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EuroPress Review

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December 05, 2003, 9:15 a.m.

EuroPress Review

Denis Boyles

In the '60s, when my generation went to college, turned up the stereo, stole all the towels and tore the place apart, liberal-arts majors were a favored class. Because science was linked to the military-industrial complex, it was thought unwise to disrupt the delicate, melancholy iambs of our pastoral thoughts with discouraging information concerning rockets and explosives.

Instead, science was offered as a sort of single-sentence statement. One of my college's geology classes — the local, lit-major variation of the infamous "rocks for jocks" course — involved piling into a bus and driving through the countryside, while a teaching assistant said, "That's quartz, that's granite, let's go home." Anybody along for the ride got a "pass"; if you missed the bus, you got a "fail." Talk about grading on a curve. Thus did a generation of slackers infect the education business with the virus of credentialed lunacy that now has spread through every aspect of academic life.

Speaking literally of academic life, my own adventure in science involved growing mold in a petri dish. I used the dish mostly because my shower curtain was too bulky to bring to class. The idea, I recall, involved establishing a colony of disgusting, unspeakable stuff in a warm and friendly environment. Think Malibu. You started with spores, which I think were small and insignificant. For a while, nothing happened. Then, almost instantly, you had a vast population of fuzzy semi-vegetation that threatened to bigger than its own little petri-planet. It was like growing your own fright wig, and far better than sea monkeys. The thing I learned is that nothing beats breeding a low-level life form so you can make jokes about it later.

Take, for example, that giant petri dish in Brussels. The spore, taken from an earlier coal- and steel-tariff treaty, was planted in 1957 with the Treaty of Rome, which was supposed to make Italian pasta attractive to grocery shoppers in Luxembourg and Dutch cheese affordable to Belgians. But after decades of festering growth by bureaucrats feeding on the rich agar of near-unaccountability, the old EEC, now the European Union, has reached maturity as a giant Ponzi scheme run by the French and the Germans, in which other nations are forced to contribute to the political well-being of two increasingly unpopular leaders — Chirac and Schroeder.

As with any affinity fraud, there are a number of impolite fictions that must be observed if the thing is going to work. Take, for instance, the Common Agricultural Policy, which allows my neighbors in this little French farming village to drive tractors that make Escalades look like Ladas. The CAP was invented as a way for France and Germany to swap French agricultural products for German machinery, with little regard for the effects it had on other EEC members. The 1962 agreement between de Gaulle and Adenaur, which established the model for using all of Europe as a means of supporting its two largest states, involved heavy community-funded supports for French farmers and a tariff protecting them from barbarian imports. These days, it exists largely to keep French farmers out of downtown Paris, which is where they go, manure spreaders in tow, whenever anybody threatens to cut their subsidies or remove their long-standing trade protections. The impending importation of genetically modified grains — part of the American master plan for world domination, according to this article in Le Monde — poses a very real and considerable health threat for French politicians because of the impact it may have on French agriculture.

But it's the EU's economic stability pact, formulated by the Germans and passed at their insistence, that provides the greatest insight into the cynical realities that support the EU's facade of utopian superiority.

The German idea was to make sure that when the euro became a shared currency, all those lazy Spaniards and those undisciplined, euthanizing Dutch wouldn't bankroll their national deficits by sucking up the revenues of Germany's miracle economy. But when the fortunes of Europe stumbled, and the French began persistently violating the pact, it was Germany who gave them comfort, support — and, most importantly, impunity. Year after year, France escaped without penalty. Last week, as Die Welt (free registration) reported, it was the Germans' turn. Their decision to disregard the pact they so badly wanted — despite the fury of the Spanish, the Dutch, and others who have sacrificed heavily to stay within the pact's guidelines — not only created a massive crisis for the EU, as this Guardian item suggests, it also displayed the real function of the EU — a great way for the French and the Germans to float their economies at the expense of smaller, rule-abiding nations. It's not likely to change soon, either. While the German economy is starting to spark a little — thanks almost entirely to the dramatic American recovery — France is still tanking, as this item from today's Libération describes.

The fact is that the EU is as useful as anti-Americanism for idea-challenged German and French politicians, such as Schroeder and Chirac, men who are much more concerned with their own electorates than they are with the ideals of Rome. Both owe their jobs to their ability to exploit the EU as an instrument of multinational anti-Americanism. Beating up on the U.S. gives center-right politicians like Chirac the ability to co-opt the French Left, which continues to flounder, as polls reported in Le Monde suggest, especially since losing the Stars-and-Stripes-burning franchise. And of course, for center-left guys, like Schroeder, the EU has charm because old-fashioned spending programs are political fairy dust, especially during economic downturns — and especially if somebody else is paying for them. Stability pacts and European unity fall away in the face of political expediency.

Anyway, I retail all this week-old news because the gauzy chintz of a grand illusion isn't the only gown in the closet of Old Europe. There's also the Kyoto protocol, a plan to drain the economies of developed countries in an effort to make sure that greenhouse gasses, the ostensible cause of the apparent climate shift, all come from the Third World.

