Mudcat Café message #1385170 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #62901   Message #1385170
Posted By: Amos
22-Jan-05 - 09:59 AM
Thread Name: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From today's NYTimes:

Bush's Smiles Meet Some Frowns in Europe


Published: January 22, 2005


The start of President Bush's second term has been marked by conciliatory gestures toward Europe: a promised visit to the headquarters of the European Union, the selection of a top State Department team deeply versed in European affairs, restraint on trade, cooperation on the Ukrainian crisis and bold commitments to the active Middle Eastern diplomacy that Europeans want.

All of this amounts to a presidential gamble that the Atlantic community is alive and well, despite the divisive trauma of Iraq. But Mr. Bush will want results. As his secretary of state-designate, Condoleezza Rice, said this week: "When judging a course of action, I will never forget that the true measure of its worth is whether it is effective."

By this yardstick, can European-American cooperation still deliver? Can it usher in the freer world to which the president is committed? Promising to listen to the counsel of allies, Mr. Bush declared Thursday, "The concerted effort of free nations to promote democracy is the prelude to our enemies' defeat."

The initial reaction was generally cool. European commentators asked what new war Mr. Bush might embark on in the name of his idealism, and portrayed his global bid to eliminate tyranny as hubris or hypocrisy. But a few newspapers, like the conservative German daily Die Welt, suggested, "A little bit of this spirit would do the Old World good and help it to renew itself."

The natural bonds between the English, the United States and Europe are generated by the participants because of a sense of common values. That sense has never been so strained, so close to giving way to sullen separtism between nations, as a result of Bush's intransigent arrogance.