Thursday, January 20, 2005
For once, a Thomas Friedman article I enjoyed
Today's column by Mr. "Sure I'm a Liberal but I'm sure Bush is doing the Right Thing here" Friedman was actually enjoyable -- here's the link (you may need to register to see it, I don't know -- let me know & I'll see what I can do. Registration is free, anyway).
Here are a couple chunks:
"Why are Europeans so blue over George Bush's re-election? Because Europe is the world's biggest "blue state." This whole region is a rhapsody in blue. These days, even the small group of anti-anti-Americans in the European Union is uncomfortable being associated with Mr. Bush. There are Euro-conservatives, but, aside from, maybe, the ruling party in Italy, there is nothing here that quite corresponds to the anti-abortion, anti-gay, anti-tax, anti-national-health-care, anti-Kyoto, openly religious, pro-Iraq-war Bush Republican Party."
"Before Mr. Bush's re-election, the prevailing attitude in Europe was definitely: "We're not anti-American. We're anti-Bush." But now that the American people have voted to re-elect Mr. Bush, Europe has a problem maintaining this distinction. The logic of the Europeans' position is that they should now be anti-American, not just anti-Bush, but most Europeans don't seem to want to go there. They know America is more complex. So there is a vague hope in the air that when Mr. Bush visits Europe next month, he'll come bearing an olive branch that will enable both sides to at least pretend to hold this loveless marriage together for the sake of the kids."
"The one concrete result of the U.S. election will probably be to reinforce Europe's focus on its own efforts to build a United States of Europe, and to further play down the trans-Atlantic alliance. "When it comes to emotions, the re-election of Bush has reinforced the feeling of alienation between Europe and the U.S.," Mr. Moisi said. "It is not that we are so much against America, it is that we cannot understand the evolution of that country. ... This election has weakened the concept of 'the West.' " " [Dominique Moisi, quoted here, is "one of France's top foreign policy analysts", according to TF]
Anyway, I don't know about the trans-Atlantic alliance, but what about the trans-49th alliance?
Hey, I finished my lecture for tomorrow! It only took me 5 or 6 hours to write! Huzzah! (argh!)
(Also worth reading, while you're on the NY Times site, is the wonderful Frank Rich's column On Television, Torture Takes a Holiday. Thanks, Frank!
Oh, and the editorial about losing 20 Arabic speakers in the US military 'cause they're gay. That's a good one too. To quote the editors of the NY Times:
"The military's experience is no more encouraging, with intelligence results muddied at times by a rush, as one inquiry put it, to recruit Arab convenience store owners and cabdrivers, who couldn't handle the task. The military is right to rely more on its language schools, but it can take several years to produce fluent graduates. The folly of using "don't ask, don't tell" policy against such precious national resources amounts to comfort for the enemy.
"When President Bush was asked last week by The Washington Post why Osama bin Laden had eluded capture, he replied, "Because he's hiding." So is the Pentagon - it's hiding from reality."
OK, done for now...
jane 6:36 PM [+]