I wonder what the European Union will think and say when its policy of dialogue, a mixture of pleading and feeble threats, fails to prevent Iran from accessing its cherished nuclear weapons or weapons-making capacity (much the same).
I suspect, in various private interviews, or perhaps in their memoires once retired, at any rate when it is far too late, the various protagonists like Jack Straw, Javier Solana, Christopher Patten or the lot of French charlatans and Leftists who seem to be the evil geniuses in any dirty deal these days, will state and write that they had no way of knowing, or there was nothing else they could do.
They may say that the interests of the European Union demanded moderation, dialogue and diplomacy. They will say perhaps that Europe had to present an alternative to the gung-ho methods of the Bush administration, if it were not to fall behind and become an irrelevance in international relations. They may say many things. But that is all for the historians, who will one day investigate the evidence, as they have with the appeasement of Hitler in the 1930s, and, yes, conclude that Europe failed to do this, or should have done that — whatever.
But what about us, living now?
In the long term, as the economist Keynes said, we will be dead. For now, we may conclude that the Europeans seem to care not a jot for democracy outside their own borders. It is another case of why-don't-they-eat-cake? No democracy? Try some of our Teflon pans and washing machines instead. Wait in your caftans for another 70 years, why don't you?
I have tried to explain to many Europeans, Spaniards and Catalans more recently, that numerous Iranians despise European states for their hypocrisy, greed, and conniving attitude to dictatorships, specifically one operating not a million miles from the residents of Tehran. These Spaniards are baffled, convinced the Europeans are admired in the world for standing up to the Bush administration.
I would say this U.S. administration must receive the credit it deserves. It is a measure of its principled positions that it has provoked the ire of little states like France, Syria or North Korea.
There is a certain pride, Julius Caesar used to say, in having enemies. The United States may face difficulties in Iraq, but it has pursued the correct aims, in contrast to that cesspit of iniquity and thievery, the United Nations (Go on Condi: push out that Annan, secretary-general of the you-scratch-my back-comrade-I'll-scratch-yours pile of dirt called Non-Aligned states, and while you're at it that conniving sophist Muhammad El-Baradei [“There's no smoking gun,” howzabout a smoking gun up your a**e Mister? You're as dynamic as Neville Chamberlain waiving that paper, saying peace in our time]).
Marvellous: now why is it that the United States considers the existence of fascist states in the Middle East, which promote hatred, violence and terrorism, to be against its national interests, while the European Union believes that its national interests demand dialogue, and business-as-usual with the same dirt-bag states?
Can it be that the Americans, and Anglo-Saxons generally, have retained a humble yet necessary trait called common sense, which the Sartre-Marx-Gramsci reading European offal have lost? The enemies of liberal democracy – we know it, and they know it – are on the Left of the political centre. I don't wish to generalize of course, but I do, time and again, and we all love this type of muck-raking.
The news (pa-paam) corroborates my views. For example, the former, conservative government of Spain took an unhesitatingly hostile attitude to the Castro dictatorship, and allegedly backed an attempted coup against Hugo Chavez, the elected president of Venezuela who may well use his votes to strangle democracy in Venezuela (thanks to billions of petrodollars that pay for militias, docile state employees, secret police, informers, sycophantic propagandists and newspapermen — can you think of other places where this happens?).
The new, Socialist government of Spain however has eased its stance on Cuba, and persuaded the European Union to do the same, and received Chavez on a state visit. Well, stuff the people, we don't see or hear them as often as Castro and Chavez on television, so they don't exist.
You would have thought that a body of 25 wealthy, prosperous states could throw its weight around a bit. It may not be able to “give” democracy, but it can do a bit more pushing and shoving (some well-meaning “laat-baazi,” American-style), threaten a little more, promise less, stand its ground, make demands: demand the release of helpless individuals left in some dark cell in one of these shit-hole countries, and leave the negotiating room if they are not freed. Not a bit of it, monsieur. They like to plead instead, engage in “critical” dialogue, and finally kow-tow to the whims of little dictators and evil men, leaving the dirty work to the United States.
Spinelessness: that is the moral legacy of socialism and the Left. Still, every argument must be balanced, I say. Europe has given us Voltaire, chandeliers and the Ritz hotel chain, for which I thank them. Later, I shall go to the (Madrid) Ritz for tea (“Yow-gimme-ya-mutha-fucka-tea-widda-crumpitt,” I'm all gangsta-rap today. They give you better service if you speak English).