Just when you think you understand the dynamics of an ever-changing Eastern Europe, you come across this story about a tiny breakaway republic called Transdniester (I kid you not.)
If the name sounds unfamiliar, that is because, officially,
Transdniester does not exist. Despite introducing its own currency,
stamps, passports and border posts since its war for independence
from Moldova in 1991, this strip of country sandwiched between
Moldova and Ukraine is recognised as a state by no other country in
Now, however, after 16 years of diplomatic limbo, the land
sometimes referred to as "Europe's Cuba" is finally
achieving prominence on the international stage - as a pawn in
Moscow's renewed bid for influence on Europe's old Cold
And so, Sarkozy won. Sarko the American, his detractors call him because of his unabashed admiration of our dear, fruited plain. He now joins Germany's Merkel, Britain's Brown, Mexico's Calderon and Canada's Harper in that group of recently-elected world leaders who generally support American policies.
When you add in Australia, Japan, Poland, the Czech Republic, and India, it becomes increasingly clear that the United States is not at all isolated in the world and removes one of the Democrats' favorite campaign themes. They'll still try to bang that old pot, though, you can be sure. But trying to drum up votes by citing Spain, Russia and Venezuela's dislike of Bush won't likely have the same clout. Pity.
In another election that hasn't been widely-reported over here, the Scottish Nationalist Party has won the majority of seats in Scotland's parliament. A majority which will likely break up the 300 year old United Kingdom by declaring Scottish independence.
So, you think that European anti-Americanism is a recent phenomenon? Caused by Bush probably? One of Jay Nordlinger's readers knows different.
I distinctly remember as a short-trousered grade-schooler in Paris during the first half of the 1950s passing “US = SS!” and “Yankee Go Home!” (my fondest wish!) signs, and absorbing anti-American insults and threats (“A mort les ’ricains!” — “Death to the Americans!”) and receiving the occasional missile from nearby French construction workers on my way into the American School of Paris, which was then located in the Communist-controlled suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt. This was at a time when the so-reviled George W. Bushwas naught but a similar grade-school scamp, albeit in Texas, and occurred a scant dozen years after we’d liberated the swine, and lost a half million of our best and bravest in the process. It only served to puff me up with pugnacious patriotic pride then, and it still does.
The French have always been insufferable -- it's nothing new.
Ségolène Royal, France's answer to Hillary Clinton, has announced her platform a scant 10 weeks before the election. Now, while Hillary won't likely ever announce any platform at all, even she would be left mouth-agape at the leftist slant of Royal's.
Ségolène Royal, the presidential candidate of the Socialist Party, on Sunday unveiled a long-awaited, 100-proposal platform, veering sharply to the left on economic policy while also stressing discipline and traditional values.
Ten weeks before elections, Royal is hoping to reverse a slide in popularity that has seen her lose ground to her main challenger, Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy.
In a two-hour speech to about 10,000 supporters north of Paris, she pledged to raise pensions, increase the minimum wage to €1,500, or about $2,000, a month and guaranteed a job or further training to every youth within six months of graduating. She also said randomly selected citizens' juries would watch over government policy and that juvenile delinquents could be placed in educational camps run by the military.
As if to preempt her opponents on the right, she stressed throughout her speech that her ideas had been nourished in 6,000 debates with citizens throughout France, a method she has called "participative democracy."
Look for France to elect Sarkozy (right-wing even by American standards.) By the end of the year, George Bush will have a French ally. Will John Kerry then shut up? Only his gut knows for sure.