Democrat February 2003 (Number 68)
'New' Europe backs illegal war on Iraq
The hoary old myth peddled by federalists that `Europe' is against
war and the United States alone is the warmonger has been
exposed for what it is. EU leaders have combined with client state
rulers in Eastern Europe to back the illegal attacks on Iraq being
planned by Washington.
Britain, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Denmark, Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic claimed the ludicrous `evidence' produced by the US and Downing Street (including cartoons and outdated students essays cobbled together several years ago!) justified the blitz on Baghdad. In short, they demanded blind support for US imperialist expansion, the tearing up of international law and for neoliberal "globalisation" to be imposed by military force. This group, led by Blair, Aznar of Spain and Berlusconi of Italy, present themselves as `new' Europe, which openly proclaims the benefits of empire building alongside the US.
Washington was quick to back the moves and denounce `Old' Europe of France and Germany that have been less keen on attacks on Iraq. However, this does not mean that Chirac of France and Schroeder are peacemakers. On the contrary, Paris and Berlin gleefully took part in the equally illegal and murderous attacks on Yugoslavia and later Afghanistan in order to promote their own geopolitical and strategic interests. The recent final destruction of Yugoslavia, a German foreign policy goal for nearly a century, under EU orders attests to this venal approach. Paris is also fighting a dirty war in the Ivory Coast to secure economic advantage in Africa. However, the planned attacks on Iraq would effectively sideline these two countries as imperial players on the world scene.
Crisis in Germany
The government in Berlin is also in crisis and has been forced to play the anti-war card with the peace-loving electorate in order to remain in power. France is likewise terrified of losing support and its much-loved seat on the UN Security Council. All this highlights the huge dangers of accepting a single EU foreign policy as envisaged by the federalists and the upcoming EU constitution.
Real reasons for war against Iraq
Bush, and the big oil and Wall Street elite he represents, are using the war to cope with the increasingly obvious crisis of corporate "globalisation". The west wants to go to war to grab the vast untapped oil riches of Iraq and the Gulf and, in the process rule the world in defence of super profits.
Bush and his cohorts aim to seize the "black gold" reserves of Iraq, second only to those of Saudi Arabia, the possession of which would allow US oil companies to undermine OPEC and thus control prices. They are driven by the fact that Iraq is strategically located near other oil-rich nations of the Middle East, essential waterways and key pipeline routes from Central Asia. They are also driven by the reality that the world's fossil energy reserves are being depleted rapidly, yet the oil wells of Iraq will continue to produce after most others run dry.
`New' and `old' Europe understand this and are seeking ways to protect their own big money interests and are playing their own diplomatic game. As in the past, the peoples of the (un) developing world and democracy at home are expendable in that unending battle.
A single EU foreign policy would allow this process to speed up, as the war drive would be unhindered by independent and democratic nation states, responsible to electorates. Such states can decide their own policy and refuse to go along with unending conflict of euro empire and declare that the EU emperor has no clothes.