In the cold war years Turkey was unquestionably accepted as the West's most important frontier nation. Now it seems to prefer coddling Iran over backing the U.N. Security Council's harder line against Tehran. Disputes with Israel, once a key friend of Turkey, have become so bad, there is almost a rupture between the only two democracies in the region.
As the drama of Europe's debt crisis slowly unfolds, all eyes have been diverted to the wrong national subplot. The new Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition in Britain is surprising and historic, but it is not the potential stalemate that matters most to Europe's future and its ability to contain the Greek crisis. That stalemate is in Germany, where a once widely admired politics of coalition and compromise has glued up.
Who wants to be President of the European commission? In theory it's one of the most powerful jobs in the world. You head the world's biggest economic bloc, receive an automatic invite to G8 meetings, and your calls get taken by prime ministers and presidents the world over.
This should be the left's big chance in Europe. Capitalism is in crisis. Growth is collapsing. Unemployment is rising, and the state is back in business. The time is ripe for the left to push a coherent alternative to the right's free-market vision of the world.
If John McCain becomes the next U.S. president, it will send europe into a fit of despair not seen on the old continent in decades. After all, Barack Obama is Europe's candidate, so much so that French President Nicolas Sarkozy—so happy to spend a vacation day with George W.
An alliance with America is impossible until Europe comes together.