Friday, August 15, 2008

Bad News for PS

A new CSA/Marianne poll confirms the consensus view that, unpopular as Sarkozy may be, the PS is not seen as a credible alternative by voters.

The End of Europe?

Forget the Irish "no." Forget the Constitutional Treaty and its mini-treaty reincarnation. The real threat to Europe has become glaringly apparent with the awakening of the hibernating Russian bear. The visceral reaction of the former East Bloc countries is--comprehensibly enough--different from the reaction in Western Europe. And the United States, at least under the current administration, is not reluctant to exploit this difference. Under pressure of the latest crisis, the US and Poland have agreed on the placement of antimissile radar in Poland.

I was therefore too optimistic the other day when I said that Sarkozy's role in negotiating a cease-fire in the Georgia conflict indicated that Europe now had a foreign policy. The Georgia crisis will abate, but the Russia problem will remain. Europe has no solution to it, and the United States seems happy to keep it unresolved, indeed to work assiduously to widen the fissures in the European Union. Sarkozy's statement that there is near-identity of views with United States on the Georgia question may be true in the ultra-short term, but in the medium and long run there are significant differences, and it will be a test of Sarkozy's maturity as a maker of foreign policy whether he can find a constructive way to articulate them.