posted on Mar, 20 2005 @ 06:06 PM
The Quartet in Paris: searching for a counterbalance to America?
"Europe's Trio" - France, Germany and Russia - is becoming a Quartet. French President Jacques Chirac invited not only Chancellor Schroeder and
President Putin to the March 18 summit in Paris, but also Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, the prime minister of Spain.
In the past few years, the Trio met to the sounds of bombing in Iraq as a united group that condemned the war and worried over America's disdain for
international law. In this sense, the addition of Spain looks logical. The coming to power of a new Social-Democratic government radically changed
Madrid's attitude to the Iraq war, promoted the pullout of Spanish troops, and paved Mr. Zapatero's way to the European Trio.
The background for the four-party summit in Paris will differ from the situation in which previous three-party meetings were held. The four leaders'
criticism of the Iraq war (and U.S. conduct in the world at large) has been confirmed by the events of the past months. Despite the publicized success
of the Iraqi election, the U.S. is bogged down there and the withdrawal of its 150,000 troops has been put off for an indefinite time. None of the
four European leaders, including Vladimir Putin, can imagine Bush spending his second term on one more military adventure. It is one thing to threaten
Syria and Iran, but a completely different to send troops there.
So Europe's leaders are clearly torn apart by the US. While Great Britain and Italy are more than eager to please Bushe's foreign policies, the Trio
opposese the U.S. world wide military adventure. Probably worst nightmare for an average American republican patriot: France, Russia and Germany
togather in a pact, now with help by Spain. Are they strong enough to confront even the mightiest of them all?
America knows what this can lead to. And the four leaders in Paris will most probably note with satisfaction Washington's recent U-turn on Iran's
nuclear program. For months Moscow, Paris and Berlin have sought to secure a diplomatic solution to the problem, whereas the U.S. continued to
threaten Iran with a repetition of Iraq. Washington changed tactics right after Bush's recent European tour. Displaying unexpected generosity, it has
offered Iran economic benefits in return for abandoning its alleged nuclear weapons program. One of the benefits is a real gift - it is a pledge not
to protest against Iran's accession to the WTO, which the U.S. has been preventing for a decade.
[edit on 20/3/05 by Souljah]