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« Yet More Classiness From Other Blogs. | WILLisms.com | Euro-Bush, Part Two. »

Euro-Bush: A Preview.

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Gerard Baker, in The Weekly Standard, previews President Bush's European trip next week. It ought to be a fun time for everyone:

"In the endless theorizing about the transatlantic relationship, it is tempting to dismiss Europe as irrelevant, a nineteenth-century superpower in a 21st-century world.

Its sclerotic economy, stagnant demography, military obsolescence, and strategic pusillanimity create the impression of a gently disintegrating, mildly irritating, but mostly inconsequential relic. The dogs of Europe may bark, but America's caravan is moving on to the Middle East and Asia Pacific.

Such a dismissal would be foolish and shortsighted. Europe retains its potential to undermine U.S. goals. As its current strategies over Iran and China demonstrate, even a weak and divided E.U. can, as the Lilliputians did to Gulliver, complicate America's freedom of maneuver. A single, unified European approach would only make things worse.

It would be a mistake for the Unites States to actively encourage a European Union that sees itself as a growing counterweight to, not a partner of, the United States. That doesn't mean the United States needs to inaugurate another phase of mutual transatlantic mistrust. Nobody wants to replay the last four years.

But instead, and without rancor, President Bush should continue to make the case for his ideal of freedom and for policies designed to bring it about. Persuading the E.U. as an institution to join this cause is probably hopeless; but persuading ordinary Europeans is not. When Bush spoke in Britain in November 2003 and spelled out his foreign policy vision, Britain was at the peak of anti-American sentiment. But the message, undistorted by the usual hostile media prism, went over well. The Iraqi elections last month were a further important step in winning over the persuadable parts of European public opinion.

Not all Europeans are immune to the case for U.S. leadership. They remember that we had a multipolar world between 1917 and 1989. It might have been wonderful for certain political elites, but the broader mass of humanity was the loser."


Denis Boyles, in National Review, offers some advice for the President. More confrontational, Boyles wishes Bush would tell Europeans these seven things:

"1. Get a job."

"2. Clean up your mess."

"3. Stop taking bribes."

"4. Since you can’t defend yourselves, get out of our way."

"5. Knock off the eco-hypocrisy."

"6. Start a 'No European Left Behind' program."

"7. Jacques, Gerhard, get a better campaign issue."

The point of Bush's trip is not to rub his successes in their faces; rather, he seeks to mend fences.

We'll see how it goes.

Posted by Will Franklin · 19 February 2005 03:32 PM

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Euro-Bush: A Preview.:

» Grading Euro-Bush Thus Far. from WILLisms.com
Over the weekend, WILLisms.com commented (here and here) on President Bush's European trip, examining a variety of advice from different sources. So how is the President doing thus far? First, Brussels, Belgium: Click on the picture for a full transcri... [Read More]

Tracked on February 22, 2005 12:28 AM

» Euro-Bush: Redux. from WILLisms.com
WILLisms.com brought you extensive coverage of President Bush's trip to Europe ("A Preview" ; "Part Two" ; "Grading Thus Far" ; "Brings Up China, European Integration" ; "Well, It Was Real, It Was Fun, But Was It Real Fun?"), but... [Read More]

Tracked on February 28, 2005 11:43 AM

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