OpinionJournal - From WSJ.com BY GEORGE MELLOAN : In 1990 the world was full of promise. How does it look today?
"Russian imperialism is again on the march, under the leadership of a KGB clique in the Kremlin who never quite lost their taste for authoritarianism.
The Israel-Arab relationship is worse than in 1990, at least in political terms. Bill Clinton and Yitzhak Rabin of Israel made a colossal mistake in 1994 of granting a lifelong terrorist, Yasser Arafat, power over Gaza and West Bank Arabs. His Oslo Treaty pledge to recognize Israel's right to exist was pure fakery, and today Palestinian terrorists are still striving to drive Israel into the sea.
Europe in 1990 was trying with mixed success to stabilize monetary exchange rates and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl was about to make a costly mistake in granting newly liberated East Germans a monetary regime that would effectively price their broken-down industries out of competition with the rest of Europe. But despite the huge bills the Germans footed after putting the east on the dole, Continental Europe finally solved the exchange-rate problem in 2002 by adopting a single currency, the euro.
Europe's major achievements since 1990 have been the single currency, further progress toward a single market, and a more than doubling of European Union membership to 25 states with a combined population of 460 million and economic output roughly equivalent to the U.S. But "Old Europe" still labors with high unemployment and sluggish economic growth, in part because its elaborate welfare benefits subsidize idleness. The frictions between native peoples and immigrants have become more acute. Europe is no longer as reliable a U.S. North Atlantic partner as it was in 1990."