Is Europe The Future?


At its 50th anniversary, is Europe the way of the future or a vestige of the past?

Posted by Natalie Ahn on March 29, 2007 9:36 AM

Readers’ Responses to Our Question (68)

Anonymous :

Europe has a future if it can free itself from dependence on Russian oil. Otherwise it is kaput. Its very green, which is good, and it controls a lot of finance. But unless Western economies can figure out some way to balance the Asian powerhouses that are emerging, they're going to get left in the dust. Its healthy though, the west has been living off the fat of the hog for too long. They need a little competition to get things moving.

Tom Wonacott :

Salamon

"...you object to my citing the military industrial complex. Pray tell how the heck will you have large defensive force in EU without the complex?..."

"...I suggest that Europe has learned that having large military industrial complexes leads to war..."

This is your previous statement. Do you notice the word "large" in there? The EU does not have to have a US size military. In fact, it's got the necessary components already in the individual countries (NATO in Bosnia and Afghanistan), just not a EU force (that I am aware of(?)). I am quite aware of the infrastructure necessary for the military, OK? Maybe it would be nice to hear from a European or two on this issue, not an America-obsessed Canadian (Ameriphobic?).

I do agree with you as far as Katrina goes though. That has not been good for the people living in New Orleans and other parts of the South. The US health care system is the most advanced in the world, though. Many Canadians come south to use our health care system.

"...So Tom, take five, and reply to points addressed to you, and not to points addresed to others..."

I'll have to look back over the rules of the forum, but off hand, I don't recall stipulations on which post you can or cannot comment on...

Finally, you say:

"...Moreover the very existence of the complex begs for payoffs, bribes etc as the case in UK, and the USA, where the exchange for the Almighty $ you sell and bribe Saudi Arabians, thus depriving their citizens of decent education and work..."

We must be doing a very poor job of bribing the Saudis based on the comments of King Abdullah at the recent Arab summit:

"...In beloved Iraq, blood is flowing between brothers, in the shadow of an illegitimate foreign occupation, and abhorrent sectarianism threatens a civil war," said Abdullah. Saudi Arabia had initially supported the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. King Abdullah's remarks were made at the opening of the two-day Arab summit in Riyadh..."

Apparently we did a better job of bribery in 2003. The high cost of sending children to college is killing King Abdullah.


As always, its a pleasure.

stj911@rock.com :

I am surprised at the number of un-informed, ill-informed sheeple on earth as well as politically correct hypocrites.

Several polls have consistently shown that about 84% of the American people believe that 911 was an inside job. The fact is the 911 was a RACIST AND Jon CarlsonHEINOUS CRIME by a group of criminal and racist Americans themselves. There is no video that Federal Bureau of Incompetence could produce of plane hitting the Pentagon. On the contrary, they acted as Foolish PATSIES for the criminal operators of 911 by confiscating and destroying all other camera footage from buildings around Pentagon. Next, WTC7 just committed suicide. Thermate residue has been found as finger print left by the criminals. Please visit 911blogger.com, st911.org and many other sites.

911 official story is a forgery like the protocols of the learned elders of zion. It is as fake as a magician pulling a rabbit out of his hat, and does that mean you can have a rabbit farm from that hat? I cant believe how many idiots that we have.

And the most interesting thing is that most lead researchers of the movement are either Christian or Jewish. The MIT engineer, Jeff King does not sound like an Arab name.

Now what is the connection with Europe? Note the very first post in this discussion starts with Islamophobia. Its probably a patsy of the criminal cabal that pulled off 911. We have a strong feeling that almost ALL THE INTELLIGENCE CHIEFS of EUROPE knew instantly that 911 was a fraud. President Putin himself had carried out such a false flag operation based on blowing Moscow apartment buildings to enter the second Chechen war.

Jon Carlson has written an excellent investigative piece entitled "Russia Watched 9/11 In Real Time On Satellite" which you can find via google using these clues.

Racists of Europe, such as in France, Holland were immediately ready to take full advantage of 911 hoax. India, immediately understood that 911 was a hoax and staged its own fake terrorist attacks to harass Pakistan. Bush used it to harass Pakistan into submitting the father of their nuclear bomb, Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan to CIA interrogation. There was another goal of 911. Scare Muslim leader into becoming patsies to destroy their society from within. Once it is internally weak, then a stone can be shattered by one blow. Iraq was thus first weakened by sanctions, and then attack to shatter it.

By God, they will not succeed. Allah has power over all things. The universe has hidden dimension and God watches everything from there. That is what is happening. They can conspire but they will be defeated. All those who have died in Iraq from crimes are going to go to heaven. All the Americans who have committed atrocities will go to hell. All Americans or Iraqis who will do good deeds will be judged accordingly. God has absolutely no partiality towards any religion or race.

You are seeing events move extremely fast.

Iran has brought UK to a stalemate. Hezbollah has essentially defeated Israel, in the sense that the latter has failed to obtain its objectives of the war. The racist and heinous crime of the 911 operators has been exposed. This is the lynchpin from which will follow a large change in the world, but not in the way the 911 operators of controlled demolition intended, but totally opposite. The wife cheaters, the newt gingrichs, the pedophiles reagans herbert bush, as in the video "conspiracy of silence" where FBI criminals tried to criminally coverup is now exposed. This is never going to go away. The video evidence is far and wide dispersed on earth and archived.

The true believers from all faiths have joined hands and will not be divided by pedophile, sex crazed, wife cheaters and genocidal murderers and their deception and lies based on psychological tactics of Edward Bernays.

I ask you all for a moment of silence in the honor of 911 truth movement people, Alex Jones, Dr Steven Jones, Dr Fetzer, Dr Jeff King and many others I am failing to mention but God knows them and their reward is with Him.

James Ziolkowski :

The entire world is letting the Islamic terrorists walk all over them. Europe will be a Muslim continent by 2050. We are the only ones, besides our allies Great Britain and Israel who will stand up and fight these radical fundenemntal religious terrorists. No one else will.

MikeB :

From the Financial Times of London:

"Europe has eclipsed the US in stock market value for the first time since the first world war in another sign of the slipping of the global dominance of American capital markets.

Europe’s 24 stockmarkets, including Russia and emerging Europe, saw their capitalisation rise to $15,720bn (€11,819bn) at the end of last week, according to Thomson Financial data. That exceeded the $15,640bn market value of the US."

...Erope protects their jobs and economy. Here, big corporations run the show and they see only short term gains. I would argue that their actions are criminal and equiavlent to treason and corporate CEO's that outsource jobs or displace Amercian workers with foreign workers are guilty of treason and ought to be imprisoned or executed as doing something so damaging to our country and people. They are ENEMIES!

Anonymous :

There are still many hurdles in the way for an effective EU power. Nation members are reluctant to give away sovereignty and the peoples joining come in with vast differences and cultural baggage.

Until the EU leaders manage to reach more coherence in their new system, EU efficiency will remain low and judging it will remain premature.

Salamon :

TOM:

It is nice of you to try to defend your "philosophical buddy", Ajay Jain, by citing some MUSLIM terrorist acts over the world perpetrated in the last few years. I note however, that you have failed to list the terrorist acts of your homeland, starting with your proxies, such as Israel, Ethiopia, UK, and continuing with your infamous CIA [and its agents and hired terrorists] in germany, Italy, USA, Canada, etc; without forgetting your armed forces in undeclared wars: Panama, Vietnam, Grenada, Somalia, Sudan, Iraq, Lybia, Yugoslavia, Pakistan, Cambodia, Laos, etc . The TOTAL Muslim victims of terror pale beside the carnage caused by various agents/proxies of the USA. I believe your nation's contribution is in excess of 5 000 000 since 1960 or so, while the total Muslim caused death is less than 10 000 [aside from the legal insurrection in Iraq against the invaders and their collaborators].

So Tom, take five, and reply to points addressed to you, and not to points addresed to others.

you have failed to defend your statement about the EU defence establishment sans military industrial complex, and the costs thereof in foregone social measures, as in the USA: Katerina, uninsured health care, overwhelming squallor in large cities, etc.

Tom Wonacott :

Salamon

"...Your islamophobia is wearing thin..."

"...then they will keep their distance form the USA' islamophobia..."

Generally, when an individual in a discussion has no answers, they resort to words such as Islamaphobia, or homophobia.

Look around you. Islamic terrorism, and targeting of civilians (a trademark of Islamic terrorist) has affected half the world (Spain, Britain, Indonesia, Thailand....). In Europe, Muslims have rioted and killed people over cartoons (yes, offensive to Muslims), and over what the Pope expressed. Even a false story about a Koran being flushed down the toilet at Guantanamo Bay caused widespread world-wide rioting.

Europe is clearly concerned over Muslim immigration. French Presidential candidate, Sarkozy, has specifically called for Turkey to be excluded from the EU. He is playing on the fears of the French regarding a large (population), dominantly Muslim country.

"...PARIS, Oct 5, 2006 (AFP) - French presidential hopeful Nicolas Sarkozy said Turkey's entry into the European Union would "be the end of political Europe" and suggested it would worsen the "problem" of Muslim integration in the continent, in an interview to be published Thursday..."

Islamic terrorism, Islamic culture and Islamic countries are pertinent discussions in any foreign policy forum. Daniel is about as far from Islamophobic as the nearest galaxy. He is looking, rightfully, at the future of Islam in our world (as we all are). He just discusses it at a little more depth than the rest of us (can comprehend sometimes).

Finally, need I remind you AGAIN that it was the US that led the operation to end ethnic cleansing and genocide in Bosnia to the BENEFIT of the Muslim population. The US is not Islamophobic, but we are leery of Islamic terrorism - especially after 911.

