THE United States may have its faults but I must admit I am sick and tired of us in Europe moaning and groaning about the good old US of A. Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar put the nail on the head when he said, who do you trust the United States or Iraq? Enough said. We may not like to admit it, because as Europeans we are naturally proud of our heritage and history, but we need the United States a lot more than they need us. The back-bone of NATO is the United States. The fact that the U.S. maintains large forces in Europe is basically to protect us. Now, I am not going to start waving the Stars and Stripes but I am also a realist and I am concerned that the antics of some European leaders will effectively mean that the special relationship between the European states and the United States will be damaged and this could have serious consequences for the future. The world is changing and it wouldn't be difficult for the United States to find new partners which are more reliable. I am not saying that we should go out and support George Bush's every move but some of the rhetoric being muttered by some European leaders could cause an important rift and may have already done so. Tony Blair has gone too far and as a result he has been labelled a Bush poodle. But he also has the ear of the President and his advice will be welcomed. The same cannot be said for the other alleged power-houses of Europe who seem to take delight in bashing the United States more for their own egos and domestic agendas than for the good of world affairs. It may feel good to criticise the United States but don't forget that even a good friend can sometimes turn.

Jason Moore