A random thought while waiting for grown-ups who were supposed to be taking charge of our foreign policy

If you’re just a blogger, it’s fine — well, it’s not fine, actually, but it’s mostly harmless — to make silly remarks about cheese and World War II and dismiss Germany and France as “the old Europe.” But if you’re trying to put together a coalition against Iraq, and need Turkey on the team, you might want to remember that France and Germany control something Turkey wants: entrée to the European Union. Having thoroughly annoyed the French and German governments by openly treating them as client states too minor to warrant consultation, and having failed to secure Turkey an EU entry date, Bush shouldn’t be surprised — but apparently is — that $30 billion in bribes might not be enough to get the Turkish government to defy not only its own Islamist constituency but the two most influential members of the club it desperately needs to join.

Nor does it seem to bother the Bushites that they’re putting the government of what might be the one functioning democracy in the Islamic world — a government which is Islamicist but also, apparently, pro-US and committed to democratic principles — in a very bad position, any more than it bothered them when they had to hang Vicente Fox out to dry after 9-11 made an immigration deal more expensive in domestic political terms.

Looks to me as if we need a little less Mayberry and a little more Machiavelli.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com