in Iraq. But I do think a more gentle persuasion and less bluster could really help in terms of getting Europe (old and new) on board, where they belong. This could go back to before 9/11, when the Bushies were flaunting any and all international treaties (e.g. Kobe Global Warming treaty, the International Criminal Court treaty, etc, etc). We can't change those decisions and the fall-out they caused, but we need to find more common ground with long-term (and natural) allies and build from there.

Another $0.02,
Poilu

Posted by: Poilu at May 16, 2003 10:43 PM

LOL @ Kobe Global Warming treaty...it made an image pop in my head of nations arguing over who would get Kobe Bryant to play in their basketball leagues...heh.

Anyhow, yes, Bush could more gentle persuasion and less bluster, but so could the French. Chirac is monumentally obnoxious and infantile, and I don't think that can be disputed.

And I don't doubt that there have been shady goings-on between the French and the Saddam regime. I don't subscribe to conspiracy theories, but I do understand that the French had large oil interests that would have been honored by Saddam's regime if the war had not gone down.

Getting back to the Kyoto treaty, I also want to point out that a recent media report said Europe not only will miss the goals of Kyoto, its pollution problems will become worse when its countries pledged to improve the situation. So in regard to that, I'd have to say that at least the U.S. came right out and said it wouldn't participate. In my mind that's better than nodding agreement but going on polluting without an end in sight anyway. In other words, at least we were fairly honest about it. Europe hasn't been.

That said, I agree that we could do with less gratuitous French- bashing. Calling the French "cheese-eating surrender monkeys" and eating "freedom fries" isn't going to help anyone.

But it doesn't mean I can't be frustrated with Europe. Hell, half my family still lives in Athens and Corfu - but it doesn't mean I can't be pissed off at the Greeks for their uncontrolled anti-Americanism either.

The point is, both sides need to chill, step back and refocus on what's best for everyone.Posted by: Nik Bonopartis at May 17, 2003 11:00 AM

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