Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Europe's lame leaders

A lot has been written about the inability of the US Democratic party go against the will of George W. Bush, despite the fact that the Democrats control Congress.

As it turns out, America's European allies have also, by and large, continued to follow the hapless American president. The New York Times reports:

On April 3, the night before the NATO summit meeting in Bucharest, Romania, Mr. Bush attended a dinner with European leaders and annoyed the Germans and French by lobbying long and hard for Ukraine and Georgia to be welcomed into a Membership Action Plan that prepares nations for NATO membership.

Mr. Bush lost that battle, but won two others the next day that would anger Russia: NATO leaders agreed to endorse a United States missile defense system based in Eastern Europe, and the Europeans said invitations to the membership plan for Georgia and Ukraine might come in a year, at the next summit.

Why, despite serious misgivings, did European leaders give Bush most of what he wanted?

Nevertheless, on the basis of remarks made to Der Spiegel, at least the former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder gets it.*

h/t: Tharoor

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