Bush Pulls Knife From Own Back — Europe Approves!
Vol: 41 Issue: 23 Wednesday, February 23, 2005
Bush Pulls Knife From Own Back — Europe Approves!
The European press made a startling discovery over the past few days — a discovery made that much more profound since very few American newspapers have made a similar discovery.
George W Bush ISN’T worse than Saddam Hussein.
But that’s not all! Some of the Euro press corps have gone so far as to say that George W Bush is actually the legitimate leader of the United States.
That isn’t to say that the so-called ‘charm offensive’ is working — most of the Euro corps still don’t like him on principle.
An editorial in the French ‘Le Monde’ newspaper described relations between the United States and Europe as profoundly divided, starting with basic philosophical differences about how to view the world.
France s Le Figaro’ wrote, “George W. Bush and Jacques Chirac are talking to each other but that does not mean they are listening to each other”.
Bush IS, after all, an American, and worse, an American cowboy, but still, most Europeans were surprised that Bush wasn’t quite as dumb and uncouth as they had first believed. Now, he is ‘shrewd and calculating’.
This is a good time to remember Bush’s last effort to ‘charm’ Europe, when the brilliant and couth Europeans organized a mass ‘mooning’ of American president to protest his ‘appointment’ in the 2000 election (that Bush won in every single recount, including post-election recounts by America’s largest liberal news organizations.)
[Ok, so that is old news, but it still appears to be news for some]
This time, the mass protests staged outside US embassies in Europe were just as noisy and just as hateful, but they resisted the temptation to drop their pants and grant the colonials another peek at Europe’s famous political maturity in action.
Instead of putting their best face forward, this time, they proved their cultural superiority by carrying signs demanding that Washington stop picking on Cuba and Iran.
In any case, the Bush effort to ‘reach out’ to alleged transatlantic ‘allies’ was met with an unaccustomed degree of enthusiasm by a European press corps who are beginning to suspect that maybe the New York Times hasn’t always been feeding them the straight scoop on America’s ‘dumbest’ president.
Context is important, however. What amounts to an ‘unaccustomed degree of enthusiasm’ was the fact that not a single mainstream EU news organization openly called him an idiot.
And a new poll published by the Associated Press indicates 84 percent of French believed the United States is more interested in promoting its commercial interests overseas than promoting democracy. So, even if Bush isn t an idiot, he s still a disingenuous self-serving con man.
Still, many in the global press don’t think Bush has done enough to ‘reach out’ for the European hand that was last seen turning the knife plunged into his back during the run-up to the Iraq war.
“The more the governments talk about a new beginning, the less one wants to believe it,” noted the German business paper Handelsblatt in an editorial on Wednesday. “The trans-Atlantic partnership would be better off if it did not just talk up common values, but set out a common strategy. But a grand design is as far away as it was a year ago.”
The Canadian press called the visit ‘a Bush effort’ to ‘schmooze’ European leaders while simultaneously characterizing the ‘schmooze’ speech he delivered as ‘defiant’.
Wrote Stephanie Rubec in Canada’s ‘Globe and Mail’;
“U.S. President George W. Bush schmoozed European leaders to patch up strained relations yesterday, but made no apologies for invading Iraq. Bush launched his five-day fence-mending European visit with a defiant speech to 300 leaders and NATO officials.”
Reading between the lines — heck, reading ON the lines, if Bush doesn’t apologize for liberating Iraq, deposing one of the most brutal regimes since France’s Vichy government joined the Nazis, instituting free elections and spending billions to rebuild its shattered infrastructure and forgiving its debts, then Bush is still ‘defiant’.
The Globe did note that Canada’s Prime Minister, Paul Martin, ‘applauded Bush for ‘reaching out’ to the Europeans in gratitude for their betrayals of the past.
Let’s take a look at what the world expects President Bush to apologize FOR.
First, as noted, he owes Europe an apology for being successful in Iraq, instead of following the EU plan to lift sanctions against Saddam Hussein’s government and turning a blind eye to the continued rape of the country by both the Saddam regime and the European powers that sold out the Iraqi people for money.
Secondly, Bush failed to apologize for not signing on to the Kyoto Accords that would have both put the United States under the authority of the United Nations and made it responsible for the tab to clean up the environmental mess left behind by the old Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China.
Bush owes this apology despite the fact that the US Senate refused to ratify Kyoto some 99-0.
Presumably, since Bush ‘stole’ the presidency, [a bad thing] he should have no qualms about stealing the Senate’s Constitutional authority [a good thing?] in cases where the Senate doesn’t agree with Europe.
Thirdly, Bush ‘defiantly’ objects to lifting the technology and arms embargo against the People’s Republic of China, just because every tin-pot Third World dictator from Kim Il Sung to Bashar al Assad is armed to the teeth with Chinese-made missiles.
Fourthly, Bush failed to apologize for not following Europe’s lead in formalizing relations with the last bastion of communism in the Western world by inviting Fidel Castro for bourbon and barbecue at his Crawford, Texas ranch.
