France is threatening to unite with Germany to maintain their influence in an enlarged European Union and strengthen their common front against the United States, according to reported remarks by the Foreign Minister, Dominique de Villepin.
The minister was quoted by Le Monde speaking about "Franco-German union" and calling the deepening of ties "the one historic challenge we cannot lose".
The newspaper gave most of its first three pages to reports on the proposed union, noting it was an idea whose time may have come.
Pascal Lamy, a French EU commissioner, was enthusiastic, telling Le Monde that closer ties could begin with the unification of diplomatic services and the sharing of France's permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council.
To counter the United States over what exactly? The French and Germans are starting to get downright batty in their anti-Americanism. Why not go further and merge the French and German languages in order to create a linguistic counterweight to English?
The obsession with America as the enemy causes Europe to miss its biggest enemy: Demographic trends that threaten to shrink Europe in population, vigor, economic size and in living standards while Europe becomes more Islamic and less European.
Update: D.J. McGuire of China e-Lobby in the latest issue of his newsletter points to a report about the desire of France and Germany to sell more advanced weapons to China.
The removal of sanctions against Beijing is likely to result in major weapons purchases from both France and Germany. The Chinese army would very much like to purchase French Mirage or Rafale jets and the Tiger attack helicopter. The Chinese have a major shortfall in helicopters and lack a modern attack helicopter.
In addition, the Chinese navy would like to collaborate with France on the purchase of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and nuclear-powered submarines. The Chinese navy also would like to purchase French- or German-made air cushion landing craft for a possible invasion of Taiwan.
If Germany and France start selling their best weapons to China and engage in weapons technology transfer deals with China then at that point the Western Alliance will be dead.
Behind the pretense that a dash of multinationalism and pacifist platitudes have suddenly transformed Europe into some new Fukuyama-type End-of-History society, it is still mostly the continent of old, torn by envy and pride, conjuring up utopian fantasies of pan-European rule at the same time as nationalist resentments fester. That’s what makes the question of European rearmament so crucial. Should Europe rearm—and I think it will, either collectively or nation by nation, as America reduces its military presence—it has the population, economic power, and (most important) the know-how to field forces as good as our own. If Germany invested 4 to 5 percent of its GNP in defense, its new Luftwaffe would not resemble Syria’s air force. Two or three French aircraft carriers—snickers about the petite Charles de Gaulle aside—could destroy the combined navies of the Middle East. We may laugh today at the unionized Belgian military of potbellied cooks and barbers, or scoff at German pacifism, but this is still Europe, which gave birth to the Western military tradition—the most lethal the world has ever known.
Hanson argues that the US should continue troop withdrawals from Europe because an elimination of US troop presence from more countries in Europe will reduce their feelings of resentment and impotence. He suggests keeping forces only in European rim countries such as Britain, Spain, and Italy in order to be able to use bases for transfer of forces to the Middle East when necessary.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2003 November 13 03:27 PM Europe and America|