Sunday, August 14, 2005

Sandbox Brinksmanship in Europa

Where geopolitics occasionally rises to the importance of extreme knitting, Bundesliga, and Formula 1.

An Expatica Opinion on the state of relations between the U.S. and France closed their loose roundup by pointing out what Le Figaro printed in introducing Washington’s new Ambassador to Paris:

«On August 3, Le Figaro ran an op-ed piece from M Stapleton, mostly the expected buttering-up operation, but including this paragraph towards the end:
"Public opinion polls show that the French public tends to hold negative perceptions of US foreign policy, and some misperceptions about basic American values and society. It is important for Americans to understand those criticisms..."»
Um, no – not really. U.S. policy cares about what happens in the world, as well as what American think. The French public does not get a greater vote in America than America does.
Why, I wonder, are French misperceptions of the U.S. anything that the U.S. needs to do anything about anyway?
«But at the very least, you know darn well the oh-so-suave Dominique de Villepin is making fun of Bolton's moustache. When de Villepin was fighting with Colin Powell, at least he could have nothing to say about Powell's grooming.»
So what?

There’s always SOMETHING to say. For effective people it's more a matter of what that actually is. Do you think he would actually waste the thought on a matter of appearance? He seemed to have no problems with Arafat who seemed to resemble a woodland creature, and Robert Mugabe who isn’t just evil, but ugly enough to make children cry.

Repeating the hobgoblins of the whiny socialist’s mind, our “Expatican” writer is clearly tuned in to the media spin-and-buzz in France to a greater degree than to the U.S. as well. His repetition of the negative view held by John Bolton isn’t just held by the French, it’s held by partisan leftist trying to anything the White House does. They are also the source of information they have of John Bolton in France.
«What's more, the United States has also expressed "enormous scepticism" of Europe's recent handling of Iran and its nuclear programme, according to a French diplomat who spoke on condition of anonymity just this week to the French press about ongoing negotiations between Iran and a British/French/German delegation.»
Just remember that Gerhard Shroeder is running for office. Shorty will not be speaking with his own mind for a while.

What’s more is that the subject of Iran’s weapons program actually does matter. If anyone thinks that the U.S. government can be shooshed and bullied into not saying anything for fear of spoiling anyones’ fun, they clearly need to put the bong down and realize that the Iranians are buying enough time to roll out warhead number one. Clinton tried precisely what the fab-EU3 are doing with Iran, and it was a failure except in a Clinton White House press release.

Albright and Clinton basically gave Japan the opportunity to break another record, and become the only nation to be nuked more than twice.

Were the U.S. press really like the French and German press, they would only report stories like this one:
«Lille - A dozen firemen were required to lift a 200kg man out of his home»

And then sit around and grumble:



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