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 The USA view of the Lisbon Treaty

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PostSubject: The USA view of the Lisbon Treaty   Fri Feb 20, 2009 5:59 pm

We seem not to have a thread on this, although it has come up in passing on a number of threads.

http://www.heritage.org/Research/Europe/bg1991.cfm

This article by Sally MacNamara of the Heritage Foundation gives one of the most coherent accounts I've read on why the USA would see the Lisbon Treaty as disadvantageous to its interests.

The introduction says:
Quote :
the reemergence of the draft EU constitution[1] represents a fundamental threat to American interests far more profound than the hostility of any one European leader. This draft constitution challenges U.S. strategic, diplomatic, judicial, and military interests. It enshrines modish and ephemeral values as supreme law for 25 separate nation-states with the intention of fully globalizing its lofty and elite-driven policies.




The United States needs to recognize the threat posed by Brussels' drive to centralize huge swathes of public policy as having significant negative implications for America and respond to that threat by applying appropriate diplomatic pressure to ensure that U.S. interests are upheld within the transatlantic alliance.

This short article merits reading as a whole but this is one section of it.

Quote :


Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the perceived need for another power to "counterbalance" the United States has motivated European integrationists. This thinking was displayed by the EU most nakedly during the buildup to Operation Iraqi Freedom, in which powerful nations not just critiqued, but also obstructed American foreign policy. EU accession countries were even threatened with delays to their accession for supporting the war.[25] Underlying this diplomatic crisis was the message that the time had come for Europe to directly challenge a sovereign foreign policy decision of the United States in an attempt to contain American power.

This argument has been driven home by EU elites for some time now.

  • Former French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin's attack on America's status as an "unchecked hyper-power"[26] supplemented former President Francois Mitterand's assertion that "we are at war with America....[T]hey are voracious, they want undivided power over the world."[27]
  • German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder argued for further European integration on the grounds that "whining about U.S. dominance does not help, we have to act."[28]
  • Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt describes the direction of the EU in terms of a European "emancipation" from the United States.[29]
  • Spanish Prime Minister Zapatero openly talks about deconstructing American global influence within two decades.[30]


Any future EU foreign policy will undoubtedly revolve around this anti-American world vision in which Europe is a counterweight to the United States--a rival, not a partner.


The question "why would the US oppose a strong Europe" has been asked here a good few times. This article gives some of the reasons why.
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PostSubject: Re: The USA view of the Lisbon Treaty   Fri Feb 20, 2009 9:29 pm

All fine and dandy, interesting in places, but irrelevant. We should vote yes or no on the basis of our own belief about what is best, not what might or might not p1ss off the Americans. It has nothing to do with them.
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PostSubject: Re: The USA view of the Lisbon Treaty   Fri Feb 20, 2009 10:06 pm

toxic avenger wrote:
All fine and dandy, interesting in places, but irrelevant. We should vote yes or no on the basis of our own belief about what is best, not what might or might not p1ss off the Americans. It has nothing to do with them.

It is very interesting I think, and it explains a lot about why I will be voting against the Lisbon Treaty, if there is another referendum. I have no wish whatsover to build Europe up into an armed bloc in opposition to other armed blocs. I don't have any fight with ordinary Americans who get roped in to fighting wars for the likes of Bush and Rumsfeld.
Imo we have gone well beyond the stage in which building up a European political, economic and military entity can do anything good for ordinary people in Europe. Do far as I'm concerned its the bankers and their tame politicos vs the rest of the human population. I would rather we started to make links with countries that move towards socialist solutions, irrespective of what part of the world they are in.
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PostSubject: Re: The USA view of the Lisbon Treaty   Sat Feb 21, 2009 12:44 am

I personally wouldn't believe anything printed by the heritage foundation. This is a dis-credited organisation that is the spawn of Bush and his hangers on. They are neo-conservatives that believe in America first and might is right. The WMD lies in Iraq have discredited this nationalistic humerus.

I read once that the American military believe that if any country begins to have a military machine that would match the their own, than that country should be destroyed in a preemptive war. If Britain had this policy in the 19th century it would have launched a war against the US before they were overtaken in economic size. The American public have turned away from this type of nationalist crap (and got rid of Bush and the neo-cons), their day is past and I am surprised its even being discussed here.

On a slightly separate issue, Europe needs a strong militarily force. Please bear in mind that Ireland is tiny and is able to hide under other countries defense structures. We can get away with being neutral and having practically a non-existant army, but this should not blind people to the different needs of the continent as a whole. Imagine Europe trying to negotiate oil prices with Russia if we didn't have a strong army.

