Monday, June 27, 2005

Schadenfreude

Remember that phase of the 2004 presidential elections when Senator John Kerry was promising that he would restore America's relations with Europe? Now it's a year later and there are signs that Europe might be looking for new leadership to restore their relations with America. An interesting example is this Fox News report about German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's visit to the White House:
The two leaders also discussed Germany's campaign for its own seat on the U.N. Security Council. Bush suggested that the United Nations needs to adopt broad reforms before dealing with the Security Council. The United States has been noncommittal about the idea of a German seat, although Washington is supporting a seat for Japan. "We oppose no country's bid for the Security Council," the president said.

Schroeder said there might be differences between the United States and Germany on the timing of expanding the Security Council. But he said he was "happy to hear there was no opposition to Germany, as such" becoming a permanent member of the council.
Given that the United Nations is in the middle of the most damaging scandal in its history, Bush's position of "let's wait for broad reform at the U.N. first" sounds like diplomatic shorthand for "no frickin' way, dude". On the other hand, support for a permanent German Security Council seat would make a nice present for the relatively pro-American conservative opposition that is leading Schroeder by 17 points in the latest polling.

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