Simple Answers to Simple Questions

Ron Asmus, of the German Marshall fund, asks

“Is this president and Administration capable, in its last 18 months in office, of using this new lineup [of leaders] in Europe to begin to lay the foundation for a new relationship for his successor?”


Concept of simple answers gleefully lifted from Atrios.

How anti-American are the French?

Not as much as you might think, argues The Economist in a long, Christmas-special piece about French anti-Americanism (article freely available to non-subscribers) :

In one 2004 poll, 72% of the French had a favourable view of Americans, more even than in Britain (62%) or Spain (47%). Some 68% of those questioned in another poll the same year said that what unites France and America was more important than what separates them. During the 60th anniversary of the Normandy landings in 2004, politicians were frosty, but the people at large showed an outpouring of gratitude to American veterans.

It’s true that there is a big gap between the view of the U.S. (pretty bad) and the view of the American people (quite good) in France, a sure sign that a substantial part of what is regarded as anti-Americanism is mainly driven by anti-Bushism.
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News About The Rift.

David at Dialog International has an interesting review of a new book by Anrei S. Markovits, Karl W. Deutsch Collegiate Professor of Comparative Politics and German Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, The book is called “Amerika, Dich hasst sich’s besser” (America, it’s easier to hate you) and tries to give the popular recent Bush-related European “anti-americanism” (and anti-semitism) some historical context. Apparently, the core arguments of Mr Markovits’ book are available to English readers in this Harvard European Studies working paper.
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The European Military project at a cross-roads

There’s a good article in today’s Le Figaro (a conservative French national newspaper) about the recent summit on a European military project in Arcachon. It’s titled L’Europe militaire ? la crois?e des chemins, and it is pretty pessimistic about the whole project.

A l’actualit? d’une loi de programmation militaire tangible, g?n?raux, ing?nieurs, chefs d’entreprise, parlementaires et experts en strat?gie ont pr?f?r? consacrer leurs interventions ? une Europe militaire encore tr?s virtuelle. C’est le seul consensus qui ait ?t? d?gag?. Car les Etats-Unis n’ont pas de souci ? se faire: si la r?union d’Arcachon devait servir de barom?tre ? l’Europe de la d?fense, l’avenir de celle-ci appara?trait des plus maussades.

Given the present lack of any tangible legal mandate for a military programme, the generals, engineers, CEO’s, members of parliament and strategists prefered to focus on a still highly virtual European military. That was the only consensus to come of all this. America has nothing to worry about: if the Arcachon conference is any measure, the future of a common European defense is gloomy indeed.

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