This week the European Union constitution was ratified. Timely enough two articles examining the nature of new Europe in relation to the US were published. One is from the Wilson Quarterly titled The Atlantic Widens and the other from the Washington Post.

The WQ article did an admirable job laying the background for anti-Americanism in Europe. Be aware that it spans centuries and not since GW took office. Basically the European's attitude stem from a sense of superiority, having a "richer" culture and having renounced "nationalism." What i find particularly amusing is that the attitude is typical of academicians here in the States or in the leftward media (don't ask me whether ours get it from Europe or both stem from some effect of prolonged departure from the average populace). It bears a certain amount of both arrogance and intolerance. Both shares a presumption that they know better (because they are "smarter") and because they are "clearly" right that any less is, well wrong! The worse aspect of this is how this attitude betrays the principle essential for a Democracy: tolerance. Tolerance in a democracy it is not about being right and forcing others to recognize this; tolerance in a democracy is about allowing the majority (whether it is a popular majority for a direct democracy or an electoral majority for a federalist democracy) to choose their own preference for themselves, right or wrong. Naturally safeguards are necessary to prevent the exploitation or oppression of a minority by the majority but short of this, we as a democratic people have a right to choose and have our choice respected. This is sadly lacking in the European attitude.

The Washington Post article looks to a future where the EU, a larger economic entity, will seek to rival, compete, and counter US presence globally, in essence to become a Europe superpower. I find this notion particularly laughable. This is not because the United States of Europe do not have the resources or capability to be a superpower, rather that Europe lacks the will and resolve to function as a superpower. Being a superpower requires more than a large economic market and global presence for its enterprises, it also require a driving ideology and the guts to act in alignment with ideology when challenged. The US is about capitalism and freedom; the old Warsaw pact was about communism; what will the USE be about? Peace and prosperity? And when that is challenged, whether it be Bosnia and Kosovo, Rwanda and Darfur, or Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran, what was the European response? Talk and deliberation, but no action. Finally, the militaries of Europe, with the exception of the United Kingdom and France, are largely incapable of major combat operation, whether it be a thousand miles away (Nato currently command the operation in Afghanistan and had a most difficult time procuring 6,000 additional troops to safeguard the recent election) or next door in Bosnia. Certainly Europe could change, but that would mean a return to the recognition that the world is a dirty place that requires sacrifice in blood. The Iraq war highlights they have a long way to go. I see both India and China are more likely to become functional superpowers before the EU will.

Finally, this is in no way a free pass for us to continue as we are, as there is much that can be improved with our own culture and society. We should continue to seek energy independence in an environmentally sound manner, and reassess our rampant commercialism. These are just two examples. But we must not look to Europe for approval, acknowledgement, or assent to act in congruity with our ideals, for ourselves and all who would want similar. US and Europe have diverged long before the existence of the EU.


Healing the Division

From San Diego

"John Kerry and George W. Bush ought to take a few minutes out of their schedule to have a heart to heart chat, much as Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy had six days after the 1960 presidential election.

"The Democrat and Republican should agree to accept the outcome of this year's presidential election, no matter how close, no matter which of the two candidates comes out on top. They also should forswear any post-election lawsuits. And they should urge their supporters to do the same."

Makes sense to me. In another word the candidates should agree on how to resolve election differences before they occur. A sort of election "pre-nuptual" instead of relying on lawyers. The last thing this nation need is for lawyers to take over the electoral process.

... However, i predict Bush by a majority of the popular votes and a significant majority of the electoral votes.



OBL's Endorsement:
"You American people, my speech to you is the best way to avoid another conflict about the war and its reasons and results. I am telling you security is an important pillar of human life. And free people don't let go of their security contrary to Bush's claims that we hate freedom. He should tell us why we didn't hit Sweden for instance. Its known that those who hate freedom don't have dignified souls.like the 19 who were blessed. But we fought you because we are free people, we don't sleep on our oppression. We want to regain the freedom of our Muslim nation as you spill our security, we spill your security.

"I am so surprised by you. Although we are in the fourth year after the events of Sept 11, Bush is still practicing distortion and misleading on you, and obscuring the main reasons and therefore the reasons are still existing to repeat what happened before. I will tell you the reasons behind theses incidents.

"I will be honest with you on the moment when the decision was taken to understand. We never thought of hitting the towers. But after we were so fed up, and we saw the oppression of the American Israeli coalition on our people in Palestine and Lebanon, it came to my mind and the incidents that really touched me directly goes back to 1982 and the following incidents. When the US permitted the Israelis to invade Lebanon with the assistance of the 6th fleet. In these hard moments, it occurred to me so many meanings I cant explain but it resulted in a general feeling of rejecting oppression and gave me a hard determination to punish the oppressors. While I was looking at the destroyed towers in Lebanon, it came to my mind to punish the oppressor the same way and destroy towers in the US to get a taste of what they tasted, and quit killing our children and women.

"We didn't find difficulty dealing with Bush and his administration due to the similarity of his regime and the regimes in our countries. Whish half of them are ruled by military and the other half by sons of kings and presidents and our experience with them is long. Both parties are arrogant and stubborn and the greediness and taking money without right and that similarity appeared during the visits of Bush to the region while people from our side were impressed by the US and hoped that these visits would influence our countries. Here he is being influenced by these regimes, Royal and military. And was feeling jealous they were staying for decades in power stealing the nations finances without anybody overseeing them. So he transferred the oppression of freedom and tyranny to his son and they call it the Patriot Law to fight terrorism. He was bright in putting his sons as governors in states and he didn't forget to transfer his experience from the rulers of our region to Florida to falsify elections to benefit from it in critical times.

"We agreed with Mohamed Atta, god bless him, to execute the whole operation in 20 minutes. Before Bush and his administration would pay attention and we never thought that the high commander of the US armies would leave 50 thousand of his citizens in both towers to face the horrors by themselves when they most needed him because it seemed to distract his attention from listening to the girl telling him about her goat butting was more important than paying attention to airplanes butting the towers which gave us three times the time to execute the operation thank god.

"Your security is not in the hands of Kerry or Bush or Al Qaeda. Your security is in your hands. Each state that doesn't mess with our security has automatically secured their security."

Wretchard from Belmont Club
"It is important to notice what he has stopped saying in this speech. He has stopped talking about the restoration of the Global Caliphate. There is no more mention of the return of Andalusia. There is no more anticipation that Islam will sweep the world. He is no longer boasting that Americans run at the slightest wounds; that they are more cowardly than the Russians. He is not talking about future operations to swathe the world in fire but dwelling on past glories. He is basically saying if you leave us alone we will leave you alone. Though it is couched in his customary orbicular phraseology he is basically asking for time out."

In addition, my interpretation is that OBL is very worried about the drive for Freedom in the Middle East, thus he declares they already have it. i believe that he recognizes the lack of freedom will help him recruit, thus he casts himself as a liberator of palestine, lebannon and oppression in general. He is not a hater of freedom and thus have a dignify soul. And to the muslim he is telling them that it will be he, not the US, that will bring them "freedom".
The jarring dissonance is to compare the US to ME despots, especially at a time when millions will go to the poll to elect the next leader of the US and to a lesser extent a peaceful and successful election in US liberated Afghanistan. Obviously his idea of freedom as previously declared is that of a muslim caliphate similar in tone to what the Taliban had.
He is not preaching to the west about freedom, he is targetting the middle easterner with this speech, rallying them to his cause with promises of freedom for themselves and security (note not victory) against the hated americans.

More than ever i believe the iraq war to inject democracy into the ME is the right war the right time and the right place.