You are a smart, well educated person that can come up with a better answer than "Islamophobia"

Salamon :

to Tom:

you object to my citing the military industrial complex. Pray tell how the heck will you have large defensive force in EU without the complex? or perhaps you wish that the EU support your corrupt military industrial complex, or that of Russia or China?

You can not have a great defence force without the industrial backing, an industry which eats funds, and does not produce any lasting benefit [except for the shareholders]. Moreover the very existence of the complex begs for payoffs, bribes etc as the case in UK, and the USA, where the exchange for the Almighty $ you sell and bribe Saudi Arabians, thus depriving their citizens of decent education and work.

Do recall that one of the greatest Military leaders [and later President of USA] has warned against the rise of such a complex in USA. Moreover, the notion that a large standing army is anti-republican was well expressed by Numerous Federal Papers, and some early USA Presidents.

Daniel:

If you would have read UK blogs re 15 prisoners of war, you would not have made the insulting statement regarding my posting. Your islamophobia is wearing thin, when you only repeat yourself without researching and reading other views, especially the views of the most affected, the UK citizens.

MikeB:

I agree with you that the shorttermism of USA's financial / manufacturing and service industries without regard to the well being of the USA citizens at large is the GREATEST ENEMY OF THE USA'S FUTURE WELLBEING, especially so when the the Republican leadership excessively encouraged this modus operandi [not that the seminal opening of it did not happen Earlier].

Ajay Jain:

If the EU keeps its brains rather then following the arrogance of USA world view, then they will keep their distance form the USA' islamophobia, The ME is there, it is the source of a large part of available oil/gas surplus [thus they can export]. As the lesson of Iraq slowly sinks in the consciousness of the world, it will become appearant that there is no solution except mutual respect if we [the world] want to enjoy the benefit of that surplus. As the Brooking Istitution just published, notwithstanding 200 000+ armed men [soldiers and mercanaries] the oil production of Iraq is still below the 2002 level.

Aside from the above, neither Russia not China, Nor Japan, nor India will permit the further destruction of the ME by any power, be they "superpower" or the EU -which depends on Russia's gas and oil export to maintain her economy.

The USa with or without the EU is incapable to overcome the economic and military strength of the Asian hydrocarbon importers [they own your government/industiral bonds and can destroy the USA $], especially when they are joined by the biggest exporter, russia; short of starting WW III, which will signify the end of USA [and a big part of the SPACESHIP EARTH].

to Zoltan:

I agree that the EU is getting tired of saving the USA from its continuous misadventures [be it Iraq, Cuba, Lebanon, Isreal, Iran or anywhere else]. They are aware that the USA has only its own [misguided] eonomic/military self-interest in view, at the expense of international law, the future of the world or the well being of her citizens [Katrina is the most recent example of this trend within the USA].

MikeB :

Andrew Einspanier Northern Wisconsin - Getting off the globalization band wagon is just what Europe is doing and THAT is why they have a future. Europe realized that you cannot export jobs and import cheap foreign workers and have a stable economy, much less any kind of future. We, on the other hand, actively encourage corporations to outsource jobs and import cheap foreign indentured servants. Did you know that 60% of our trade is *between* corporate enties! That multinational corporations, with "subsidiaries" being nothing more than post office boxes, move profits and prices around so as to avoid paying taxes and artificially inflate COG's? It's gigantic Ponzi Scheme, used to fleese tax payers and consumers and government from hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars every year. And politcian's of every stripe feed at the trough set by these same corporations. What, ask yourself, does NOW, the Family Coalition, Hillary Clinton and George Bush all have in common? They are all slavish enough to support "globalization". We either end globalization, get out of NAFTA, and tax the living snot out of companies and goods and services that outsource jobs or we cease to exist. We also MUST end all forms of guest worker visas and deport everyone here on one and find a way of flat out bankrupting any employer who hires illegals. Globalization is about as inevitable as was slavery in the 18th Century. End it!

Renae :

Like all 50-year-olds (and I can now, sadly, speak from experience), the EU should look to leave a legacy upon which future generations can expand the best of its precepts. To do so it must acknowledge the shortcomings in implementing those precepts and make course corrections before future generations mindlessly perpetuate them. As with all middle agers, the real issue is whether it has the courage, will, and energy to do that. Most disturbing with regard to the comments elicited thus far, however, are how "the color of money" issues dominate the debate and what it may mean to the EU's ability to do so if the comments accurately reflect EU-wide sentiment on Turkey's suitability for the EU. My best guess is that that issue will devolve to shades of gray as Turkey becomes pivitol to the West in dealing with its unruly neighbors.

daniel :

I thought Bobl-Va, Ajay Jain and Tom Wonacott (of recent posts) made sense.

More and more I see a worrisome pattern: that all law (the ability in general to move diplomatically, lawfully) is breaking down between the Islamic world and the Western world. I will be the first to admit Western intrusions historically, and I certainly thought the Bush move into Iraq was based on questionable motives. But over the whole, the greater logic, is that the Western world has had difficulty enough maintaining itself as a secular, free, scientific civilization, and now a billion people of essentially a pre-scientific civilization are threatening it at the foundation.

I believe the West will prevail--not least because for all differences with Russia and the Far Easterners the West has much in common with them--just witness the miracle of Japan--but the process threatens to get uglier before it gets better. In short the trend of history seems to be toward science and certainly higher political orders than those dominated by religious conceptions of the world (a combination of Far East and West?) but Islam and in general southern hemisphere nations are becoming more and more of a problem and just do not agree on this course of historical development. At best southern hemisphere nations are willing to embrace political orders northern nations find questionable (Venezuala).

It looks more and more that the sovereignty of nations not in line with the development of northern nations is becoming less and less respected because these nations are often clustered into civilizational movements which threaten the north (Islamic developments, south American developments, African developments, etc.). It becomes difficult to preserve any notion of lawful relationship when great historical and civilizational questions are at hand.

I find myself especially pessimistic with regard to Islam (although this pessimism is probably due to a degree because the problem of Islam is close at hand). Islam as I see it must really become moderate and not moderate only in word. So far its actions are being put up with because in the West and elsewhere people believe there is no real problem--that it will just peter out. But if Islam becomes more insistent the incompatability of it with West and East will just continue to increase until all good will toward Islam evaporates.

I think both Islam and the West and East are shortsighted at the moment. Islam thinks it can just have its way and the West and East think the problem will just solve itself. But conditions right now are slowly making this line of reasoning questionable. We are beyond which nation or even civilization is right and wrong. We can quibble all day about law and borders and rights. In the end the question is whether there is civilizational compatability and I believe Islam will just have to give way to modernity. More and more quickly every day Islam will come into contact with the West, with Russia, with China--with Far Eastern nations in general. Then what? Islam will prevail? Islamic cities will not become more and more like Tokyo, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Rome, Madrid, Berlin, Paris, London, New York, Chicago, Washington, San Francisco, L.A.?

Unthinkable. We already have Dubai...

I think Islamic leaders had better think hard about which way they are heading. All is coming down to hard laws of history--laws superior to U.N., international law, sovereignty, etc. We are talking about the emancipation of the mind of man. We are talking about science, rationality, democracy, human rights, vision about the globe and beyond. If Islam wants to win it had better provide a superior conception of the world, because that is the direction in which victory lies. Without that superior conception then it must bow to a more enlightened vision of history....

Ajay Jain :

The response to 9/11 was Global at first but with the lack of co-ordination between Bush handlers and the European allies at the UN Europe lost an important stake at being in the forefront of the NEW war against the "jihadists" since the COLD war ended.

However unpopular this war against terrorism maybe we are today at the crossroads at either living in a civilized society or giving in to the rules of Talibanistan or Al-Quida. With Britain at the brink of pulling away from Iraq, sees itself challenged with 15 sailors trapped in Iran. It is the same Britain that went to war with Argentina for a few Islands but now finds itself at the mercy of a regional power like Iran.

With Germany France opting out of the Iraq war from the start we lost the moderation that was needed in this struggle against global terrorism. The neo-conservatives in the Bush Administration had their way and were able to mis-handle the entire operation. We lost the global view in a narrowly fought war which some "personal" undertones for George Bush the son of President Bush I. When wars and foreign policy take a personal tone it is a recipe for disaster.

Europe would have done better to ENGAGE itself in the Iraq debate at the UN rather than just oppose the US and corner Bush into unilateralism. With the Madrid, London and Bali bombings the West has just become a backyard for the jihadists to foment trouble at will.

All is not lost however in this Generational war on terrorism that Ted Koppel calls our great grand children's war. As the sun dawns on the Bush Presidency the next US President will have to extricate our war posture from Iraq to one of a viable sustaining policy. It will then behove for the European powers to be to engage with the US in an integral way to balance the spread of Islamic radicalism which has spawned into a gigantic monster that is disproportionate to its real presence in the moderate Muslim world.

If Europe wants to be the future than the past then just like after World War II it not only accepted the US Marshall Plan but joined with the US in its quest to fight the Cold War and beat it though institutions like NATO. Europe has to rise AGAIN and extend its hand to the US that is fighting a lonely loosing war of minds and hearts but not heads to suicide bombres. There is still a large majority of the moderate Muslim world that has to be won by a new US President that does not "coin" anti-Islamic words for the short term gains but look at the long standing war of words and have a World view that concerns itself with the spread of radicalism in the Muslim world.

If we had the genius of conceiving the Marshall Plan after WWII to keep Europe from crumbling to Communism, we can surely conceive a "Muslim Plan" to keep the Billions of moderate Muslims going radical. We need a war of ideas, words and deeds rather than a proxy War of bullets and bombs that is being fought in Iraq for Big Oil. In this we need Europe to be a partner for the future than just the past.

