Walking quietly pass casual mentions of the "disasters" in Iraq and Afghanistan, the coming humiliating losses in those wars and how our torture regime besmirches eastern Europe, the argument seems to be that eastern Europe likes America more than western Europe. As a result of western Europe's dislike, however, America (we're apparently also geographically ignorant) will not come to the aid of eastern Europe when its abandoned by western Europe.
The heart of the argument comes at the end:
Yet, if the Atlantic bonds do weaken, the ex-captive nations will suffer the most. It was America that got them into NATO, and it is America that looks out for them now, much more so than nearer but less friendly countries such as Germany. Any suggestion that the east Europeans can rely on the European Union to stick up for them against Russian bullying is, on current form, laughable.Of course, deploying the Cruise and Pershing missiles in the face of demonstrations by the idiot European masses was instrumental in bringing down the USSR. And now that there is no USSR, it's not entirely clear what NATO is guarding against. What crisis would follow today from the US and the EU disbanding NATO that is in any comparable to continental communist hegemony? Exactly why should we care if the EU is subject to Russian (non-military) bullying?
New radar gear and rocket interceptors planned for the Czech Republic and (probably) Poland will probably not do much to change this, You do not strengthen an alliance by pressing on your allies weapons that their public does not want. Helmut Schmidt, Germany's chancellor 20 years ago, thought that having Cruise and Pershing missiles in western Europe would make America’s nuclear guarantee more credible. Instead, it cast America as the warmonger in the minds of the muddle-headed, and stoked peacenikery throughout Europe.
Barring an unlikely success in Afghanistan or Iraq, the strains on the Atlantic alliance will grow in the years ahead. The rivets have long been popping. Now great girders, such as Italy, are twisting and buckling. It was public anti-Americanism that brought down Romano Prodi’s government last week. Old Kremlin hands who remember how hard they once tried to destroy NATO must have trouble believing that the job is being done so well for them now by the alliance’s own leaders.
If any commentors can come up with an explanation of this essay that renders it coherent, I would be appreciative. But it seems to me that its incoherence follows from the incoherence at the heart of the European Union experiment. Is Europe one, or is it not? The author here switches paragraph by paragraph -- sometimes line by line -- between the two alternatives. Part of Europe likes America. Part of Europe hates America. America likes part pro-America Europe more than it likes the other part and more than the anti-America Europe likes the pro-America Europe. Because of the anti-American part, America will turn its back on Europe as a whole or Europe, following anti-America Europe, will reject America. As a result, pro-America Europe will suffer more than anti-America Europe.
See what I mean: incoherent.