Saturday, March 31, 2007

The EU Disgraces Itself - There Must Be Consequences

Yesterday's acts by the EU will reverberate long into the future and with consequences that likely cannot be seen at this point. The UK asked for assistance from EU members in bringing pressure to bear on Iran to return the kidnapped 15 sailors and marines late of the HMS Cornwall. The EU placed their economic ties with Iran above the moral imperative of assisting Britain -- and even had the gall to lecture to the UK that this matter should not be taken to the point of confrontation -- no doubt because it would endanger their trade with Iran.

European foreign ministers failed last night to back Britain in a threat to freeze the €14 billion trade in exports to Iran, as the hostage crisis descended into a propaganda circus.

Tony Blair could only issue a new statement of disgust as Iran tormented him with another sailor’s video confession and a fresh letter from the young mother detainee.

A first written message from the Tehran Government offered some hope of a deal, but time is running out before the Iranian new year holiday ends and militant students and politicians return to business.

EU foreign ministers meeting in Germany called for the sailors to be freed but ruled out any tightening of lucrative export credit rules. The EU is Iran’s biggest trading partner. British officials are understood to have taken soundings on economic sanctions before the meeting but found few takers.

France, Iran’s second-largest EU trading partner, cautioned that further confrontation should be avoided. The Dutch said it was important not to risk a breakdown in dialogue.
Read the entire article here. One can make several observations from these acts. Indeed, one can even do so with relative calm and without the use of expletives -- but only after a long walk and a couple of glasses of 30 proof mead. The EU is beneath contempt.

1. The EU places their individual pecuniary interests above the interests of EU solidarity. There can be no future expectation of support by the EU for any particular member in any given scenario.

2. There is likely a huge element of anti-Americanism playing into the EU decision to rebuff the UK and it is motivated in part to punish the UK for allying with America. Anti-Americanism has been a hallmark of leftist politics throughout Old Europe, and the constant drumbeat of negativity has had its effect. For example, in Germany, more people consider the U.S. to be a greater threat to world peace then Iran and radical Islam.

3. The EU, which faces the same existential threat from Iran and radical Islam that the US and the UK face, is unwilling or unable to put its national security interests ahead of its short term pecuniary interests so long as the EU member nations feel safe under the umbrella of U.S. and U.K. protection.

4. The EU is willing to rely on the United States and the UK to provide and pay for their security while they feel free to reap economic benefit wherever possible, including trading with the the very nation that threatens their security.

5. The EU itself is wholly amoral with no sense of institutional loyalty. To motivate EU countries, one must offer them lucre or threaten their trade.

6. The EU member states cannot be counted upon as allies as a group.

7. In the wake of this rebuff, the UK will never go along with agreeing to an EU constitution. That is dead and buried.

8. In the wake of this rebuff, Angela Merkel's call for the melding of member state armies into a single EU military is beyond ridiculous.

9. It is unlikely that the UK will leave the EU over this incident - which is too bad really. However, there will be loud calls to consider it in the UK in the coming months and it will be an outside possibility.

10. The greed of the EU is blinding them to the ramifications of their refusal to support the UK. Their decision will embolden Iran and make the liklihood of this whole matter ending without the use of brute force far less likely. I seriously doubt that the UK will sit through a show trial of their troops without issuing an ultimatum on a date certain. George Bush is loyal. When Tony Blair asks, I have no doubt whatsoever that Bush will pull the trigger on the air craft carriers in the Gulf.

Having said all of that, the US can and should take actions to motivate Britain's fellow EU member states. A law on the books since the Clinton administration and recently revised under the rubric of The Iran Freedom Support Act allows for sanctions against companies, foreign and domestic, who trade in certain matters with Iran. No one has ever been sanctioned under it. Given the incredible greed and shortsightedness of the EU actions in rebuffing the UK, the U.S. should dust off this law immediately and announce its intentions to enforce the sanctions. It is likely the only coercive act the craven and despicalbe EU members could understand. There can be no more free rides when it comes to their own defense for the EU members.

Further, the U.S. should give serious consideration to whether it wishes to continue to be a member of NATO. We can certainly engage in treaties with those nations such as Britain and the members of new Europe who are willing to be loyal allies and pay for their share of their own defense. America's next military threat is coming from China, not Europe. Leaving NATO would allow us to free up significant military and command capability and refocus it to the true threats that we face in the future.

Hat Tip: Dinah Lord


Dinah Lord said...

Really well done, TC. Just excellent.

(and thanks for the HT!)

MCJ said...

Absolutely brilliant explanation of the EU's continuing hypocrisy. You made my day.

Scott said...

Thank you both for your kind comments - Scott @ T/C


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