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Chirac, Not Blair, is the Choice to Lead Europe
June 27, 2003
By Joseph D. Johnson

You might not have heard about it, but there's been a leap in popularity for the French.

Don't do a double-take. I'm talking about outside of America, and especially within the borders of the European continent.

Europeans are a bit irked, now that it's obvious that the Bush-Blair junta's intelligence on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was false, or at the very least, wholly inaccurate. It's understandable how one could be less than jubilant at the loss of thousands of lives for an intelligence glitch.

George W. Bush's credibility is declining, but Tony Blair's fate could be quite worse. His popularity ratings have tanked. With no WMD's found and not even a Saddam Hussein corpse to show for it, Britons are feeling more than ever that they were bullied into the war by Blair for mostly bureaucratic reasons.

They, of course, are right.

Europe didn't like Blair's support of Bush in the first place. Now, that the partnership is appearing to be totally fruitless, Mr. Blair's influence has waned. Recent polls boast France's Jacques Chirac bolting ahead of Blair in approval ratings throughout the Continent.

Chirac, along with the German leadership, stood against Bush, Colin Powell and that administration's bullying influence on the United Nations. Now, because of their defiance, Russia's Vladimir Putin continues to grow bolder in the face of American authority. Recently, Putin openly refused to discontinue his nuclear relationship with new U.S. Public Enemy No. 1, Iran.

The Chirac Plan for Europe differs greatly from the plan of PM Blair. Chirac wants Europe to be a check on American supremacy, while Blair wants Europe to aid and assist current U.S. dominance and reap the rewards.

Most Americans would favor the Blair plan. However, if the Chirac Plan was in effect, we may have saved countless lives in the unnecessary Iraqi conflict.

No matter how you feel about the Bush Administration domestically, you must admit errors have been made on the international front. And to just give George W. the keys to the world kingdom, with only rogue nations, radicals and terrorists as checks, paints a frightening future.

The silver lining in the American-Russian Cold War was that there was always a check in place if one of the two super-powers decided to get a little too dastardly. Neither country wanted an all-out war, so government war hawks on both sides were understandably cautious before any aggressive international move.

Arguably, China has become what the U.S.S.R. was to America. But Europe seeks super-power status. They aren't completely flagrant with their ambitions, but with the formation of the European Union and several other leaps toward European unity, it's obvious that division and mediocrity aren't the future aim of European elites.

Britain is the obvious choice as leader. But they've resisted. Hell, they still haven't switched to the Euro currency. Blair, a huge proponent of European unity, would have made the natural leader; the man who wooed the British into coming to the party. But with Blair losing credibility among Europeans and his own citizenry, the gap between Britain and the Europe mainland has become more disparate, therefore placing France and Germany in the driver seat of the New Europe.

Conservative pundits in the United States lambasted those European voices of dissent, before the war. They wailed on France and Germany, appointing Blair's Great Britain as the leaders of the New Europe. France and Germany were the "old" Europe. This was their final bid at staking their claim of leadership for Europe and it was a failure. Move on, get out. All hail the Bush-Blair union. However, as often happens, these pundits barbs' are proving to be the opposite of what is really happening.

Blair's unilateral support of the Bush Administration in the Middle East, may have gained him some points with American conservatives, but unfortunately for the British prime minister, they aren't the ones that sign his checks. The more liberal majority of Britain feel betrayed and are feverishly eating at Blair's left ankle, while the British conservatives feast on the right.

This being said, Europe is unfortunate to lose such a mind as Blair's. This just proves one giant pitfall on the International landscape can be career suicide.

Fortunately for Chirac, his risky rebellion may make his legacy as the first leader of the world's newest superpower.

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