Lastly, Bush defiantly refused to sign on to Europe’s mad plan to supply the fanatical mullahs in Iran with nuclear material in return for a pledge by the Iranian government not to use that material to build nuclear weapons.
Iran, one of the world’s most oil-rich nations, claims it needs nuclear power to meet Iran’s energy needs.
A ‘defiant’ George Bush suspects that an Islamic fundamentalist country up to its neck in free oil spending billions on nuclear plants it doesn’t need to provide energy to a nation still largely living in thousand year old mud huts might not be telling the whole truth.
Europeans chalk that up to America s relative immaturity, reminding themselves that Europe was practicing diplomacy long before the first Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock.
(And ignoring the fact that practice doesn t always make perfect. Until this generation, Europe remained in a more-or-less constant state of war with itself for the last thousand years)
But Europe was gracious to the new and improved, [and charming] George W. Bush, magnanimously offering to join in aiding the new Iraqi government. France’s co-operation takes the form of a bilateral offer to train gendarmes outside of Iraq and permission for one French national, based in Belgium, to co-ordinate equipment transfers to the Iraqi army.
The Germans agreed to help as well, although they won’t send any of their training officers to Iraq itself. If the Iraqis can get themselves to the United Arab Emirates, the Germans will be only too pleased, however.
And Belgium, not to be outdone by French and German generosity, is sending ten DRIVING instructors to Qatar to help train the Iraqi army. (Estonia said it would send one staff officer to Iraq, and $65,000 — a windfall compared to aid coming from countries like Spain).
Europe’s 26 leaders gathered at NATO headquarters to pledge just over five million dollars to Iraqi reconstruction, easing some of America’s $5.7 BILLION in assistance payments.
While President Bush hoped to enlist Europe’s aid in cultivating democracy beyond the shores of America and Europe, the Europeans insist that any such ‘democratization’ efforts be focused on those nations who agree to sign on to Europe’s ‘Euromed’ alliance first.
Both France and Germany are pushing for a reduced role for NATO in European security, insisting that NATO take a back seat to the Western European Alliance’s new Euro corps, saying that NATO is no longer “primary venue” for trans-Atlantic dialogue. “Germany today considers itself as co-responsible within the European framework for stability and international order,” protests the German government.
(Germany used to consider itself the master race. Now they are co-masters with the French. Things are definitely improving.)
President Chirac weighed in, with his speech to the NATO gathering. “As the German Federal Chancellor has emphasized, we must continue to take the measure of the changes that have occurred on the continent of Europe,” he said in French.
[Chirac speaks better English that George Bush]
Cutting through all the sarcasm [which I just could NOT help] the Bush ‘charm offensive’ — despite Bush’s use of the word ‘alliance’ twelve times in one speech, was doomed before the president boarded Air Force One.
The problem is that the United States and the United States of Europe are pursuing competing agendas. Europe is less interested in the spread of democracy than it is in the enlargement of its alliance.
Its goal is to eclipse the United States as the world’s foremost superpower, both militarily and politically.
The NATO alliance, since it was founded, and is primarily supported by the United States, is inconvenient to the Western European Alliance’s plans to form an all European military force to compete with America.
And Europe’s plan to extend its alliance to include the Mediterranean Middle East does not include sharing power with an American-led NATO.
Bush scored one big hit with the Europeans when he demonstrated that he wasn’t totally inflexible — he could stab his friends in the back with as little remorse as any Frenchman.
That moment came when he announced that Israel must freeze all settlement activity and ensure the any Palestinian state be ‘contiguous’, in order to be ‘truly viable’ saying, A state of scattered territories will not work.”
Well, we certainly can be sure THAT is true. Just look at the twin American catastrophes of Alaska and Hawaii.
[If only we could annex Canada and build a bridge to Honolulu. Then we, too, could have a state that was ‘truly viable’. Sigh.]
Bush even signed on to the very European notion that such peacemaking is a “strategic interest” because it will “remove an unsettled grievance that is used to stir hatred and violence across the Middle East.”
This is close to heresy for a president who continues to insist that it is Arab tyranny, not any “grievance,” that is the font of regional aggression.
It was WEU Secretary-General Javier Solana who pledged last year that Europe will ‘play a role in the Middle East peace process, whether Israel likes it or not’.
It would seem that one of the unintended consequences of the Bush ‘charm offensive’ will be the fulfillment of Solana’s ‘prophecy’ and, if Bush expects to get his single French equipment offer and Belgium’s $65,000 in Iraqi reconstruction aid, it will play a role whether Washington likes it or not, as well.
Two thousand years ago, before there WAS an Israeli state, a revived Roman Empire, an over-arching American superpower or a transatlantic ‘rift’, the Bible predicted exactly the same thing.
And today, in this generation, it is coming to pass.
Whether anybody likes it, or not.