Sunday, March 28, 2004

Another One Biting The Dust

News today that Jacques Chirac lost big in regional elections in France. But the story isn't good from the American viewpoint:
...[T]he opposition left took between 49 and 50 per cent of the vote and control of 21 of 23 regions.

Mr Chirac's right polled between 37 and 38 per cent, the interior ministry announced. It was the first test of the government’s public support since the 2002 election.

Turnout was high, with about two-thirds of the country's nearly 42 million voters casting ballots, the ministry said....

The leader of the triumphant Socialists, Francois Hollande, said a mere ministerial shuffle would not be enough, "no matter how big it is". Instead, he said the government must keep its hands off the public sector.

Aside from the left, Chirac's government faced pressure from the far-right National Front. It polled between 13 and 14 per cent of votes.
Yup, another slim Socialist victory in Europe. And an explicit call to spend more on the public sector. You can count on France to speak loudly and to assiduously avoid meaningful action on the terrorism front.

I still say America should let Federal Europe become the independent nation it so badly wants to become. We should rethink our participation in NATO and shift bases out of Europe as much as we can. (Actually that second part is already happening.) America should let Europe shoulder the burden of its own protection, as any nation should. Yugoslavia? A European problem we should let them handle.

Of course, in the real world this won't happen. Most European nations in the Community spend just a fraction of the money we do on defense. America picks up a lot of the load for them. It's how they can afford their welfare state. If they had to pay for defense on a par with us, it would cripple their economies and destroy their social net.

Europe can't have that! They're civilised people. It's up to us barbaric Americans to do the ugly work of making sure their asses don't get into trouble. That's our proper role: the help. We should know our place. Fools and internationalists like the Clintons think being allowed to sit at their fancy tables makes the second-class status worthwhile. They think Europeans are better people than we are and are happy to lick their boots and bask in their pats on the head.

Bush wasn't. He is playing real-politik with them. It's why they are so outraged. We've forgotten our place. We're threatening the civilised place they live in. We're bad.

Well, screw 'em. When they all speak Arabic in public and retreat from the Muslim masses swamping them to their enclaves of European civility to grouse in private, we'll see how "civilised" they still are.

No comments: