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Can Europe rise to Obama's challenge?

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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:59 PM
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Can Europe rise to Obama's challenge?

Can Europe rise to Obama's challenge?




My interpretation of this inaugural address was not that it was Obama telling America and the world what he was going to do. Rather it was of Obama subtly telling the world - its peoples and its states - what they themselves should be doing. The world is broken, was his message, but I can give you the frame of mind to help you fix your part of it.

That message is a challenge and in particular a challenge to the European Union. Our traditions and our collective interests in the world overlap those of the United States to a high degree. Europeans found many actions of the Bush Presidency hard to accept - but Obama offers an agenda, spelt out before a crowd of 200,000 in Berlin long before he became President, that might have been drafted on this side of the Atlantic - an agenda multilateralist in tone, inclusive and oriented towards human rights and sustainability.

On all the major issues, economics, climate, sustainability, conflict, proliferation, human rights, social justice, the rule of law, liberty, his US agenda is our European agenda. It's up to us now whether we accept his approach, his frame of mind. If he asks Europe for more troops for Afghanistan it is not to win some barren ideological conflict: it is for the deeper purpose of stopping evil men shooting schoolteachers and throwing acid in the faces of young girls who want an education.

Will Europe respond? Can Europe respond? The Obama agenda seems to be saying that we owe to ourselves the duty of resolving our differences and defending those liberties we jointly adhere to, while at the same time marching in step with the US towards the wider goals we share.

This is not the time for Europe and the United States to pursue independent paths, still less for Europe to vacillate. We shall achieve more if we act collectively and decisively to strengthen the transatlantic partnership. Yes we can' does not have to be a uniquely American message. Europe, too, can be a part of that great global we.' But it will require a conscious and determined action on Europe's part. Nobody in these times of crisis and danger can afford to be too precious about their sovereignty.

The writer is an independent commentator on European affairs
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:07 PM
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1. Perfect! Time to get on board, EU! Stop the shilly shallying, you're grown ups.
Get real and get behind Obama. This is your chance to make a deep impression on the world as being a force for good, esp. in the peace loving Arab world.

C'mon. Just do it. Si se puede!
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BanTheGOP Donating Member (596 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 01:09 AM
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2. Europe has been the equivalent of a lost child...
...wandering the streets looking for his parent for the past 8 years. With no clarity or ability to perform for itself in a world where the republicanized street gangs pimped the streets, the child had no chance. Once Barack Obama took over, suddenly the child has a protectorate and a direction.

In short, Europe now can fend its way because there is no more destructive family breakups. Barack Obama is the person that has single-handedly saved the planet from the scourge of republicans. He is, in fact, the greatest American in history to this point.
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