Tuesday, February 07, 2006

News In Brief

Since I am finding no particular inspiration to write an in-depth essay on any particular topic, I thought that instead of putting up a series of posts, I would just summarize some of the stories that are out there, on a slow news cycle day.

Sensing that European-American relations are starting to improve, Peter van Ham, head of the Global Governance Program at the Netherlands Institute of International Relations, just has to make one last desperate attempt to drive the wedge in further with this op-ed piece in the IHT.

Drudge has linked to John McCain's site which has posted this letter sent to Sen. Barack Obama. Here is an excerpt:

I would like to apologize to you for assuming that your private assurances to me regarding your desire to cooperate in our efforts to negotiate bipartisan lobbying reform legislation were sincere. When you approached me and insisted that despite your leadership’s preference to use the issue to gain a political advantage in the 2006 elections, you were personally committed to achieving a result that would reflect credit on the entire Senate and offer the country a better example of political leadership, I concluded your professed concern for the institution and the public interest was genuine and admirable. Thank you for disabusing me of such notions with your letter to me dated February 2, 2006, which explained your decision to withdraw from our bipartisan discussions.

Ouch. It seems now that the Democratic party's "golden child" has forgotten his centrist appeal that he so carefully worked, to get elected. Is Barack just another Democratic hack that is beholden to the socialist elitists? Or is someone from the Deaniac/Kennedy/Kerry wing leaning on him? From the looks of this letter from the moderate senator from Arizona, he is beginning to look like it's one or the other (or maybe even both).

From Reuters comes this story about New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin soliciting for aid from other countries. God forbid that we would want the people of Louisiana and New Orleans to ante something up for the reconstruction. But wait a minute, I guess I forgot. Both the Governor and the Mayor are Democrats; both believe that the world owes them something and that they bear no responsibility for their own recovery or their own destiny.

They desperately need the relocated African-American community vote to stay in power, which is what this is really all about. Get them back as quickly as possible and make deals with whomever, to expedite it as soon as possible before Election Day.

And also from Reuters comes this story about Denmark's protest of attacks on its embassy, in Iran. Let's see, the Iranian president that once was (more than likely) involved in the illegal takeover of the American embassy in 1979, is supposed to guarantee security for the Danes?

And finally from the Associated Press comes this piece about the hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee, concerning what many are convinced is the illegal wiretapping of al-Qaeda members' phone conversations. Let's see if we can keep this straight. It's illegal to listen in on an avowed enemy of the United States of America? What do you want to bet this is going on in France and nobody but the extreme hard left gives a damn?


SuperFrenchie said...

When France offered help to New Orleans after Katrina, here is how it was treated by Bill O'Reilly. :(

LASunsett said...


I understand what you are saying and I for one would not have turned down whatever aid was offered, no matter its origin. But it's going to take a hell of a lot more than that to ever get that place, back to the way it was.

Believe it not, there are many that do not want it to go back to what it once was. Those that are in power, (mayor and governor) do want it back to normal. That was the bulk of their power base.

Now, the left is about to explode about the cutting off of the aid that has many of the relocated put up in hotels. $529 million so far and as you may guess, many may have been ineligible.

Shah Alexander said...

Speaking of the transatlantic relationship, both sides are trying to improve ties, but some gaps cannot be filled easily. When German chancellor Angela Merkel visited Washington, she criticized US attitude to prisoners at Guantanamo base. People were rather surprised to hear such a comment by a "pro-American" chancellor.

Iran is supposed to guarantee security for the Danes? I doubt it. China was not willing to assure security for Japanese diplomats and businessmen last year.

SuperFrenchie said...

Shah: like it or not, Gitmo is and has been the single most damaging issue between Europe and the US. Way more than Iraq. In the eyes of Europeans, the US simply no longer represents the values that it did for decades. Pretty much all of that negative perception is due to Gitmo.

Even if Gitmo were to close tomorrow, it will take at least a generation to fix the damage.

//People were rather surprised to hear such a comment by a "pro-American" chancellor.//

That's because they don't follow what is going on in Europe. Europeans, whether it is the few that are pro-Iraq or everybody else, are talking about Gitmo all the time. In their eyes, you simply cannot hold people indefinitely without giving them a trial, and still pretend that you are a democracy. The torture element just adds to the bewilderment.

Shah Alexander said...


Whenever I hear this kind of arguments, it reminds me of "Of Paradise and Power" by Robert Kagan. In his book, he uses an analogy that America is a sheriff and Europe is a bar master. In the war on terror, the US is more directly involved, and more easily targeted than Europe. That is why the Unites States adopts Hobbesian power-oriented policies, while Europe takes Kantian law and order policies.

Quite interestingly, GITMO hardly hurts US-Japanese relations. Leftists criticize "blind followership to America," and insist early withdrawal from Iraq. However, they are concerned with the erosion of postwar pacifism. In other words, Japan is more inward looking than Europe.

Both the US and Europe can boast their primacy in global freedom and democracy. This is not the case with Japan.

As well as moral aspects, political stances are vital determinants.