US Secretary of State Colin Powell has said that trans-Atlantic divisions over the US-led war on Iraq were a thing of the past and the United Nations would play a vital role in that country's future.The UN will play a vital role in the rebuilding of Iraq? The differences over Iraq were over means, not ends? Powell's statements are complete and utter BS. France and Germany's anti-US position was a vote for impotence in the face of a bloody dictators. And remember all those stupid protests in Europe where the US was portrayed as worse than Iraq? That's about as big a difference as one can fathom.
Most of Powell's speech went to praising ties between the United States and the EU and within the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.
"We are driven forward by common values," he said, "and when we disagree it is usually over means rather than the ends."
After the fall of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) last month, Powell said France would "pay a price" for leading opposition to the war in the UN Security Council.
But in his speech he explicitly mentioned neither France nor the other prominent EU critic, Germany. Instead, he said "honest, open, rigorous debate" was a virtue and "we should never seek agreement for agreement's sake."
The closest he came to criticising them was when he congratulated Eastern European candidate members of the EU who supported the war, "rather than sit back and be intimated and silent".
Powell repeated what he had told reporters at the United Nations earlier: that the United States would present a draft resolution on Iraq to other Security Council members this week.
"The United States has every expectation that the United Nations will play a vital role," he said, without giving details.
Why is Colin Powell throwing these people bones? Talk about moral appeasement. And you know what, I blame President Bush. There is no reason for the US to be kissing the asses of our European foes. Contempt for France and Germany in the US remains at unprecedented levels. The President needs to reign Powell in and have the courage to say that the US judges both principle and deeds in deciding who its allies are.
I can't help but wonder if this is all designed for soccer moms, who hate conflict of any stripe. Sure, we hate our European foes, and we will quitely act against them, but publicly, it's all nicey nice. I can't imagine anyone outside of the US respecting such a policy.