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Farewell to the New Europe

Slate commentary:

A mere four year later, New Europe no longer exists. Aznar, Blair, and Berlusconi are finished, partly victims of failure in Iraq. Central Europe's mood has changed profoundly, from pro-American to deeply skeptical. On Friday, President Bush plans to spend precisely 3 hours and 10 minutes on the ground in Poland, making no speeches and seeing no one much besides the Polish president. And it won't be a very wide-ranging discussion. Mortally wounded by Iraq, damaged further by the U.S. administration's lack of interest in its concerns--change in the U.S. visa regime, military assistance--New Europe probably will now be killed off completely by American plans to build a missile-defense shield in Poland and the Czech Republic.

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Comments (4)

cirby:

New Europe probably will now be killed off completely by American plans to build a missile-defense shield in Poland and the Czech Republic.

...and if New (read socialist or communist) Europe was that fragile, it needed to die, anyway.

Lee Ward:

Anything new is socialist or communist? Sigh -- where do you get your news and information, cirby, off of milk cartons?

Paul Hamilton:

Anybody who doesn't agree with us needs to die...

Did you ever consider that is the EXACT reason why our close relations with Europe in the wake of the fall of communism have fallen apart?

Patrick Seurre:

Anti-american feelings are hardly new in Europe.

Apparently some Czech official - I believe the local mayor - has even gone as far as releasing a song prasing the new defense system. Crazy I know, but it makes me wonder how much of the praise Bush has recieved in the past has been something that the public would have agreed with, and how much was something generated purely by the politicians for what they see as their own advantage.

Poland has, as one example, been able to buy US fighter jets with financial support from the US government (apparently they were rewarded with 'compensatory' investment programmes - whatever that means - and loans totalling $12 billion back in 2003 [Link]).

And Blair hasn't lost his popularity because of Bush, at least IMO (although it certainly didn't help it). He lost it because of the apparent rampant cronyism, the percieved corruption, the imprisonment without trial of suspects and the fact that 'New' Labour didn't seem to stand for anything in particular any more. There's far more, but the list would be too long...

Aznar's lying to the public about the Madrid bombings not long before the election probably did him no good too...


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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