Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The EU Straitjacket

Our Flemish correspondent ProFlandria uses Brussels Journal as a jumping-off point for an essay about the ramifications of Kosovar independence.


The EU Straitjacket
by ProFlandria


Paul Belien has an interesting take on what the Kosovo independence issue may mean for European international alignment with the U.S. and Russia:

During the past two centuries three major European continental nations have tried to impose their will on the rest of the continent, indeed, on the globe. First France in the early 19th century, then Germany in the first half of the 20th century, and finally Russia. […] The willingness of Britain, and later also of America, to stand up against continental Europe’s bullies made London and later Washington into the natural allies of the smaller European countries, who feel threatened by their big neighbors.

That is a good description of how European countries have, in the past, compared in power and how that affected their relations. Mr. Belien goes on to explain that the earlier failures of France and Germany to fulfill their ambitions for domination of the continent, as well as global influence, led them to use the European Union as an alternate vehicle to achieve the same goal. The smaller countries’ position is as weak within the EU as it was during the preceding centuries; they perceive the European Union to be a joint Franco-German effort at dominating Europe. In addition, there is the complication of the third big player on the block:

Eastern European nations such as the Baltic states and Poland, fear that one day the Franco-German axis might be enlarged by bringing in Russia. This fear was very tangible three years ago, when the friendship between then German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Russian leader Vladimir Putin was observed with suspicion in the capital cities that lie between Berlin and Moscow.

The article goes on to explain that after the fall of the Soviet Union, the smaller former Soviet states sought EU membership as protection against Russia (the Russian saber-rattling in response to the independence of the Baltic States certainly provided a good incentive). However, their trust may have been misplaced:
- - - - - - - - -
Last year, when Nicolas Sarkozy became president of France, one of the first things he did was to signal to Russia that France was looking for closer cooperation. This, [in addition to the German-Russian gas pipeline plan], sent warning signals across the continent… [A]ll nations, small and middle-sized, in Europe realize that the biggest threat to their independence is a Franco-German-Russian axis. If one day Paris, Berlin and Moscow decide to join forces the rest of Europe will have to do as they are told.

All of this served to reinforce the sense of alliance with the United States and Britain; this was borne out by the participation of many of the smaller European states in the “coalition of the willing” in Iraq. The Kosovo issue has put Russia in opposition to the U.S. and Britain, but also France and Germany (because of their recognition of an independent Kosovo). While that should cool any efforts at “closer cooperation” between France/Germany and Russia, there is a subset of Europeans who may be forced to reconsider their heretofore solid alliances:

[P]ro-American European conservatives, who backed Bush’s “war against terror” and defend national sovereignty against the EU’s attempts to restrict it, are asking themselves a hitherto taboo question: Might Russia not be a better ally than America to preserve Europe from an Islam-friendly Franco-German dominance?

We don’t know how many “pro-American European conservatives” have actually voiced this question or what nations they may hail from — and it may not matter. When the Lisbon Treaty goes into effect next year, it becomes a moot point: the member nations will surrender foreign policy to the EU (that is to say, France and Germany).

This creates a Catch-22 situation: France and Germany have made overtures to Russia, which is bad for the smaller countries from the standpoint of democracy and sovereignty (what little remains). On the other hand, both countries appear remarkably unconcerned about the advance of Islam on the continent while Russia has acted with a heavy hand in this regard. While Kosovo may be a shorter-term impediment to a France-Germany-Russia axis, French and German official negligence in dealing with the “Muslim problem” will be an obstacle for the long term. This means the smaller countries will be caught in the EU straitjacket, which is bad for them from the Islamization standpoint — unless they renounce their EU membership.

15 comments:

deadbambi said...

Very good article, Baron. It seems the world is again offered the choice between the Nazis (Islam) and Stalin. Although, it's not so clear cut this time.

This time Stalin (Putin) seems concerned with the economics of the situation by keeping one faction of the Nazis (Iran) in business, because it's good business for Russia. He doesn't mind the cancer growing since he's profiting, as long as it's not growing in Europe.

The short-sightedness of our world leaders is truly alarming. Maybe Stalin (Putin) will come to see that his support of the Nazis (Iran )just furthers their agenda of Islamicizing Europe.

That being said, these are the choices that the smaller, European countries (i.e. former Soviet-bloc countries + Denmark) have:

1. Put every Euro of government revenue into their defense systems. Russia won't like this as we've seen re: Poland, so I'm not sure how viable this option is.

