Just as I predicted over a month ago, the new members of NATO from what used to be called Eastern Europe (perhaps now we should call them the "new Europe," and let the French and Germans speak for the "old Europe) are much more supportive of the US than Western Europe. This will continue to have interesting repercussions. It will make the EU less important (and probably end up making even NATO as a unit less important) and will make bi-lateral relationships ever more important (whether it’s with Spain or Slovenia or Poland or Russia). It’s clear that it is the old Europe that thinks that calling Bush a "cowboy" is a term of disapprobation. See this front page story in The New York Times from yesterday called, "To Some in Europe, the Major Problem is Bush the Cowboy." It is worth reading because the point is so obvious: the French and the others in "old Europe" are trying to take this opportunity to point to everything about America they don’t like; we see things in black and white, we are too blunt, too impatient, too confrontational, too religious, and once Bush makes up his mind, well, you know he made up his mind, and is willing to act. These are bad cowboy-like things!! Bill Clinton, on the other hand, was fun to work with, say the old men of Europe. I find all of this fun. I am very happy about these developments because they are very revealing. They reveal more about Old Europe than it does about us. They disliked Reagan for the same reason and they acted accordingly (remember the missile deployments?); they lost. They think they can get away with it now because the Cold War is over and they think we are less necessary to them. They are missing much in all this, including the great relations we are having with Russia and what this means for them gaopolitically; how and why the Old Europes economy is faltering and what all this will--in the end--have to do with the War on Terror and the bi-lateral relations it will demand. By making themselves irrelevant, they are also making the UN irrelevant, their last place of power (and of what little authority they have left). The UN, like the un-cowboy mode of Old Europe, is outdated, and soon will be a relic. Jonah Goldberg and Diana West have some fun with this, and Kristol and Kagan thank France. And Krauthammer nails it, and
explains why our sometime-friends will return to the fold when it is their interest to do so; that is, after we do the work, they will want the spoils.