Andrew Einspanier Northern Wisconsin :

Europe , especially Western Europe , is facing a troubling future ( next 50 years or so ) . In sum , it is a post-industrial society that wants to avoid further globalization . Not turn-back -the -clock but stop- the-clock . Either approach is impractical and/or impossible .

The answer ; If Europe can adapt to the expanding and ever changing challenges of globalization --- WAVE of the FUTURE . If not ...

Tom Wonacott :

BobL

While you make a good point concerning the location of a British boat on patrol (at the request of the UN), Iran continues to do really stupid things. An article by Michael Glackin of the Daily Star (Lebanese publication) sums up the incident very nicely from my point of view:

"...But whatever views one holds of British and American policies in the Middle East Iran's actions are inexcusable. Notwithstanding the fact that it beggars belief that British troops should be patrolling in an area just a few thousand meters from Iranian sovereign territory at a time of increased tension between the two countries, Iran is behaving like the rogue state American neoconservatives take glee in portraying it as. Iran has done more in the last week to make the case for preventing it from joining the nuclear club than any amount of Israeli or US rhetoric.
What occurred in Shatt al-Arab is nothing short of piracy. Tehran's insistence that the seizure took place inside Iranian territorial waters is badly undermined by the fact the grid coordinates it originally released revealed the entire incident had taken place inside Iraqi waters.
As I write, the crew has been imprisoned at an undisclosed location for a week. They have been interrogated, denied consular access and in heavily edited television footage, the sole female prisoner, under duress, was seen "confessing" to trespassing. She has also written a letter, which appears to have been dictated by someone with little knowledge of British politics, to Britain's Parliament, calling for a withdrawal of British troops from Iraq...".


ORL :

Not much to do with EU's/Europe's 50th Anniversary...

But the obsession with Iran being what it is, the latest incident is only part of a series of provocative acts by the West, meant to help invoke some Gulf of Tonkin like incident, so as to "justify" war with Iran. (Seymour Hersh has already written about such acts, in The New Yorker).

The Gulf of Tonkin incident was used to justify the Vietnam War. Years after that war had ended, the media finally had enough guts to prove and make public that the Gulf of Tonkin incident "HAD NEVER HAPPENED"(!). In a few decades, we may learn that in this case the Iranians not only did nothing wrong but were right all along. That is the price to pay for accepting permanent lies and deception from one's "leaders".

Readers should refer to CNN. Last week, in prime time, CNN presented a discussion, with historical and contextual analyses, of the latest incident, aimed at blaming Iran. Yet the anchor man felt compelled to conclude: "Well, based on what you have presented here, Iran is right and what it says is true!" Nobody, of course, had the guts to pursue the matter. -- "Stay there! We'll be right back"... on another topic... Followed the usual series of ads...

Solange :

Zoltan writes: "As for "Europeans MUST ..." we don't take orders."

The problem there is that when your nations are overrun, your politics hijacked and your laws changed to something very unpleasant and most un-consmopolitan; it is United States citizens who will be called upon to beat back the intruders. The Ottomans did not build palaces and baths for their new European subjects' pleasure, they built them for their own use.

BobL-VA :

Tom Wonacott,

While I'm certainly not in favor of the Iranians detainining the 15 British troops it is understandable. How would the US react if Iranian gun boats were patrolling within 2,000 yards of our international water line?

Having been in the Navy and at sea I can tell you 2,000 yards is too close to anyone's territory. Prudence alone dictates you give another State more room then that especially when we're talking about gun boats. Were the British patrol boats 4 or 5 miles away from Iran's waters I would be 100% on the British side. However, if they wanted to push the envelope and operate on the line or next to it I am not surprised by the Iranian reaction. The British should apologize to the Iranians if for nothing else then being stupid enough to order its' sailors that close to Iranian waters. That type of action with gun boats and/or war ships only causes tensions to rise and leads to this very type of conflict.

I doubt anyone would argue a country doesn't have the right to protect its' waters. Operating military vessels on the line causes a country like Iran to monitor any such activity on a state of high alert. Over a period of time that's a recipe for conflict.

This is probably a case of where something was perfectly legal and at the same time perfectly stupid.

daniel :

To anonymous from Daniel. Facts are facts? What facts? That is the whole point. There is no clear boundary (maritime) as you yourself admit. So how can Britain be wrong? What facts that put Britain in the wrong? As for Salamon, typical nonsense. We have a world of the most dangerous technology increasing more and more every day and he talks nonsense like Muslims entering Europe is no problem because historically there has always been immigration. Essentially we are supposed to be happy the billion strong movement called Islam is gaining power in this day and age. Islam which had Greek works in their hands and which everyone says saved them for Western civilization, but the same Islam which never made any use of them really and which never jumped into the scientific revolution. The same Islam which today tries to acquire technology its very civilization could not have invented (because of Islam) in the name of Islam...Ridiculous--all of it.

daniel :

To anonymous from Daniel. Facts are facts? What facts? That is the whole point. There is no clear boundary (maritime) as you yourself admit. So how can Britain be wrong? What facts that put Britain in the wrong? As for Salamon, typical nonsense. We have a world of the most dangerous technology increasing more and more every day and he talks nonsense like Muslims entering Europe is no problem because historically there has always been immigration. Essentially we are supposed to be happy the billion strong movement called Islam is gaining power in this day and age. Islam which had Greek works in their hands and which everyone says saved them for Western civilization, but the same Islam which never made any use of them really and which never jumped into the scientific revolution. The same Islam which today tries to acquire technology its very civilization could not have invented (because of Islam) in the name of Islam...Ridiculous--all of it.

Zoltan :

to Anonymous: "Now is the time to bring in the EU"

Oh no, not again ! Before this 3rd Iraq war begun, many europeans were saying that as usual, the US will blow things up and then call Europe for rescue to clean up the mess. And all were saying that this time we wouldn't go: you broke it, you fix it ! And if you don't know how to fix it, say so.



Anonymous :

Tom,
I am not going to sit here and defend the Iranian's actions any more than I would defend the British or Amercian actions. All parties involved have made some serious errors and everything they do only compounds the problems. Now is the time to bring in the EU. The parties involved trust the EU more than anyone else involved. Of course, we could proceed along the current path until we misstep into another war.... But that would be disasterous for the U.S. The U.S. military has been warning the Bush Adminstration for some time now that the do not have the equipment nor the manpower to carry out anything like an effecive attack on Iran. The likely outcome, given Iran's acquistition of Amercia's weapons technologies via widely reported "guest worker" espionage, would be for the decimation of any stealth bomber attack. It is also reported that Russia has sold Iran a system that will defeat or serious degrade the damage from any U.S. cruise missile attack. The Bush Administration has dug you a very deep hole and risks buyring the U.S. in it. The only possible savior is that new Europe that is the subject of this forum.

Tom Wonacott :

Salamon


1. I don't recall saying the EU should have "...large military industrial complexes...", just a defensive military force for emergencies (instead of depending on the US through NATO).

2. Your second point makes little sense to me. There is no war issue, only a UN mandated patrolling of Iraqi waters to intercept arms shipments into Iraq (UN resolution 1723). No one has suggested the EU back the UK in Iraq. It is very significant to me that the EU has not rallied to support a member state that has had soldiers taken hostage (illegally) by Iran.

3. I am not worried about Muslim assimilation in Europe. EUROPEANS are worried. They are the ones electing right-wing leaning governments. If you read my statement I suggest education and jobs lead to integration of immigrants. I did, however, put a question to CONSERVATIVE Muslims asking if they can live in a free and open society (one that may be, at times, critical of Islam) without resorting to violence. As far as I know, Hispanic immigrants to the US have not killed anyone over criticism of the Catholicism.

Tom Wonacott :

Anonymous

The British are patrolling the waters Shatt al Arab river at the request of the UN, not the US (from Wikipedia):

"...After the War in Iraq in 2003, the UK was given responsibility, subsequently mandated by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1723, to patrol the waterway and the area of the Persian Gulf surrounding the mouth. They are tasked to make sure that ships in the area are not being used to transport munitions into Iraq..."

So, yes, we can defend the actions of the British.

From the Algiers Accord of 1975 signed by Iraq and Iran, and from Durham University (The International Boundaries Research Unit):

"...No maritime boundary has ever been agreed between Iran and Iraq. However, the boundary in the Shatt al Arab river agreed in 1975 (1) extends to the mouth of the river at the astronomical lowest low-water line, which is located nearly 10 nautical miles seaward of the high-water line that most maps show as the coastline. The southern terminal point of the agreed boundary lies just under 1.7 nautical miles northeast of the position at which the British Ministry of Defence claimed that incident on 23 March took place...".

In other words, if the coordinates given by UK are not a lie, then they are correct (legally) that their soldiers were captured inside Iraqi waters. What Durham is saying is that the disputed capture of British soldiers has taken place within LAND boundaries, not territorial waters (covered under the Algiers Agreement). The British used satellite photos to determine the boundary in 2002.

There are several legally complicated qualifiers given by Durham, however. I am not going to list the qualifiers, but based on Iran's wrong initial coordinates and Britain working under a UN mandate, and therefore are subject to international law, I tend to believe the British were operating in what THEY considered Iraqi waters (especially after the 2004 incident).

Your statement:

"...The British did it... They were acting as Bush's pawns in this and the comments of the captured sailors indicates that they full well know that they are sacrificial lambs for this Byzantine gambit..."

You have to be a moron (no offense) to believe the captured soldiers statements who are probably under great duress.

