Vinod's Blog
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Thursday, January 30, 2003 - 09:01 AM Permanent link for New Europe Speaks
New Europe Speaks

(via Instapundit)  Great piece in Opinion Journal titled "United We Stand".   What makes the article so noteworthy is the authorship:

Messrs. Aznar, DurĂ£o Barroso, Berlusconi, Blair, Medgyessy, Miller and Fogh Rasmussen are, respectively, the prime ministers of Spain, Portugal, Italy, the U.K., Hungary, Poland and Denmark. Mr. Havel is the Czech president. 

Aside from the UK and Denmark, these are nations which have only recently tasted the fruits of democratic freedom.   Their collective memories still remember a Hobbesian Jungle domestically and accordingly they are far quicker to recognize a Hobbesian actor internationally when confronted with one.

They write:

The combination of weapons of mass destruction and terrorism is a threat of incalculable consequences. It is one at which all of us should feel concerned. Resolution 1441 is Saddam Hussein's last chance to disarm using peaceful means. The opportunity to avoid greater confrontation rests with him. Sadly this week the U.N. weapons inspectors have confirmed that his long-established pattern of deception, denial and noncompliance with U.N. Security Council resolutions is continuing.

I love reading support in clear, unequivocal language.  God knows this would have been the front page of CNN and NYT if the unequivocal language had been damning.

I'm guilty-as-charged of over-generalizing "Europe" into a single, morally-equivalent, spineless mass.   The reality, as with the US, is that they are far more diverse of mind and opinion than many Americans give 'em credit for.   Politically, we need to more broadly recognize these voices and hope that they dilute the overly German/French-influenced EU & its diktat du jour. 

However, this type of recognition must be earned rather than granted and clear, bold statements like the letter above are a critical first step.

UPDATE -- so when France/Germany chastise a US policy, it's multilateral & automatically EU doctrine, but when 8 countries support the policy it's undermining the common approach?

EU president Greece, in charge of trying to coordinate European foreign policy, criticized the signatories for undermining a common approach to the Iraq problem.

This downstream ramifications of this event are going to be very interesting. 

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