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who wrote (
1/22/2003 2:26:03 PM
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I am really getting way tired of this demonization of the US and its leaders and the perpetuation of the both naive and selfish european view as the correct path.
Don't take it personally. It is inevitable. The international chess game was played under one set of rules for a very long time. Bush realized that continuing to play the game under those rules would mean that more 9-11 (and smaller) attacks on US soil. He is changing the rules and all the other players are in an uproar. Bush changing the rules introduces uncertainty into the international diplomatic system. Human beings don't do well with uncertainty, the usual response is to complain and defend the old system. The problem is magnified in Europe because it looks like they will have less power and influence in the emerging system. Increased uncertainity with less control is a root cause of neurotic behaviours. Remember that any transformation in the internation diplomacy system will cost many in high positions their jobs. Naturally, they will resist and campaign to prevent the change.
If Bush is successful, there will come a point where pragmatism will take hold in Europe and they will start asking "How can we optimise our self-interests in the new system?". Tony Blair's genius is that he understood the situation instantly.
I disagree with most of the 'deep' analysis about the rising anti-Americanism in Europe. I think it is simply instituitional inertia. The worst scenario would be to withdraw. The US must continue to engage, demonstrate leadership and insist on the right kind of instituitional reform. Success in Iraq is critical. Everyone loves a winner. If the day to day lives of the people in Iraq are only moderately improved a year from now, the bandwagon will turn around and drive the other way.
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