Monday, February 21, 2005

Dancing with Chirac


James Lewis at The American Thinker doesn't think much of our apparent flirtation with Jacques Chirac and his band of continental cronies:

Even while Condi Rice was in Europe, the EU was planning to lift its arms embargo against China. Jacques Chirac flew to Beijing to sell stealth aircraft to China a few months ago, knowing that the Red Army has some 600 short-range missiles aimed at Taiwan. Against those bombers, the Taiwanese may be helpless. In the last Taiwan crisis the US had to interpose naval ships in the Straits, placing our ships in mortal danger to keep the peace. High-tech European arms could easily destabilize that fragile balance. This is a classic old Great Power gambit, to arm the enemy of your enemy. It is how the Kaiser knocked out Russia in 1917. Now the US military is forced [to] plan for a two-front war, one in Iraq, the other in the Pacific. Merci beaucoup, our European friends.

So while the American media go all moist and fuzzy about Europe’s willingness to forgive our sins, I would just ask one question: What European allies?
I don't think Bush has any illusions about the intentions of Chirac and Schroeder. The "opening to Europe" strikes me as a ploy to quell, if not dispel, the fashionable, uninformed (or malicious) grumbling about "unilateralism." When Bush shows you his left, look out for the hard jab with the right, followed by a left hook. In this case, I expect to see something like this: "I tried to make nice to Europe, but they're just bent on opposing our interests," followed by unilateral military action as necessary against Korea, Iran, or Syria.

Don't misunderestimate Mr. Bush.


Mark Steyn is on my frequency:

[T]he administration is changing the tone [vis-à-vis Europe] precisely because it understands there can be no substance. And, if there's no substance that can be changed, what's to quarrel about? International relations are like ex-girlfriends: if you're still deluding yourself you can get her back, every encounter will perforce be fraught and turbulent; once you realise that's never gonna happen, you can meet for a quick decaf latte every six – make that 10 – months and do the whole hey-isn't-it-terrific-the-way-we're-able-to-be-such-great-friends routine because you couldn't care less. You can even make a few pleasant noises about her new romance (the so-called European Constitution) secure in the knowledge he's a total loser.
Irrelevance, thy name is Old Europe.