Saturday, November 13, 2004


Peter Hitchens "The E.U. is a top-down creation, an elitist idea with its roots in the branch of European social democracy whose features were internationalism, a loathing of the nation-state, a belief in the benevolent intervention of the state in almost all areas of life, and a belief that capitalism untamed was necessarily evil. Remember that many of the founders of the Soviet Union were well-intentioned and didn't mean to end up where they did.... I'm not saying it's like Stalin and the gulag, but I think the end result could well be quite like Brezhnev, and what some Russians still refer to as the golden time. There was plenty of vodka, plenty of sausage, national pride, but from the point of view of someone who wanted a free society, it was disastrous. The Brezhnev regime, though it wasn't Stalinist, was very nasty to those who persisted in dissenting. The European Union hasn't a gulag, but it also doesn't have habeas corpus, it doesn't have jury trial, or due process as it is understood in the U.S. and the U.K. It has no concept of opposition"

Seceding from the EU: "All of the various secession proposals fail to consider the possibility that no permission should be needed to drop out of the EU. Yet that is the question that needs to be asked first. Should some nation be forced to continue its membership in the EU if it cannot persuade some supermajority of member nations to let it go? Forcing an unwilling nation to remain part of a political association that it does not want goes against all theories of fairness, not to mention human rights. Permission to leave should not be required. Any nation that wants to leave should be able to leave without asking permission of other member nations.... One also needs to consider that failure to allow a group of dissatisfied citizens to leave a political union that they did not want led to the completely unnecessary deaths of more than 600,000 Americans. So bloodshed can happen when people cannot peacefully exit from a political association that they feel no longer represents them".

More on secession here.

But even the French are getting disillusioned: "Like Britain, France will be holding a referendum on the proposed EU constitution. A bout of stress over both this plebiscite and the separate prospect of Turkey joining the EU has now so diminished French aspirations for Europe that the old passion looks altogether spent. Enter Blair. For a root cause of Gallic anguish is Britain. While Blair will have his own tough struggle to win a UK referendum, what haunts France on both the constitution and Turkey is that Britain has apparently prevailed in making the EU an ever-expanding zone of liberal mercantilism that obstructs political union. An initial heart tremor was diagnosable in early autumn, when Laurent Fabius, a Socialist Party heavyweight and former prime minister, astonished France by bidding that the opposition left vote No to the EU constitution in the referendum next year.... The chief argument Fabius advances for rejecting the EU constitution is that it institutionalises Blair's liberal, free-market economic programme, in disregard of social welfare and jobs lost to cheaper, low-wage neighbours. The French now talk of the "English Europe" with the same disdain as Michael Howard's Conservatives talk of "Brussels". Fabius baldly asserts: "The British concept has won." And he does not see why it should be allowed to stand".

Europe from an American viewpoint: "Roughly speaking, I think Americans see the world in this way. A crazy European ideology, Fascism, tried to replace democracy with dictatorship, and ended in concentration camps and a pagan Europe aflame. Meanwhile, another wild ideology, Communism, proposed a Mickey Mouse vision of economics and, except for a powerful military, kept the many nations forced into the Soviet Union at the level of a fourth-world economy, until the whole project collapsed. Americans find it hard to understand what Europeans find plausible in socialist economics. Americans have experienced the great advantages of owning their own property, building their own businesses, inventing and discovering new goods and services. Enterprise is the second secret to American life -- enterprise springing from creative economic imagination and personal initiative".

And Germany's media are DELIGHTED with Bin Laden as he appears on the recently-released videotape: "Osama bin Laden presents himself as less warlike. ...Bin Laden's latest message gives the impression that the bearded man with the soft voice is looking for a new image, away from the jihad rhetoric to a more factual political message ... Not much is left of his usual flaming Islamist rhetoric. The usual tones of "battle against the infidels" are missing this time. Instead he speaks of the ambitions of the "Islamic nation" for "freedom" and "security" and disproves President Bush with political arguments... Instead of martial armed polemics, Bin Laden uses irony to attest to the failures of George W. Bush. ..." (Via Davids Medienkritik)

Robert Kagan: "Europeans do not fear that the US will seek to control them; they fear that they have lost control over the US and, by extension, the direction of world affairs. If the US is suffering a crisis of legitimacy, then it is in large part because Europe wants to regain some measure of control over Washington's behaviour. The vast majority of Europeans objected to the US invasion of Iraq not simply because they opposed the war. They objected also because US willingness to go to war without the UN Security Council's approval -- that is, without Europe's approval -- challenged Europe's world view and its ability to exercise even a modicum of influence in the new unipolar system".

And the German left-wing media report glowingly on the "America says sorry" site set up by a few disgruntled Kerry voters.


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