More on the enlightened continent full of dipshits that we still call “allies.”
[quote]When the Europeans are spending peanuts on their own defense, making themselves into paper tigers and free riders on America for global policing, that they start exporting arms to a growing tiger - China. This is especially true since the real reason that the EU wants to end its arms embargo with China is to position itself better to sell more Airbus passenger jets to Beijing. Weapons systems are the loss leader that the EU is dangling in front of the Chinese to persuade them to buy more of Europe’s civilian airplanes. Indeed, what is really sad about the European arms sale proposal to China is that the EU doesn’t seem to be demanding any political price, even the slightest change in behavior, from Beijing in return, except some vague "code of conduct." Sure. Ask the software industry about Chinese promises not to pirate technology.
But what really concerns me is Europe. Europe’s armies were designed for static defense against the Soviet Union. But the primary security challenges to Europe today come from the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa. If you put all the EU armies together, they total around two million soldiers in uniform - almost the same size as the U.S. armed forces. But there is one huge difference - only about 5 percent of the European troops have the training, weaponry, logistical and intelligence support and airlift capability to fight a modern, hot war outside of Europe. (In the United States it is 70 percent in crucial units.)
For all of Europe’s complaining about what the Bush team stands for, my ears are still ringing with the remark that a German columnist recently made to me in Berlin: “What do we stand for?” he asked. What is Europe’s foreign policy? America is saying that the largest strategic issue of our time is peacefully managing the rise of China. We have to get this right. Having a strong Europe on its side - not on both sides - would be a big help to America.
If Europe wants to go pacifist, that’s fine. But there is nothing worse than a pacifist that sells arms - especially in a way that increases the burden on its U.S. ally and protector.[/quote]
Isn’t this kind of careless complacency going to be why Europe gets a big “Told ya so!” in a decade or so?
Not having a mobile equiped army ready to move to the fight is going to lead to the same kinds of urabn destruction that resulted in the last two invasive European wars. You would have thought “they” would get this, this time around…I mean, with the internet and all.
I love this. Dangermouse is defending the EU. Is this yet another example of double speak. Look at your former tag line. NO to the EU. Is this some kind of confusion again about what you truly want?
Let’s face it and I am sure that you can agree Dangermouse. Most of Europe is a fucking joke. Germany and France are laughable. The EU as an institution would be a joke if its bureaucratic stifling of economies was not so fucking tragic. Surely you can agree with us on that?
BUT what do you as a European citizen and voter have to say about Germany and France’s attempts to railroad through a plan to sell military weapons to China. Do France the Great Appeaser and Germany the Great Aggressor never learn? What next? Advice to the Chinese how to exterminate the Tibetan population with Xykon B gas? Given that Germany sold most of Saddam’s chemical weapons inventory to him, I guess we know why the only country Iran is suing for gassing deaths in the war with Iraq is Germany and Germany companies. When will Germany ever learn not to play with gas? IS this something children’s books will have to include in the future just to get that nation to learn its lesson or better yet maybe we can insist that German school children be allowed to play with gas but only if they promise to play with matches at the same time? Just a thought.
BUT what do you as a European citizen and voter have to say about Germany and France’s attempts to railroad through a plan to sell military weapons to China. [/quote]
Personally, for what it is worth, I have written to my MP to express my “deep concern”.(I believe that that is the diplomatic speak for ‘get tae fuck, not in ma fuckin’ name, and if yous does do it yeh can forget aboot ma wee vote come May!’)
As for the rest of the bable above. Some good points, some easy scores and some contradictions that are still part of US policy. Such is life, but I will agree that the occassional rant at and about others can be quite cathartic.
[quote]I love this. Dangermouse is defending the EU. Is this yet another example of double speak. Look at your former tag line. NO to the EU. Is this some kind of confusion again about what you truly want?
I’m not defending the EU, Fred. Not in the slightest. Not even one eeny weeny teeny tiny bit.
But what I don’t like is the US trying to make itself look fantastic out of the fact that the EU is nothing more than a caffuffle.
I’m quite happy that I, not being born in the EU, and being subject to two nationalities can fuck off when the proverbial semi solid smelly stuff you spout most of the time hits the proverbial spinning object.
(You got that for accusing me of being an EU citizen).
Now Fred. It is quite late and a combination of too much wine, a hard days work and your age is making you tired. Go on, time to put on your tartan pyjamas, put your fasle teeth in the jar next to the bed and to drift off to the cetre of the Pacifi…I mean to sleep.
Yeah what’s with the Falklands? The UK has had a mobile, rapid deployment army for 20 years. In 1982 the UK launched a flotilla and sent it across the Atlantic to bash the Argies. OK, it was stretched pretty thin, but I’d like to have seen France put up that kind of show.
Perhaps when you mentioned the Falklands you were drawing attention to the fact that it was French Exocet missiles which pose the greatest danger to the British Task Force?
ah but in this case, you must forgive the French. There was no reason not to sell Exocet missiles to the Argentines. I doubt seriously that the French knew that the Argentines were going to invade the Falklands. This in my book is very different from their weapons sales to Iraq, Iran, and possibly China.
The US was doing the exact same thing so in this case I really must desist from bashing the French. There was no indication that these weapons would ever be used against an ally. Sorry, but that’s how I see it.
Well I just wish we had all learned a bit more quickly (had learned at all in some cases) the fuck ups that are likely to occur later on if weapons sales are made to non-democratic regimes.
And just cause the US did it doesn’t excuse the French. It just spreads the shame a little wider.
Spreads the shame a bit wider but therein lies the rub. To remain allies of the US and to cooperate with us, they insisted on arms sales. Luckily throughout the 1970s as the threat of communism waned, we were able to pretty much get all of Latin America off the need to buy arms. Now, we have Venezuela rocking the boat on this and I cannot fathom why. When the Pax Americana descended on Latin America, think of the money that their nations saved by not engaging in stupid arms races. The French, however, looked at us selling arms and gaining influence and naturally felt that if we could, so could they, but the AIMS were very different. While some American arms sellers were no doubt very happy, I believe that the overall morality behind these decisions was very different between the Americans and French as the good results proved. BUT like I said, in this case, I cannot fault the French. I save that for their other policies.
Except for the fact that French engineers caliborating the Exocet missiles left Argentina in early April 1982. Surely the French realised of the tensions between Britain and Argentina at that time were a little high?