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Liberal_Jihad_Cover.jpg Forward USA

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

The Nitty-Gritty Reality of Foreign Relations

Public statements may not reflect what’s actually going on.

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A recent posting, Diplomacy is Not a Popularity Contest, stated that:

European nations will respond favorably to President Bush?s upcoming visit only to the extent that their foreign policy objectives and ours coincide….. Beyond the normal courtesies of discourse, pleasing the Europeans is important only in so far as our foreign policy objectives are achieved….. In assessing the President?s visit, keep in mind that effective diplomacy is hard-headed, secret negotiations, not the Academy Awards for Best Actor.? What counts is subsequent actions, not public perceptions manipulated by liberal-socialist media.

This theme is echoed and enlarged upon in Friction May Be EU-U.S. Norm: Flap Over China Arms Embargo Typifies Post-Cold War Divergence, appearing in The Wall Street Journal, February?22,?2005;?Page?A12.

Reporter Marc Champion writes:

“Easing the strains caused by the U.S.-led war in Iraq is the central goal of Mr. Bush’s fence-mending tour of European capitals. But success is likely to depend as much on the hard shovel work done to resolve gritty issues such as the China arms embargo as on the change in atmospherics that Mr. Bush’s high-level diplomacy can bring…...

“The real test of Mr. Bush’s efforts in Europe “will come in the months after the president returns to the White House,” said Robin Niblett, director of the European Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank. The EU’s plan to lift the China embargo and any breakdown in EU negotiations with Iran, he said, “could again set trans-Atlantic relations on edge.”

Reporter Champion describes the realities underlying the Bush administration’s objections to a recent EU decision to lift a 15-year-old arms embargo on China.  On our side of the argument, there is good reason to fear that enhancing China’s military capabilities with European weapons technology will lead China to become more aggressive in its dealings with Taiwan.  In that case, it is entirely the United States, not EU nations, that will bear the military burden of defending Taiwan.

On the European side, the argument is that lifting the embargo is merely symbolic, since much of the arms technology is already outside the embargo restrictions, because it has dual civilian/military uses.  France’s Defense Minister rationalizes lifting the embargo by suggesting that selling arms to the Chinese might prevent them from developing their own arms technology.

Lurking in the background is the reality that the EU nations, apart from Great Britain, have no real military capability outside NATO, and lack both the will and the financial strength to build up their own military forces to a level that would make a reality of President Jacques Chirac’s goal to make the EU a counter-weight to the United States in world diplomacy.

One may speculate that the EU intends to be a free rider, counting on the United States once again to come to Europe’s rescue in the event of major war, but meanwhile hoping to appease China, just as they did Saddam Hussein, by selling illicit arms.  One must not forget, also, that France and Germany are declining economies facing socialist welfare benefits obligations for which they lack the financial capacity to deliver.  Why not a little arms-dealing to enrich French and German companies, politicians, and their economies? 

After all, for liberal-socialists, there is no such thing as right or wrong.  The secular philosophy of pragmatism teaches that all that counts is what works for you.