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Christopher

Bush's recent stands have been helped with a more friendly dipolmatic relations with Europe but also one cannot discount the help of Rice and Gates to help move away from Cheney like action.

Steevo

I can't help to believe for many leaders global warming is a holier-than-thou attitude. If they actually believe this is a serious man-made phenomena they need to get their own house in order first. They have not.

I'm glad Merkel and especially Sarkozy are there instead of their predecessors. Sarkozy is more bold and genuine pro-American but they both will be severely limited in what they can accomplish because of their media and public perceptions toward America. Substantial improvement can seem all but hopeless to me because of the distortion, ignorance and negativity. I don't care for Brown, I don't have much respect for the man. He's a political animal with his finger in the wind still not getting it. But he's no George Galloway and given the deep resentments bred into the Brit psyche over 'poodle-dog' Blair it could be worse. And I question how much the troop withdrawal from southern Iraq has irritated the Bush administration because this has been planned for quite some time now and its become clear there has not been a strategic fallout, where it counts, on the ground. Our relationship I believe is better with those troops out of there completely.

Andy

These are encouraging signs, but my concern is that Europe simply does not have what it takes to share the kinds of burdens (eg Afghanistan) that the US takes on. I think it is debatable whether Europe has the resources and inclination to pay for any kind of serious partnership role.

To me Europe's most immediate weakness it its economic decline. None of the main European countries seem to have really cracked the problem of economic reform: heavy tax burdens for businesses, excessive regulation and restrictive labour laws. Europe's GDP per head is now 25% below America's. It has been estimated that the average US citizen in 20 years will be twice as better off than the average French or German.

Population growth and fertility rates in Europe, Italy and Spain in particular have declined alarmingly, Britain being an exception. I mention this because large, young populations are better at raising armies and it is also linked to economic decline.

My point is this, if Europe wants more say in things like NATO they need to be prepared to pay for it, and I don't think they are. America I think has always recognised the link between power and responsibility, while Europe simply wants power for its own sake.

Malcolm Dunn

Irwin Selzer v disappointed with the Brown speech with Brown's pie in the sky thoughts about reforming Nato, the UN,G8 etc.None of which has the slightest chance of happening.
Selzer though lost me completely when he started heaping praise on Sarkozy and claiming that the Foreign Office were 'shocked' by Sarkozy's reception in Washington.
Why should we be shocked? America's diplomats are not fools, the will judge Sarkozy by his deeds not his words and to date France has done nothing. When that changes and France rejoins Nato and puts combat troops into Afghanistan for example then Sarkozy can be taken seriously,not before.

Frogg, USA

Oh, I don't know. All three leaders are talking against anti-Americanism. And, all three leaders have recently made some pretty strong statements to put further pressure on Iran (in support of Bush). What more could we want?

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