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But still. After 300 years of continental suckitude we have an awareness of consequences.

The US doesn't do consequences. The US can invade a country on the basis of naked lies and then look around a few years later and say 'Who? Us? What did we do?'

And then it can do it all again forty years later and still not see it as a problem.

The US is a teenager that wants to do whatever it wants, doesn't want to clean its room, wants the keys to the car even though it hasn't learned how to drive properly and will run it off the road, and believes it's infallible, invincible, and knows everything.

Clinton was at the moderate end of this spectrum. Bush is off at the crazy nutjob end. But it's the same spectrum, differing only in degree. And most of the racket is run by the one loose cabal which is based in Washington but controls most of the politics and most of the media. Some of the Dems are outside the loop, and genuinely populist, so the situation isn't quite hopeless. But many aren't.

Peaceful but firm civil unrest would be a good thing now. It's going to have to happen sooner or later, because after Bush surges he's going to want to surge again and again.

The planned war in Iran is going to mean a draft, and the only thing that's going to stop that is peasants and pichforks.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Jan 10th, 2007 at 05:57:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Brilliant post.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Wed Jan 10th, 2007 at 06:53:52 AM EST
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Seriously, with a couple more paras and a cite or two, you could diary this.

(Maybe we could get someone to cross-post to a US blog...)

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Wed Jan 10th, 2007 at 06:59:22 AM EST
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Excellent post, but I'd still like to see the "European state of mind" defined.  Unless it's nothing more than "aware of consequences"?
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Wed Jan 10th, 2007 at 06:59:47 AM EST
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The European State of Mind doesn't exist any more that "the" European Values (and we saw what that was like during the Great Cartoon Controversy).

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 10th, 2007 at 07:02:09 AM EST
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Thanks.  That was sort of my point.
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Wed Jan 10th, 2007 at 07:05:45 AM EST
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Fredouil alludes to this, initially, with his comment

Europeans are getting post-national, post-religious

By post-religious, I presume he means quite secular in a sense that goes beyond attitudes about religion, and refers also to the role (and lack thereof) that religion actually plays in the average life of Marcel Bidochon, Jens Jensen or Hans Schmidt. Which explains why you'll rarely see European (some countries excepted, on the periphery even if, in the case of Poland, quite important) leaders make comments about how religious they are, because it simply does not play, whereas in America politicians run to the podium to declaim how religious they are, because it does.

By post-national, I presume he means a generalized disdain (again, there are exceptions, usually on the far right) for the jingo-istic and other trappings of the sort of rampant nationalism America has tended to display of late, a commitment to multilateral institutions and peace, as well as a general feeling that soft power, diplomacy and commercial advantage far outweigh military might in the general rightful scheme of international relations and our respective country's role in those. Which is translated, for instance, in our relatively small defence budget, as opposed to America's, which represents, to it alone, fully half the entire world's.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Wed Jan 10th, 2007 at 10:54:36 AM EST
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Heh, you're leaving out the Christian Democrats.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 10th, 2007 at 10:58:47 AM EST
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Oh yeah, I forgot. Bayrou.

He's polling, what, 8%?

Not quite what Arlette & friends on the other side of the left and center, but who knows, maybe the tendance will change.

Third-way - has a bad name, in France at any rate. That is, among the mainstream.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Wed Jan 10th, 2007 at 11:12:27 AM EST
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No, I mean the largest group of MEPs in the European Parliament is not post-national and not post-religious.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 10th, 2007 at 11:17:51 AM EST
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My mistake. Was refering to oldfrog's reference to Bayrou and the UDF as being more along the lines of christian democrat. They are not in that eu parliamentary grouping, though, the UMP is, which quite frankly would have to be seen as a marriage of convenience given that UMP and christianism have relatively little, if anything, to do with each other. Have to say, though to a lesser extent, same about Forza Italia - there are Christians in the party, but certainly it is not a christian-oriented party.

CD is a heritage, that grouping also includes purely conservative (and secular) parties, like the UMP.