2. Once again become Soviet-blocesque countries and allow themselves to come under the umbrella of protection that Russia could offer. This, of course, would make them beholden to Russia in other ways. My personal opinion, although some of your European readers may disagree, is that dismantling the USSR was one of the key events that created the serious imbalance and power vacuum we now have in the world. With two superpowers to keep each other in check, things were manageable. Once the USSR crumbled, it became a free for all. One of the chief causes of anti-Americanism (which has fueled Islamization of Europe) is the fact that America was left standing as the only superpower. With that title comes resentment.

3. Be like Norway, Sweden, and the Netherlands, and stare blankly into space as the Islamic tide rolls over them.

Sad, but true. Until the Allies of WWII (at the very least) come back together and are on the same page regarding Islam, this is the unfortunate reality.

nikolai said...

"We don’t know how many “pro-American European conservatives” have actually voiced this question or what nations they may hail from — and it may not matter."

It's definitely crossed my mind since Kosovo. Though I'm not sure I'm a conservative exactly--more as someone pushed into being a nationalist through what is in effect a Quisling organized invasion.

To me, all the western countries (and I'd include Russia and India in this new version of "western") have the same problem and should be on the same side. Plus, a lot of the current US strategy seems to me to be extremely counter-productive. Irritating Russia for no reason being one of those ways.

I think the root of the problem is that the US neo-cons aren't really on the right. The left has got more anti-Israel over the years so some jewish lefties moved theoretically to the right but only in some areas. If they're not anti-immigration then I don't think they're interested in defending western civilization and personally I can't see Israel surviving if western civilization doesn't. I don't think they've grasped that yet and still want their multi-cultural cake while trying to use US power to help Israel.

I think the "speading democracy" nonsense and bending over backwards to prove they're not anti-muslim (e.g Kosovo imo) comes from their left-liberal background. I was hoping to see a change there with the presidential elections but currently the choices look like making it worse.

As to the EU element, I really don't see a Franco-German axis in 20th century terms. There may have been an element of a latterday French empire paid for by Germany out of war-guilt in the beginning of the EU process but I think things have moved on. I don't think most of the european political elite sees themselves as French, German etc any more. They are a transnational club imo. They want mass immigration to break down the national identity of their voters and are currently blinding themselves to the Islamic component of that immigration.

As long as they stuck to the Orthodox end of Europe I'd be quite pleased if Russia did something.

Natalie said...

Nikolai said: "I think the root of the problem is that the US neo-cons aren't really on the right."

I think that is a very valid point... Many US politicians who call themselves "conservative" don't really seem conservative to me. That's why I really consider myself "right-wing" instead of "conservative." I simply don't identify with many American conservatives.

Another thing that bothers me is how no Americans talk about Islam and the threat it poses. We have an election coming up over here and I feel that no one is talking about, or even caring about Islam. Europe and America both need to wake up to the threat - if Europe goes Islamic, it's only a matter of time before America does.

deadbambi said...

Nikolai, you opened the door for me and I'm grateful. I'd like to discuss the counter-productivity of America in these terms.

With Kosovo as only one of many examples, America is definitely talking the talk but not walking the walk when it comes to fighting "terror" (more accurately known as Islam).

You're quite right in that America trying to prove it's not anti-Islam is in fact hurting us. To see what's happened since 9/11 is insanity:

1. Congress passed a resolution to recognize a religious holiday for the first time ever - and that holiday was Ramadan.

2. The Empire State building lit up green for Ramadan.

3. Universities and other public and private institutions (Harvard, Boston College) going far beyond being accommodating by closing their gyms to allow 6 hours for Muslim women to exercise, creating spaces for Muslim students only to adhere to their prayer schedules, banning pork from their menus.

4. Bush attempting to cut the counterterrorism budget by 50%.

5. The FBI receiving sensitivity training from CAIR.

6. Ahmadinejad being given a visa to set foot on American soil.

7. The appalling immigration reform bill that McCain, Kennedy, and many Republicans other than McCain tried to strong-arm through congress.

8. All the horrible things it's done to Israel such as insisting on this "Road Map to Peace" which puts Islam at the greater advantage and rewards them for their terror attacks, rebuking Israel for using "disproportionate force" during the Hezbollah/Israel war, and treating Israel like dhimmis during the Annapolis conference by making them use service entrances so the Saudis wouldn't be upset.

9. Allowing countries like Saudi Arabia and the UAE to purchase massive amounts of US domestic real estate and corporations.

