Wednesday, June 08, 2005

'No' votes are not the end of Europe

Here's an opinion that the demise of the EU is nonsense--'No' votes are not the end of Europe - The Washington Times: Editorials/OP-ED - June 07, 2005. Of course there has never really been a "Europe" other than the landmass and today most people in Europe don't identify themselves as European, so Europe would continue as it always has.

And this analysis does depend on the assumption that people are rational. But people aren't really that rational and there are historical animosities among European countries that are supposed to have evaporated away in the light of the new EU system, all based on self interest. But as I have said, these things don't down so easily and the EU may find that this no vote brings all of this back to the surface once again.

I hope it doesn't personally. It is not in the US's interests to have a weak Europe for one. And I think that wishing problems on other people is not a good thing either and a period of national rivalry in Europe would not be a good thing for the people.

And for Ukraine, having a strong Europe to lean toward is a must too.

It is tempting to say that the French did us in so they deserve anything they get. But there may be a big difference between the "French" and Jacques Chirac. In the run-up to the war with Iraq, many French conservatives who supported the US position said that the Bush administration didn't give them a chance to make their case in France. To have been able to do so might have strengthened their hand at home. Maybe he couldn't give them that chance for military reasons but it does show that not everyone is lock step with Chirac.

And the French for all their touchiness--I found that bringing up the French Revolution is not good after dinner conversation-- do have this tendency to come up with something grand and magnanimous at times. One French observer in the Crimea gave his hat to a Ukrainian on his way to Maidan to join in on the protests because it wasn't right that the delegate, so to speak, from the Crimea, on his way to so important an event, would not be dressed enough for such an occasion. It's a small thing--there have been other bigger things--but revealing. It's a good reflection on their culture.

And I hear that French intelligence has cooperated as it always has in the war on terrorism and agents only smile and go about their business working with the US when French anti-Americanism is brought up. That's a professionalism you gotta respect.

Anyway, we'll see what happens with it.


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