European Foreign Policy Sucks!

well…it would if there WAS a european foreign policy. most of the time it looks like this:

middle east: criticize israel, criticize the us for supporting israel, and then criticize the us for not forcing a peace plan on the whole area so everyone can be happy and love one another. of course, if the us did come up with the perfect peace plan and tried forcing everyone to accept it, that would be like evil us hegemony or something.

iraq: criticize the us, swear on the bible that saddam doesn’t have any nukes or bad bio/chem weapons…and even if he did, he surely wouldn’t use them, and push to lift sanctions so they can sneak more european companies in there to fund saddam’s exploitation of the people. strangely, oil companies from europe are benign and wholesome unlike their american counterparts.

iran: criticize the us for…well…for supporting the shah! and uh…for pissing off the iranians. and…well…i’m sure they’ll think up more things to criticize the us for later.

china: criticize the us for unnecessarily causing tension with china, try to cram as many european companies in there to make $$, then veto any un resolution sponsored by the us that’s critical of china’s human rights record(exception being the few countries like iceland who sometimes have the balls to stand with the us on resolutions that might make the old men in beijing mad)

north korea: criticize the us for not giving the north koreans everything they want. criticize the us for actually laying out conditions in negotiations and then expecting north korea to stick to their word. criticize the us for comtemplating ending the no-nukes for aid plan when north korea has already declared that they HAVE been working on their nukes and will continue to do so…but would still like some aid.

and let’s not forget these gems of european foreign policy past:

saddam 1: criticize the us for starting a war. criticize the us for killing iraqi soldiers in the war. criticize the us for sending troops into iraq(we only agreeded to kuwait! don’t drag us into a bigger war by going into iraq!). THEN criticize the us for not going into baghdad and taking out saddam.

bosnia and kosovo: pass a few resolutions, send in some peacekeepers who sit around and watch massacres first hand, wait for the us to figure out what to do, and then criticize the us for killing innocent civilians in the process.

rwanda: criticize the us for not doing anything

somolia: criticize the us for doing too much

yup, i’m being pretty harsh, but if anyone would like to point out any foreign policy successes which the euros have accomplished in the last 20 years, i’d love to hear them. btw, i don’t count passing un resolutions and then refusing to do anything when they’re broken as a foreign policy success.


Being Euoperean I would say this… Europe has this habit of critizing the US… why maybe cause it likes to see itself as a moral chancellor while at the same time it has no problems with what America does… it just likes to appear that way… and if the US got rid of Saddam in the morning… well lets just say nobosy in Europe would shead a tear… bitch at the US though… but still be happy

Europe is not a unified country. Therefore it does not have a unified voice or way of doing things. If it did we might all be speaking German or Russian now. Which would you prefer?

Doublespeak is part of all international politics.

However I would definitely say Europeans in general have more knowledge of current affairs and what happens outside their borders.
This is due to more widespread cultural exchange between countries, more media outlets, cheap travel, mobility of work.
I would also say they are more cautious (perhaps because they don’t have 2 billion USD B2 stealth bombers or the fact that it only recently Eastern Europe came in from the cold).

Many people in Europe think now is the time to ask as a brake to some overzealousness in US politics and the military.
Free trade with more of a social conscience.
It’s not like there is the cold war bogeyman around anymore to do that. Europeans are also nervous of the ever increasing power of the military but we don’t want to spend half of our national budgets to keep up.
I mean let’s face this war against Saddam seems to have emerged pretty much out of nowhere. What has changed in the last ten years to cause the need to do this now. Does someone suspect they have anthrax or smallpox? Sept 11 wasn’t even remotely connected to Saddam (but was connected to many other erstwhile US allied countries in the gulf).
If they want to contain Saddam you could just keep bombing his facilities for another 10 years.

Europeans are not supporting Saddam, we just don’t want to risk our lives unneccessarily for a questionable and uncertain cause. Some countries do not have offensive armies, some are neutral (including my own).
Maybe the British will go in but more out of NATO strategic interest, not their own. Our participation and small size would have no measurable effect in any case.

I think many Americans feel the same way.

