History will surely judge us not by our old disagreements but by our new achievements,” Condoleezza Rice told a Paris audience on February 8, speaking on her ﬁrst European trip as secretary of state. If the Bush administration is truly interested in a trans-Atlantic rapprochement, it is not a moment too soon. U.S.–European relations are more acrimonious than they have been in decades. The broad European opposition to the Bush administration's policies on Iraq, global warming, human rights, arms control, and trade is reciprocated by Washington's disdain for everything from Europe's view of Iran to its proposed new constitution.
The United States of Europe: The New Superpower and the End of American Supremacy by T.R. Reid (Penguin Books, 305 pages, $25.95)
It is easy to scoff at the trappings of the European Union. Its flag of 12 gold stars on blue is bland. Its national holiday -- Europe Day, commemorating the Schuman Declaration of May 9, 1950 -- is ignored. Its national anthem is wordless because Euro diplomats could never agree on a language in which to sing Beethoven's “Ode to Joy.” Its rapid-reaction force, should it ever form, will be no match for the U.S. Army.