Demonstrations shocked politicians

Keaney Michael Michael.Keaney at
Wed Feb 19 01:55:29 MST 2003

Jacob Levich writes:

Talk about imperial rivalries! Note how France is now treating Eastern 
Europe as part of its own bloc, and threatening reprisals if it doesn't 
keep quiet. The liberals cheering on France as "peacemaker" should take 
note. This is purely a power struggle.


There is much more to this than meets the eye. The extent of pro-US sentiment among the populations of Eastern Europe would alarm anyone with a view to stiffening European opposition to US militarism. These populations still fear for Russian expansionism, and some have longer memories concerning German expansionism, and so an alliance of Putin and Schröder is precisely the nightmare scenario driving them to imagine that somehow Bush must be correct. Thus the putative entry of these countries into the EU spells the end of any hope that EU leaders could mount anything approximating an effective challenge to the Bush administration. Not only would a big bang expansion drown the EU in the administrative red tape that is intended to derail further EU integration (thus Wolfowitz travelling around promising any country that cooperates with the US EU membership as a reward, e.g. Turkey), but it would also tilt the weight of public and bourgeois opinion in favour of the US. On that basis, a useful bi-product of the Franco-German plan is to turn popular opinion in Eastern Europe against EU membership, thereby preventing the above scenario. Chirac is merely expressing what is a commonly held sentiment within EU decision-making circles.

Of course it is a power struggle, and to imagine that Chirac personifies the hope of peace, of the working class, of socialist struggle, is either delusional or a gross misrepresentation of the facts regardless of the perspective involved. The point is that for the sake of Iraq in the short term and the wider, global struggle against imperialism in the longer term it is a good thing that Chirac is doing what he is doing with regards to Iraq.

As regards membership of blocs, I strongly urge people everywhere to examine very closely the treatment of the US towards its "allies", including those in Eastern Europe.

Michael Keaney

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