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Tom Adkins - Contributor

Tom Adkins is Executive Publisher of and frequent financial commentator on Fox News. [go to Adkins index]

Dining With The Europeans
Munching gobbledy gook…

[Tom Adkins] 2/28/05

Condoleeza Rice made the rounds in Europe last week. After bread was broken and wine was drunk, Dr Rice was seen shaking a foreign minister's hand here, smiling at a European President there. Then, she announced that Americans and Europeans should start mending fences.

Maybe the brie was wonderful. And I'm sure the pate was excellent. But apparently, modern conservative diplomacy involves asking our Secretary of State to swallow some pretty rotten European cuisine.

Certainly, Dr. Rice knows her stuff. She spent a lifetime studying the world, and she's got plenty of experience dealing with these jokers. George W. Bush trusts her, and she's implementing his vision.

But something tells me that despite our diplomatic graciousness, we have missed a fantastic chance to set the world straight.

It's obvious to anyone whose brain pulses enough juice to twizzle a 25-watt bulb, that the Iraq war has effectively exposed a very corrupt European (and to some degree, American liberal) leadership. Willing to trade on anti-American jingoism for votes, the oil-for-food scandal has extended deeply across the globe, particularly into France, Germany, Russia and now Italy. Shell companies, brothers, sons, friends, back-slapping, inter-continental money laundering and Swiss bank accounts are cropping up like mushrooms in a manure closet. Up to their neck in stank, these nations refused to support America when the world had a golden chance, in fact a golden obligation, to free 28 million innocents from an evil Saddam Hussein and pry the greatest oil reserves from the hands of a madman into the free market. Instead, America has fought this fight without their corruption-hindered help.

Yet President Bush never took them to the woodshed. And he should have. America was in a very patriotic mood after 9-11 and Afghanistan. But the Iraq war has its nagging doubts, inspired by Old European resistance and domestic leftist abdication. Bush could have battered the Europeans into submission or embarrassment for their corruption. An exposed Europe would have been fabulous fodder in an election year, creating a large margin of reelection victory and pushing the increasingly bizarre Democrat party into obsolescence. Europeans would have been hard pressed to explain themselves. Bush would have emerged stronger. And after all, what did he have to lose? It's not like his good manners brought French soldiers rushing to the front lines of Fallujah.

Instead, look at the world map. Our army is stretched to the limit tackling terrorists in Iraq. Facing nothing more than a perpetually blathering contingent of German, British and French negotiators, a frisky Iran defiantly insults the world with their nuclear program. Syria is barely concerned as well. Saudi Arabia is a seething cauldron. And the North Korean nutcase is ranting again, admitting to a nuclear weapons cache.

It could have been different.

If Bush had opened the doors to European corruption and smacked them down for this shameful sell-out, the proposed fence-mending could have been done from an entirely different dynamic. Instead of Dr Rice offering the olive branch, Europeans would have come to the American table with an apology in hand, having been rendered untrustworthy global pimps.

The opportunity was lost.

And what an opportunity! Although Europe's own brush with totalitarian enslavement was beaten back with American blood, this disgusting lack of courage could have been trumpeted as nothing less than a complete moral and ethical sell-out. But the Europeans never paid the price for their insolence!

And what did we gain by sucking up? Nothing.

That can't be good for America. Will future potential allies now ride the diplomatic fence? Will untrustworthy "friends" seek further rewards for their corruption? Will future enemies be deterred? Encouraged? That's a lot of unanswered questions, balancing on a diplomatic razors edge.

A nice slap across the face would have done much good to put those corrupt nations in place.

But despite our polite deference, and no matter what Americans do, it seems Europeans still can't forgive Americans for saving them from the Nazis. Well, it's certainly European nature to cover up fascist goals and national corruption with pathological jingoism.

Meanwhile, Rice is flashing that humble charm, which always seems to make Europeans slobber. But the Bush Administration lost the chance to serve the meaty substance that slakes Americans hunger. We don't get the chance to dine like this very often. And we don't get the chance to make Europeans eat crow very often either. tRO

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