If Saddam had the bomb would the US be promoting a war against it.
This is an interesting question. He would have a weapon of mass destruction but so does North Korea. This is what the US is saying it must prevent. I would argue North Korea has a much more tyrannical and crazy leadership than Iraq. Nobody is advocating war against them though.
No, they would advocate some sort of standoff or detente like Russia and North Korea. Some day some Arab country will get the bomb. Then american policy will change towards arab countries. GungHo won’t be so apparent. This is real politics. This is what Arab countries see and hear nd what Europeans sometimes question . In the final analysis I’m perfectly happy to see Saddam removed from power by a short war but
would not want my government to be involved. As Bill Maher said ‘If Americans saved 3 miles per gallon in oil there wouldn’t be any need for Iraqi oil to keep it cheap’

Rambled on a bit guest2, didn’t we?

Full of the usual Euro-babble. “free trade with more social conscience.” What is that?

Its French for: “more money for our farmers.”

And Europeans may have more news about foreign countries than the US, but they never reach any CONCLUSIONS about what they should be doing.

Genocide in Kosovo… is that…err… serious… or… err… can we just talk…?


… everyone is called Guest…it’s easier than the old system of names in French, German and those other funny languages

There is no such thing as an European foreign policy.

What could have been the last great European foreign policy succes was the Suez crisis in 1957. However some not too smart yank got that plot foiled.

[quote]Full of the usual Euro-babble. “free trade with more social conscience.” What is that?


That’s exactly it Eurobabble. Eurobabble keeps us all questioning our decisions while we move forward. In case you haven’t noticed Europe is undergoing extraordinary changes at the moment in it’s attempt to remove the causes of ancient enmities. We don’t have to merge with eastern europe but we are doing it cause it’s good for the future of all of Europe and the world. Ireland voted for the Nice treaty (on the second attempt) because we believe in general that the idea of a more unified Europe is a great thing. Put it this way, George Bush would never be a president of a united Europe. His ideas are too simplistic.

They are useful for the short-term but then you get a mess like Israel that the strategy just can’t fix.

It’s Eurobabble, Yeah Baby.


Absolutely! Some would also say that there’s no such thing as a Europe, other than the pipe dreams of a few zealots.

Please people don’t generalize.

“Europe” didn’t start the WW’s.

And don’t forget, a lot of “Americans” originated from “Europe”.

“Europe” didn’t start the WW’s.

Yes… it was the Germans

but to quote Basil Fawlty

“Don’t mention the war”

Please exclude the UK out of any definition of Europe. Thank you

Yes, of course. Whenever Europe is being discussed in terms of “policy”, I think it clear that what is referred to is continental Europe.

ohhhh sorry Ireland isn’t in Europe, I forgot.
So what are the Brits, eastern Yanks then?
Oh yeah and Germany and France are some sort of united superpower, yeah right.

This idea of European policy is totally simplistic.

NATO policy is much more important in this regard.

Where is it then?

That’s a bit like saying my son is my mother.

Such are their dreams, or more precisely, those of the French.

Absolutely. No one talks about “S.E. Asian foreign policy” or “Middle East policy” (Jews and Arabs getting along!), so why should Europe have one. The only ones that do talk of united policies are the self appointed members of a “European Parliament”.

In response to Sept 11th, didn’t NATO invoke the clause that regards an attack on one member as an attack on all?

Surely, then, European foreign policy should be as if they were responding to an attack on themselves (I know Europe isn’t NATO but the najor players are the same.)

Has Europe let America down in this respect?

I suppose it depends on how much of an “attack” you consider it to be.

Nato is only a tool for undertaking collectivized military operations. It should not be seen as synonymous with foreign policy.

You don’t consider the destruction of the two tallest skyscapers in NYC and a direct hit on the Pentagon, as well as the destruction of four jet airplanes and the killing of nearly 3,000 people much of an “attack”?

In addition to the above, the “incident” caused tremendous damage to the US economy.

Exactly what type of “incident” would constitute an “attack” in your opinion?

Are you really unaware that military action is in fact an exercise of foreign policy?

On September 12, 2001, NATO decided that, if it was determined that the attack against the US was directed from abroad, it would be deemed an action covered by Article 5 of the Washington Treaty.

Not necessarily. The mutual defense obligation under Article 5 permits each member of NATO substantial “wiggle” room. The relevant portion of Article 5 states that the Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.

Thus, although Article 5 was invoked, the individual members are free to take whatever measures they deem appropriate.

I think so.