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Chris Patten, the EU commissioner in charge of Europe’s international relations, whines bitterly to the Guardian about US unilateralism.

Mr Bush’s “axis of evil” speech appears to have been the last straw for EU policymakers. In today’s interview, Mr Patten offers withering condemnation of the phrase.

Besides balking at the word “evil”, he disputes whether the three countries named are an axis at all, insisting there is no evidence that they are working together on weapons of mass destruction. But Mr. Patten also expresses great irritation with Washington for undermining long-established EU efforts to reach out to Tehran and Pyongyang.

“There is more to be said for trying to engage and to draw these societies into the international community than to cut them off,” he says.

So Patten would prefer us to follow the tried and true European methods of appeasement and turning a blind eye, sacrificing Israel to Arab hatred so Europe can continue to make money trading with murderous thugs and fanatics—until a nuclear explosion takes out Tel Aviv, as the psychotic clerics of Iran recently threatened to do. Would that be enough “evidence” for Patten?

Probably not; after all, Israel’s just a “shitty little country” (in the words of a French ambassador). The Islamo-creeps would have to nuke London to get the EU’s attention, and then they’d be screaming for the US to bail them out. Again.

I’m not surprised Patten “balks” like a stubborn mule at the word “evil,” though. Defining things in such simplistic terms would mean it’s time for the EU to take a real stand, which they are morally incapable of doing. Unelected sacks of wind like Patten have no mandate; they don’t represent anyone except other unelected sacks of wind.

(Update: Steven says this is the “death knell for NATO.”)

(Update to the update: Glenn asks who Patten is speaking to, then links back to us, creating a potentially catastrophic blogback loop.)

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 Frank says:

Mr Zappa, I am astounded at the courtesy and soft voiced nature of the comments of my friend, the Senator from Tennessee. I can only say that I find your statement to be boorish, incredibly and insensitively insulting to the people who were here previously, that you could manage to give the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States a bad name, if I felt you had the slightest understanding of it, which I do not. -- - Senator Slade Gorton