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February 04, 2003
THE WAX TADPOLE WONDERS if Rumsfeld's Old Europe / New Europe statement has started something:
His "Old Europe/New Europe" meme is taking hold broadly and in some surprising places (see the Vanguardia article cited here at Iberian Notes) and "New Europe" is becoming a rallying cry for the forces that want to save Europe from itself.
The sputtering outrage from the establishment and the chattering classes serves only to highlight the difference between the dynamic and forward-looking "new" Europeans and stodgy, reactionary old Europe. I'm sure the "age is wisdom" tack seemed clever in the heat of battle, but by using it they've endorsed the notion that there really is a "new" Europe and placed themselves firmly in opposition to it. Once tempers have cooled, they'll find themselves on the wrong side of a real and growing divide.
UPDATE: Reader Ted Nolan quotes Robert Heinlein: "It's amazing how much 'mature wisdom' resembles being too tired."