"...Sources in Tehran said the British prisoners were almost certain to be suffering similar conditions to those endured by the eight captives held in 2004. They were subjected to mock executions and told they would be put on trial as spies. If Tehran concludes this time that its status in the Middle East will be enhanced by a show trial of British “aggressors”, this crisis could last for months..."

Zoltan :

What do you smoke Solange ? Can I have some ?

"There is no cure for Islam, and no amount of social policymaking can produce a 'moderate' form of an ideology designed to codify and exalt base animal instincts." WTF ?

I'm hungarian and live in France, and I certainly don see "France and Holland are almost lost".

Hungary was occupied by muslim Ottoman, and they have left huge amount of culture (many baths that Hungary is famous for were built by them). Same for Alhambra in Andalusia.

"Europeans must wake up and find a way to expel Islam from the Western cultural front"

As someone famous said 2000 years ago - "leave to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God" - religions and belief are personal affairs and none should be judged on their religion or belief. This is a fundamental European principle, one that is not negotiable. If you don't like it, too bad for you.

As for "Europeans MUST ..." we don't take orders.

Salamon: :

TOM W:

I beg to differ with you on a number of points:: you state that the UE must build up its defensive armaments:

1., I suggest that Europe has learned that having large military industrial complexes leads to war, for the products have to be used [as you well know, the USA was in numerous wars of choice in the last 50 years - the USA also spends over 50% of the world's total "defensive" budget, where "new improved nuclear weapons" - their creation is contrary to international protocols - are called defensive.
THE EU has better areas of spending its tax moneys, such as UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE, SCIENCE/Technology, reducing pollution, fairly good social programs etc - all those things which the USA neglects: 40 million uninsured for healthcare, greatest disparity of income, falling behind EU in scinece/technology, New Orleans still a mess 18 months after WE WILL REBULD, etc

You object that the UE does not back UK in the prisoner of war issue vs. IRan

2., whereas the EU was debased by UK/USA for not joining your glorious illegal war in Iraq, whereas the UK marines did not have any LEGAL business in Iraq, whereas Bush's poodle has always taken USA side over his membership in EU, is it any wonder that the EU does not come to the defence of the UK/USA criminality in Iraq and surrounding areas?

You worry about Muslims in Europe, and their problems of assimilation etc [of copurse you have the same problem with new immigrants, especially Hispanic ones]

3., Problems of immigration/relocation of non-natives is an age old problem of EUROPE. Historical maps of the last two thousand years or more, clearly indicate that the movement of people has never stopped, and that sooner or later all groups are assimilated. The present problems of Muslims, Gypsies, Indians, Pakistanies, etc will get solved sooner or later. EU needs immigration for the same reasson as the USA -- too low fertility rates of the residents.


You worry about cultural diversity loss:

4., Notwithstanding the migrations, conquests wars etc, the indo-european languages have survived for many years, so did the Finn-Ugorian for over a 1000 years, notwithstanding Mongol Russian, Ottoman, Austrian subjugations [Finland, Hungary and Estonia belong to this group] Where as each member state of the EU spends considerable funds on native language, Arts and Culture [including internet] it is highly unlikely that the EU would EVER become an area of single language and culture. Most Europeans speak at least 2 languages, with many speaking 4 or more.

Future expansion and Turkey:

5., With respect to further expansion of EU, I believe that there will be very little movement until the most recently admitted nations can achieve closer economic parity with the old members. There is just not enough wealth yet to get the 27 countries to parity, especailly at a time when the issue of GLOBAL WARMING will take 2-3% of the GDP of EU for the next 50 years.

Anonymous :

Nope. Not Cuban. Not a citizen of any country that would be considered anything other than a friend of the U.S. And I am not your enemy. None of this is important. If I were a Russia or Chinese or from Mars, would that somehow denigrate what I have to say? No, it would not. Facts are facts and there is no flaw in my analysis of them.

daniel :

To anonymous from Daniel. Are you Cuban anonymous? Certain things you say...Ambassadore for example, Provocition (your spelling in other words. Your concern with maritime problems. And of course Russia and China coming to the rescue of Iran. You are not an American--recent immigrant at best.

Irfan :

Islam is a religion of peace and equality. In the history of Islam there was no slavery (but the prophet Mohammad PSBH abolished the slavery in his life) and land occupations like what europeans in last century and USA in current century is addicted. The current Islamophobia is highly exagorated and other wise due to non elected rulers in most of muslim nation under the 95% sponsorship of USA. If other nations help the Islamic nations to elect their reprentatives with true damocratic spirit (with fair elections) the whole current terror phobia will be evaporated.

Anonymous :

Tom, Daniel - I am not defending the actions of the Iranian's, but you cannot defend the actions of the British, either. Those waters, that border, was and is under dispute. Crossing that border, especially with a war ship, was an act of provocation. Especially, given the loud mouthed clammering and threats from the American government, the Iranian's are right to be concerned about our intentions. Couple this with the Chinese and Russian promises of aid, in the event of an attack, AND the "macho" culture in that part of the world and in the U.S. and you have a prescription for disaster, with the Iranian's feeling emboldened and the entire Middle East counting on them to give the invaders a black eye.

As for all of this being deliberate, only a fool would not know that we and the British both knew all about the disputed border. The British warship was looking for weapons being transported from Iran to Iraq. The British did it because the United States has zero credibility in the world and the Democratic Congress would start asking some very uncomfortable questions of the Bush Administration and the Pentagon. They were acting as Bush's pawns in this and the comments of the captured sailors indicates that they full well know that they are sacrificial lambs for this Byzantine gambit. Bush and Blaire were sending a message. Iran got the message, but instea of the intended intimidation, they reacted with anger. Actually, this was so badly handled, they had no choice but to arrest those sailors.

So, conservatives you may be, but blindly following the incompetent and dangerous policies of Bush, is not being true to your conservative ideals nor is it in the best interests of the United States. George Bush keeps wating to play Ronald Reagan, ala the "testing one, two, three, four..." "slip with the microphone accidental left on. But President Reagan was brilliant, with carefully designed plans done in advance, and a willingness to adapt with changes on the ground, whereas George Bush is merely an average doofus, a stuffed shirt, who apparently lives life on the edge of a wave. He is dangerous to you and me and the world.

Solange :

Unless Europe moves past its Holocaust-based embrace of cultural 'relativism,' it is doomed to the very same fate that befell Rome: Barbarian invasion and overthrow.

Every culture does not carry equal value, or inherent sustainability.

Islam is, by nature, globally unsustainable and devolutionary in every way.

Europeans must wake up and find a way to expel Islam from the Western cultural front, or accept the not-so-gradual Balkanization currently underway, as the Islamic monster encroaches and destroys from within.

There is no cure for Islam, and no amount of social policymaking can produce a 'moderate' form of an ideology designed to codify and exalt base animal instincts. This global social problem can only be contained.

Now is the time to subsidize a peaceful, wholescale Islamic exit from Western lands and resources. The Swiss have tried this with some success.

Already the Moslem poison spreads to the U.S. and the rest of the West, as sleeping Americans remain transfixed by junk culture.

It's not about replacing Western birthrates with Islamic ones. Endlessly growing birthrates are unsustainable regardless of your economic model.

It's about a war to hold onto our Enlightenment legacy against dark, irrational Eastern instincts. France and Holland are almost lost, and the Moslem advances a bit further every year, as the species breeds and spreads outward from Mecca.

Europe has become the nexus for human devolution, and the U.S. will not follow far behind, unless the Moslem problem is halted at the East.

Tom Wonacott :

Anonymous

"...In contrast, the European press is reporting that Iran is thinking of taking legal action against *Britain* and is thinking of fining the British sailors for trespassing. That's it!..."

Seizing the British sailors, pure and simple, was an act of provocation and an act of war. There are channels (maybe the UN, for example) to solve border disputes, or incursions. Iran was not interested in using those channels. In fact, holding hostages is the preferred diplomatic method used by Iran. The British response has been measured and non violent, as has been comments of support (of the British) by Bush regarding the capture of the British soldiers. Bush just stated support for an important ally (as he should).

Iran policy is currently controlled by the theocratic radicals led by the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei who has TOTAL control of their policies and is RESPONSIBLE for the current crisis. Iran has DEFIED the UN resolutions on uranium enrichment, supplies funding and material support to the terrorist organizations, Hamas and Hezbollah, and supplies arms to Shia militia (despite what you think) responsible for the brutal targeting and killing of Sunni civilians. In addition the President of Iran has threatened to "wipe Israel off the face of the map", and, recently, hosted a Holocaust denial forum IN IRAN. Does this sound like "Iran the stabilizer"?

"...As your likely know, the Iranian's were intent on releasing the female sailor. Their intention, at least according to European news, was to follow that with the release of the male prisoners, once it was admitted that the border was in dispute..."

The Iranians only were to release the sailors if the British admitted they were "wrong" since Iran is claiming the British were IN Iranian waters despite giving the wrong coordinates initially.

Finally, the EU is Iran's largest trading partner, but, thus far, the EU has offered little if any support for their member state. The EU could use some diplomatic and economic pressure on Iran. We'll just have to wait and see.

daniel :

Let me see if I understand you anonymous. The British went into "Iranian" waters (there is no such border dividing Iran and Iraq) at the behest of Bush (we control their navy) but the British were too stupid to see that this would be seized upon by Bush (despite constant railing against Bush for years about precisely being too aggressive) and this has placed Iran in a bad situation. The Russians and Chinese have been sending warnings to OUR state department but YOUR leader Bush...(OUR state department but YOUR leader Bush? Are you or are you not American anonymous? Or are you an American but do not consider Bush our leader? The latter is possible I admit...). No you are not an American (your spelling has betrayed you). No need to continue...

