Alienating our allies

As all fashionable bloggers know, The New York Times is nothing more than the mouthpiece of The Left, a bastion of outdated and one-sided liberal ideology. Nevertheless, columnist Thomas Friedman today manages to spell out precisely why Bush is having such a hard time recruiting European allies to help topple Saddam Hussein. This is definitely the quote of the day:

“Unfortunately, when it comes to enlisting allies, the Bush team is its own worst enemy. It has sneered at many issues the world cares about: the Kyoto accords, the World Court, arms control treaties. The Bush team had legitimate arguments on some of these issues, but the gratuitous way it dismissed them has fueled anti-Americanism. No, I have no illusions that if the Bush team had only embraced Kyoto the French wouldn’t still be trying to obstruct America in Iraq. The French are the French. But unfortunately, now the Germans are the French, the Koreans are the French, and many Brits are becoming French.”

Keep in mind that Friedman is strongly in favor of invading Iraq. Living abroad, I know that Friedman is onto something: across the board, most of the world sees Bush as rude, crude and arrogant. I so often hear him described as a “cowboy,” and I have to say that I have never heard him spoken of kindly in Hong Kong or China, by natives or expats. Bush chose to spit in everybody’s eye, and now he is facing the consequences. Whether he was right or wrong about the treaties is hardly relevant — it’s all about packaging. All he had to do was exercise a little bit of tact, put on just a thin veneer of humility and concern, and the world would be reacting to him quite differently today.

The Discussion: No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.