BUSH AND EUROPE….Turkey has asked NATO to provide help in case it is attacked in a war with Iraq. France, Belgium and Germany have vetoed the request. George Bush is incredulous:

I don’t understand that decision. I am disappointed that France would block NATO from helping a country like Turkey prepare.

Those perfidious French, preventing poor little Turkey from defending itself against the depradations of Saddam Hussein. How could they?

This is absurd. Why would NATO agree to assist in planning for a war it hasn’t agreed to wage? George Bush now appears willing to bust up an alliance that’s of tremendous benefit to the U.S. over a war that he seems to think has been ordained by God.

Well, it hasn’t been. I’m personally persuaded that the only way Saddam Hussein will ever be reined in is by use of force. But the UN isn’t persuaded yet, NATO isn’t persuaded yet, the American public doesn’t seem to be truly persuaded yet, and the unsettling fact is that the fault for this lies directly with George W. Bush. If he had half the diplomatic skill and common sense of his father, he wouldn’t be in this mess.

There’s nothing wrong with Bush pushing hard for an agenda he believes in, but in the end, if he fails to persuade our friends, our allies, and the world, he should back off. I don’t mind making an enemy of Saddam Hussein, but I do care about making an enemy of half the world. George Bush should care too.