The paper formerly known as the Paper of Record informs us that our "allies" are concerned that we won't consult them when it comes to continuing the war.
Some choice bits:
The three countries pinpointed by President Bush as an "axis of evil" — Iran, Iraq and North Korea — reacted angrily today...
Guess the truth hurts, huh, guys?
...while commentators in many other nations, including European allies, bristled at what they saw as the combative, go-it- alone tone of the State of the Union address.
Bristle away. We took the hit alone. We can deal with it on our own.
If you expect us to take your advice, step one is to offer some that's sensible. Such a commodity has been in short supply from the Continent in the last few months (not to mention the last few decades).
Over in Russia,
Mr. Rogozin said it appeared that America had forgotten that North Korea had imposed a moratorium on the production of long-range missiles...
No, we haven't forgotten. We just know that they're congenital liars, so such an "imposition" is meaningless.
...that Iran had offered assistance to the Bonn conference on the formation of an interim government in Afghanistan...
Would that be the same Iran which, as I type, has special forces in Afghanistan training insurgents to undermine that interim government?
...and that an earlier Washington statement had called for "smart sanctions" against Iraq.
Yes, we've finally corraled the idiots at Foggy Bottom who think that sanctions have any useful effect other than giving Saddam an excuse to starve his own people while he builds weapons and palaces.
The problem is, you European elites set entirely too much store by what people say, while ignoring what they actually do. Probably the same reason you thought Bill Clinton was so wonderful (in addition to the fact that he, unlike many of us, loved to smooch your arrogant keesters).
Josef Joffe, a German foreign policy analyst, said: "What was particularly striking is the way Mr. Bush countenances the projection of American power from anywhere to anywhere. He described America in a truly global war able to fight anywhere. There is no allusion to allies at all. But in practical terms, the U.S. cannot fight wars without allies."
Oh, we have allies. It's just that they apparently don't run the governments of Europe. And in fact, if need be, we can do quite well without allies, at least without Euroweenie ones. It will take longer, and cost more, but if you don't understand that it's a price that we're willing to pay, then you don't understand anything about America.
"We tend to see Sept. 11 in parenthesis, an aberration that is now behind us," said François L. Heisbourg, director of the French Foundation. "But the Bush speech makes clear that is not the case for the U.S. For Americans, Sept. 11 marks a strategic change in the landscape. And that will be very jarring for many people here to hear."
Well, expect to continue to be "jarred." We aren't going to (in the famous and empty words of the Clinton apologists here and abroad) simply "move on." There is still a gaping hole in downtown Manhattan. For all we know, there are thousands of terrorists waiting to attack the next skyscraper, or ship, or nuclear plant. We hope that it was an aberration, but hope has no power, as we saw on September 11.
There was also speculation about what Mr. Bush really meant by citing North Korea, Iraq and Iran, and treating them as equally culpable. "The lumping of these three countries together will be of concern," said Robert Menotti, a researcher at the Italian research institute Cespi. "We really see North Korea as in another category."
And just what "other category" would that be, Signor Menotti? They build weapons of mass destruction, including missiles. They train and dispatch terrorists. They starve their own people as they expend resources toward those evil ends. In what significant way do they differ from Iraq?
Clearly, the gulf in thinking between the European elitists and America grows wider by the day. I wonder what the European people think?
Our Friends the Europeans
Lord Robertson says that NATO can't be expected to support any US war on the axis of evil unless we can prove that they had something to do with 911. Gee, what happened to the war on terrorism? You know, the one that was supposed to put an end to terrorists with global reach?
Apparently, in NATO's formulation, we're not allowed to preempt attacks on our soil. We can only retaliate after they've occurred. By this logic, we could have done nothing about Al Qaeda in Afghanistan prior to September 11--we had to wait until they actually carried out the attack. Their stated intent to do so, and their previous attacks on our assets (including the first one on the WTC) were insufficient.
Europe had better understand that we are now going to do everything within our power to prevent any future attacks like the ones that occurred in September. In all three cases in the "axis of evil," we are dealing with nations with whom we've either been actively at war (Korea and the Gulf War), or who have engaged in acts of war upon us (Iran, when they took and kept the hostages for over a year) to which we didn't properly respond.
It was our failure to deal with them properly at the time that resulted in what happened in September, by building a reputation of weakness and vacillation on our part. All three countries represent unfinished business, business for which we were previously unwilling to pay the necessary price to see it through to the end.
Now we are more than willing to finish--with or without our NATO "allies."
When are You Moving Back to Europe, Maddie?
Yet another reason to be thankful that the Clinton Administration is no longer the administration. The oddly misnamed Madeleine Albright channels the Euroweenies.
"First of all they (Iran, Iraq and North Korea) are very different from each other," said Albright, who was Secretary of State in the Clinton administration.
Of course they are, but their similarities are much greater than their differences, and those similarities are more than sufficient to justify Bush's characterization of them.
In the case of Iraq, Albright said the United States had been trying to contain President Saddam Hussein since 1991 and strong action was necessary. However, the situation with Iran was more complicated and the United States needed Tehran's help in dealing with Afghanistan.
You mean help, as in not undermining the new government? They don't seem interested in offering that kind of help. Perhaps a new government in Tehran would be an improvement?
Looking at North Korea, Albright said it was a mistake to walk away from that communist state. The United States has attempted to hold talks with North Korea about its weapons program but that process has gone nowhere.
I wonder why. Could it be because the folks who run the place are duplicitous Stalinist monsters, with no interest except their own power, and are only marginally sane? Nawww.
"When we left office, we left the potential of a verifiable agreement to stop the export of missile technology abroad on the table. I think it's a mistake to walk away from that. We know that North Korea is dangerous but lumping those three countries together is dangerous," she said.
In what way, Maddie? Just because we lump them together rhetorically doesn't mean that we have to follow exactly similar policies toward them. I know it's hard for you to understand, but it's actually possible to deal with them together rhetorically, while still handling them separately, in an appropriate time and manner for each.
Anyway, I'm not sure why anyone in the current administration should be interested in your opinions on this, or any other matter. They're kind of busy right now, cleaning up the mess that you left them.
Rand Simberg is a forlorn individual living somewhere and offering biting commentary about infinity, and beyond. He is the publisher of the webblog, Transterrestrial Musings.