February 14, 2006
Fareed Zakaria, the erudite IR scholar-pundit often seen on ABC, comments on the "Cartoon War" in the context of long-term demographic and economic trends in Europe. Upshot: downhill. The failure of European countries to resist and contain Muslim extremists is only a symptom of a deeper problem. The failure of governments in Europe to make any attempt to reform their protectionist agricultural trade policies, and the deep reluctance to modify the cushy welfare entitlements bode ill for the continent's ability to compete in the 21st Century global market. Zakaria speculates on the implications for the world if Europe continues to wane in importance: Political power would become more diffuse, making norms (such as nuclear non-proliferation) harder to enforce. On the plus side (for use), the U.S. dollar would remain the default reserve asset for global financiers, which would be good for us -- well, good for American tourists and investors, at least. See Washington Post. I would like to hear what Europhiles such as Charles Kupchan think about this.
I try hard not to get worked up about the rantings and insults spewed forth by big mouths, but Ann Coulter's use of the foul epithet raghead last Friday has had one positive effect: It spurred Glenn Reynolds to express his sentiments in a multi-paragraph blog post! Like me, he is not particularly fond of her abrasive style either.