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Balanced Fare: We Report, You Deride

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

Tom Friedman Does the NASTY

Well, it worked for him. Let's go:

"...most NATO countries have fallen so far behind the U.S. in their defense spending and modernizations, they really can't fight alongside of us anymore anyway.

...The old NATO has been replaced as a military alliance — not by the expanded NATO but by a totally different NATO. The "new NATO" is made up of three like-minded English-speaking allies — America, Britain and Australia — with France as a partner for peace, depending on the war. What these four core countries all have in common is that they are sea powers, with a tradition of fighting abroad, with the ability to transport troops around the world and with mobile special forces that have an "attitude." That is what you need to deal with today's threats.

Also, as one European official noted, all four of these countries play either rugby or American-style football — violent games where success depends on hurting the other team. This should be a prerequisite for joining the new NATO, which should henceforth be called "Nations Allied to Stop Tyrants," or NASTY.

Pause. Someone is missing. A country with it own football league, speaks English, except the parts that speak French.... O, Canada!

And what are the French doing on this list?

Said one U.S. official: "The French are bad-weather friends and their troops certainly have an attitude."

Margaret Thatcher did assure George Bush that he could count on the French, back in the days when giants walked the earth.

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