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December 13, 2007
The new European Union - the Empire Returns?
With the signing of the Lisbon Treaty on December 13, 450 million people are now under a new, single government, called the European Union, headquartered in Brussels. Individual countries like Britain and France are yielding their national sovereignty to a new Über-nation. Without ever putting it to a vote of the people, the ruling classes of Europe have pushed through a constitution under the heading of a "treaty," because it was voted down in the form of a Constitution by the people of France and the Netherlands two years ago.
The new Lisbon Treaty will give EU centralized control over:
In addition, a centralized EU foreign ministry and a centralized EU military are already well advanced. Most EU countries already use the single currency, the euro.
According to Prof. Anthony Coughlan,
Bigger nations would get more voting power; thus Germany would be the most powerful member of the new Supernation, with 82 million people, compared to about 60 million for France, Britain, and Italy.
Brussels Journal has an entire page devoted to politicians explaining why voters should not be allowed to have a voice in establishing the new supernation. This is an overtly anti-democratic EU, established by an overtly anti-democratic political class.
The most astonishing fact is the apathy of ordinary Europeans, as shown, for example, by the trivial tabloid headlines in European newspapers; they are just not interested in the biggest political event of the last half century. Only the blogs are giving it space. Eureferendum calls it "Bollocks to Brussels!"
The closest historical precedent is the unification of Germany by Otto Bismarck in 1871. That was not a happy event, in the longer term.
The EU does not have to go the way of Bismarck's Second Reich, but it reflects very much the same aristocratic disdain of the ruling classes, and the same distrust of ordinary people.
From an American point of view, it is high time to consider withdrawing all US troops from Europe, now that it has everything needed to defend itself. US protection for Europe has outlasted its usefulness. In the future, the protection of crucial trade through waterways like the Persian Gulf should become an equally shared burden. Uncle Sam has done more than enough.
The greatest question for the future is, will the European Union be a responsible superpower? Or will it pursue the blame-America-first frenzy of the last few decades, where Europeans want to have their cake and eat it, too? The idea of exercising great power is seductive, but it does not follow that the EU will exercise it responsibly. Europe has a disastrous political history, and hasn't shown any responsibility in the last decade.
For our cousins the European people, the great question is whether they can keep their individual freedoms. The EU has shown no interested in individual rights, only group rights under labels like gender, class and race. Structurally and ideologically the EU has much in common with the old Soviet Union, as many observers have pointed out. Like the USSR, it is a creation of a power elite.
But this is no longer an American concern. As the new supernation comes into being, its own citizens will have to look after their own rights and freedoms.
This is an historic moment. The EU will unquestionably try to control American actions and policies, always under the guise of international law and the greater good. Today, Europe is the biggest source of the Global Warming fraud, and it makes no bones about its desire to subject America's economy to its own desires. We need to treat Europe exactly the way we treat China and Russia: As a different political power, with different interests, and hopefully, some common interests as well.
The biggest foreign policy challenge to the EU is the nuclear weaponization of Iran. That is also our biggest threat. Europe hasn't shown any results in its diplomatic efforts with Tehran. It remains to be seen if it can act effectively in raising the economic and perhaps military stakes.
This would be a time of unreserved congratulations if the EU were a democratic enterprise, which showed itself to be able to act responsibly in foreign affairs. After seeing European behavior in the past eight years we feel more cautious. There is a spirit of new European imperialism abroad, under the usual guise of love and compassion. Already the EU wants to expand into Northern Africa, supposedly for its "energy potential in solar and wind power." There is a great amount of boastfulness among the elites, and a considerable amount of depression and pessimism among the people. The EU is a socialist enterprise, and perhaps a social-democratic one; but that remains to be seen.
James Lewis blogs at dangeroustimes.wordpress.com