Wednesday, February 19, 2003
Cold War II-Item 9-Warsaw Pact 2.01 or Change the First A in NAFTA?-We might have an opportunity here in the fallout of the Iraq diplomatic scuffles. The Eastern Europeans are steaming at France right now
Several former Soviet bloc nations, including Romania, Poland, and Hungary, rounded on French President Jacques Chirac, who had suggested that their support for the United States might jeopardise their membership of the EU. Mr Chirac further riled potential EU newcomers with what was perceived as a snide observation that they had "missed a great opportunity to shut up" after they publicly supported the US position on Iraq. Diplomats and commentators likened Mr Chirac's comments to Soviet-era edicts to Warsaw Pact countries and warned they would have a lasting impact on France's standing and authority in Europe. Czech Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda said in a retort to Mr Chirac: "We are not joining the EU so we can sit and shut up."These countries know what totalitarian government is and are willing to help end them elsewhere. They also don't like being told to be quiet. That's what the Communists would do with their public. They're willing to be junior partners in the EU; that's partners, not indentured servants. We might look at setting up a new economic structure that would expand NAFTA to Eastern Europe and anyone else in Europe willing to join. We don't even have to change the acronym; the new entity will be the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement. Such an entity wouldn't have any aims to be a world government. It would give the Eastern European countries access to a large economic market while not having to be part of the big government of the EU. Quite a few of the current EU members might want to switch sides as well, like Italy, Spain and Britain. We also might look to throw NATO out and look to have a ongoing "coalition of the willing" that will stand ready to oppose terrorism and military aggression around the world and provide for security for Eastern Europe from any possible move from Russia or other parts of the old USSR to try and rearrange the borders by force. For parts of Eastern Europe where post-Cold-War tensions are still close to the surface, the presence of a international military base might be helpful to regional stability as well as give the US a forward-posting ability to jump into the Middle East and Africa. France and Germany might not be interested, but Eastern Europe might well be. I'm toying with the idea of calling this the Warsaw Pact 2.01 (version 2.0 included Russia and was too buggy, if you wondered what happened to it). The combination of economic and military cooperation with Eastern Europe and other willing partners would give a larger hegemony to Anglospherian ideals and counter the statism that flows through the EU. Just some off-the-cuff musings after a long day-and-a-half of teaching.
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