For a Change, Western Europe Doesn't Want to Change
While the Republican leadership in
The SDP can go back to being Socialists, although their total vote was the lowest since the second world war. They might try becoming more radically socialist, since the far left group, Die Linke, founded three years ago by former SDP Leader
But do the German people really want to move to the right, even though they want to keep Mrs. Merkel as chancellor -- whom they see as a solid value? She campaigned on a platform that said a center-right coalition is necessary to undo the damage caused by the global credit crash.
The Free Democrats' leader,
Moreover, her reelection certainly does not mean any increase in German government support for American wars, as dearly sought by
On that subject, whichever way
Generally, in the major European countries, people do not seem to be looking for major change, even if they are unenthusiastic about the governments they have. Probably more to the point, the left has run out of gas.
The French Socialist party is almost surely beyond salvation. Its long-established leaders hate one another, and together hate
How distant all this must appear from
But from backstage it is evident that this is sham, too:
It's a concession, but it could present an opportunity as well. While the move highlights the unhappy geography and tough political choices facing Central European leaders, it could also create an important opportunity to strengthen European security. The administration would do well to use this chance to try to encourage new and different relationships between the former Soviet bloc and Russia.
Puzzling & Dangerous U.S. Foreign Policy Comes to an End
President Barack Obama's cancellation of his predecessor's missile-defense scheme for Poland and the Czech Republic presumably brings to a close one of the least explicable and most dangerous American policy initiatives since the cold war officially ended.
(c) 2009 William Pfaff