. over the head on that issue night and day it seems.
Well, deliberately killing people
, many of them even turning out to be completely innocent
after the fact, does
seem to be a major issue for some people, somehow. Especially when you´re constantly preaching the world about the promotion of human rights, freedom and democracy.
Alpha 1: I do believe that Paris and Berlin are on a path to where they want to challenge the U.S. politically and diplomatically, and not just on a short-term basis. I think this simply because of the voracity of the opposition that Paris and Berlin have put in the way of what the U.S. believes and wants to accomplish.
Yes, it will probably happen as a consequence of this mess.
But it is seen as a reluctant necessity
, at least in Germany, rather than something to be eagerly pursued
. With Bush having turned into a loose cannon
, threatening anyone at will, there is the perception that somebody
has to uphold international law. And as it turns out, Europe will probably have to play an important part in that.
Alpha 1: I think we may be looking at the infancy of Berlin and Paris striking a competely independent path from the U.S., and taking as much of Europe their direction as they can.
As I said, Europe is built on international law and on the priority for the rule of law. And if the USA is actively threatening the fabric of its very existence - plus
rudely intervening in EU-internal affairs - the consequence will be a strengthened impulse to repair the damage in cooperation with as many partners as possible. Europe has gathered a lot of experience in that field - and trust
Alpha 1: Yet if that is true, what are the consequences? Where will the U.K. fall? Not at all
But the british population will indeed have to make the choice: Cooperation within the EU
or obedience to the USA
Alpha 1: Where will the Eastern Europeans, not counting Russia, align? What happens to NATO, and the EU? I'm sure there would be a hundred other questions as well.
The EU is all about cooperation, internally and externally (to a different degree). The goal will be to re-establish cooperation
with the USA, not confrontation
, as most american commentators appear to believe. It does indeed come down to different political cultures, at this point.
Alpha 1: No one has seemed to want to compromise, and compromise has been one of the great rocks of the west in the Post-World War II era. You can only pull the rope on both ends so hard, till the rope breaks, and that's where I think this is heading.
After Bush´s threats against the SC
, his definitive declarations to start the war alone if "necessary", where would a compromise be possible?
The "resistance" position is that as long as Iraq continues to improve cooperation, there should be inspections, not war. Just as the previous resolutions had mandated.
I think considering this, it can be safely said that Bush yanked the rope so hard right in the beginning that it just broke with little hope of mending unless he abandons his absolute position. Which is even considered illegal
by most experts; And some day, having the bigger guns
might not be enough any more. Having legitimacy
can be much more important