10. Trying to push through a US port deal in which the UAE (a country that does not recognize Israel at all) would have been a key player in the security of our ports.

As I said, it's crazy. So there's that, plus Kosovo, that undermines what America is supposed to be doing in fighting this enemy. We still have the same "conservative" President in office who was sitting during 9/11 and these are
the actions he supports?

You're right also in saying America has historically been on the wrong side of the conflict on most levels - Afghanistan/USSR, Iraq/Iran (we actually helped them both but I consider both to be wrong sides, except when the Shah was in power), Israelis/Everyone Else (yes, I believe America has been exceptionally harsh toward Israel and has emboldened Israel's enemies - from Carter to Clinton to Bush).

The problem is, Russia is really no better. They have been helpful to Iran in concealing any nuclear aspirations, while simultaneously profiting from their nuclear aspirations in selling them equipment and providing them with the scientific talent to enrich uranium. Russia has impeded the few recent moves America has made by blocking a missile defense system in Poland and now the Czech Republic (granted, it was in their best interest should they desire to annex Eastern Europe again) and being difficult in voting against sanctions in the UN re: Iran. You have to wonder what they’re doing behind the scenes.

I also agree with you that the immigration influx into Europe does help the EU erase the national identities of the countries within it and blurs the borders.

So what’s the answer? We can’t seem to rely on any of them and quite frankly, Russia scares me. I can’t imagine ever feeling good about supporting a Russian military action against Islam because they always start with one group, they get that taste of blood, and then they can't seem to stop themselves from going after even more groups who have nothing to do with the original fight.

Sadly, America is in for at least another four years of incompetence in not naming the real enemy because our choices are McCain, Obama, and Clinton. Our only hope is through America's congressional leadership and I pray that the we get more congressmen and senators like Peter King and Rick Santorum who aren’t and weren’t afraid to name the enemy.

Paardestaart said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paardestaart said...

I agree Dead Bambi, and I complement you on your clarity.
As a bewildered European watching our leaders diligently working to do away with the european nation states at the first moment in history when it appears that Europe's peoples are in such developmental, economic and moral equilibrium that interstate wars are becoming practically infeasible I am constantly wondering how it is possible that the powers that be are so deadset on doing away with borders that each enclose an organically evolved demos in more or less satifactory circumstances and under reasonable, more or less democratic governments.

I can't seem to find a comprehensive explanation for their determination, especially considering the amount of resistance they are getting from their citizens.
With respect to their refusal to respond adequately to the danger of the islamization they have invited so recklessly I am wondering what on earth it is I am missing.

Why are they putting so much at risk by doing things that nobody wants??
Why are they so inconsequential in adressing the things that need to be adressed so urgently?

VinceP1974 said...

This is the comment I left on the BJ page:

Might Russia not be a better ally than America to preserve Europe from an Islam-friendly Franco-German dominance?

This is a joke right? The same Russia that is enabling the nuclearization of Iran? What do you think Iran is planning to do with those weapons? Well if you're not sure.. listen to Iran itself:


The [Iranians] President’s chief strategist, Hassan Abbassi, has come up with a war plan based on the premise that “Britain is the mother of all evils” – the evils being America, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, the Gulf states and even Canada, all of whom are the malign progeny of the British Empire.

“We have a strategy drawn up for the destruction of Anglo-Saxon civilization,” says Mr Abbassi. “There are 29 sensitive sites in the U.S. and in the West. We have already spied on these sites and we know how we are going to attack them… Once we have defeated the Anglo-Saxons the rest will run for cover.”


Is Russia going to save Europe from that? And don't forget Russia has problems of its own:

http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/495

since the demise of the Soviet Union: Russia had about 300 mosques in 1991 and now there are at least 8,000, about half of which were built with money from abroad, especially from Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia. There were no Islamic religious schools in 1991 and today there are between 50 and 60, teaching as many as 50,000 students. The number of Russians going on the hajj each year, has jumped from 40 in 1991 to 13,500 in 2005. He quotes a Russian commentator predicting that within the next several decades there will be a mosque on Red Square.
...
Russia's overall population is dropping at a rate of 700,000 people a year, largely due to the short life spans and low birth rates of ethnic Russians. The country's 2002 census shows that the national fertility rate is 1.5 children per woman, far below the 2.1 children per woman needed to maintain the country's population of about 143 million. The rate in Moscow is even lower, at 1.1 children per woman.
But Russia's Muslims are bucking that trend. The fertility rate for Tatars living in Moscow, for example, is six children per woman, Goble said, while the Chechen and Ingush communities are averaging 10 children per woman. And hundreds of thousands of Muslims from Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan have been flocking to Russia in search of work. Since 1989, Russia's Muslim population has increased by 40 percent to about 25 million. By 2015, Muslims will make up a majority of Russia's conscript army, and by 2020 a fifth of the population. "If nothing changes, in 30 years people of Muslim descent will definitely outnumber ethnic Russians," Goble said.

deadbambi said...

