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« What A Difference A Year Makes | Main | Getting The Business »

They Should Be Worried

The paper formerly known as the Paper of Record informs us that our "allies" are concerned that we won't consult them when it comes to continuing the war.

Some choice bits:

The three countries pinpointed by President Bush as an "axis of evil" ? Iran, Iraq and North Korea ? reacted angrily today...

Guess the truth hurts, huh, guys?

...while commentators in many other nations, including European allies, bristled at what they saw as the combative, go-it- alone tone of the State of the Union address.

Bristle away. We took the hit alone. We can deal with it on our own.

If you expect us to take your advice, step one is to offer some that's sensible. Such a commodity has been in short supply from the Continent in the last few months (not to mention the last few decades).

Over in Russia,

Mr. Rogozin said it appeared that America had forgotten that North Korea had imposed a moratorium on the production of long-range missiles...

No, we haven't forgotten. We just know that they're congenital liars, so such an "imposition" is meaningless.

...that Iran had offered assistance to the Bonn conference on the formation of an interim government in Afghanistan...

Would that be the same Iran which, as I type, has special forces in Afghanistan training insurgents to undermine that interim government?

...and that an earlier Washington statement had called for "smart sanctions" against Iraq.

Yes, we've finally corralled the idiots at Foggy Bottom who think that sanctions have any useful effect other than giving Saddam an excuse to starve his own people while he builds weapons and palaces.

The problem is, you European elites set entirely too much store by what people say, while ignoring what they actually do. Probably the same reason you thought Bill Clinton was so wonderful (in addition to the fact that he, unlike many of us, loved to smooch your arrogant keisters).

Josef Joffe, a German foreign policy analyst, said: "What was particularly striking is the way Mr. Bush countenances the projection of American power from anywhere to anywhere. He described America in a truly global war able to fight anywhere. There is no allusion to allies at all. But in practical terms, the U.S. cannot fight wars without allies."

Oh, we have allies. It's just that they apparently don't run the governments of Europe. And in fact, if need be, we can do quite well without allies, at least without Euroweenie ones. It will take longer, and cost more, but if you don't understand that it's a price that we're willing to pay, then you don't understand anything about America.

"We tend to see Sept. 11 in parenthesis, an aberration that is now behind us," said François L. Heisbourg, director of the French Foundation. "But the Bush speech makes clear that is not the case for the U.S. For Americans, Sept. 11 marks a strategic change in the landscape. And that will be very jarring for many people here to hear."

Well, expect to continue to be "jarred." We aren't going to (in the famous and empty words of the Clinton apologists here and abroad) simply "move on." There is still a gaping hole in downtown Manhattan. For all we know, there are thousands of terrorists waiting to attack the next skyscraper, or ship, or nuclear plant. We hope that it was an aberration, but hope has no power, as we saw on September 11.

There was also speculation about what Mr. Bush really meant by citing North Korea, Iraq and Iran, and treating them as equally culpable. "The lumping of these three countries together will be of concern," said Robert Menotti, a researcher at the Italian research institute Cespi. "We really see North Korea as in another category."

And just what "other category" would that be, Signor Menotti? They build weapons of mass destruction, including missiles. They train and dispatch terrorists. They starve their own people as they expend resources toward those evil ends. In what significant way do they differ from Iraq?

Clearly, the gulf in thinking between the European elitists and America grows wider by the day. I wonder what the European people think?


Uh oh. Better batten down the server hatches.

I've been Instapundited...

Posted by Rand Simberg at January 31, 2002 10:01 AM
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The comment from François L. Heisbourg is, to use his own word, "jarring". An "abberation that is behind us"? BEHIND US?!

Three thousand people are killed -- dead because they went to work -- killed at the behest of madmen who are still lose in the world -- madmen supported by lunatics still in power, still alive. These madmen still want to kill us, still want to destroy us. Their plans are not "behind us" -- they're still being made, still unwinding.

If ANYTHING deserves to be "behind us", it's the belief that European elite opinion is worth anything.

Posted by Robert Crawford at January 31, 2002 11:39 AM

I'm afraid the feeling that 9/11 is an "abberation that is behind us" is not limited to European Elites. As an American working in Europe, I regularly hear such comments from many non-elites. It is fashionable for American bloggers to point out the discrepancies between European elite and non-elite thought. That may be true on certain issues (e.g., Guatmo), but make no mistake that many non-elites here are increasingly anti-American. Since 9/11 not a single European coworker or citizen has ever approached me and expressed sorrow, regret or condolance, but many have told me how America deserved it, the war is wrong, racist, anti-Arab, etc.

Posted by Tom Franklin at January 31, 2002 12:37 PM

I just searched the Web for "François L. Heisbourg". Here's a lovely quote I found from the man himself , from a NYTimes piece on NATO (see URL above) headlined "Though Supportive, Has Little to Offer Militarily" and dated 20 Sep 01:
---begin quote---
"We are going to have to learn as we go," said François L. Heisbourg, director of the French Foundation for Strategic Research in Paris.
"We can't even officially call it a war. For one thing, that would make terrorists soldiers, not murderers."
---end quote---
Exactly! Got it in one, M. Heisbourg! The terrorists are in fact murderers and not soldiers at all -- so enough about those poor, mistreated terrorists and the Geneva Convention!
I don't know about the rest of you out there, but I just can't swallow any more fine European whine....

Posted by at January 31, 2002 12:49 PM

North Korea is in a "different category" for Europe--far away.

Posted by john bragg at January 31, 2002 12:50 PM

More similar defeatest idiocy from a European, this time, John Derbyshire at NRO. I expect better from NRO, from a right-winger, and from a Brit. Somehow, Deryshire manages three swinging strikes.

My follow-up blast of Derbyshire on VodkaPundit.

Posted by Stephen Green at January 31, 2002 01:31 PM

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