8:26 AM, Jul 11, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Matthew Continetti, writing for the Washington Free Beacon:
Clemens Wergin is something of a contrarian. A German editor of the Die Welt newspaper group, he often found himself defending American foreign policy against European criticism. He would chide his countrymen for neglecting their dependence on the U.S. armed forces. He would lampoon the European belief that moral grandstanding makes for a foreign policy. He would praise American leaders for having the courage to make costly decisions.
Then something funny happened. As Wergin wrote in a New York Times op-ed on July 8, he found himself increasingly unable to distinguish the rhetoric of Washington, D.C., from the rhetoric of Brussels. Last year, when the United States threatened military action against Syria, only to reverse itself overnight and become partners with the Assad government in the destruction of the tyrant’s declared stocks of chemical weapons, Wergin was struck by an insight. “I suddenly understood the problem with this American president and his foreign policy,” he wrote. “He sounded just like a German politician: all moral outrage, but little else to help end one of the most devastating civil wars of our age.” The recognition left him with a feeling not of elation but of disappointment. “President Obama, I thought with a sigh, has become a European.”
Become? In his policies and preferences, in his attitudes and worldview, Obama has always represented the European strain in American politics. We are talking here about the president who, as a candidate in 2008, made it a point to campaign in Berlin—a city more than familiar with mass rallies—and declare himself a “citizen of the world.” The president who, on the eve of his election, said, “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming America,” and made good on his promise with ambitious initiatives in health care, energy, and education that emulate the social democracies of Western Europe.
This is a president so beloved by European elites that he won a Nobel Peace Prize after a whole nine months in office. The president who returned to the German capital in 2013, quoting Kant at the Brandenburg Gate and invoking the “spirit of Berlin.” The president who, during a recent visit to the continent, devoted an evening to a dinner party with “interesting Italians,” and lamented the next day that he had to return to mundane matters such as protecting and defending the Constitution of the United States. Wergin’s revelation is old news. Barack Obama is as European as Lederhosen.
Whole thing here.
2:12 PM, May 27, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Going by the returns, the voters were weary of high unemployment, economic growth that it would be charitable to call “sluggish,” and a high-living, rule-writing bureaucratic elite enthralled by its own policymaking genius and inclined to dismiss critics as ignorant racists.
Italy tries someone new.Apr 28, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 31 • By MICHAEL LEDEEN
Italy has long been Europe’s political laboratory, having invented fascism, incubated eurocommunism, launched the postwar economic miracle, and brought the social democratic nanny state to ruin. Most Italians are very unhappy, as well they might be. Unemployment is at record highs (13 percent overall, the highest in the history of the measurement, while for 15-24-year-olds, it’s 42 percent). The cost of living, as anyone who has visited recently will know, is outrageously high, and more and more parents are telling their children to learn German or English and emigrate.
1:26 PM, Apr 15, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The crisis in Ukraine has not reached the dreaded point where it turns into a shooting war. And likely it will not. So we hear no urgent analysis of things like objectives, interior lines, unity of command, logistical staying power, the durability of alliances, and the other matters that have been the concern of European strategists since the days of Napoleon.
11:01 AM, Apr 13, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The situation in Ukraine continues to deteriorate, providing Russia with what it considers a case for intervention. As James Marson and Lukas I. Alpert of the Wall Street Journal report this morning:
12:02 PM, Apr 4, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
In late March, President Obama took a week-long trip through Europe which included a stop of less than 24 hours in Brussels, Belgium for meetings with the European Union and NATO.
3:46 PM, Mar 25, 2014 • By ELLEN BORK
General Secretary Xi Jinping of China is in Lyon, France today, the second stop on a European swing, his first trip there since taking over the leadership of China’s Communist party. He has already visited Amsterdam, where he met with President Obama. After France, including a visit to Paris, Mr. Xi will continue on to Germany and Belgium.
Iranian success in European courtrooms. Feb 24, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 23 • By ANDREW SOUTHAM and TED R. BROMUND
In a recently leaked private phone call, an EU foreign policy official, Helga Schmid, grumbled to the EU’s ambassador to Kiev that it was “very annoying” that the United States had criticized the EU for being “too soft” to impose sanctions on Ukraine. Criticism may be annoying, but EU softness is a fact of life, and the transatlantic trouble over sanctions goes beyond Ukraine. For the past year, British and European Union sanctions against Iran have faced a string of legal challenges and lost nearly every round.
1:17 PM, Feb 11, 2014 • By JULIANNE DUDLEY
At today’s press conference with French president François Hollande, a member of the French press asked President Obama whether France had replaced Great Britain as America’s closest ally.
President Obama chuckled and responded, “I have two daughters and they are both gorgeous and wonderful. I would never choose between them. And that's how I feel about my outstanding European partners. All of them are wonderful in their own ways."
Some gloomy reflections on the presidential conscience. Jan 13, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 17 • By EDWARD ALEXANDER
In his ponderously titled book Contributions to the Correction of the Public’s Judgement Concerning the French Revolution (1793), the German philosopher and political leader Johann Gottlieb Fichte took time out from his defense of the Reign of Terror to compose what has been called by Daniel Johnson “the most notorious footnote in history.” It warned his German countrymen of the Jewish menace in their midst. The Jews, he told them, constituted “a state within a state. . . .
Obama annoys Europe.Dec 30, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 16 • By TOD LINDBERG
Apparently relations between the United States and Europe are actually maturing. How else to account for the singular absence of transatlantic crisis-mongering over the many, many ways in which the Obama administration has annoyed our allies in Europe?
Euthanasia activists are on a roll. Dec 30, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 16 • By WESLEY J. SMITH
Advocates of assisted suicide tell two—no, three—lies that act as the honey to help the hemlock go down. The first is that assisted suicide/euthanasia is a strictly medical act. Second, they falsely assure us that medicalized killing is only for the terminally ill. Finally, they promise that strict guidelines will be rigorously enforced to protect against abuse.
Victorino Matus, Sabbath shopper
Nov 18, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 10 • By VICTORINO MATUS
The Good Book tells us “God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it He rested from all the work He had done in creation.” What biblical scholars cannot tell us, however, is precisely how God spent his Sunday. Did He go for a run? Read the paper while sipping on a venti macchiato at Starbucks?