Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I thought we were talking about a much shorter term than that. For instance, were European allies irresponsible in withdrawing troops from Iraq, should Europe be ready to step in if the next US President withdraws...

This "reform Islam" project would require a stable political climate and very low level violence if any to even begin to think about implementing it.

Anyway, it's not like the EU doesn't do anything like "teaching and demonstrating the principles of good government". Check out this list: ongoing missions include

  • Police
  • Rule of Law
  • Security reform
  • Border assistance
That's what the EU Member State's forces have been configured to do lately, and the kinds of things I think they tried to do in Iraq before the insurgency and tactical differences with US commanders kicked them out.

But I don't think that's viable as long as there is a significant insurgency. Which brings us back to Judo.

John in Michigan USA:

It also took me a while to understand the paradox (to me at least) that you are pro-Europe, and pro-EU, and even pro-Lisbon... and yet you also fear that most of your leaders (who are also pro-EU) are irredeemably corrupt vassals of NATO -- so corrupt that they cannot even speak legitimately on issues of human rights.
Why is that a paradox? Can't you be a patriotic American and like your Constitution and yet fear that most of your politicians are irredeemably corrupt, venal, in the pockets of various lobbies or out to get pork for their states? Or believe that the Bush administration has been riding roughshod over the Constitution and been generally incompetent at home and abroad? There's no paradox there.
Won't these same leaders, or their colleagues drawn from Europe's bureaucracy, be responsible for implementing Lisbon (or whatever variation or subsection of Lisbon that eventually passes)?
I have in the past said that given the character of the National leaders we've had in Europe over the past 15 years, their lack of vision, and the generally libertarian turn their economic thinking is taking (and I'm talking about the Social Democrats here - the right is mostly hopeless), a few years of institutional gridlock at the European Council while we have the Barroso Commission can't but be a good thing. Especially since this makes the European Parliament look much better. Did you know that consistently the Parliament is the most trusted EU institution, followed by the Commission (the "Eurocrats") and finally by the Council? People trust the "unaccountable" EU Commission "bureaucracy" more than they do their own national governments! As a result, I am somewhat amused by the fact that EU referendums are consistently taken as an opportunity to give the political class a big black eye. They still haven't figured out that business as usual, where everything is hashed out in secrecy at the Council in a big horse-trading spree and them approved by the National parliaments who are joined to their Heads of Government by the hip, doesn't cut it any longer. And these national leaders are afraid to press ahead with "enhanced cooperation" so they seem to prefer gridlock to progress for a "core Europe".

So, the "problem" with Europe is not the EU, it's the national governments, IMHO.

This takes some getting used to.
I think one difference between Americans and Europeans is that Europeans believe in government in the abstract and don't trust the actual government, whereas Americans don't believe in government in the abstract but rally behind their President.

You may find my diary The Bigger Picture informative, or maybe not.

Anyway, you only have to look at what happened with the CIA flight/prison scandal, with the passenger data transfers, the SWIFT data protection violation, the EU's stance on Israel's war on Lebanon in 2006, and the proposed missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic, and the recognition of Kosovo, to understand why many on this site think that our governments (and the EU Council as a result) are corrupt US vassals. It seems that at the EU Commission (below the political appointee level) they have no illusions about being able to have a constructive relationship with the US...

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jun 18th, 2008 at 06:22:37 AM EST
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