To Postglobal: we should just stop trying to analyze things here. We should just agree to discuss Israel every two weeks so people can just go nuts. I suggest a few topics: Bush, Israel, Bush again, neocons, etc. Postglobal is getting boring. People have no interest in anything other than the above topics. Might as well give it to them. I suppose Postglobal could be rescued somewhat if postwriters themselves would post and discuss with readers, but I leave it to Postglobal to reflect why that would not be possible. What a ridiculous world this has turned into. What a pity this Postglobal site (and the on Faith one as well) has turned into nothing but the lowest common denominator venting themselves. This has certainly been bad for me because I am something of a leach and depend on books, news, feedback, a healthy circulatory system of ideas in general to be able to put my talents in operation (something of a troubleshooter, critic, synthesizer, etc.). I need people reflecting to be able to reflect. Often I feel guilty posting because I have not really been able to get into position to see clearly, I have been feeling my away around. My last ones on the European Union have been like that. We really need a brain corps in the U.S. to gather and disseminate clear info and synthesize it into clear and coherant picture. Or maybe I am just lazy and do not know how to capitalize on internet search engines. Really I just guess the world into coherance. This is not to say I do not try to make sense, but so much is guesswork. Constantly trying to be non-fictional but fictional nonetheless. Maybe this is just what it means to be a writer...

Anonymous :

The border over which the British sailors were arrest has long been claimed by Iran. Under International Maritime law they actually have a very good claim to that border, also. Any way you look at it, however, British or U.S. ships crossing that border is a provocitation, as admitted by the British Ambassadore. I do not pretend to know the claim nor the reason for the claims by Iran vs. Iraq for those waters, but it was to be expected that crossing that border would elicit a response from Iran.
The sad fact is that this was apparently a deliberate act on the part of the British, at the behest of the Bush White House. They were looking for Iranian weapons being transported to Shia militia. None were found. And *THAT* is being being reported in Europe.

What is troubling about this is that events have gotten out of hand. Rather than back down, Bush's provocative comments have blown, what the Iranian government assumed was a question of territory, into a full scale international crisis. The Russians and the Chinese have sent warnings to our State Department against aggressive acts, the British, too late in realizing that Bush would sieze on this as an excuse for military action have been doing everything possible to calm things down, but the Bush Administration has been acting more and more aggressive. This has placed the Iranian government in a position where they cannot back down. As your likely know, the Iranian's were intent on releasing the female sailor. Their intention, at least according to European news, was to follow that with the release of the male prisoners, once it was admitted that the border was in dispute. It was Bush's comments that made that impossible. Now we are confronted with a full scale international crisis becasue this cowboy, the clodhopper, this moron, you have as a "leader" is plaing the same games he did as a (failed) businessman and repeating the same mistakes that got us into Iraq. Anyone with half a brain knows that some Mullahs in Iran are aiding Al Sadr and his crazies. But, also, anyone with half a brain knows that the Iranian government IS NOT providing those weapons and never has. They want nothing whatsoever to do with Iraq other than see the backside of us. Then, they will "cooperate" with whichever Shia group survives the Iraqi civil war and take control of those rich oil fields in the South.

In this instance there are four choices. Either (1) the British admit their sailors were in Iranian waters (not likely), or (2) Iran backs down (also not likely, because they now have the support of the Chinese and the Russians) or (3) Bush simply shuts up and allows the EU and time to gain the release of the prisoners (with the understnading that the border is in dispute and some sort of international tribunal will hear arguments on it) - also not likely because this would depend upon the sanity of an obviously unbalanced fool and would leave this blowhard out of the center of attention, or (4) Bush and his whack jobs attack Iran, the Chinese get dragged into it along with the Russians and we begin World War III. God help us all.

Jacob JOZEVZ et al :

Does any one on Space-Ship Mother Earth knows the "Names" of the M/O/T/H/E/R/S/ OF BOTH "ABRAHAM" & "NOAH" respectfully?

Well, No-Body=On=Earth-SEEMS-To-Know Or Have INSIGHT AND PATTERN RECOGNITION POWERS TO CRACK the Riddle Of The Devil trapping in them "Plagiarized" scriptures of Ancient Lore!

Moses (The Novelist) in his many FREUDIAN SLIPPS OF GENUINE PROPHECY's messed up.

Jesus & his ex mass murdering (Roman General) "John" et al, did not pen their Moms names neither.

Mohammad et al, did not Pen those most important & Critical names for HUMATES to know.

In F.A.C.T., I know THAT Mohammad [a Slave owner & Concubine owner] via his tribal gathering "Islam" was conceived from the story(s) of the "ESSA" & "ISHMAEL" Inheritance swindle story, not just Jacob. And their direct descendant and father "PELIG" is imagined by Moses et al.


Do you know your Mothers Name? I Know My Mothers Maiden name to!

Note: What this "Slip" is one of the rare. but many other poofs, that Moses is not a G-d nor a Prophet & Jesus & Mohammad.
tory?


Does anyone know what the Pre-Apocalyptic "DRUNKEN NOAH STORY or the "HAGAR REJECTION" Story is really about?

The "COSMIC PEN TEN COMMANDMENT" Story? The "JACOB ULTIMATE SWINDALL" Story and many many more slips, that run through out all those INFIXUS BOOKS. Includes the "GITA" of Hindu & its "Buddha" , Old New Bibliophile & the Un=Glorius KORAN. Oh, Zoroastrian et al too.

How about the "SARA PROSTITUTION" story's. Or the Mohammad "YATHRUB MURDERS" Story?

And other Motherless & Fatherless Story's, Especially "First Man" & "First Woman" ?

There was a time when I really thought that exposure to the Bible story was really just for kids reading, and for their innocent imaginations. No MORE!

And them BiBlios was not good for grown open minded & UNBOLLOXED mature adult audiences (readers & Listeners), to read about "TERRORISM, PROSTITUTION, KILLING, SEX Guilts, Wars, Lies, Stealing, Competition, World dominance etc...
Hel;lo Brother Faeed Ey al:


This is insulting to All Forward thinking Humate and plain Intelligent folks today on Space-Ship Earth & Beyond.! Ya Ya. :=)'

Now I realize that the the Bible teaching is very dangerous to kids. Hell, HARRY POTTER is a more safer & Spellbinding story based on Morality living & Miracles too. Wica & Wica has NO sticka!

Ya Ya. Ta Ta, & Ka Ka via bla bla,

A.P.R.I.L. F.O.O.L.S! :=).

Posted April 1, 2007 1:19 AM

daniel :

To anonymous from Daniel. Or would you say anonymous a fine paid to Iran is a small price to pay for the return of 15 sailors--a fine when there is no clear boundary at all?

daniel :

To anonymous from Daniel. If there is no agreed upon boundery between Iran and Iraq (maritime) then what right do the Iranians have to take British sailors? Your very post puts the Iranians in the wrong...Or would you interpret no agreed upon boundery to mean that the Iranians have the full right and that in essence there are no Iraqi waters? Explain. Furthermore, how can the problem be resolved in a legal fashion if there is no clear boundery? Actually it should be legal to go anywhere if there is no agreed boundery and if the Iranians dispute this then how can it be legally resolved? Your post confuses me anonymous, it really does. So far as I can tell according to your very words there is no possible legal resolution. And if there is no possible legal resolution then...I think you owe it to us anonymous to explain how this can be legally resolved. You give no answer to the problem but make a big fuss about talk of war. Solve the problem for us anonymous--that should be not too much to ask.

Tom Wonacott :

To PG

The EU represents 27 member states that have formed an alliance to the mutual benefit of the individual states. The alliance is primarily economic in nature (at this time). The EU has helped Europe prosper from globalization and provide protection from globalization at the same time. The EU is to be commended for forming a strong alliance for the benefit of the people of Europe. Because of this, I would expect more regions around the globe to form similar alliances in the future, however, what makes the European alliance so strong is the commitment by member states to democratic principals (by design). The EU is also a world leader in environmental issues, such as global warming and conservation.


However, there are some problems, in my opinion, associated with the EU. Do Europeans envision a loose confederation of countries with similar economic interest, or a stronger entity for political, diplomatic or military reasons?

1. MILITARY. The EU needs to build its military for defensive purposes. It was the US that led the effort to stop the ethnic cleansing in Europe’s backyard (Bosnia). Recent inductees to the EU from former Soviet satellite countries also joined NATO, thus they still are dependent on the US for military support. That NATO still exist is indicative of a military deficiency within the EU. Should the EU take over military responsibility for its member states?

2. DIPLOMACY. The British are forced to go to the UN for condemnation of the Iranians for the capture of fifteen British soldiers. Who is the largest trading partner for the Iranians? It’s the EU! The EU could apply tremendous economic pressure on the Iranians, but, so far, have not offered to help the British at all, thus leaving a member state without visible support. The EU is (could be) a powerful entity, and can apply strong diplomatic and political pressure as a unified force. This is true in the Iranian nuclear issue as well. The same lack of European resolve (and others) resulted in the oil for food scandal.


3. CLASH OF CULTURES. Immigration of Muslims has been problematic in European countries. There has been rioting associated with newspaper cartoons and threats of violence due to the depiction of Allah (in a German play), and other incidents. Muslim youth have rioted in France. In France, the problem appears to be related to job discrimination, and a lack of political representation for a large Muslim immigration population. At any rate, this has driven some European countries to elect right wing-leaning governments. Large social programs have not kept the immigrants content. Immigrants are best integrated into society through education and employment (not removing their headscarves).

Can conservative Muslims integrate into a completely free and open society without acts of violence?

