January 18, 2006

Who Does Krauthammer Hate More - Iran or Europe?

Now Charles Krauthammer is well known for columns that border somewhere between the inane and nonsensical - but even for him, this is a doozy.

He thinks Europeans are weak-willed whiners who ... well, what exactly? He spends the whole time decrying Europe's actions (though a reasonable case can certainly be made that Europe's actions have slowed-down Iran's nuclear development) and agitating about what the Europeans REALLY want (quite the crystal ball he has - or maybe, like a couple of Republican senators, he can diagnose their internal problems from afar), and getting mad that they won't back sanctions (why should they when it's abundantly clear that it's impossible for workable sanctions that won't have a crippling economic impact on the world to be achieved), but in terms of what he wants them to do ... well, I guess he's mad that they won't sign on to the approach of Team Bush. But of course the approach of Team Bush (to the degree there is one) is completely unworkable. And why, all of a sudden is Krauthammer seemingly thinking that the Europeans should take the lead on a grave matter of international security? I don't recall him thinking that should be the case in other matters involving terrorist-supporting states possibly going nuclear. Shouldn't he expect the US to be doing something? If you are as worked up over this issue as Krauthammer is, should it be the lack of American action that's the outrage? After all, we are the superpower.

It's really rather sad that the Washington Post continues to employ a guy who huffs and puffs but really has so little to say beyond making (sometimes unfounded) insulting comments against those he dislikes. But given what both their editorial and op-ed pages look like sometimes, maybe they've just expanded the Funnies and forgotten to reindex the pages.

Posted by armand at January 18, 2006 09:15 AM | TrackBack | Posted to International Affairs


i like krauthammer. slinging insults at people he dislikes? are you talking about maureen dowd?

Posted by: at January 18, 2006 04:11 PM | PERMALINK

I'm talking about (probably) over half of his columns - but in terms of this one, I'm talking about the leaders of Western Europe. He complains about their actions without 1) proposing any workable solution of his own, 2) noting that the European approach has likely at least bought us some time or 3) noting that the US has many of the same interests and concerns as the Europeans on this matter. It's hardly only the Europeans who feel constrained by the hold that Iran's oil has over the international economy. If he's going to claim that that makes them weak-willed, well, then the US is weak-willed for exactly the same reason. It's really easy for us to push for sanctions when we know perfectly well they won't be implemented. If it was actually possible to implement then in a really strong way I have my doubts about whether we'd really pursue that (sure to fail) tactic.

[Btw, this reminds me of the early Clinton policy on the Balkans back in the Lift and Strike days - it's a lot easier to advocate tough action and retribution when you know perfectly well that situational constraints (usually other big countries) make it impossible to actually carry out the policy.]

I mean if the goal is simply to bash on international players who'll block international sanctions - why pick on Europe more than China? Or if his goal is to blame governments for not taking more forceful action earlier - well, he could just as easily blame the Bush administration.

And on top of all that, his language tends to trend towards the insulting and demeaning. So - that's what I meant.

Posted by: Armand at January 18, 2006 04:24 PM | PERMALINK

Why does he hate Europe so much? Because he thinks Europe hates Israel.

Posted by: at January 18, 2006 06:37 PM | PERMALINK
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