So I won't quote or even link to Friedman. I used to in order to criticize him, always noting that I wasn't saying you couldn't drown in a pool of his wisdom--but that you'd have to be drunk and lying face down to do so. But since the Ukraine Crisis started, he disgusts me.
To the matter at hand, Friedman actually considers the European Union to be America's most important ally.
Is his IFF broken? Nah. He's just on Team Europe rather than Team America.
Europe is surely our friend and partner in the concept of the West. But Europe is not the same as the European Union.
Individual Europeans can be our friends. European states can be our friends. But the institution of the European Union cannot be our friend--only levels below that can:
We can't let our frustration with the European Union distract us from gaining friends and help from European countries. And we can't let our frustration with individual European states distract us from reaching out to their citizens.
We have friends in Europe. Don't abandon them because they aren't the majority. Not yet anyway. If we ever have to give up on keeping friends and allies in Europe to fight with us, we will have to start looking at the continent as an asset that we have to keep out of the enemy column.
And this is something I've complained about back in the Bush administration:
It is a tremendous failure of our diplomacy that the Bush administration has continued to formally back European political union. While admirably adapting our foreign policy from the Cold War to fight Islamo-fascist terrorism, this adminstration remains locked in a Cold War template that saw a unified Europe as a bulwark against Soviet aggression instead of an abomination that must die.
Europe will not be our friend. European states can be our friend. And Europeans even in countries without governments friendly to us can be our friends. Why let these sources of support, friendship, and alliance be submerged in an EU supra-elite culture of hatred for America?
Which gives you a clue about why Friedman--a member of that supra-elite--thinks so highly of the EU.
Me? I say of the EU, die, die, die--with festering boils, die!
UPDATE: The lack of democracy is baked into how the EU was built.
It's the Soviet Union Lite and should be opposed for that. I believe efforts to reform the monstrosity are futile.