Like the EU itself, Kyoto is part of the wardrobe of rectitude in which cynical European politicians drape themselves. America, because the president and the Senate (without dissent) both roundly rejected the treaty, gets to play the environmental bad guy in the charade. Like China, and, if this story in Libération holds water, now Russia, the U.S. has continued to find Kyoto to be unworkable and, most of all, expensive.

Critics have futilely documented the flaws in Kyoto to undisturbed liberals — as Danish researcher Bjorn Lomborg did for readers of the Guardian, when he explained that "for the same amount implementing Kyoto will cost the EU every year, the UN estimates that we could provide every person in the world with access to basic health, education, family planning and water and sanitation services." The Bush administration developed its own environmental policy, described briefly inThursday's Revue-Politique update, one that took economic realities into account and balanced them against semi-scientific theories.

Of course, the U.S. refusal to sign the Kyoto agreement gave hypocritical politicians in Europe the opportunity to harness yet another mule to their anti-American bandwagons, as NRO reported here some time ago.

But, like the stability pact, Kyoto was so then. Now, according to Belgium's Le Soir and Germany's ZDF, both reporting this statement from the EU, there's not a globally warmed snowball's chance in upstate New York that the EU will be able to meet its own commitment under the Kyoto agreement to reduce its greenhouse-gas emissions by 8 percent from 1990 levels.

The isn't a revelation to those who have been driving policy in Yank-bashing EU states; they knew all along that Kyoto, like the stability pact, may have been a nice idea, but one on which they were never going to risk political capital. If they had to choose some lovely green fantasy over political survival, the choice would be an easy one. Germany, according to the report, is the EU's biggest greenhouse gasser, and one of the states that made a huge, early stride toward meeting its commitment to Kyoto — mostly by simply closing down all those fume-spewing East German Trabant factories once the wall came down.

But now the money crunch is on and, as the Suddeutsche Zeitung headlined, "Kyoto im Koma." Just as it failed to meet its economic-stability pact commitments, Germany is falling behind its Kyoto targets, a failure that will increase as long as environmental whimsy remains a luxury. My bet: If you ask Schroeder if he'd rather have a balmy Baltic or an unemployment check, he'll take the holiday in Hamburg, no sweat.

NOTES

Did you hear the one about the Jew and the Nazi? The current round of French introspection, in which the république is once again wondering whether it's really as antisemitic as all those crazy Jews in their burned-out schools and synagogues say it is, was given a little clarity last week by Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon, who told EUPolitix that, yes, France quite possibly was antisemitic. Sharon's comments came almost at the same time the EU suppressed a report it had commissioned on antisemitism because, according to Le Nouvel Observateur, the report found a great deal of evidence of antisemitism. Worse, it blamed much of it on Muslim thugs living in France. But not all of it can be laid at the doorstep of French musulmans. A primetime variety show on France3 featured a French comedian dressed as a rabbi giving the Nazi salute and yelling, "Heil Israel" — a humorless moment frozen in the timelessness of Merde in France, the blog that proves once and for all that anger can be a thing of beauty.

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the only bit of that to bring a smile to my face was 'heil israel'

take it you don't get the joke Igloo...

hey igloo, I've been doing some reading, about the CIA and american activities since the second world war.

it's AMAZING.

less than a hundred pages in and there's already been about 5 governments undermined, one innocent country bombed and a civil war intervened in.

it's illuminating.

do you know anything about how the CIA bombed out a democratically elected government in Guatamala in the 50's? under the pretence of anti-communism?

no?

well I guess that's because you're reading racist, crazy stuff like the stuff above.

racist, you say? well yes... let's pick up a few points...

"all those lazy Spaniards and those undisciplined, euthanizing Dutch"

I believe if you said lazy blacks, lazy hispanics you'd be called racist.

well I'd do some reading if I were you, here's a start:

Killing Hope: U. S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/stores/detail/-/books/1567510523/reviews/102-8208985-5653758

.J. Langguth, author and former New York Times bureau chief, about the previous edition, The CIA: A Forgotten History

"A very valuable book. The research and organization are extremely impressive."

Helen Caldicott, about the previous edition, The CIA: A Forgotten History

"Each chapter I read make me more and more angry."

John Stockwell, former CIA officer and author, about the previous edition, The CIA: A Forgotten History

"The single most useful summary of CIA history."

Gore Vidal, about the previous edition, The CIA: A Forgotten History

"I enjoyed it immensely."

Choice, about the previous edition, The CIA: A Forgotten History

"A valuable reference for anyone interested in the conduct of U.S. foreign policy."

Noam Chomsky, about the previous edition, The CIA: A Forgotten History

"Far and away the best book on the topic."

About the Author

William Blum left the State Department in 1967, abandoning his aspiration of becoming a Foreign Service Officer, because of his opposition to what the United States was doing in Vietnam.

Mr. Blum has been a freelance journalist in the United States, Europe and South America. His stay in Chile in 1972-73, writing about the Allende government's "socialist experiment" and its tragic overthrow in a CIA-designed coup, instilled in him a personal involvement and an even more heightened interest in what his government was doing around the world.

In the mid-1970s he worked in London with former CIA officer Philip Agee and his associates on their project of exposing CIA personnel and their misdeeds.

