How Europe betrays its own interests to serve those of the US
By slavishly following Washington’s line on Russia, Europe’s leaders are essentially sticking pins into voodoo dolls of themselves. It’s as pointless as it is ridiculous.
If America were hand-picking European leaders, it’s doubtful that they could select as subservient a crew as now dominate the EU. There’s nobody comparable to Charles de Gaulle or Willy Brandt in sight. In fact, there’s not even a Jacques Chirac. So depressing is the current situation that you’d even pine for a second-rate Thatcher impersonator. At least there’d be a few fireworks.
Instead, we have Angela Merkel, David Cameron and Francois Hollande on the front-line. When the White House suggests they jump, the only question they seem to have for Washington is “how high?” At present, their leaps are so impressive that they’d give Ukraine’s legendary pole vaulter Sergey Bubka a run for his money.
The last time Europe’s top players seriously asserted their independence from the US was in 2002 when Gerhard Schroeder and Chirac campaigned against George W Bush’s illegal invasion of Iraq. Their brave stance was compromised by Britain’s Tony Blair who bent-over-backwards to play the role of poodle to his American master. The Polish, who should have known better, also participated in the unlawful offensive. Following the initial barrage, other fringe European states like Estonia, Latvia and Albania, desperate to curry favor in Washington, got involved. The rather more influential Italy and Spain also briefly contributed forces before swiftly withdrawing.
Since the august stand of Schroder and Chirac, Europe’s autonomy has collapsed. Germany is in the grip of the pro-American CDU/CSU and France’s Gaullists have given way to Francois Hollande’s insipid Socialists. Hollande has shown signs of a willingness to challenge Washington’s diktat but seems incapable of asserting France’s once-proud swagger. Gallic hauteur has been exchanged for callow diffidence.