6:45 PM, Jul 23, 2014
• By GEOFFREY NORMAN
As John T. Bennett of Defense News reports, perplexity is the theme in Washington today. Everyone, it seems, is waiting for Europe. From Nancy Pelosi who said that President Obama had "taken the lead on sanctions" in the hope that the Europeans would "enthusiastically follow suit,” to General Barry McCaffrey who wonders “Where are the British? Where are the French? Where are the Germans?” And
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright calls it “stunning” that Europe “has moved so slowly” on responding to Russia’s invasion and contested annexation of part of Ukraine, as well as the airliner shoot down.
Stunning? Or merely rational?
One suspects that European nations will to what they believe is in their self-interest. Which means that they will ask themselves if they have more to fear from Russia or the United States. Most of those nations have been unwilling to spend that percentage of GDP that NATO considers sufficient on military readiness even though post-Soviet Russia is still militarily formidable. Economically, sanctions can cut both ways. And, then, Russia does supply Europe with a lot of its energy.
Europe has a fairly nice thing going with Russia. As, for instance, the French who are doing well building ships for Russia’s navy.
The French people, it should be noted, seem okay with that but they have taken to the streets in Paris to set things on fire as a way of expressing their feelings about …
Israel and the Jews.
Which, sadly, is not so “stunning."