Friday, February 25, 2005

W's Excellent European Adventure

GWB seems to have made his points but not changed any weasel-minds. Pleased to see Chirac is sending 1 police person to Brussels to help the Iraqis. Friends in Germany report people were not pleased at the lockdown around Mainz for the visit, which caused massive inconvenience & disruption. Possibly payback for Mainzers bad taste in carnival imagery? Anyway, I've assured them he won't be back. Glad to see that the mediankritik and No Pasaran folks flew the flag there, with Erik schmoozing lady cops.

Apropos of which, didn't Condi look great in her neat outfit and boots?

Mark Steyn observes that mainland Europe is now pretty irrelevant to the march of history. But it's not all one way. Der Spiegel runs an excellent English language version that I've added to my sidebar. Under the heading "Could George W Bush be Right?" they run a neat comparison between Reagan and W.

It was difficult not to cringe during Reagan's speech in 1987. He didn't leave a single Berlin cliché out of his script. At the end of it, most experts agreed that his demand for the removal of the Wall was inopportune, utopian and crazy.

Yet three years later, East Germany had disappeared from the map. Gorbachev had a lot to do with it, but it was the East Germans who played the larger role. When analysts are confronted by real people, amazing things can happen. And maybe history can repeat itself. Maybe the people of Syria, Iran or Jordan will get the idea in their heads to free themselves from their oppressive regimes just as the East Germans did. When the voter turnout in Iraq recently exceeded that of many Western nations, the chorus of critique from Iraq alarmists was, at least for a couple of days, quieted. Just as quiet as the chorus of Germany experts on the night of Nov. 9, 1989 when the Wall fell.