Anne Applebaum: the disaster in Iraq has hurt Old Europe's credibility
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This muddled column by the Washington Post's Anne Applebaum stands as a shining testament to the Beltway pundit corps' myopic view of world politics.
Shorter Applebaum: All those countries that opposed the invasion of Iraq? They're looking mighty dumb right now.
On the day James Baker's Iraq report was published, I gritted my teeth and waited for the well-earned, long-awaited, Franco-German "Old Europe" gloat to begin. I didn't wait long. "America Faces Up to the Iraq Disaster" read a headline in Der Spiegel. In the patronizing tones of a senior doctor, Le Monde diagnosed the "political feverishness" gripping Washington in Baker's wake. Suddeutsche Zeitung said the report "stripped Bush of his authority," although Le Figaro opined that nothing Baker proposed could improve the "catastrophic state" of Iraq anyway.
So, the European papers got it right -- especially Le Figaro .
And then, for two weeks . . . silence. If there are politicians, academics or journalists anywhere in Germany and France who have better ideas about how to improve the catastrophic state of Iraq, they aren't speaking very loudly.
Here we have the Beltway pundit's fervent rationalism; a limitless faith that if the West can only get the policy right, there's a pot 'o' gold at the end of the rainbow.