4. BORDERS AND CULTURE. I appreciate the history and various cultures within European borders. Free, and open migration of people between countries could lead to a loss of European cultural identity. I envision visiting Europe in 100 years and finding one language, one border and one culture. To me, that’s a crime against humanity….(of course, maybe that’s inevitable anyway due to globalization).

5. NEW MEMBERSHIP. The incorporation of eastern European countries into the European Union will make the unification of the European Union on some issues more difficult due to different historical perspectives and cultures. This will also be true to a large extent if Turkey is offered a membership in the EU (French Presidential candidate, Nicolas Sarkozy, has stated that Turkey should not be allowed to join the EU).

Anonymous :

The current Iran-U.K. sailors mess is a perfect illustration of this topic. In the U.S., the media and our President are sounding the drumbeats of war. The headlines read of Iranian intentions to put those sailors on trial with the implicit suggestion they they might even be executed. President Bush loudly proclaims the sailors' capture inexcusable and threatens military action. Various right wing blogs and pundits on FOX call for military action, even using "bunker buster" nuclear weapons to destroy Irans nuclear laboratories, and show pictures of where the British troops were taken prisoner, complete with GPS coordinates.

In contrast, the European press is reporting that Iran is thinking of taking legal action against *Britain* and is thinking of fining the British sailors for trespassing. That's it! That is because the area where the British sailors were arrested is one of long dispute. Indeed, Craig Murray, a British diplomat and Foreign Office specialist on maritime affairs, said, “There is no agreed maritime boundary between Iraq and Iran in the Persian Gulf. Until the current mad propaganda exercise of the last week, nobody would have found that in the least a controversial statement.”

The recklessness with which American leadership makes public prouncements is beyond troubling. It is insane. That the American press is publishing these reckless prouncements, unexamined, is not only serving to further this Presidents invented crisis, it may actually lead to war. People may not trust this White House, but they do still trust what they read in the newspaper! I remember, in the leadup to the invasion of Iraq, the Post and other media published inflamatory lies and press releases from this White House, a craven lack of stomache that led us into the present debacle. It's time for someone to show some courage and tell the truth before we end up in another, much worse, adventure; one that may well end up gettiong us all killed as we slide into confrontations with Russia and China, Iran's allies, over this.

It's time to tell President Bush to shut up. The EU is fully capable of resolving this and the ham fisted "diplomacy" of the clodhoppers currently occupying the White House is making a mess of things and is not appreciated.

Jacob JOZEVZ :

RE: United Europe at 50, and going strong as should be!

Yes, like America, the European Union (EU) is almost equal in Economic and has greater potential on Planet Earth.

Cultures & Traditions must "MIX" in the EU's like a soup.

Hyper INLATION (The cause of World War 2 et al), And;

A genuine ASSIMILATION (Loyalty to EU citizenship, and anti terrorism) Are the two factors of Peace, Happiness & Prosperity.

All this applies to the current EU, and also for the "Future Members."

Example: Turkey, who are not Arabs, but are still Muslims in the majority, yet are perceived to be SECULAR, on their face, with a strong military and has good relations with ISRAEL et al. In my Neighborhood the Turkish Community stick with themselves more. But the Men like to have sex with women outside their faith, yet if it comes to marriage, then the that non Muslim women must say two sentences in Arabic in order to be converted. So this can be a problem for a Christian World!?

But Religious Fundamentalism in Turkey, is veering its ugly head again, and also in some high Secular places. Infiltration is not far away. But the KURDISH question must also be resolved by Turks too, et al.

And Turkey is not exactly on favorable terms either, with Greece (The Cradle of our Democracy).

Wherefore; to admit Turkey into the EU, is NOT GOOD right now. So Maybe in the next 25 years or 50 years from now is more like it. Maybe Longer, maybe Sooner. G-d knows!


As the three major financial power houses, here on Earth, America, EU & The U.K., are major friends.

And they now do help and complement each other, via each of the others specializations, Strengths, weaknesses, in COMETY, Treaties, Diplomacy.

And Democracy between them is currently in full "Respect for each others Rule of Law" and the three do their best to uphold them and includes on WORKING to make those Laws honorable.

Today, the "ISLAMIC QUESTION" ironically, is similar to the Pre-Europeans old "JEWISH QUESTION."

And GERMANY, the "Rich Man of Europe," knows what to do Next with "Muslim minded Rejects.

Example: The 911 hijacker, Mohammad Atta et al, became Germany's biggest embarrassment in 50 Years.

So Today and for the future, The "ISLAMAPHOBIA SCARE" is really a serious threat.

And they know about the "ISLAMIC MAFIA" phenomenon that is on top of most of their hard working Christians minds there YA YA!

And just like America who does have "SECRET CIA JAILS" et al, I'm sure the 4th REICH et al, know what to do and how to effectively deal with the Muslim question, on their turf and at large.

Remember: To defeat any modern & Conventional Army, ll one has to do is :cut-off the PETRO" and hence you win! (i.e., WWI & WWII ).

Yet today we have nuclear weapons of Mass Destruction our selves. This is the second question that needs constant contemplation as well or worse. So to speak. Ya Ya.

HAPPY EVERY DAY EVERBODY! Peace-Love-RocknRoll.

Note: From Space-Ship Mother Earth, We, they, et al will soon be living on Sister Moon and Beyond.

And ISRAEL has Europe's back to protect. And that reality is how far we have come since 50 years.


MAY ECLAT PROTECT YOU! :=)/

nicholas carson :

It is truly sad to contemplate Aristotle's assertion that we do not learn we only remember: " Rome" died because of internal excesses, warmongering and imprudent choises by the leaders of that empire. Sadly, so are we in the USA. The similarities are uncanny...and all because we, the electorate are politically the most naive and ignorant people on the face of the earth.

Can anyone think of a country where the avatars of religion flying in their Lear Jets contemplate ways to extract the last dollar off the masses by invoking God's wrath for anyone resisting while they indulge in "dolce vita" and direct the naive to vote for the politician annointed by them...

daniel :

At its 50th anniversary, is Europe the way of the future or a vestige of the past?

I would like to see the European method as the way of the future, but the serious question should be directed to Europeans themselves and should be whether they see themselves and their method as the future or are they simply engaged in an exercise which is supposed to be viable for Europe only.

There seems to be evidence that Europeans are not out to save the world, that the Union of Europe is not supposed to be a model for the world--as if their belief in the multiculturality of the world grows increasingly stronger as distance from Europe increases. In other words, cultural differences within Europe are being put on hold, but even within Europe there is still a strong tendency to just let nations be, and as distance from Europe increases this belief in "each nation to itself" just increases.

If Europeans believe this then of course the Union cannot be a model for the world--in fact its survival for Europe is in question. Europeans quite simply have to believe their model should be extended to the world or they will be increasingly vulnerable and it makes no sense to include nations such as Turkey which would undermine the whole project.

What Europeans seem to fail to realize is that man is a totalizing animal in the sense that he perpetually makes attempts to be comprehensive and to order society and extend his conceptions of it as a model everywhere. Whether one founds a religion, or imagines a political order, a totalizing effort is made, and if one would disparage one order one must totalize in a different and superior direction or elevate by a better method.

Europeans clearly reject their monarchical, fascistic, communistic, excessively religious pasts, therefore they must have an alternative and I assume it is the present Union. And if this Union is a rejection of all the experiments of the European past which so often led to disaster, then quite logically the European Union is a rejection of these manifestations anywhere. But we are often told the Union has no desire to dictate to the world, to be a model for such, that it is not like the United States crusading and seeking to impose its conception of the world...

Illogical...

Even more illogical when we reflect Europeans boast of being more scientific, enlightened, not given to excesses of religion...

I think Europeans had better decide if they are going to spread their model or not, take it as an example for the world...

And they had better understand that if they are going to spread their model they must unite even more tightly and that in fact they must alternate between spreading out further and tightening up--which is to say as more countries are included they lock up and concentrate themselves more tightly in an ever more superior and powerful structure.

If the United States these days seems to be following the example of the maniacs in the Kubrick movie Dr. Strangelove (paranoia, excessive military and business maneuvers), Europe seems victim to the Clockwork Orange syndrome (another Kubrick film) in the sense that the European nations have managed to get along only by a certain crushing and repressment of themselves like the character in Clockwork Orange had his evil impulses removed but in the process could no longer listen to Beethoven...

Europeans have their Union, but no more Napoleon, no more Beethoven, no Picasso, no will to defend themselves...Just a modest "our union is for ourselves only and we do not aim to extend it to the world".

That is a vulnerable Union indeed.

What it comes down to is Europe having to reflect on the price paid for Union, that they have been turned into Clockwork Orange boys and that really they have no method to extend themselves to the world and in fact are vulnerable to just being destroyed.

What the most advanced nations must do in general is be for peace, science, democracy, etc. but not do so to the point within themselves that they cannot extend the ideas of such elsewhere or elsewhere will simply overrun them and the whole process will have to start again.

Europe is a model for the world but its nations are collapsing inward on themselves in a union in such a way that this idea cannot be extended to include other nations in the process. And really the problem at hand has no easy solution. The problem is once again how to get the world to arrive at a governmental model which advances toward science, freedom, human rights, etc. with a minimum of violence.

The sad story is the advanced nations which have arrived to a great degree toward the desired goal are now in the situation of having to ask themselves if they in a sense are premature because so much of the world is violent and can put a major dent in the whole project. The advanced nations are in the dilemma of questioning whether they really have to in a sense regress to barbarism to tie up the rest of the world before a true and enlightened Union can exist.

But Europe seems remote from such contemplations which is strange given her history of intellectual life. You would think Europeans would be in the forefront of such philosophizing.

