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Thursday, March 16, 2006

Trans Atlantic Drift

Yesterday I was invited to a lunch at the Houstonian to hear Dr. Geir Lundestad, who is Executive Director of the Norwegian Nobel Committee (that issues the peace prize), talking about “Trans-Atlantic drift.” He was referring to the U.S. and Europe politically.

He said basically that without the Soviet Union as “the tie that binds” Europe and the U.S. have not been as close as in the past. When asked if he thought China or a nuclear Iran might be a motivator for closer cooperation, he said he didn’t think so. No one in Europe is worried about China. And Iran’s future as a menace isn’t the same as the Soviets who had thousands of nuclear devices.

I think he may be right, unless our leaders decide to cooperate, not because they have to ward off Godzilla, but because it is the only way to resolve future Iraqs and survive in a changing world. Asia is on the rise and Europe and America have much to gain from cooperating, and much to lose by not.

I got a chance to meet Dr. Lundestad before the lunch. To my surprise, he said he’d been reading the election in the papers and was excited to actually meet one of the people he’d read about. Maybe it was that Norwegian name that stuck out.

Needless to say I was disappointed to find out that no peace prize was being offered for anyone who had run against Tom DeLay more than three times.

I met a Norwegian lady and we exchanged how people in cold climes are more direct than people in warm, southern climates. She said it was the same in Europe – those from the North have to get it out before you freeze to death, while those in the South can take their time (and do).

I have never been to Norway in 55 plus countries I’ve negotiated in. But I’ll wait until summer, since it is below zero there now. Trans Atlantic drift sounds like another way of saying “tour Europe this summer.” I know a church group that is back from a cruise on the Med, stopping at Rome, etc. They loved it.

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