He now lives in Washington, D.C., where he makes use of the Library of Congress and the National Archives to strike fear into the hearts of U.S. government imperialists.

Book Description

Is the United States a Force for Democracy? From China in the 1940s to Guatemala today, William Blum provides the most comprehensive study of the ongoing American holocaust. Covering U.S. intervention in more than 50 countries, KILLING HOPE describes the grim role played by the U.S. in overthrowing governments, perverting elections, assassinating leaders, suppressing revolutions, manipulating trade unions and manufacturing "news."

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what am I exposed as?

a predictable sucker? for giving you a link to a very interesting book, well excuse me for trying to enlighten you...

and you don't think that phrase is in any way racist?

would you be pissed if I said all americans are 'stupid' you'd hassle me about being an elitist european whatever...

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Originally posted by marksimons

what am I exposed as?

a predictable sucker? for giving you a link to a very interesting book, well excuse me for trying to enlighten you...

and you don't think that phrase is in any way racist?

would you be pissed if I said all americans are 'stupid' you'd hassle me about being an elitist european whatever...

Exposed as a fraud....and in typical, predictable fashion, as soon as your bullshit gets thrown up your ass, "racism" is used, despite whether it has an applicable place in a discussion..

And again, instead of focusing on the main theme of the article, the only thing you do is come back with American failures....Wow, what an intellectual you are......

A hypocritical fraud....that is what you are......and again, child's play exposing you as anti-American.....

sucker

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"Anyway, I retail all this week-old news because the gauzy chintz of a grand illusion isn't the only gown in the closet of Old Europe. There's also the Kyoto protocol, a plan to drain the economies of developed countries in an effort to make sure that greenhouse gasses, the ostensible cause of the apparent climate shift, all come from the Third World."

with articles like this you are really spoiling us.

global warming doesn't exist. poor people don't exist. oil lasts forever. we don't need to worry about the consiquences of our actions. everything is fine. go back to bed america. rest easy.

look.

that article is horse shit.

I could do better writing about global warming, with more footnotes.

where is this dudes evidence that global warming doesn't exist? isn't a problem? and doesn't need to be addressed.

and racism? hello.

'lazy spanish'

you'd be up my ass faster than michael jackson if I said 'stupid americans' so why do you pinn yourself to an article that has an equally stupid stereotype which I can only describe as fucking idiotic for an supposed serious essay, at the least xenophobic and at worst symptomatic of an inherent racisism.

well? wouldn't you. if I posted an article with 'stupid americans' you'd say I was anti-american. but 'lazy spanish' or 'euthanistic dutch' is fine for you igloo isn't it, you can be as anti-european as you like but I cannot be critical of America, despite the evidence I offer being far more compelling, i.e. actually researched and annotated as a proper historical investigation.

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Originally posted by igloo

Exposed as a fraud....and in typical, predictable fashion, as soon as your bullshit gets thrown up your ass, "racism" is used, despite whether it has an applicable place in a discussion..

And again, instead of focusing on the main theme of the article, the only thing you do is come back with American failures....Wow, what an intellectual you are......

A hypocritical fraud....that is what you are......and again, child's play exposing you as anti-American.....

sucker

couldnt' agree more... its sad how we're constantly criticized by types like MS, but yet when called out for Europe's failures, they attempt to skirt the issue...

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I'll happily discuss the shortcomings of europe, of which their are a few, but that article doesn't address them in any intelligent way.

it shows a US fear of the dominance of the Euro in the future, a fear of having to check the industries which are basically fuelling the current administration.

a lot of european leaders are a fucking joke - look at italy, look at blair.

we need to sort things out, but Chirac isn't anti-american, he's expressed doubts and concerns that lots of people have had.

and it cuts both ways. *cough*freedomfries*cough*

we need to modernise the EU, and sort out shit like the CAP.

but then there are worldwide farm subsidy issues, which the US, and the EU dump cheap grain on thirdworld countries, this is one of THE BIGGEST issues to do with 'free' trade as supported by GATTs and all that malarky.

anyone care to defend the 'lazy spanish' remark in the article? anyone not think that the use of such language rather undermines the author?

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Originally posted by marksimons

I'll happily discuss the shortcomings of europe, of which their are a few, but that article doesn't address them in any intelligent way.

a lot of european leaders are a fucking joke - look at italy, look at blair.

we need to sort things out, but Chirac isn't anti-american, he's expressed doubts and concerns that lots of people have had.

Do you actually listen to yourself......

Chirac not anti-American....are you fucking kidding me?

Blair and Berlusconi are bullshit leaders???....why, simply because you disagree with them, or because they sided with the U.S.....

Shut the fuck up already you one-sided clown.......

and BTW--you are obviously a big fan of yourself with your "sources" and "footnotes", and enjoy patting yourself on the back for providing them.......but they could never be misguided, or biased, or just wrong ...could they retard?...

Of course not, those "facts" and "editorials" and plain bullshit have to be accurate because they support your views, while you diminish anything against them as "racist" or "well America is to blame"....

Shut the fuck up already blowhard...

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