I have little faith in Europe at the present day. I see a frail Union which boasts of not wanting to be arrogant like the U.S. and dictate governance to the world, but this is a silly boast because it is born of not being able to spread out like the U.S. but born of simply the European countries diminishing their expectations of themselves for the sake of their Union.

It is just as much weakness as virtue--and truth to tell, we cannot tell the difference here.

One thing Americans and Europeans can agree on though is that the European Union is an experiment. And we shall see how she handles increasing immigration, increasing nationalism by nations around her perimeter, the increasing power of Islam, globalization in general.

The next fifty years will tell if there really was ever a Union or if the European nations simply humbled themselves with respect to one another momentarily. Let us hope this humbling of themselves will not prove to be fatal.

MikB :

Jeffery,
If one looks back through history, there is a very good model of the U.S. - The Roman Empire. Rome began as a homogenous culture, but as it conquered other peoples and cultures and brought them in, it became "mutlicultural". As the ecomonic elete gained more and more power and as more wealth was cocentrated in their hands, the Republic was overthrown and the Roman Empire was born. Instead of conquering amies, think of our economic model, especially corporations. And, instead of a Tiberius, think Bill Gates, George Soros, Dick Cheney, and the other hyper-wealthy corporate "elect" forming an oligarchy. The emerging Eastern cultures are copying those models. Just as with the Roman policians handing out bowls of wine to win the votes of the common people, we have politicial parties handing out American Idol, Fundimentalist promises, Fox News, sex and scandel and similar nonsense. Compare Romes utter lack of a moral compass as it fell into ruin. In the end, here as it was in Rome, the people ignored the politicians and the wealthy for too long and those people undermined their civilization, opening it up to foreign conquest. The wealthy simply moved on, while the common people were subject to rape and pillage. Time, in this day and age, has been telescoped, but the cycle of history hasn't changed. Around us, the Amercian Empire is falling into ruin and decay, the dream turned to a deep sleep, and when we all awaken at long last... it will be to a nightmare.

Jeffrey Hatcher :

Whether in strength or weakness, Europe is the most useful model for the Eastern Hemisphere because its geographically stratified cultural development is much more representative of that half of the world. Let's face it, regardless of who footed the bill for peace and security in the 20th century, what continent gave rise to the Enlightenment (EU), etc. etc. the fact is that North America is an anomaly. Its history of immigration and its youth, as measured in generations, simply are not representative of any other part of the planet. Africa, Oceania, and Asia have more to learn from the strengths and weaknesses of Europe than they have from the US/Canada because their histories have far fewer similarities with the latter.

Confidential Reporter :

For many Americans, postwar Europe was more than
merely a geographical unit. It was an idea. We looked
to Europe for more freedom, equality, and humanity. To
be European was to be cosmopolitan, sophisticated ...
enlightened.

The postwar European intellectuals and filmmakers, and
the acknowledged architect of European integration,
Jean Monnet, were our heroes, along with the many
rebels of the 1960s and the genuine European statesmen
of subsequent decades.

But all that seems so ... over. Today's Europe is not
inspiring. It is depressing. We, including those of us
who cheered the rebels of 1968, cannot comprehend
contemporary European cowardice and intellectual
dishonesty.

I am referring, of course, to the step-by-step
conquest of Europe by rightwing Islam, or Islamism, a
Nazi-like movement bent on world domination. In 1968,
when I first visted Paris, Muslims in general
constituted a tiny minority. Islamists were invisible.
Revolutionary ideals ruled. Authenticity, modernity,
socialism were the fashionable bywords. The words of
revolution and radical change meant ... everything!

In contrast, today's Paris is a city under constant
threat of Islamist uprising. And the nations of
so-called Old Europe, except for Holland and Denmark,
are apparently caving in to the Islamist menace.
Incredibly, in 2007, the specter of Medieval Muslim
fanaticism is haunting the continent. The final
conflict between civilization and barbarism, between
secular democracy and clerical fascism, seems to be
approaching--fast.

To which this veteran political observer is tempted to
shout: Europe, rise up! You have nothing to lose but
your chains!

John E Kershaw :

As long as the weak kneed Liberal Politicians continue to bow to the radical MUSLIM GROUP(S) there is no hope. Step on all Radical Groups in order to maintain a semblance of sanity. The Muslim Group lays claim the European Continent shall be the next Nation of Islam. Next the UK and then the USA.

All the 'Leaders' of Europe have to do is not to Kowtow to a small minority of insignificant non entities. If they wish to riot in the streets bring them to justice and submit to them a bill for the damages wrought.

When last in Europe as a Soldier of the NATO Organisation. I was proud to serve in the Forces and saw that Europe, Germany, and its neighbours were the Future. For what that may be worth to some. Unfortunately in-fighting and Petty Jealousies have taken hold. I was there when ":Charlie" pulled out of NATO and allowed everyone to leave France. I never did like Socialists. Studied them but never learned to like them. Nor accept them for that matter.. Pretty much the same way I feel about Muslims who profess that it is the Western World that is the Enemy. If so why do they continue to try to emigrate to the west. And in so doing start to criticise something that they are yearning for?

I was a Soldier and I fought for, as did my Fathers before me, freedom of the right to live in a society as to whereby all were Equal under God. Oh yes! I have no use for Atheists either.

Europe needs to get off its dead collective arses and go forward instead of spinning its wheels. Political Correctness needs to be curtailed. Don't blame everything on the UK and the USA. Besides we have the only Democracies that really work. Tho' faulty from time to time.

John E Kershaw U.S. Army Retired (Naturalized American)
United States Armed Forces Retirement Home
WASHINGTON, D.C.

YT :

Just compare NAFTA with EU and weep!

ibc :

`What Europe transformed itself in 50 years is a model for complete planet. Nations devastated by war joined hands togethere to unite for betterment of the people.`

I've been asked to deliver the US response to your post: `"Joining Hands?" That sounds pretty gay, dude.`

Thank you very much!

JRLR :

I am wondering: is the study of XXth century Europe part of the curriculum, in US high schools?

If so, I would suggest that part of it be revised, updated and made more substantial.

If not, may I suggest it should be?

Zoltan :

"Way of the future" depends on what you consider.

If it's transnational cooperation, I'd say "yes"

If it's more suppression of the borders, I'd say "no".

Many people don't make a difference between "open borders" and "no borders". Sane people would have strong borders that can be opened - wide - at will, and closed or limited when necessary. Unfortunately, the European Union has taken the latter approach: no borders. The infrastructure itself has been dismounted, so it will/would be difficult to go back.

Europe is becoming a portion of Earth exposed to all winds and tides of this planet, for the benefit of the wealthiest.

Don't get me wrong, the European organization has made some VERY good things, but lately purely capitalistic pressures have gained more and more influence. This is definitively not the "way for the future"


Zoltan :

I'm not convinced by the new reverse sorting of the posts here (last post up). It makes reading old posts difficult: you have to scroll up for the next post to read, eventually scroll down to read it if it's long, then scroll up again for the next, ...

When there are many unread posts, it's hard to catch-up with the conversation.

I preferred the old sorting: latest post down.

Shashank Shekhar (Doha) :

Europe does still have a lot of deeply inherent qualities that make worth being emulated. It's still possibly the most disciplined and rational part of the world.

Yousuf Hashmi :

What Europe transformed itself in 50 years is a model for complete planet. Nations devastated by war joined hands togethere to unite for betterment of the people. They kept their language,culture and heritage intact,forgot their differences and united for the common cause on the basis of universal principals.

Leaders of Asia and Africa should have vision that this is the lasting future, this is the only path of survival and this is the way nations should run their business.

Unfortunately leaders of 3rd world often more rely on the principal of confrontation, resulting increase in corruption,poverty and femine in the region.

We take the example of sub continent. They are just 10 years senior than EU but in 50 years the diference between EU and them is rapidly increasing.

Anonymous :

t

D. Hodara - Monte-Carlo :

Your question concerns the European Union. If this institution was started 50 years ago, many of the countries participating today have been partners for much less years. The European Union projects a picture of various countries which seem to have been interested to join for economic reasons and not for really uniting, i.e. having common goals, politically, economically and militaraly. Each country gives the impression to take its selfish interests first than those of the Union. Originally the idea was generous and constructive. Today the goals seem very confused.

MikeB :

Samuel - I'll take you up on a little bet, Europe will outlast us. The culture in decline is here in America. We worship the very monsters who loot our savings, fire us from our jobs, lie to us, and mislead us into foreign adventures like Iraq. The blithering idiots that compose the great unwashed "public", then, either desensatize themselves with "church" and the aimless meanderings and nonsense uttered by James Dobson or the blathering of the twits in NOW....same thing as far as I am concerned. They watch utter crap like Dansing With The Stars or American Idiol and get their "news" by watching the boob tube and the rubbush dished out by FOX News or some equally distorted view of reality as featured by some left wing blog...include in all of this, but at even lesser value, anyting said by any politcian, especially George Bush. And you think we're better than Europe? We're a joke, a cultural backwater and an embarrasment to Western culture, with a future of third world poverty, disease, war, and anger as we all circle around and point fingers at each other of where we went so wrong. We went wrong a log tme ago, but we committed cultural and societal suicide when we permitted that jack booted moron of a President we have to sieze power back in 2000.

Samuel :

The future is now and the EU and Europe is dead. With the stagnant birth rate of white Europeans, the continuing influx and growing influence of immigrant populations and the continuing rise of China and India as formidable economic powers, the EU and Europe will be overshadowed and then erased as a key player on the world stage for at least 100 years. The EU integration continues to drag along and by the time any real unification occurs with far reaching potential, it will be too late. It already is. Barring some type of environmental disaster in India or China or cataclysmic clashes in the Middle East or between the U.S. and China, Europe and the EU will be relegated to the honorable mention in history books and quiz shows.

