June 1, 2007


'Old Europe' tilting toward U.S.: Fresh leadership offers hope of a revived Atlantic alliance. (Kim Murphy, 6/01/07, LA Times)

France's new president goes jogging in an NYPD T-shirt. Britain's prime minister-apparent likes to vacation on Cape Cod. And Germany's chancellor once got an impromptu back rub from President Bush.

Welcome to the new "old Europe."

At the beginning of 2003, Washington had all but written off the historical power brokers of continental Western Europe. France and Germany, dead set against going to war in Iraq, were "a problem," then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said. The Bush administration's favor had tilted toward the east, where it found solid support among the European Union's newcomers.

Four years later, a new set of players emerging on the old Europe bench could tip the balance back toward the Atlantic. Britain, France and Germany are fielding potentially the most pro-U.S. group of leaders to emerge in Western Europe in years.

"In many ways, the galaxy of international leaders has never been better for the United States," said Erik Goldstein, head of the international relations department at Boston University.

...a spate of stories about how W's unilateralism forced them to become more like us just to keep up, right?

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 1, 2007 11:25 AM

When George Bush led the coalition to liberate Iraq, the leaders of Great Britain, Poland, Denmark, Australia, Japan and other key allies supported his effort. And voters in those nations re-elected those leaders, often by historic margins. At that same time, center-left leaders of France, Germany and Canada were among the most strident opponents of President Bush's efforts to open a democratic front in the Middle East. In the last couple of years, voters in those key Western nations have rejected those Leftist leaders and replaced them with pro-American, center-right leaders very much in the mold of George W. Bush.

This has to stick in the craw of the writers and editors at the LAT. So, naturally, they dig up some college professor who says "Bush's unpopularity in Europe is now permanent." The good prof must mean Bush's unpopularity in the faculty lounges of Europe.

The voters of Europe seem to like him (or at least leaders who will govern like him) quite a bit.

Posted by: JonSK at June 1, 2007 12:13 PM

Well, of course they're going to like us now, we're becoming a colony of Spain and Frogistan and socialist to boot!

What's not to like?

Posted by: Sandy P at June 1, 2007 4:23 PM