China Incident Brings Out Schizophrenia in U.S. Say Europeans

China Incident Brings Out Schizophrenia in U.S. Say

The recent standoff with China is just the latest in a series of
events that highlight a schism within the Bush administration over
its approach to international relations. And Europeans are worried,
reports Paolo Pontoniere of New California Media

‘Some in the administration — Secretary of State Colin Powell and
National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice — seem to represent
business interests, as they labor to normalize relations with
Russia and China,’ Pontoniere writes. ‘Meanwhile, the right-wing
ideologues — personified by Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld — strive to establish a new American
global hegemony.’

In his April 10 article (just prior to the peaceful resolution of
the China standoff) Pontoniere surveyed the editorial pages of
European newpapers from Spain to Russia and found several common
themes. First, that Europeans believe the conflict within the Bush
administration drove the President to make ‘hurried and unrealistic
demands of China: for example, that the American crew should be
released immediately — or else,’ and demonstrates a ‘troublesome
willingness to act unilaterally’ in international affairs.

Europeans are also concerned ‘that America’s international focus
has permanently shifted from Europe to the Pacific,’ Pontoniere
adds. A growing rift in US-EU relations has become particularly
clear in light of the administration’s lack of response to recent
Russian overtures to the EU, and Bush’s decision last week not to
send American peacekeepers to Macedonia, which was widely perceived
as a signal that the US is sticking Europeans ‘with the burden of
putting together the pieces of America’s failed policy in the
— Leif Utne
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