Grant :

Since when is Europe 50 years old?

James Buchanan :

The US will never sell itself to that multinational conglomeration. Part of the reason is fundamental to why the US became a global superpower in the first place. Europe simply couldn't handle the reigns of power, so we took them from them, and in the shadow of a common enemy, they figured out braining each other every 20 years wasn't such a bright idea. The EU would not be possible without a fiercely independent United States with no interest at all in surrendering its separate destiny.

Its ONLY due to the fact that the US military has had a constant presence in Europe for the last 50 years that they finally demobilized to the point where not one continental European nation can even sustain a protracted military operation against another that they were forced to get along for the simple inability to step up. An alliance of convenience, supported by the Marshall Plan, paved the way for the EU. Do not think for a minute, though, that the bulk of the US wants any part of it.

Talha :

Well, with due respect, the question is wrong stating Europe is 50 yrs old. EU is 50 yrs old and Until just a couple of years back, most people would consider EU and Europe two different entities. Anyway, as far as the answer goes, what is going to determine if the Europe is the future is the path EU will be taking in the next several years. These years are practically the turning point for Europe. I would guess around 2012, we will have a much clearer vision of where Europe is headed.

Messias Henriques :

I am from Brazil, in my country the polititians mess up everything. They do have influence over justice.

MikeB :

I hope it's the future. European countries are limiting immigration, protecting jobs for their own citizens, have universal health care and retirment for their citizens, controls on corporate execesses, and relatively honest governments...as least as compared to the United States. No European country would tolerate a multinational corporation's looting people's retirement savings without a lot of executives going to jail. No European country would tolerate the top 1% getting huge tax breaks (under Bush they pay about 14% LESS in taxes) while the middle and lower classes get saddled with a 10% tax increase! Can you imagine a European country that would allow a Circuit City to lay off all of their higher wage earners and replace them with new low wage earners? Or imagine a Euopean country that would allow corporations to comb through the personal records of employees and their families and use that information for hiring and firing? Can you imagine a European country that would permit the outrage of allowing any government to fire presecutors or judges based on their failure to act as political agents? Or, allow an automobile insurance company to base rates on credit scores and health records? We have a lot to learn from Europe.

Bob G. :

In regard to Daniel's comments on the limits of the European idea, I think this is precisely the point. While part of the E.U.'s mission is to have good relations with other parts of the world, it is not out to save the world like the United States. I don't know if Daniel is an American, but he sounds like one, with his notion of some ideology or philosophy having to be apppropriate for the entire world. Europeans are doing Europe, one state at a time, and doing a focused, deliberative job of it. I am really happy to see their Great Experiment working. By the way, Daniel's comment about science taking hold only in the West has a certain irony about it, at a time when groups in the U.S. are attempting to roll back the scientific progress of the last few hundred years. Europeans seem in general to be more welcoming to accepting scientific culture as a tool of learning than some segments of American culture. I think that the big American problem is this: seeing and judging everything as to how it pertains to Americans, and not just to try and understand it on its own terms. The U.S. could do with less crusading zeal to find the Big Solution for all the world's problems, and just try to settle down and listen to other cultures.

Anonymous :

POSTGLOBAL

Please check why comments sent are not being posted, especially two comments recently attempted for Ali Ettefagh but your system simply says it is retained for approval.

daniel :

At its 50th anniversary, is Europe the way of the future or a vestige of the past?

With respect to Europe itself, according to its own history, we have a novel development, and although we no longer there have towering geniuses and profound artistic and political movements sweeping left and right and tilting and conquering neighboring countries, etc. we do have order and the possibility of a synthesis which has never existed before and which will be the ground of new heights to the European mind.

The problem with Europe--and this is a colossal problem--is that it takes the methods and spirit by which it has arrived at its present situation--its behavior of the last fifty years--as a viable method of spreading itself to other nations and even civilizations as the future of humanity.

In this sense Europe suffers from the same problem the U.S. suffers from: how to integrate peoples beyond religion, ethnic groups, tribal tensions, etc. In the U.S. and Europe integration, etc. has been kept to an "acceptable" minimum of violence, but how to spread the idea of the U.S. or Europe further without increasing levels of violence? Or are we to assume the U.S. or Europe will just "take" outside their respective spheres of influence without violence? If so, that would certainly be a new development in both European and U.S. history.

I find Europe to be very inward looking to be honest with you. We are constantly told that the European is more sophisticated than the American, that he is more worldly, speaks more languages, etc. But how much of this sophistication is familiarity with only other European countries, other European languages, etc.? In other words, how much of this worldliness is with respect to Europe itself and not with respect to the totality of the world outside Europe?

In this sense I think the European is fooled: he thinks he is looking outward because he speaks French, German and Italian and he thinks he knows how to deal with foreigners, etc. but in actuality he is working within the novel European synthesis and taking actions within as automatically viable without and with respect to the rest of the world.

I have little faith at the moment of Europe as a model for the world because Europe is not really united--it is rather a motley of countries simply demonstrating pretty good manners with respect to one another--especially considering previous European history.--In fact previous conflicts within Europe only seem to make the Europeans congratulate themselves as to their manners at the present day. They should ask whether these manners are enough to extend the European idea...

This is what we all are waiting for. But as a note of caution I would have to ask Europeans to reflect how difficult it was to get a culture of science being born and how this culture really only took in the Western world. Yes, there were intermittent flowerings of science elsewhere, but this is the point: these flowerings were intermittent. In only the Western world did science really take, and the stone cold proof of that is the astounding jump we now take for granted as progress. The question is one of getting the same scientific, freedom loving outlook to take elsewhere with a minimum of violence. But if science was so difficult to get born, how can we be sure she will walk across the globe easily and transform everyone toward democracy and the increasingly scientific outlook?

These are just some of the questions for Europeans to ponder, and always the problems of the U.S.A.

JRLR :

Europe stands as a uniquely impressive, civilizing achievement, in our time, altogether political, economic, cultural, linguistic and humanistic. It is arguable that nothing yet compares to it, in today’s world.

Considering the nature and workings of its institutions, Europe presents a leading model of genuine globalization amongst a continental community of nations in today’s world. That model is genuinely new and contemporary, more particularly considering that it calls for nations to delegate substantial aspects of their sovereignty for common goals and objectives, and towards an agreed upon common good. That presupposes much flexibility and an uncommon sense of compromise. Although still in the making, Europe has much to offer on the complementary aspects of centralization and of decentralization.

Europe is more than an example of peaceful coexistence and of international cooperation. It is one of an integrated community of nations beyond what others have chosen to consider defining characteristics of human communities: hegemonic ambitions, permanent conflict and perpetual war.

Sign of the times to come, Europe points the way to a humanizing future for this world. No wonder its initiatives and efforts have, from the start, been so much resisted, derided, criticized, and underestimated by sceptics profiteering, traditionally, from the destructive and ruinous international power game.

Thanks to Charles de Gaulle, Europe has not become a vestige of the past. So much was said against de Gaulle and his vision of Europe, at the time! Now that what Europe has become is there for everyone to see, it would be no doubt fascinating for the young to refer to (and for the older ones amongst us to revisit) what was said and done, during all those years, by opponents of that New Europe.

With best wishes on Europe’s 50th anniversary!

berry, ecuador :

Europe's weakness is its strenght.

Europe does not have a government. There are some institutions -Parliament, the European Commision, Central Bank, etc- charged with organizing and regulating a number of things among member countries. But Europe does not have a common foreign policy, nor a common defense policy. Moreover, Europeans has dragged their feet about the creation of a stable Executive branch.

All this makes Europe look relatively weak and indecisive, particularly when compared with such powers as the U.S., China, Russia, or even smaller powers such as Iran or Israel.

But it precisely this weakness and indecisiveness which constitutes Europe's great strenght. As a result of not having a powerful Executive nor a common foreign and defense policy, Europe does not invade countries, nor does it impose unilateral economic sanctions on whomever they want; Europe does not have military bases spreading aroud the world, nor does it have a goverment agency in charge of selling arms to whomever may pay for them.

This does not prevent European leaders from influencing world events by speaking out their minds. Tony Blair dragged his country into the Iraq mess, and he has been repudiated by his people and by history. On the other hand, Jacques Chirac will be remembered as the man who opposed the invasion of Iraq and clearly said that Iranian nuclear weapons would barely take off...

Today's European citizens are known as peaceful, respectful, open-minded, environmentally-conscious, law-abiding people. European countries, both individually and collectivelly, make substatial contributions to peace, understanding and development. Thus, around the world, Europe is respected, trusted, nor feared.

The Framers of the U.S.A. were always reluctant to give government too much power. They had good reason for that, because history taught that such a great power would be difficult to use, specially in the hands of ambitious/incompetent people. So, the Framers created a system with checks and balances, with two chambers of Congress, with Judicial Review, and with sovereignty remaining in the states and in the people. Looking at today's America, the Framers would be sorry to see how its government has evolved into a powerful monster that fights not for the people but against any form of control by the people.

Maybe it is time for the U.S. to start thinking about the European model.

BobL-VA :

Definitely the future. I've been a strong supporter of the EU for several reasons. First, I think any system that attempts to integrate countries economically will necessarily reduce tensions between countries. Second, by the adjustments to pricing in economic policy they are moving closer to setting equalized living standards among the members. Third, as a group, it allows the EU to compete with the US in the global market place. The Airbus is such an example even with it's current problems. Without the cooperative effort of the EU the Airbus would never have been built or marketed.

Yes, I'm a big fan of Europe and what it's trying to accomplish. I firmly believe the EU makes the world a better and safer place to live.

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