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Old 11-04-2008, 08:27 AM   #8 (permalink)
PaoloSmythe
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Join Date: Aug 2007
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oh i have so much respect for the eloquence of some. my failings in thought are explained for me:

Quote:
We are dreaming, we Europeans, of Obamaland... Unless the polls are very wrong, Obamaland is materialising almost as you read.

Yet all that is certain as Americans vote today is that Obamaland, if indeed it emerges from the ocean mists overnight, will not be as we imagine it. The landscape may be more familiar... but Europe is deceiving itself if it believes that everything that has gone awry in recent transatlantic relations derives from the alien character and rank incompetence of George Bush.

Recent concentrated exposure to US opinion on the future of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation suggests a startling degree of wishful thinking in Europe about the speed and direction of any change. The most obvious of these is our European belief in a philosophical gulf, between the leaders of Obamaland and Macainia as they train their telescopes on abroad;

The similarities are striking, and significant, too, especially on foreign policy. A President Obama is pledged to end the US presence in Iraq, but so would be a President McCain. Internal change in Iran and North Korea may soon negate the sharp divergences that opened up between the two during the campaign. And while a President Obama has set as his absolute foreign policy priority the commitment to stabilise Afghanistan – a President McCain would also be confronted with the same imperative to avoid what many already fear could be defeat.

However consensual an approach to foreign relations the campaigning Obama has favoured, however softly he wants to speak to the European allies, he will carry the big stick commended by Theodore Roosevelt. That brings with it capabilities and opportunities that will divide the US and Europe, more than they will unite.

Mr Obama would not be the accomplished politician he has shown himself over the past year, if he did not exploit his honeymoon with a joyful Europe to demand a vastly increased force contribution for Afghanistan.

Except that it is not at all clear how far European leaders, and more particularly their electorates, will accept that analysis.

Might Afghanistan be the point at which Europe calls an end to fighting wars declared in Washington? This question, lurking since the collapse of communism, will be posed with some urgency, whether Europe finds itself dealing with Obamaland or McCainia. The paradox is that a more congenial and communicative partner could foster straighter talking – and with it mutual recognition that it may be time for our two destinies to move apart.
Mary Dejevsky: Will Europe get the America it wants? - Mary Dejevsky, Commentators - The Independent
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