Bush, Blair versus Chirac, SchroederThe Economist debate at the Hayfestival between John Micklethwait, Christopher Hitchens, Roy Hattersley, Mark Leonard, hosted by Jon Snow is a lot of fun. They're debating whether, "History will be kinder to Bush and Blair than to Chirac and Schroeder?"
For one thing, as an American, it is just astounding to listen to this proud defense of the idealization of the emasculation of European power by Mark Leonard. One knows about this kind of thinking, of course. But it still boggles the brain to hear people professing it as their creed. And with such pride. And hope. And delighted vision into the future.
For another thing, listening to Hitchens defend Bush and his vision on the War on Terror always warms the cockles of my heart. John Mickelthwait wasn't bad either, but his support of Bush did have various reservations. He clearly despises the man, and in most every way but Iraq, he's seems sympathetic to the other side. His reluctance is rather palpable.
Mickelthwait did point out, however, quite intelligently in the wrap up that this European position of emasculated power – well he didn't refer to it that way – this ceding of military strength leaves the US in the default position of having to mop up the problems in the world. At which point, the same people turn around and blame the crudeness of US power on the US; but of course, they've already relinquished their own position.
As a diplomatic position, it hardly seems sensible, though.
Hat tip: Stephen Pollard