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It implies we have something to hide; something to be ashamed of, as if having divergent interests from the US is not an ethically correct position to take.

Curious choice of words coming from a public figure whose reputation as regards humanity (and crimes there against) is anything but pristine; one would think Kissinger the last person in America to be giving out moral lessons to anybody. But then, I suppose, nothing Kissinger says should be taken at face value.

The reality is, and I suspect the cited Doctor sees this clearly enough, European and US interests intersect less and less. The arch of US power is in its descent, and so Chancellor Schmidt's fond wish is a bit like James Ivory cinema: a very polished, well ornamented nostalgia piece.

Europe trains our mastery of the sort of soft power skills at which other rising powers (like China) also are beginning to excel, while the US can afford less and less the sort of hard power it has grown to depend on over the past three or four decades, especially the past two as sole world "hyperpower".

Unfortunately, hard power is not an aspect of a flowering society, but at best one nearing the end of its universal state, heading towards decline.

As a European, I fear that a generation on, we might be worried about nuclear bombs getting loose from US missile installations and into the hands of unsavory characters in much the same way worries were once expressed of the same sort for installations across the former Soviet Union. And as an American, I can but put my hands over my eyes as I watch that country walk in slow motion towards what appears to be a coming hard fall.

Atlanticism will mean something quite different to my children, I suspect, than it does to me. Much as what it means to me is quite different than what it means to Chancellor Schmidt.

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

by r------ on Sat Feb 23rd, 2008 at 07:29:14 PM EST

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