The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Wed Jan 10th, 2007 at 02:20:46 PM EST
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Europeans are getting post-national, post-religious

Well, except that they're not.

All of the things you say are indeed true of some Europeans in some European countries, but as we have repeatedly demonstrated here, there is less commonality among European approaches to all of those issues than people like to believe.  People see the Europe they want to see.  Yours sounds very nice.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Wed Jan 10th, 2007 at 11:15:22 AM EST
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You're right about the facts on the ground™, but I think he's probably right about the trajectory. Not to say that we can't be knocked off that path ...
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Jan 10th, 2007 at 11:18:19 AM EST
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Not to say that we can't be knocked off that path

Indeed.  We were....

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Wed Jan 10th, 2007 at 11:19:54 AM EST
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Oh, I don't know. I'd say the long-term trend is still correct. You're just going through a bad couple of decades.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Jan 10th, 2007 at 11:21:30 AM EST
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I am not sure I agree, maybe the good couple of decades ended two decades ago.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 10th, 2007 at 11:25:45 AM EST
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Three decades ago.

I'd say the last significant bit of truly progressive legislation in the US was passed, in bipartisan fashion and signed into law by a Republican president, in 1972, with the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts and the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency.

American "liberals"/(self-described left) think today of Jimmy Carter as a left President. He wasn't. Religiosity in the oval office, deregulation in the economy, beginning of the second cold war (US military arms build-up).

And we know what they've done since...

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Wed Jan 10th, 2007 at 02:24:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One can only hope.
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Wed Jan 10th, 2007 at 11:27:12 AM EST
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I think if the "surge" is perceived to work (and that is a bodybag counting exercise), there's a chance they'd be mad enough to bomb Iran. But not otherwise, and zero chance of a ground invasion under any circumstances.

You can forget any US based resistance for the time being, but I do think that the Russia, China, Far East etc nexus is another matter entirely.

I could see a sort of reverse Suez coming here.

ie in 1956 the US told the UK "we are going to pull the economic plug on you unless you stop playing silly buggers"

Same applies here, but with the boots on other feet.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Wed Jan 10th, 2007 at 07:19:53 AM EST
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So, tell me... has anyone in the US noticed that we've been bombing Somalia for the last two days?
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Wed Jan 10th, 2007 at 07:59:05 AM EST
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Getting even for Black Hawk Down!

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 10th, 2007 at 08:02:52 AM EST
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I had a Joke theory that George was working through a list of percieved insults to America in reverse in the style of a schoolboy bully. So it would be Iran next then Vietnam, then Korea then Germany (twice) then mexico and finally ending up with the UK.

I can't believe I missed Somalia out, (and I suppose I'd better add Grenada and Cuba in at some stage)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jan 10th, 2007 at 04:44:14 PM EST
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by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Jan 10th, 2007 at 08:26:43 AM EST
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The entire push against the Somali Islamic group has been well covered on cable news.  The 1/2 hour national evening news -- I've no idea, haven't watched those in a decade.  Prob got 30 seconds.
by HiD on Wed Jan 10th, 2007 at 05:02:03 PM EST
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What I got of it so far, the only support for the "surge" is coming from Laura and Barney, maybe McCain (and I wouldn't be sure of the two last ones).

The surge is anyway to little, to late. The US would need about 120 000 men only in Baghdad to really clamp down on the insurgency...

Anyway it would mean taking sides in the civil war, which means that the Saudis would be fueling the Iraqi Sunnis with more support...

The outcome of this is not good for the US no matter what...

There won't be a regular invasion of Iran of course. But there might be an air/sea assault. Iran will probably retaliate by turning the Shiite lose on the US in Iraq... plus some blocking of the Hormuz detroit...

and your scenario becomes then more and more credible

by oldfrog on Wed Jan 10th, 2007 at 10:33:45 AM EST
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the over 50 armchair warriors are on board in some numbers.  (the fox spews demo)
by HiD on Wed Jan 10th, 2007 at 04:55:31 PM EST
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