LOSING EUROPE – AGAIN

The best news for the U.S. in a long time in Europe was the defeat of Gerhard Schroder in the recent German elections. Finally, the U.S. had a new Chencellor in a critical country in central Europe, eager to repair relations. And on the first trip to greet her, what does the U.S. secretary of state have to do? She has to spend almost her entire time dealing with suspicion, even among pro-American Europeans, that the U.S. lies and covers up detainee abuses usually found in dodgy autocracies. Here’s a pro-American British Tory:

“It’s clear that the text of the speech was drafted by lawyers with the intention of misleading an audience,” Andrew Tyrie, a Conservative member of Parliament, said … Parsing through the speech, Mr. Tyrie pointed out example after example where, he said, Ms. Rice was using surgically precise language to obfuscate and distract. By asserting, for instance, that the United States does not send suspects to countries where they “will be” tortured, Ms. Rice is protecting herself, Mr. Tyrie said, leaving open the possibility that they “may be” tortured in those countries.

Read the European press. If this is the view of the pro-Americans, you can imagine the field day the anti-American left is having with this stuff. What this administration is succeeding in doing is deepening an already profound gulf between European democracies – especially their electorates – and the U.S. We cannot win the war on terror without their full cooperation and trust. We are throwing both away by our torture policies. Pass the McCain Amendment. No deals. No retroactive immunity for the criminals who sanctioned torture or those who carried it out. Just a return to American honor – and a process of accountability for every official who helped make torture U.S. policy.

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