European shortsightedness and European selfishness were the prime movers in the great catastrophes of the twentieth century. Now in the first grave crisis of the twenty first century the continent’s inhabitants sometimes seem bent on demonstrating how little they have learned. Earlier in the week it was merely a reckless game of chicken between Greece and the EU, or even between Germany and France. But as the week wore on, it looked like Spain could be the first rivet to pop off the doomed Euro-Titanic. Is it a coincidence that Americans are starting to turn against keeping American troops in Europe?Chinese generals turned up the bluster this week in the Asian Game of Thrones, advising Australians that they’d soon have to pick between their fealty to China and their alliance with the United States. Aussie analysts were unimpressed with the false choice on offer. Such menacing might carry more weight if the economic might of China didn’t look shakier by the day. And if you don’t believe the reports and statistics and still hold firm to your belief that China’s rise is inevitable, perhaps you’ll trust your own lyin’ eyes:[yframe url=‘http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39nMp5Sc0qs&feature=player_embedded’]It’s been a bumpy week for Asian markets as a whole. But if Myanmar’s continuing evolution is anything to go by, there’s a real sea-change afoot in the region.Negotiations with Iran broke down by the end of the week, despite a concerted effort to produce a unified front by the United States and its allies. Iran for its part has been active in its neighborhood, fruitlessly wooing the Lebanese and helping sneak Syrian oil to market. Violence in Syria continues to bleed out into Lebanon, and continues to empower the kind of anti-Semitic “freedom fighters” which make these kinds of nasty conflicts anything but neat morality plays.Other stories we followed:
- The New York Times did its best to shield its readers from the news that Governor Walker is likely to prevail in Wisconsin. Does the possibility of a wider Democratic defeat in the state in November cause them to go into deep denial?
- Wisconsin aside, Mitt Romney still has a ways to go in properly introducing himself to the American voter.
- Turns out fracking is good for the environment. And brown jobs pay more.
- The global crisis is leading to a loosening of morals among the business elites.
- It’s also leading to some genuinely creative belt-tightening in Vallejo, California.