January 1, 2009


In the early 1970s in Denmark, my friends were against the entry of Denmark into the EEC (as it was then), because "you take the 4 biggest bastards in world history, the British, the French, the Germans, the Italians, put them all in the same army, and then see what they do to the rest of the world..." Spain and Portugal weren't members yet, the Spanish especially rank right up there, though!

However, while recognizing that Europe hasn't created an army yet, but will, and that only then will we know what will happen... yet so far Europe has been not bad. I think the best prospect for solving the Israeli/Palestinian problems is to bring them both inside the EU (and Sarkozy has made the first moves in that direction with his Mediterranean initiative).

The list of American infractions of international law (illegal wars, bombing of civilian populations, covert assassinations, overthrow of democracies) doesn't begin with either Bush or Clinton. It goes back through Kennedy/Johnson, Teddy Roosevelt, to Polk, Jackson... Even with half-decent Presidents like FDR, Carter, it's still there, entrenched in the bureaucracy, running along quietly, waiting to be unleashed. However, Obama is not going to bomb civilian populations. Doesn't mean he won't invade anyone, but it's not going to be for the purposes of a) imperial power-grab and b) war profiteering for yourself and your friends. It will be to take out Bin Laden, or to prevent genocide in Darfur, or to clean up pirate nests. I can live with all that.

But in another 30 years, when a generation that has forgotten George Worstever Bush comes to power, then we're all at risk again... unless there has been some substantial strengthening of the UN. Which was happening under Clinton (especially the International Criminal Court, that's incredibly important) but was reversed and canceled by GWB.

Happy New Year!

No comments: