Skip to comments.Bush To Outline Plans For U.S.-Europe Ties
Posted on 05/22/2002 12:42:24 PM PDT by Magnum44
Wall Street Journal May 21, 2002
Bush To Outline Plans For U.S.-Europe Ties
President Bush plans to outline a 21st-century vision for the U.S.-European alliance that will call for swifter and more integrated responses to terrorist attacks.
The president plans to detail his ideas in a speech Thursday in Berlin, his first stop in a seven-day European tour in which he is expected to offer reassurances to anxious old allies while highlighting improving relations with Russia.
The warm greeting Mr. Bush is expected to receive at European capitals -- if not on the streets -- points to a striking atti-tudechange since the president's first European tour last June. Backthen, leaders from the Netherlands to Germany lined up to scoldthe new president on global warming, missile defense and whatthey saw as a general bent by the U.S. toward isolationism.
Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Bush White House has demonstrated with both the Afghanistan military campaign and thebroader antiterrorism drive a willingness to forge international coalitions to achieve global goals.
What's disconcerting for some European capitals, several expertssay, is that they aren't automatically included in the coa-litions."The old Western Europe gripe against the U.S. was arroganceand heavy-handedness," says Jeffrey Gedmin, direc-tor of theAspen Institute's Berlin office. "The new sting comes fromindifference: 'Don't you want us? Don't you need us? Don't you love us anymore?' "
National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice Monday said Mr.Bush would use the trip to "reaffirm the trans-Atlantic alli-ance"and "consult with some of our oldest friends and most importantallies." But evidence of fundamental shifts in U.S. foreign relationscan be found in Mr. Bush's itinerary.
While the president will make stops in Germany, France and Italy,his tour will be dominated by news of the warming U.S.relationship with Russia. The highlight of the trip will come inMoscow, where Mr. Bush and Russian President Vla-dimir Putinare set to sign a treaty aimed at significantly reducing eachnation's deployed nuclear weapons.
The president will also raise U.S. concerns about Russia's assistance in building nuclear-power plants in Iran, facilities White House advisers worry could be converted to other purposes. Also, Mr. Bush is expected to "consult" with Mr. Putin about the administration's desire to see Saddam Hussein removed as Iraq's president.
The White House is aware of the need to use the trip to ease concerns among traditional allies, and the president will get a close-up look at the tensions that have been building when he arrives in Germany Tuesday. More than 25 demonstra-tions are planned against his trip, and a fleet of buses is expected to deliver thousands of demonstrators to Berlin.
White House officials are taking the street protests in stride. "That's democracy," shrugged one senior official. And Ger-man government officials, who are repositioning 10,000 police officers for Mr. Bush's visit, are relieved that after skip-ping Germany on his first European trip, Mr. Bush is finally arriving.
An important part of the future alliance Mr. Bush will outline in his address to German lawmakers is improving the abil-ity of the U.S. and NATO to respond quickly to a crisis. Ms. Rice said the Pentagon had trouble "marrying up horses with 21st-century air power" as it launched military operations in Afghanistan. It took even longer to figure out what roles the U.S. allies should play. With defense budgets in Europe shrinking, Mr. Bush is expected to urge leaders to rethink how they spend their resources in light of the new threats.
But a single speech is unlikely to bridge the gap with Europe.
As the U.S. focuses less on Europe, the emotional ties of the past are weakening and the allies are continuing to struggle to redefine their relationship. "Berlin is no longer the front line of the Cold War," said Peter Rudolf, U.S. expert at Berlin's Science and Politics Foundation, a foreign-policy think tank. "And there is a feeling in Europe today that Europeans have no influence on American policies."
Really?? I'd have thought he'd be calling for restraint. Ooops.. the Euros are not Jews. They can defend themselves.
BTW, they have a poll showing "60 %" support Bush. I've seen here at FR spin from American writers saying the "public" in your parts dislikes him or US policies in wherever. What have you seen?
I can confirm the public here dislikes Bush and American politics. The general public can't stand Republican presidents and think the US is too bossy and interferes with everything, and this all for the oil.
But this was always the case, not just Bush connected. Reagan was really hated in Europe. Only Thatcher and me liked him I someimes think.
Clinton on the other hand is like a god, he didn't do anything wrong (except something with Monica) and he was the greatest president in a long while.
They even look suprised when I show them polls showing that Reagan is listed a top 3 presidents and clinton stands lower than both Bush and Bush jr.!