European Leaders in Support of U.S.
R. A. Hettinga
Thu, 30 Jan 2003 01:05:19 -0500
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At 10:49 PM -0500 on 1/29/03, Ian Grigg wrote:
> It would seem that the German and French leaders are looking a
> shade isolated there. This would make the invasion of Iraq pretty
> much a certainty.
What amazes me is how neatly they're pulling this off.
Say what you like about 'em, this is is some *very* impressive work.
And I agree with what they're doing, mind you. The exercise of force
is precisely what nation-states are in the business of selling, and,
right now, force is what the US electorate, as consumers of force,
have hired them to do in the wake of September 11th -- use force to
prevent further threats to the US population.
Russia isn't going to get in the way because they have their own
Islamic terrorist problem, and they want to get their oil and other
Central Asian commodities to market in peace. China isn't either
because of their own Islamic nationalists, and, more important,
because of their own increasing economic ties to the US, which they
don't want to threaten.
And, so, France and Germany, who have *just* gotten through asserting
their control over the entire European Union, and then using that
apparent control to threaten a veto to an Iraqi invasion, have,
instead, managed to paint themselves into a corner at the very time
they thought they were putting themselves in charge of the situation.
Amazing. There's something terrible and beautiful at the same time
about all this. It's like watching some awesome orrery of power,
grinding away, swinging this planet over here, that moon over
We're not watching a bunch of cowboys here, ladies and gentlemen.
We're watching statesmen.
And I don't mean just Colin Powell. I mean President Bush himself.
Just like Reagan, and Thatcher before him, Bush is secure enough in
his own world view, comfortable in his own skin, that he can hire and
manage people who are the very best at what they do, people who are
as good at their games as Colin Powell just showed himself to be.
Bush has the confidence, the personal power, tell them what to do,
and furthermore to make them do what he wants without managing the
While it's almost certainly not possible, it's almost as if Bush
*knew* that the French were going to stab Powell in the back, and
that, when that happened, Powell would completely remove them from
the playing field in retaliation, no matter what his personal
reservations about the use of force were. That their betrayal of
Powell's diplomatic efforts would flip some switch and polarize him
against them so totally that they could never stop a war from
happening after that.
Remember Bartley's recent article about the emergence of a new US
political establishment, replacing almost 70 years of post-Depression
crypto-socialist liberal Democrat hegemony.
This is what it looks like in action. People do things without
needing to be told what to do, and they do exactly the right things,
at the right time, to achieve the group's implicit goals, turning
apparent defeat into stunning victory, time and again.
Against something like that, France and Germany don't have a chance.
In a few years Germany, and then France, will have conservative, if
not actual libertarian, governments. Until then, they'll become
increasingly marginalized, and, frankly, have increasingly bigger
problems with their economies because of hyper-regulation. If the
Iraqi situation settles out well enough, the rest of the EU,
countries like Italy and Spain, whose economies continue to expand
and grow due to economic liberalization, and not coincidentally have
also been immediately threatened by active Al Qaeda cells this year,
will vote Turkey, for instance, into the EU, and, after that the
other now-free formerly socialist-bloc countries, diluting France and
Germany's premature grab for European dominance. "Old Europe",
Frankly, if Bush and Co. keep stuff like this up, the Democratic
Party in the US will go the way of the Whigs, and Jefferson's
Democratic Republicans before them, and the Republican Party's only
real opposition will be *libertarian* in character. Maybe even big-L
Libertarian, who knows, if they can shake out the loonier fringe and
present a credible alternative to the fundamentalist elements of the
In the meantime, watch and learn, folks. Watch, and learn.
We're seeing the world change, here.
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R. A. Hettinga <mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org>
The Internet Bearer Underwriting Corporation <http://www.ibuc.com/>
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"... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
[predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to
experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'