Saturday, November 18, 2006

Goodbye America ?

Brussels Journal is in pessimistic mood.

Meanwhile, the American mid-term elections are being widely discussed in Europe. The European media regard the results as proof that “Old Europe” was right all along, while America was wrong. In the center-right Parisian paper Le Figaro, Nicole Bacharan, a French political scientist and historian, wrote that the elections showed that “America is neither ‘red’ nor ‘blue.’ The majority votes centrist.” She also notes that, following the elections, the French have softened their view on the US because “The values and sensibilities of the Democrats seem to be closer [to those of the French]. And one can detect, in the new political constellation, a return to a less interventionist America.”

Hooray ! No more trigger-happy cowboys blundering about the world ! That's just got to be good - hasn't it ?

Le Figaro is one of the more sensible French papers, and Nicole Bacharan realizes well enough that it is doubtful whether more American isolationism will be better for France, a country which is currently unable to assert authority over its own territory and which was incapable of winning its last two wars without American “interventionism.” Bacharan warns that those who “blame America for its imperialism may soon regret its indifference” and urges Europe “to invent a new Atlanticism.”

The “paleocons” do not want to fight for any country but America, the “neocons” have come to resent Europe for failing to stand with them in Iraq, and the “blue” Liberals (the only Americans most leading Europeans feel affinity with) lack the guts to fight for anything at all, including their own hedonistic values. We can deplore this as much as we want, but, again, this is the situation we are stuck with. I doubt whether the mid-term elections showed that neoconservatism is dead. I think they announced the death of the Atlantic Alliance. It was for Europe that the bell tolled – which makes it ironic that so many Europeans rejoiced in the results. Bacharan is sounding the alarm because she realizes America is leaving Europe.

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