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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

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March 16, 2003

There is more flawed war logic circulating through the media. The one I spotted on Saturday morning over coffee is Greg Sheridan's, French train goes crashing through the West, in the The Australian. Greg's a soft touch I know but he loses it this time.

First he announces his position as an apologist for US hegemony in the world of nations:

"Commentators talk of the breakup of the UN security system, but there has has never been a UN security system worth a used packet of Marlboros. The real global security system of the past 50 years or more has been the US alliance, which has ocassionally had a multilateral cover provided by the UN. It was the US alliance system, not the UN, that kept global order."

Funny, I thought it was the balance of power between the US and Soviet superpowers that kept global order from 1945 to the 1990s. It was the end of the Cold War that changed the security landscape as it left the US as the only superpower.

Greg powers on spining the American neo-con case. He says that aspects of the US alliance system that kept world order has broken down. This is not due to US unilateralism. It was because

"...France saw an opportunity instead to stymie US influence and aggrandise European and French influence through French determination to blow the system apart...They have succeeded in destroying NATO, which no longer seriously mediates force, and that can be seen as weakening US influence in Europe, France's aim. But they have also destroyed the idea of a common European security and foreign policy."

This does not make sense at all. France was not a part of the NATO command structure. France stood outside it, stood as an independent power within the Western alliance. And the common Europen security and foreign policy that they have destroyed is one that was under the US umbrella; one run by the US for the US against the old Soviet super power. Since that threat is gone NATO has lost its reason and purpose.

Greg ploughs on defending the Washington view of the world.

"...So NATO has been destroyed as an effective institution, but so has any pretension of European political integration, especially in security and foreign policy. What is clear is the US is unlikely to take a serious security question back to the UN, so the UN is another institution the French have damaged gravely."

Once again this is a distortion of the situation. It is the US push for using its power as it sees fit that has displaced the United Nations. The US republican necons have no time for the UN because it acts to constrain US power, and that constraint on its power to pre-emptively strike another nation is unacceptable. They desire absolute freedom and they are only willing to use the UN if it is an instrument to further US security interests. If the UN resists or blocks that, by asserting its independence from the US through arguing that the fostering of global security through international law, then the US will act on its own.

Most of the other nations at the UN do not accept the US case that the Iraqi regime represents an imminent threat to gloabl security and that there needs to be war in the next week. No evidence was present to the UN to warrant that case.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:50 AM | | Comments (1)


Poor Greg labours away in the service of his masters churning out this nonsense. The American Enterprise Institute has endless commentary prior to 911 on the need for the USA to not allow its foreign policy prerogative to be subsumed under the auspices of the UN. eg John R Bolton - Oct 2000 - "President Clinton has tacitly encouraged reversing America's long-standing opposition to a major U.N. role in the Middle East. Why would he do so? The answer is that weakness in the president's personal position led him to reach out to whomever could "help," regardless of the larger consequences of doing so. Some ascribe this tendency to the all-consuming quest for a Clinton "legacy," and that is certainly a factor. But it is also evident that "assertive multilateralism," the original Clinton-Albright doctrine, has now emerged in the Arab-Israeli dispute. The secretary general, the Security Council, the U.N. Human Rights Commission, the General Assembly, and the yet-unborn investigative commission are all now loose in the field, in every case to the detriment of American dominance. Clinton himself will not have to personally bear the consequences of his ill-considered behavior, but his successor at the White House will face terrain much less favorable to the United States and Israel." The only person who doesn't know that the USA aspires for the UN in the role of satrapy is dear old Greg.