A Michael Glennon presents a notable argument in today’s Tribune. He argues that the sidelining of the UN security council by the US is justifiable, to an extent. I am going to come back to this guy and this argument.
Seumas (Seamus?) Milne in the Guardian today writes an excellent article on why the foreign policy pursued by the US has only worsened an already bad situation. You can read it here.
In a speech this week in Prague, it is thought Bush will mention the growing integration of Europe, and point to its stability and the peace that has been present in Europe (excepting the Balkans) since the end of the Second World War.
What I note about the new members of NATO joining soon, is that they are all also joining the EU, most of them in 2004, and the rest in 2007. For some time now I have felt that the EU will not be a threat to NATO, as some have been saying, but NATO will form a major part of the European Common Foreign and Security Policy. The Rapid Reaction Force will simply be a NATO/EU army under a different name.
Needless to say I disagree with the remarks in the London Independent on the same subject. It stands to reason that Britain will not have to choose between EU Defence and NATO, but that increasingly the EU will be NATO. As a result of US unilateralism, NATO will likely become a European project rather than one dominated by the US.
This article is a few days old but I thought it worth mentioning. Paul Kennedy writes an interesting piece on Bush, and the coming war in Iraq. I have read about Bush’s liking for Churchill before, and his wish to liken himself to the inimitable Winston. I myself have an admiration for Churchill even if he was a bit of a war monger!
Richard Norton-Taylor, the Guardians security affairs editor, proposes that America will always call the shots, and will be judge jury and executioner – with the EU and the rest of NATO there to clean up the mess.
I do not agree that the EU cannot catch up with the US militarily or strategically. With the expansion of the EU, and the ambition of its leaders, the EU will continue to thrive, and so become a rival to US power. A very scary situation indeed.
Jonathan Steele writes an interesting article in the Guardian today. I cannot agree more with his closing sentiment that we need to “restore the integrity of the UN as the arbiter of international conflicts, and to restrain the irresponsible use of American military might.” In light of the impending invasion of Iraq we should realise that only the most multilateral and internationalist option is the solution. Otherwise we will repeat mistakes made throughout history.
Amitav Acharya writes an interesting piece in today’s Tribune. This subject is one that interests me greatly, as can be seen be seen from previous postings about Fukuyama. The book mentioned in Acharya’s article, the Clash of Civilizations by Sam Huntington, I actually bought for my uncle last Christmas, but have recently borrowed from him for my own reading. I am currently half way through it so I cannot really comment on the book as a whole.
As for the Acharya article, I do largely agree with his sentiments. His criticism of Fukuyama is well placed and well thought out. The book mentioned at the end of the article also sound interesting, one I will have to look at in the future.
Francis is at it again in his article in the excellent International Herald Tribune. I say nonsense since I do not agree with many of the things Fukuyama has said in the past. The End of History is the best example, a book that proclaims that liberal democracy is the be all and end all, and humanity has a reached a point that we cannot go over, that history will cease to be made once liberal western democracy has spread to the rest of the world. Or to quote Fukuyama himself “we may be witnessing the end of history as such: that is, the end of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalisation of Western liberal democracy as the final form of government”.
What is ironic about his views that “the end of history was supposed to be about the victory of Western, not simply American, values and institutions, making liberal democracy and market-oriented economics the only viable choices”. History shows us not that liberal democracy is the be all and end all of humanity, taking its origins from Greek and Roman ideas, but that history does not end. Liberal democracy is not the be all, it is just another step in history. People like Fukuyama make claims like this in every generation, but are proved wrong by time, and by history.
The reason Europeans I think despise US unilateralism, is the European history is a patchwork of wars and battles, all fought by countries who believed they were right. America believes it is right, but since international war has never really occured on it own soil it has not learned the lessons European nations have.
I think to this extent Fukuyama agrees with me, but he fails to draw the conclusion I would from the 2002 rift between the EU and the US. That war, at some point in the future, is possible between the two most powerful regions on earth. I would say it is a distinct possibility for the future.