Vince,

The Hassan Abbassi quotes are alarming. Where did you find them? I'd like to know how viable the source is and why at least Fox News hasn't shared this with its viewers.

Thanks.

deadbambi :)

deadbambi said...

Just for kicks, and if it's okay with Baron and Dymphna, I'd like to hear the response of Reagan Republicans to this question since it's somewhat on topic...

Reagan helped dismantle the USSR, one of the only things that was keeping the world in balance, fled Lebanon in response to almost 241 Marines being murdered by Hezbollah (Iran) and did nothing about it, and he supported the Mujahadeen against the USSR. Terror was happening all around us and American interests and personnel have been targets since at least the 1970's, so a policy regarding terrorists of the Islamic persuasion should've been in place long before 2001. How was Reagan better in fighting terror than any of the Democrats or Republicans after him?

I'm just curious and appreciate your responses. Personally, I blame Reagan as much as I do Carter for his naivete in dealing with this enemy which has brought us to where we now stand. Granted Reagan was just naive and Carter a Jew-hating Marxist, but their actions resulted in the same outcome. Maybe you know something I don't and I would welcome anyone who knows more on the subject to enlighten me. Thanks again.

VinceP1974 said...

deadbambi:

I found them about three years and have long since lost the source. I know it originaly came from the Persian news wire.. TAS or something.

I have more quotes here

VinceP1974 said...

>I'd like to hear the response of Reagan Republicans to this question since it's somewhat on topic...

I consider myself one of those. Even though I was 7 years old when he took office in 1981.


>so a policy regarding terrorists of the Islamic persuasion should've been in place long before 2001. How was Reagan better in fighting terror than any of the Democrats or Republicans after him?

No one has said that his record was better.

We all acknoweldge that NO ONE appeciated the religious nature of what was going on with Islam , and it seems to be me that not much has really changed in regards to the government.

We can all forgive Reagan for making the first real mistakes in dealing with terrorism. But by now, there are no excuses to keep making them. And keep making them we do.


>Personally, I blame Reagan as much as I do Carter for his naivete in dealing with this enemy which has brought us to where we now stand. Granted Reagan was just naive and Carter a Jew-hating Marxist, but their actions resulted in the same outcome.

I blame them both as well.. but I really dont think ANYONE had a clue of the significance of what was going on.

Plus lets not forget that the Cold War was the predominant International paradigm through which most world events were viewed.

I think if Reagan was here now.. and having learned from the mistakes of the past, he would be just as good as a leader as he was back then.

Geoffrey de Bouillon said...

Reagan was not better than the ones who followed. I think America is so hobbled by political correctness and "tolerance" that we are largely incapable of seeing the danger.

Also, our elites have lost the language of faith, so a religiously motivated war makes no sense to them - like trying to listen to a completely foreign language.

I don't have much confidence that out elites will ever get it. They will continue to suffer from category error until the People throw them out. Jihad will eventually do something that will awaken the people at large. I only hope it is not already too late.

VinceP1974 said...

Geoffrey: Did you read a very short Sci-Fi story called "The Traveller" .. or maybe "The Time Traveller"

nikolai said...

deadbambi,

I agree with all your points. My attitude to Russia post-Kosovo is partly (largely?) wishful thinking about the US and Russia realizing they have the same enemy and both stopping their cold-war style alliances with countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia.

As to why the western elites are so useless? Since WWII the left gradually became more and more obsessed with race. That attitude slipped into the liberal media. Most muslims aren't white and so they have slipped under that umbrella imo. I don't think Russia has that PC problem.

It may seem odd but I see post-communist Russia as more of a spurned lover than an implacable enemy. Again, could be wishful thinking on my part. The Iran thing seems insane from the Russian point of view. Hence why it feels to me they are acting out some kind of peevish sulk.

Geoffrey de Bouillon said...

VC1974 - this is the story you mean, but 'Category Error' has a long and honored place in philosophy.
The Time Traveler

The correct result is seldom reached starting from faulty premises.