Tuesday, June 29, 2004
Sticking Plaster

When you look at the hostility with which George Bush has been greeted in Ireland and Turkey, the focus does provide more evidence of the gap in power between the superpower and the pygmies. Very little was agreed in Ireland, but those members of the EU who turned up did nothing to reverese the aura of impotence that has gripped their continent in the last two years.

The NATO conference in Istanbul was a stage for further grandstanding from Chirac and the dawning realisation in the media that European military pretensions had fallen at the first hurdle: Afghanistan. Any promises or pledges had been observed in the breach.

Given the failure to provide security in Afghanistan, it is unlikely that NATO will fulfill its mission in Iraq. looking at Blair's administration over the past year, one can see a disengagement from the alliance, since it no longer serves as the cement for the transatlantic alliance.

With Blair's slavish relationship to the US (or knowing which side your bread is buttered), one wonders if pressure or influence was brought to bear on the UK, once the Bush administration fully took on board the consequences of the EU constitution. To preserve the hollow pretence of a nuclear "frappe de force", and Britain's power in the world, did Blair sanction the referendum for the Constitution as a symbol of his turn towards the Atlantic, and as a signal to the White House, that Britain no longer supported European unification?

(23.06, 29th June 2004)


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