by John Hawkins | July 14, 2004 11:59 pm
Tony Blankley quotes Kissenger and explains why the US alliance with Europe is eroding…
“Mr. Kissinger argues that: (1) the global scene is more fluid than it has been for centuries, (2) the center of gravity of world affairs is moving to the Pacific, (3) the major actors are defining new roles for themselves, and (4) the transformation is about basic concepts rather than tactical issues.
Thus he notes: “Differences between America and Europe are serious and substantive. But the reason the results of recent U.S.-European diplomatic encounters have proved so disappointing — despite serious efforts from both sides — is that the historical evolutions underway on the two sides of the Atlantic are different.”
He goes on to argue that “the most important event in Europe is the progressive erosion of the nation-state,” which is leading them to reject, as a matter of principle, the right of any nation to exercise national sovereignty, particularly when resorting to the use of military force.
Rather, as they spend most of their time on issues of European unification, “these non-state attitudes toward international relations are becoming deeply embedded in European public opinion.” Mr. Kissinger doubts whether these building attitudes “can ever be again fully reconciled with the experience of a country driven by state concepts or with the notion of alliance as traditionally conceived.” Meanwhile, “By contrast, America remains [with such other countries as Russia, China, Japan and India] a traditional nation-state, insistent on sovereign freedom of action.”
If Mr. Kissinger’s insights are right, the constant problems we are having with Europe (with the exception of Britain, which still sees itself as largely sovereign) over everything from Iraq to the Kyoto Treaty to the United Nations to the International Criminal Court will not go away in January 2005 under a notional President Kerry. Mr. Kerry will not be able to sweet talk or outsmart or charm the Europeans into compliance with American national interest. He will not be able to merely remind them of our half-century-old alliance as a motivation to work with us.
The only coin of the realm — so to speak — which the continental Europeans will accept will be American concession of some of our sovereign rights to the international order that the French-led Europeans are trying to bring to life. Assuming Mr. Kerry is as smart, informed and nuanced of mind as he claims to be, he well understands this deeper reality.”
During the Cold War, Europe was forced to cooperate with us to save their own skins. But, once the Soviet divisions disappeared from their borders, they no longer felt compelled to cooperate with the United States, a nation that many Europeans have ALWAYS looked down upon.
Still, our relationship endured, driven on by little more than inertia, until the terrorist attacks of 9/11 exposed deep differences in how many Europeans & Americans view the world.
Many Europeans have a deep and abiding faith in the UN, International laws, and multilateral decisions. But, the UN is a corrupt and toothless organization, International Law is impotent, and multilateral coalitions are vastly overrated. In other words, aside from the Brits, most of the nations in these coalitions we’ve been forming from the Gulf War on are unreliable & of little militarily relevance, yet they think if they send over 100 troops and a couple of laundry trucks they should be treated as an equal partner in the decision making process. That’s not to disparage the blood and treasure that nations have contributed to our military campaigns because it is appreciated, but at a certain point you have to ask if it’s worth it to even bother trying to get nations like Spain, the Philippines, or Honduras to come along with us in the first place.
In any case, our problems with Europe are not going away anytime soon unless we neuter ourselves and become “Canada South”. Undoubtedly, that idea would appeal to many people Europeans and liberal Americans who are tired of American “cowboys” dispensing frontier justice…until something happened. When there’s a global “OK Corral,” somebody better be able to show up wielding six guns, not waving around a copy of “Robert’s Rules of Order”. Without the US, there’s no one left capable of playing that role.
One day, either because of creeping isolationism caused by disenchantment with the UN and Europe or because John Kerry and his liberal cohorts will succeed in weakening America, I fear America will “retire” and “put away its six guns”. The last time that happened, World War 2 broke out. In this nuclear age, the results could be even worse this time around…
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