Taking the Offensive in Europe

Apparently not satisfied with merely causing a split between long-time allies American and South Korea, Bush administration officials seem to be going out of their way to alienate our allies in Europe.

As reported in this Christian Science Monitor article, that master of the obvious lie, Secretary of Defense Rumsfield seemed to go out of his way to offend Germany and France:

Echoing Mr. Bush’s irritation with Germany and France in particular, US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld on Wednesday denounced their opposition to war as "old Europe." He said the two countries didn’t represent all of Europe: "Now you’re thinking of Europe as Germany and France. I don’t. I think that’s old Europe," he said. "If you look at the entire NATO Europe today, the center of gravity is shifting to the East," the CBC quoted Rumsfeld as saying.

I must admit that I find it difficult to understand what administration officials hope to accomplish by labeling Germany and France as “old Europe.” These are, after all, important trade partners, if nothing else. Do they really believe that countries like Hungary and Yugoslavia are going to replace Germany and France as customers and trade partners?

Does the Bush administration feel its attempts to cut dividend and inheritance taxes will build such a strong American economy that we will no longer need to trade with anyone other than England and Australia?

With few signs that the economy is going to rebound in the near future, it increasingly looks like the Bush administration is gambling that a victory in Iraq will lead to their re-election. They appear desperate to start our war with Iraq as soon as possible, whether or not UN inspectors can find evidence to support our claims that Iraq is readying weapons of mass destruction.

The real question is how long it will take the next administration to undo the damage this administration has done to our foreign relations. This adminstration seems as intent on squandering any good will the Clinton administration gained in the world by using our powers to gain peace as they have been to spend budget surplus that Clinton’s policies accumulated.