Void in Europe

Western Europe has again displayed a void where there should be a foreign policy. The Western European Union (WEU), which predates the European Union, has done precisely nothing over the current Russo-Georgian conflict. The EU for its part continues to watch and talk anxiously.

In 1987, within a week of one of Ronald Reagan’s famed meetings with Mikhail Gorbachev, the WEU met in the Icelandic woods; insiders said the WEU had been terrified that Reagan, who thought he was a great peacemaker, would give away European security — maintained by the United States since 1945 — for the sake of a nuclear disarmament deal with the then Soviet Union.

Recent events have created a context very similar to the terrifying New Cold War of the early 1980s.

The WEU, despite mutual self-defence commitments, has not stopped the installation of U.S. missiles in two associate member states, Poland and the Czech Republic; both the states are full members of the EU as well.

Militarily, the U.S. apparently does what it likes in Europe, and the French newspaper Le Canard Enchaîné reports that U.S. officers stationed in Georgia recently oversaw the calibration of Georgian missile-launchers for firing.

While condemning the Russian government’s conduct over South Ossetia, a French official has called the provocation of Moscow in its own backyard an act of stupidity. Western European governments are apparently powerless and silent about this.

While the European use of Russian oil and natural gas — seen by some as European dependence — is pertinent, it cannot entirely explain this helplessness.

It is primarily political, and amounts to passive manipulation in which the U.S. is expected to maintain the role of policing the world — a role the European imperial powers abdicated in 1945 without wanting to lose their security.

It is no surprise therefore that today’s imperial power furthers its own project by exploiting regional fears that render local populations and their governments incapable of seeing anything beyond their own parochial obsessions.

[Source: The Hindu, Editorial, 05Sep08]

Tienda de Libros Radio Nizkor On-Line Donations

The Question of South Ossetia
small logoThis document has been published on 07Sep08 by the Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.