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Commentary :: Europe

Pro-Americanism within the EU has to be addressed immediately

Pro-American Quisling within the EU need to be brought into line, or the world faces dark days indeed.
The reflexive pro-Americanism of several major European leaders ranks among the biggest problems the EU faces in the fallout from the Iraq war. What this war has shown clearly enough is that some European countries are headed by pro-American Quislings who put American interests above the wishes of the people who elected them. Jose Maria Aznar of Spain is a prime example. His support for the US war with Iraq is at odds with the sentiments of over 80% of the Spanish people. How can such situations be tolerated in a federation of democratic countries like the EU? Quite simply, they can’t.

However, of Europe’s pro-American Quislings, Britain’s Tony Blair is by far the worst. Not only has he ignored antiwar feelings in his own country, he is also clearly the chief advocate within the EU for the bizarre position that the EU should never place itself in the way of US objectives. In this respect, there is a deep gulf between the pro-American Blair and the peoples of the EU, including the British, most of whom find current American objectives deeply abhorrent. Most everybody in every EU country recognizes that, through the malign influence of the conservative movement, the US has changed over the last generation from a prime guarantor of the international legal order to the chief force determined to subvert it. We only have to note the position the US has taken against the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Kyoto protocols and the International Criminal Court to realize that the US is no longer on the side of civilization. The US cannot even stick to rules that it set itself through such global economic agencies as the World Trade Organization and the IMF. Now Richard Perle tells us that the destruction of the UN itself is a US aim.

The EU would be foolish to give in to the US-led descent into anarchy and barbarism that would result in the disappearance of the UN. But the EU will never be in a position to act as an international counterweight to the overmighty US unless the problem of Quislings like Blair is confronted head on and solved for once and for all. Blair, quite simply, needs to be forced to make his mind whether the UK belongs to the EU or, with the US and Australia, to the international Anglo-Saxon axis of evil. At the moment, however, Blair wants it both ways: he wants the economic benefits of British membership in the EU without the costs - adherence to the more constructive, multilateral geopolitical vision of the EU.

It is to be hoped that the issue of allegiance to the US will be an issue on which future elections will be fought in the UK. After all, the British people have every right to know whether their leaders are with them, or with the US against them. If Blair persists in reflexively placing American interests above those of the EU, the EU should act to marginalize the UK from participation in key EU decisions or, preferably, expel it from the EU altogether.

If the EU is to remain the lynchpin of the international legal order, it must act promptly to prevent itself from being contaminated by pro-Americanism which, in the current climate, amounts to the ratification of the US neoconservative agenda. The rise of the neoconservatives is easily among the most dangerous developments of our time. The EU has to do everything possible to spare the world the infinite series of calamities which will surely unfold if Bush is not booted from office by his own people in 2004.

The risk of the EU disappearing as a counterweight to the US is becoming acute because ten countries in eastern Europe which will be joining the EU in coming years are all dependent on American aid (or, at least, hoping to become so in the near future). This makes the leaders of these ten countries Quislings with the potential to overturn the more informed policies which have hitherto issued from Brussels. Fortunately, there are signs that the core EU countries - France, Germany and Belgium - have begun planning a common foreign policy which will surely win support from a majority of EU countries as the EU is currently consituted. It is almost certain that a policy to which all three countries are resolutely committed will manage, in time, to become common EU policy.

Blair is talking nonsense when he suggests that the current reprise of anti-Americanism led by France has to be replaced by constructive partnership between Europe and America. In fact, there can be no constructive relationship between the US and the EU until the US abandons the doctrine of preemptive war and its plans to downgrade the UN to the status of nothing more than an international humanitarian aid agency like Oxfam or the Red Cross. Once the UN is reduced to a cipher that does no more than applaud US wars and shoulder the costs of humanitarian intervention they entail, this planet simply won’t be worth living on any longer.

Certainly, unless pro-American Quislings like Blair and Aznar are promptly brought under control the world’s biggest problems (global warming, terrorism, AIDS, third world debt, social and economic decay) will never be adequately addressed. The US lacks wholly the will to deal (seriously) with any such problems. It has other fish to fry. Without a truly independent EU, however, the US will face only the wholly ineffective resistance of impoverished third world countries as it goes to war not only with Muslim countries like Iran and Syria but also Russia and China. If Blair has his way, the 21st century will certainly usher in the darkest and most miserable phase of western history since the gloomy 17th century.


Bush is the one of the only world leaders who refused to sign the treaty setting up the International Criminal Court aimed at making sure nations are held accountable for war crimes and crimes against humanity wherever they occur. This means that U.S. forces cannot be prosecuted, technically, under international law, regardless of what outrages they may commit, if any. More significantly, it means that Bush himself cannot be held accountable for a war that may result in widespread atrocitiesd and, very possibly, in the use of nuclear weapons should Bush feel too threatened.

Unfortunately, our remaining hope, Belgium, has cravenly changed its laws to accommodate Bush. Belgian law allows Belgian courts to try suspects for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, regardless of where the alleged acts took place or the nationality of the accused. However, today (March 26), the Belgian parliament amended a controversial law to prevent Bush being prosecuted for war crimes over the conflict in Iraq.

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