According to the memorable aphorism of Robert Kagan, the conservative US scholar, Americans are from Mars and Europeans are from Venus. But when President George W. Bush was in Europe last week and heard about Ireland’s rejection of the European Union’s Lisbon treaty in a referendum, it must have seemed to the outgoing president that Europeans are so incapable of getting their act together that they’re really from Pluto – which astronomers no longer classify as a planet.
The same thought may cross the mind of President Dmitry Medvedev of Russia when EU leaders arrive next week in the western Siberian city of Khanty-Mansiysk for an EU-Russia summit. Of course, it’s possible Medvedev will be rather more exercised about the revelation that the US has been thinking about putting part of its proposed missile defence system in Lithuania - which is precisely the sort of things that Martians, rather than Plutonians, do. Read more