Iran's Gift: New Unity in the West

(Washington Post) Jim Hoagland - Iranian President Ahmadinejad seems to believe that intimidating Britain, France, and Germany provides a surer path to nuclear weapons, hegemony over Iraq, and the destruction of Israel than did the softer-shoe approach of his ayatollah predecessors. European governments are responding with a firmness and resolve that might not have been predictable even a few months ago. Europeans are awakening to the possibility of a return to an era of global bipolar conflict that directly involves them. Ahmadinejad had already emerged for U.S. policymakers as the new face of the enemy in "the long war" against Islamic extremism. The real story of the new transatlantic togetherness has been the spreading public concern in Europe about Islamic extremism, at home and abroad. Europe's tendency to see Israel as the source of all Middle East evil must adjust, however reluctantly, to the political demise of the PLO and of a certain romantic vision of Palestinian nationalism at the hands of Hamas, an Islamic organization that rejects peace negotiations and a two-state solution.

2006-02-24 00:00:00

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