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Eight European leaders support U.S.A.

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by Leopoldo Niilus, Jan 30, 2003.

  1. Leopoldo Niilus

    Leopoldo Niilus Registered User

    EIGHT European leaders today call on the Continent to stand united with America in the battle to disarm Iraq, while warning the UN that its credibility is on the line.
    In a calculated rebuff to France and Germany denounced by America last week as old Europe the leaders of Britain, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Hungary, Poland, Denmark and the Czech Republic have combined to make an unprecedented plea in The Times for unity and cohesion. They say the transatlantic relationship must not become a casualty of President Saddam Husseins threats to world security.

    Full story:

  2. ditch

    ditch Downunder Member

    Eight out of how many? Not counting Britain, two against and the rest not commited? I'm not sure of the count here Leopold. Is the stance of the other European member countries clear?
  3. Leopoldo Niilus

    Leopoldo Niilus Registered User


    First the facts. Eight European leaders have chosen to rally behind the U.S.A. So far, the count seems to be pretty clear. They may have done so for varying reasons, from case to case. There is certainly an element of rebuffing France and Germany. The leaders' stance does not necessarily represent the stance of the public opinion in their different countries.

    And no, the stance of the other European member countries is not clear.

    Latest polls, whatever they are worth, are said to indicate an 82 per cent of people in the European countries as against attacking Iraq without a full UN support.

    Nothing is yet too clear. :) Except that, at least IMHO, the U.S.A. WILL attack Iraq. with whatever support it might get or without it. With all the troops and military hardware already lined up, I just don't see how it could now back out.

    Just now, we live in the middle of a furious psychological warfare in which, as is normal under such circumstances, the truth has become the first victim.

  4. ditch

    ditch Downunder Member

    Often one of the first victims in war Leopold. This "piece" of information Bush is promsing on the 5th had better amount to something or he's going to lose some credibility.
  5. Leopoldo Niilus

    Leopoldo Niilus Registered User


    I'm afraid it doesn't make any difference whatsoever. The main course - WAR - has been already decided.

    Minor matters are to be left to spin doctors.

  6. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member


    The UK's motivations I understand, but I'm not clear on the others (perhaps I can determine Spain's). Are they merely doing this to try and stand down a Franco-German domination of the EU?

  7. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Passed Away Aug. 19, 2006


    I suspect that they have looked at the line=up and decided that the US will prevail, and better to announce support for us now rather than later. Maybe they can pick up some of that business with Iraq that France and Germany will lose once we have some influence over there.
  8. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    So much for the widely publicized "split" between America and Europe on this vital issue.

    A split exists but it is between the U.S. and Germany, which by itself is of course not "Europe." France as usual is playing hard to get and putting its own interests ahead of any conceivable common global interest. Europe is a big place and now officially includes the former Iron Curtain nations so long denied a voice in Continental affairs; Clearly the eight European leaders, whose words I am going to post below, do not share the views of Gerhard Schroder or Jacques Chirac (to the extent Mr. Chirac's views can be divined). They are as concerned as Mr. Bush about state-sponsored terrorism, as well they should be.

    United We Stand

    By Jose Maria Aznar, Jose-Manuel Durao Barroso, Silvio Berlusconi, Tony Blair, Vaclav Havel, Peter Medgyessy, Leszek Miller And Anders Fogh Rasmussen

    The real bond between the U.S. and Europe is the values we share: democracy, individual freedom, human rights and the Rule of Law. These values crossed the Atlantic with those who sailed from Europe to help create the United States of America. Today they are under greater threat than ever.

    The attacks of Sept. 11 showed just how far terrorists -- the enemies of our common values -- are prepared to go to destroy them. Those outrages were an attack on all of us. In standing firm in defense of these principles, the governments and people of the U.S. and Europe have amply demonstrated the strength of their convictions. Today more than ever, the transatlantic bond is a guarantee of our freedom.

    We in Europe have a relationship with the U.S. which has stood the test of time. Thanks in large part to American bravery, generosity and farsightedness, Europe was set free from the two forms of tyranny that devastated our continent in the 20th century: Nazism and Communism. Thanks, too, to the continued cooperation between Europe and the U.S. we have managed to guarantee peace and freedom on our continent. The transatlantic relationship must not become a casualty of the current Iraqi regime's persistent attempts to threaten world security.

    In today's world, more than ever before, it is vital that we preserve that unity and cohesion. We know that success in the day-to-day battle against terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction demands unwavering determination and firm international cohesion on the part of all countries for whom freedom is precious.

    The Iraqi regime and its weapons of mass destruction represent a clear threat to world security. This danger has been explicitly recognized by the U.N. All of us are bound by Security Council Resolution 1441, which was adopted unanimously. We Europeans have since reiterated our backing for Resolution 1441, our wish to pursue the U.N. route, and our support for the Security Council at the Prague NATO Summit and the Copenhagen European Council.
    In doing so, we sent a clear, firm and unequivocal message that we would rid the world of the danger posed by Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. We must remain united in insisting that his regime be disarmed. The solidarity, cohesion and determination of the international community are our best hope of achieving this peacefully. Our strength lies in unity.

    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 non-compliance with U.N. Security Council resolutions is continuing.

    Europe has no quarrel with the Iraqi people. Indeed, they are the first victims of Iraq's current brutal regime. Our goal is to safeguard world peace and security by ensuring that this regime gives up its weapons of mass destruction. Our governments have a common responsibility to face this threat. Failure to do so would be nothing less than negligent to our own citizens and to the wider world.

