March 11, 2009
Do not be foul. Any change in the US administration will cause no change in European attitudes toward the world order.
Bush and the neocons are treated as the scapegoats for worsening the US –European relationship. Obama is treated as the leader among the equanimous, who restored faith in cooperation.
In reality, this description is misleading.
If the Europeans criticized Bush for acting alone, it does not mean that they want to act in cooperation.
If they missed consultation with the US on relevant world issues, it just does not mean that they really want to have been consulted on relevant world issues.
If they think that the US is biased toward Israel, they are far from forming an alternative common policy on the region to counterbalance the „idiotic” approach of the US.
It looked like that an arrogant Bush administration overruled a great community called EU on cooperation. As Bush descended the scene, it is more and more clear that for the Europeans the real function of this cooperation is taming the shrewd American expansionism.
That is the real fountain of the frictions between the US an Europe. US administrations are tending to spread their form of government and actively pushing for its agenda.
The Europeans, alone, or in their cohort in the EU, do not want to extend democracy’s reach in the world.
The foundation of a good relationship in their relations thus based on the US political approach and not any chemistry between the two entities.
In other worlds, it does not matter who rules Washington. What matters is his attitude on exporting democracy.
If the US is pursuing its goals peacefully ( by splendid oration and by meaningless threat), EU-US relationship is a forever lasting friendship. If US speaks and acts in substantial ways ( by military hardware), the Europeans are drifting away.
Obama is closer to the Europeans hearts, because he is not bellicose. The warming up is based on rhetorics and not any substantial change.
Obama is withdrawing from Iraq, from Guantanamo, from the axis of evil framework, which is a jolly good news for Europeans.
Do you see any changes on the European’s side? Mr Gordon Brown restated the special relationship of the US and thew UK, but it does not influence the common European political scene. Europeans are reluctant to accept the prisoners of Guantanamo. For they not only condemned the Cuban special prison system, but they also refuse any dirty part of this terrorist detainee system. They do not support the missile system and they do not support US Israeli plans.
Because, in the end, they think that these are US wars, US actions, not their cup of tea.
Now we are still enjoying the honeymoon of this special relationship. But more important is the lacking evidence of any progress in substantial issues. They are not closer on the Russia policy, on the fate of Ukraine, on the world (financial) crisis, on pirates, on environmental issues
Just see the last example. The tension round the US missile system is cooling down as the US policy on Iran and Afghanistan is opening a new level of cooperation betwen Russia and the US and makes obsolete, for the moment, the missile defence system.
But it leads nowhere. There is not more exhange on Europe’s security, on enhanced cooperation in the world. We heared that the main obstacle to this discussion was Bush’s and the neocons’ one-sided approach. But after they have gone what stops the European from more meaningful cooperation?