March 14, 2003

Self-Flagellation Alert Another pitiable masthead

Self-Flagellation Alert

Another pitiable masthead from the NYT. The piece basically praises the substance of the ill-fated British bridging proposal, but blames Washington for not giving the Brits enough maneuvering room to get the French and Russians on board:

"Britain's proposal would establish six disarmament benchmarks and a tightly limited time frame for achieving them. The benchmarks are generally right, but the time frames under discussion yesterday were unrealistically short, and the mechanisms for determining compliance need some modification. These defects reflect the conditional nature of Washington's assent to the exercise so far. Britain cannot plausibly offer more time or flexibility than it thinks it can sell to the White House. Unless Washington is willing to engage in serious diplomatic bargaining, the British attempt is doomed to failure."

The NYT editorialists, while they are at it, might as well start a Dominique de Villepin fan club on W. 43rd St. Or will they come to their senses in tomorrow's NYT and castigate the French for dismissing the proposed resolution basically out of hand instead of going back to London with counterproposals on timing modifications and the like? Can they blame Paris for unreasonableness, or does the Bush White House have a monopoly on foolhardy obstinance?

UPDATE: Speaking of pitiable mastheads, here is another "winner":

"Thanks to the President and his hubristic crew of ideologues, America and Europe are not united, as they should be, in the face of global Islamic militancy. Instead, many people talk about the end of America’s strategic alliance with Western Europe. Instead of France and Germany, some say, we will simply align ourselves with the post-Communist states of Eastern Europe—like, say, Bulgaria. Osama bin Laden did not create this sad state of affairs. George W. Bush did. Rarely in the face of war has the leadership in this country—both the executive and the opposition—served it so badly. The opposition has cynically acquiesced; they have not challenged this intellectually challenged President."

I think the person who is intellectually challenged is the writer who penned this myopic claptrap at the Observer. Sure, we were occasionally too brash in our dealings with some of the Europeans, our diplomacy could have been more effective, Powell lost traction cleaning Don Rumsfeld's messes up too often and so on. But to hold Bush culpable for creating the "end of America's strategic alliance with Western Europe" is hyperbolic in the extreme. And the self-flagellation is so tiresome, isn't it? Why is it always our fault that alliances are tottering? Are the other parties involved, to any degree, responsible for the breakdown in relations? Or is just the mean, unilateralist Cowboy on the Potomac?

Posted by Gregory at March 14, 2003 12:04 AM
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