    The U.N. Charter charges the Security Council with the task of preserving international peace and security. To do so, the Security Council must maintain its credibility by ensuring full compliance with its resolutions. We cannot allow a dictator to systematically violate those resolutions. If they are not complied with, the Security Council will lose its credibility and world peace will suffer as a result. We are confident that the Security Council will face up to its responsibilities.

    Messrs. Aznar, Durao 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.
  9. Coot

    Coot Passed Away January 7, 2010

    I guess, all I can say is...
  10. Leopoldo Niilus

    Leopoldo Niilus Registered User


    Let me do some provisional guesswork:

    UNITED KINGDOM - clear case, special relationship (derisively called the American poodle), does not consider itself really European, etc., etc.

    Blaire, however, is having increasing troubles with the British public opinion, growingly against a solo American/British war against Iraq.

    In this sense the joint letter by the eight (derisively called by France the eight musketeers) may have given him quite some support. By the way, the letter was initiated, and basically drafted, by Spain and not by the UK as could have been expected.

    SPAIN - in general to be taken more seriously than it is by some quarters - Mediterranean reach, Middle East savvy, bridge to Latin America.

    Probably wants to gang up with UK rather than be a second class partner to France/Germany. Also a center right government. Ideological affinities. May, however, not be backed by the current Spanish public opinion. The opposition Socialist party (PSOE) is already making very negative noises.

    PORTUGAL - a bit of the Spanish line. Also a recent center right government. IMO, more opportunistic than strategic unlike Spain.

    ITALY - Probably just Berlusconi trying to hang on and fortify his own not excessively strong position. A rather opportunistic position though with some ideological affinity.

    DENMARK - Not so sure. Center right government? Ideological affinity? Somewhat skeptic about the European Union?

    HUNGARY, POLAND, CZECH REPUBLIC - simple enough. They, like many (most) other Eastern European countries are still marked by their fear of Russia. They see in the USA their sole and real guarantee against it and not so the Western European big ones. Historical experiences and memory. (Lithuania, by the way, has declared that it will open its air space for the U.S.A. in case of a war against Iraq).

    Much counted upon and flirted by the U.S.A. - old Europe/new Europe, our best friend Poland (buys American war planes and not European ones). Should not be taken too automatically, though. This pro-American tendency MAY slowly wear off and those countries become more European.

    A negative bottomline: Those wretched Europeans seem not to be able to get a common position on anything. To the great glee of the U.S.A. of course.

    BTW, that is also why America pushed so strongly to get Turkey as a member of the European Union NOW or as soon as possible, because this would have further weakened the possibility of any reallycommon European policy, especially as against the U.S.A.

    For whatever it is worth.

    Remember the Alamo!

  11. Leopoldo Niilus

    Leopoldo Niilus Registered User


    There is that also, of course.

    Whatever else, as in most matters geopolitical, there is no call to grow excessively sentimental or emotional about it.

  12. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

    Thanks, Leopoldo! But I am curious as to how these nations can expect to have their concerns taken seriously by the EU in the future? This is, of course, presuming that France and Germany become the provisional EU "leader states" at some time in the future (if this is even possible, given how the EU is supposed to practice fair and impartial government). While I'm all for them signing on and supporting the US, I am wondering if these countries are perhaps falling victim to the American trend of "short-term expediency."

    Or is it just that these nations--and perhaps others--dislike France and Germany so much?

  13. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Passed Away Aug. 19, 2006

    Yes, Leopoldo. Another way to look at it is this:

    When it is all over and the gravy train comes through town it is better to be on the train than standing ourtside hoping some goodies will fall off. :)

    BTW, where does ASwwitzerland stand in this matter?
  14. Leopoldo Niilus

    Leopoldo Niilus Registered User



    Switzerland is not a member of the European Union, nor of NATO.
    As far as I know, it has taken no official position. And I am pretty sure it won't take one. Why should it?

  15. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

    Neutral as always, I would presume...

  16. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Passed Away Aug. 19, 2006

    Hasn't there been talk of them joining the EU? Or am I imagining things...
  17. Leopoldo Niilus

    Leopoldo Niilus Registered User


    Good questions. With no easy answers. :)

    Europe is a complicated place and is currently going through quite some growing pains.

    The more the U.S.A. insults it and treats it as a some kind of a feebleminded colony or protectorate the more it contributes to European unity. So, I believe, you guys have to try even harder. :) :) :)

    And, mind you, France and Germany are still EUROPEAN and not really disliked or even much feared by other European states. Still, it is good to keep an eye on the bigger ones and some friendly power games are always in order.

    And, by the way, Germanys rather very unexpected standing up to America has generated quite a bit of admiration in Europe, publicly confessed or not.

    All this seeks to describe reality. Over and out.

  18. Leopoldo Niilus

    Leopoldo Niilus Registered User


    Proposals have been lost in referendums. Swiss French basically in favor; Swiss Germans (and Italians) against.

    Difficult to predict what might happen.

  19. Leopoldo Niilus

    Leopoldo Niilus Registered User

    Anything intrinsically wrong with being neutral?
  20. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

    No, I hadn't thought that other European countries would fear France, certainly. I know there is still some resentment toward Germany--Russia has its best armies oriented against Germany to this day, though I understand the Russian mindset is hardly reflective of the European mainstream.

    I have no doubt the Bush administration will try harder. ;)

    As far as Germany gathering applause for "standing up" to the US...is it perhaps telling that they waited until they no longer "need" American investment in their country? Would Germany be willing to allow US forces to retire from there, and take all that money with them? Has anyone discussed this over there?

    I'm actually for RIF in Europe. Not a total withdrawal, but more downsizing might be good for the soul.


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