Kermit Snelson on Sun, 18 Aug 2002 11:41:35 +0200 (CEST)

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RE: <nettime> europa, usa, nettime (kagan)

> It would be better still if Europeans could move beyond
> fear and anger at the rogue colossus and remember, again,
> the vital necessity of having a strong America - for the
> world and especially for Europe.

This and other passages from Kagan's article, as well as his official Web
page [1], make it clear that Kagan is affiliated with the "hawk" faction
in the US foreign policy establishment.  The "conundrum" he observes in
US-EU relations is therefore less an observation than it is his own policy

Unilateral action by the US can indeed be justified only through a "double
standard", Kagan argues, but this double standard nevertheless constitutes
an "acceptable division."  The purpose of Kagan's article is to persuade
both Europeans and Americans that such an inequality of roles is both
desirable and necessary, and justified by cultural and historical

In fact, the "hawk" policies advocated by Kagan and his colleagues are
just as controversial within Bush's own Republican Party as they are
within the EU.  Today's lead story in the print edition of the _New York
Times_, for instance, reports that the idea of unilateral war on Iraq has
come under public attack from no less than Brent Snowcroft and Henry
Kissinger [2]. Snowcroft, amazingly enough, was the first President Bush's
national security adviser and is still part of the President's father's
inner circle. And only a few days ago, the current Bush administration
distanced itself from those in Kagan's ideological circles who had lobbied
the Pentagon to include Saudi Arabia in the "Axis of Evil."  Defense
Secretary Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Powell both made strong public
statements to the effect that the White House still views Saudi Arabia as
an ally.

I believe it's important for nettimers to recognize the context of Kagan's
argument, and therefore not to take it at face value.  Recent tensions in
US-EU relations do not stem from objective differences in the geopolitical
and cultural realities between the two regions, as Kagan argues, but
rather between ideological differences between Kagan's own foreign policy
faction and others currently in power.

Kermit Snelson


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