I like reading Thomas Friedman inThe New York Times and its not because he is deeply insightful or especially lucid. It is because he is--by and large--sensible, and always just two steps behind what he should have thought a year or so ago. He perfectly reflects intelligent liberal opinion (I stress intelligent). In this op-ed he claims that there really is a divergent interest between the Europeans (he means Old Europe, of course) and the U.S. It is, in short, the "end of the West" as we have known it. He had Carl Bildt, the former Swedish prime minister explain it to him. Oh, well, better than not knowing.