Thursday, January 23, 2003

Europeans Vexed By Rumsfeld's Attempts To Out-Arrogant Them



"If you knew what I feel like telling him, to Mr. Rumsfeld ...," French Ecology Minister Roselyne Bachelot said on Europe-1 radio. She then stopped herself and said the word would be too offensive to use ... which is the same thing as using the word.

Martine Aubry, a French Socialist who is not a member of the current French government but is quoted because he uses the word 'arrogance' and 'United States' in the same sentence, stated Rumsfeld's comments "show once again a certain arrogance of the United States."

"We should try to treat each other sensibly," said German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, surprisingly not referring to French Ecology Minister Roselyne Bachelot but rather to Rumsfeld. This is the same government that dismissed Bush's concerns about nuclear capabilities in the hands of an Iraq madman as an 'adventure.'

Here is what Rumsfeld said that drew so much ire: "You're thinking of Europe as Germany and France. I don't," Rumsfeld said in his remarks. "I think that's old Europe. If you look at the entire NATO Europe today, the center of gravity is shifting to the east and there are a lot of new members."

This is exactly what Old Europe does not want for its smaller European brethren to think. It's well and good for everyone to have an equal vote if its the UN saying 'no' to America but it's not good to have a vote for each country if it's the EU. In the EU, each country should have a vote but France and Germany should have a more important vote. Something like the change in the EU charter so that if the Irish decide not to allow new members next time, their vote won't count.

If the USA appeals directly to European NATO countries without being filtered by the imporant countries of Old Europe, their value is diminished. In the case of France, there isn't much importance left so unless they want to spend the rest of their years invading Ivory Coast to feel involved they had better get on the Anglo-American Express to Baghdad.

So was Rumsfeld correct in what he said? Apparently so. Tadeusz Iwinski, top foreign policy adviser to Polish Prime Minister Leszek Miller: "There is much greater understanding for US administration policy among new NATO members than among old members."

Article Here

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