Friday, September 13, 2002

REVEL

Roger-Pol Droit presente dans Le Monde le dernier livre de l'academicien Jean-François Revel, L'Obsession antiaméricaine:

L'argument décisif du livre consiste à faire remarquer que c'est l'Europe, et elle seule, qui a produit les colonialismes du XIXe siècle, les guerres mondiales du XXe siècle, les totalitarismes nommés fascisme, nazisme, communisme. Jamais l'Amérique, soupçonnée par ses adversaires de n'être pas authentiquement démocratique, n'a engendré de telles dictatures. Deux conséquences principales en découlent. La prépondérance planétaire de l'Amérique, aujourd'hui, n'est pas simplement due à son activité propre. L'incurie et l'échec des autres puissances en sont aussi la cause. L'unilatéralisme qu'on reproche aux Etats-Unis résulte de la faiblesse de ses interlocuteurs. Deuxième conséquence : la principale fonction de l'antiaméricanisme, pour ceux qui le professent, est de leur éviter de regarder en face leurs propres responsabilités.

Great stuff. Je l'ajoute a ma 'book list', a cote de Six Days of War de Michael B. Oren

Via Douze Lunes

GET REAL, EUROPE!

Entre une Europe à la japonaise, à l'action tortueuse, l'influence indirecte et les résultats décevants, et une Europe à l'américaine qui trouve dans l'action décidée, directe et commune le volet manquant de sa propre construction, le choix devrait être facile.

Great conclusion to an eye-opening article by François Godement that I was surprised to find on the editorial page of the lefty Paris paper Liberation. Godement is afraid Europeans are so afraid of action and clear decisions that they may fall into diplomatic oblivion, as Japan did. I personnaly lost all hope for a tough and meaningful Europe after admiring the will to create such a bold union, cheering every step of the way as we got closer to integration until it led to nothing but military paralysis and wrong diplomatic "decisions" entirely based on criticism of Israel and the US.
FINAL TEST FOR THE UNITED NATIONS

Bush did the right thing yesterday by asking the UN to take responsabilty and act on its demands, constantly ignored by Iraq. Europeans criticized the US for its unilateralist ways and begged for the UN to be included in the decision. Now we'll see if the 'communite mondiale' can actually wake up and get serious, quit complaining about its impotence and deal with Saddam. If not, the US will have no choice but to go at it alone, as it originally planned. Maybe the US were too fast in dismissing the UN as an effective force, but I think everybody knows the UN won't do anything but slow down the process, making the West seem even weaker to the eyes of our enemies. After all the talk is over, the US will have lost precious amounts of time and Iraq will have readied for the attack. Things would be so much simpler if the US did not have to listen to all the background noise.

Thursday, September 12, 2002

CHRETIEN SCREWS UP

I must say I am a little relieved that Canada, and not France, had to put up with the embarassment of having its premier say something really stupid and innapropriate on the anniversary of Sept. 11.

OTTAWA - Jean Chrétien has linked the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks to perceived Western greed and arrogance and said the United States should not use its position as the world's only superpower to humiliate people in poorer nations.

In an interview that aired last night on CBC-TV, the Prime Minister for the first time suggested the strikes against New York and Washington stemmed from a growing international anger at the way the United States flexes its muscle around the globe.

"You cannot exercise your powers to the point of humiliation for the others. That is what the Western world -- not only the Americans, the Western world -- has to realize. Because they are human beings too. There are long-term consequences," Mr. Chrétien said in the pre-taped interview.

"And I do think that the Western world is getting too rich in relation to the poor world and necessarily will be looked upon as being arrogant and self-satisfied, greedy and with no limits. The 11th of September is an occasion for me to realize it even more."


Instead, Jacques Chirac was very good, assuring that the ``French people stand with all their hearts at the side of the American people.''