The Right Coast

October 24, 2004
Vintage Eurodrivel
By Tom Smith

Here is Timothy Ash, who is apparently now a professor at Oxford, arguing America must elect Kerry or else our 'alliances' will really be in trouble. I have a book Ash wrote while still a graduate student but which I never read. Now I guess I know I don't need to.

I'm not sure I was present at the same Reagan administration as Ash was. I know Gorby came to DC in 1988, but by then he was a whipped puppy. The idea that Ronnie was turning from confrontation to detente because he'd finally caught the peace train is just rubbish.

As to France and Germany, I mean, truly, has there ever been a more apt application for that famous saying about the Vice Presidency? Our alliances with them are not worth a bucket of warm spit. Let's be real: the French were Saddam's allies, bought and paid for. They have no army that isn't more trouble than it's worth. The Germans could have one if they wanted to, but they don't. If the Brits go wobbly they do, but sucking up to the French is hardly the way to reassure our British allies.

As to Ash's warning, you better watch out, or Europe will decide to become a superpower and oppose you! What a joke. We will be lucky if we don't end up bailing Europe out again from economic catastrophe when their underfunded welfare states implode. It's going to be a long time before they're ready to project power anywhere. The biggest threat they present is selling advanced technology to terrorist states, something France at least has proven adept at.
France has no more business on the security council than Greenland. It would be worth getting upset about except that the UN is such a joke. We should just turn the UN building into condos, and give first dibs to people who got bombed out on 9-11. I think the General Assembly hall would make a great health club, or maybe a disco. Among many tragic things about the UN is all that wasted Manhattan real estate.

Unless something very profound changes in Old Europe, it's just done. Brussels is busy packing the arteries of commerce with bureaucratic lard, no one with a university education is reproducing, they don't believe in military force and certainly not paying for one, Muslims who seem largely to revile Europeans traditions are moving north in droves, and Europe's idea of a leader is a bloated hack like Jacques Chirac. I would be the first to agree that Europe was nice while it lasted, but now its destiny seems to be to become an object lesson in how not flourish in the new world.