Thursday, November 21, 2002

Backhanded Compliment: Vaclav Havel's NATO speech is here. It's worth the reading. And he rolls out a defense of America's projection of power that goes like this:
Europe should perhaps remind itself, more than it has before, that the two greatest wars in the world's history to date grew on its soil from conflicts between European countries; and, that on both occasions it was the United States, which had no part in the outbreak of those conflicts, that eventually made the decisive contribution to the victory of the forces of freedom and justice. And more than that: Who knows whether Western Europe would have been able to hold its ground during the Cold War and withstand the Stalinist, or the Soviet or the Communist, expansion if it had not been backed by the immense potential of strength brought in by the United States … Looking back at all we have been through during the twentieth century … Europeans should be more conscious of the roots and the type of the American responsibility and, if necessary, show a certain amount of understanding for the occasional insensitivity, clumsiness or self-importance that may come with this responsibility.
Disappointed? Folks, this "you don't sweat much for a fat person" compliment is as good as it gets coming from a European head of state.

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