Der Spiegel has a contrarian piece on its Web site which interprets the nominations Bolton to the United Nations and Wolfowitz to the World Bank as a sign that tne neocons are no longer in charge inside the Bush administration:
Die Personalien Wolfowitz und Bolton könnten eine eigenwillige Interpretation dieses Versprechens sein: Bush besetzt die Schaltstellen internationaler Politik mit seinen härtesten Vertretern. Doch mit der Freude der "Neocons" könnte es schnell vorbei sein.
Die Besetzung zweier wichtiger außenpolitischer Posten mit ihren Anhängern lässt sich zwar als Erfolg sehen. Der Preis dafür ist jedoch hoch, denn ihr Einfluss im Zentrum der Macht, in Washington, schrumpft beträchtlich.
Spiegel sees Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice strengthening her hand and fostering the emergence of a new "realism" in US foreign policy. I think this view is overly optimistic. Dick Cneney has always been in charge of foreign policy direction, and there is not a shred of evidence that he has lossened the reins.
Meanwhile, the neocons continue their relentless attack on the European Union. The neocon Bible National Review has a piece (subscription required) by David Pryce-Jones where the EU is seen as a reincarnation of the Soviet Union - The EUSSR.:
For anyone even remotely familiar with the Soviet system, its similarity with the developing structures of the European Union, with its governing philosophy and "democracy deficit," its endemic corruption and bureaucratic ineptitude, is striking. For anyone who lived under the Soviet tyranny or its equivalents across the world, it is frightening. Once again we observe with growing horror the emergence of a Leviathan that we had hoped was dead and buried, a monster that destroyed scores of nations, impoverished millions, and devastated several generations before finally collapsing. Is it inevitable? Is the human race bent on self-destruction and doomed to repeat the same mistake time and again until it dies in misery? Or is the EU, indeed, simply a clone of the USSR imposed upon reluctant nations of Europe by the same political forces that created the first one?
Whether these extreme anti-European views will continue to have influence in the new "realist" State Department remains to be seen. BTW, Colin Powell's interview with Stern is mentioned by
Maureen Dowd in her New York Times column this morning.