Sunday, February 20, 2005

MORE ABOUT BUSH'S EFFORTS to repackage the product with Europe. It's still the same baloney inside the package, obviously, because although Bush and his handlers want to "change the ugly atmosphere," they aren't willing to meet Europe halfway on any issue already on the table. Will the U.S. say yes or even maybe to European requests that we participate with them in discussions with Iran aimed at persuading Iran to abandon its nuclear ambitions? Absolutely not. Will Bush acknowledge that Europe's reasons for not wanting to invade Iraq, and for preferring multilateral talks with Iran instead of war, are rooted in their own geographical and political realities that are just as valid and compelling for them as our 9/11 experience is for us? No, he won't. Rather, he will say this:

September the 11th was an interesting phenomenon in terms of our relations," Mr. Bush said when he was asked what he had to offer to Europe beyond warm words. "For some in Europe, it was just a passing terrible moment. And for us, it was a change of - it caused us to change our foreign policy." Those differences, he said, "at times, frankly, caused us to talk past each other."

"And I recognize that, and I want to make sure the Europeans understand I know that, and that as we move beyond the differences of the past, that we can work together to achieve big objectives."

Translation: "Europe and the United States disagree on foreign policy because for us 9/11 was real and personal, and for Europe it was just someone else's tragedy, and just of momentary interest. The U.S. had to invade Iraq unilaterally and preemptively, and the U.S. has to insist on the right to invade any country we wish to invade, because we had 9/11 and Europe did not. And I recognize that Europe can never understand why we have to do whatever we want to do, and I just want to make sure the Europeans understand that I know they don't understand, and I know the reason they don't understand is because they didn't have 9/11. And I also want them to know that as the preemptive invasion of Iraq fades farther and farther into the past, we can put it behind us and not let it bother us anymore, even though we are not going to change a thing in the future." Let's put the past behind us and let's work together to do what we here in the United States know must be done, because it feels so much nicer that way.

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