Coalition of the Unwilling

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), March 28, 2003 | Go to article overview

Coalition of the Unwilling


Byline: Viola Herms Drath, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

"Is it a revolt?" asked Louis XVI as angry rioters went rampaging through the boulevards. "No Sire," was the reply, "it's a revolution."

This exchange comes to mind in discussions about the rift between the United States and "Old Europe" that has widened over the war with Iraq. The Europeans are not just resenting the American power play, they are staging a virtual revolution against an ally who has infuriated them by upsetting their cherished balance of power.

Abetted by a politically compromised leadership in Germany, eager to divert attention from a severe economic crisis culminating in a staggering unemployment rate is 111/2 percent, a boost from Moscow and backed by the non-aligned bloc of 114 unwilling nations, the French are seizing this crucial moment to restore the power balance that once preserved the status quo.

There is no better barometer for the state of trans-Atlantic relations than the annual Munich Conference on Security Policy chaired by the scholarly Horst Teltschik, former Chancellor Helmut Kohl's trusted foreign affairs adviser. It was the forum outspoken Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and a delegation of high-powered senators had chosen to sell the American concept of a war against Iraq, with or without the support of its allies or the United Nations Security Council, to a generally skeptical elite from some 40, mostly European, countries.

There was little agreement. Questions about the administration's ulterior motives, above all the interest in oil by oilman George W. Bush and Co. and the troubling connection to Israel, took first place.

At the same time it became apparent that the perception of the deadly threat of the "new" terrorism, inflicted by al Qaeda, Hamas, the Taliban and other groups not interested in bargaining but in mass casualties, was not shared by many. The rationale being, perhaps, an assumption that the target of such attacks, most likely, would be the United States.

To be sure, the estrangement between Americans and Europeans not only concerns Iraq. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, differing worldviews and interests emerged as Europe began to examine the rationale for its traditional trans-Atlantic partnership in the context of its new European Union identity.

While there is a consensus about the threat posed by the murderous tyrant of Baghdad with terrorist ties, who has resisted demands for total disarmament for 12 years, differences became insurmountable about the ways and means to complete this risky mission that could destabilize the region and inflame the Muslim world.

Not to speak of the Bush administration's insistence on regime change that, according to French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin, is in conflict with the rules of international law.

The administration's timely response to the traumatic terrorist attack of September 11, 2001, that shaped President Bush's doctrine of preventive war as an alternative to Europe's failing containment practice, was rejected by the most influential allies. For the first time, Europe's finest openly chose to challenge American "cowboy" power politics that had them cut down to size. Not since European demonstrators marched against the war in Vietnam have anti-American hostilities been more intense.

Starting with the Paris-Berlin-Moscow axis to build a coalition of the unwilling, French Premier Jacques Chirac was quick to grasp the reins of the leaderless European Union to assert European independence and France's gloire by blocking American "colonial" aspirations. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Coalition of the Unwilling
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.