Interestingly the neo-cons were always whining about the poor state of Europe's military and how it was crazy that America had to help defend Europe. But the minute theres a document that suggests a common defense for some European countries (outside of Nato) they see it as a threat. They want to have there cake and eat it.

I think this double standard from the neo-cons is all about money, they want to be the only military power in the world and do what they want, but as its prohibitively expensive they want Europe to help pay for this military machine. For example Europe (and Japan and the gulf states) had to to pay for the first gulf war and the US refused to forgive Europe's war debts after the first and second world wars. Compare this to France's attitude after the American war of independence when France forgave Americas war debt immediately. I think they shouldn't have bothered because they haven't got much thanks for it.
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PostSubject: Re: The USA view of the Lisbon Treaty   Sat Feb 21, 2009 1:19 am

What they want is what they got today - 26 NATO countries agreeing to fight their stinking war for them in Afghanistan. Million upon million being spent on men and munitions in one of the most desperately poor countries in the world. It is obscene.

Yes, the US government does want us to pay for its wars, and no, it does not want Europe to have an independent military capability. It could have been far less easy to displace French interests in Iraq, for example.

Building up Europe as a competitive military bloc to the USA will not solve anything. The drive to resource wars will be even more intense now in the slump and it will be easier to raise armies because of mass unemployment. I'm absolutely opposed to these wars, which are all about working people being killed for the benefit of the rich and powerful. The fact that people increasingly use the argument of militarisation as a reason to support the Lisbon Treaty is for me a good reason to vote no.
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PostSubject: Re: The USA view of the Lisbon Treaty   Sat Feb 21, 2009 3:00 am

Honestly why anyone would pay any attention to what the Yanks have to say about Europe is beyond me. They haven't a clue. The reaction in the US media to the Lisbon Treaty, on both sides of the debate, is laughable.
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PostSubject: Re: The USA view of the Lisbon Treaty   Sat Feb 21, 2009 3:14 am

evercloserunion wrote:
Honestly why anyone would pay any attention to what the Yanks have to say about Europe is beyond me. They haven't a clue. The reaction in the US media to the Lisbon Treaty, on both sides of the debate, is laughable.

They understand which side their bread is buttered on.
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PostSubject: Re: The USA view of the Lisbon Treaty   Sat Feb 21, 2009 6:20 am

The incoming President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ireland, as capitalist a bastion as America has, offers a distinctly different view...
Quote :
He also called on Ireland to reject the trend towards protectionism -
calling it an 'easy refuge' - and support for the Lisbon Treaty.

http://www.rte.ie/business/2009/0220/american.html

and..
Quote :

Dr Duffy said it was essential that Ireland voted Yes to Lisbon at the next opportunity. “Having
at long last overcome our disadvantage as a peripheral island on the
western edge of Europe, we cannot condemn ourselves to either internal
irrelevance or external exile from the one forum where our essential
interests can most effectively be advanced.”
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/finance/2009/0221/1224241590865.html

Again, it makes no difference...
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PostSubject: Re: The USA view of the Lisbon Treaty   Sat Feb 21, 2009 1:25 pm

Again, it makes no difference...

Don't be so cynical. There has been a long discussion on this, and my own view often expressed is that there is debate and disagreement on this in the US, but that there is a significant strain that is vehementally opposed to Lisbon. USAID put big money into the No campaign, that I've posted about elsewhere on this site.

Unsurprisingly, the "American Chamber" in Ireland - management of FDI on the whole - has have every interest in the health and well being of the Irish economy and its connection to EU markets and that is where it is coming from.
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PostSubject: Re: The USA view of the Lisbon Treaty   Sat Feb 21, 2009 1:33 pm

cactus flower wrote:
What they want is what they got today - 26 NATO countries agreeing to fight their stinking war for them in Afghanistan. Million upon million being spent on men and munitions in one of the most desperately poor countries in the world. It is obscene.

Yes, the US government does want us to pay for its wars, and no, it does not want Europe to have an independent military capability. It could have been far less easy to displace French interests in Iraq, for example.

Building up Europe as a competitive military bloc to the USA will not solve anything. The drive to resource wars will be even more intense now in the slump and it will be easier to raise armies because of mass unemployment. I'm absolutely opposed to these wars, which are all about working people being killed for the benefit of the rich and powerful. The fact that people increasingly use the argument of militarisation as a reason to support the Lisbon Treaty is for me a good reason to vote no.

Nobody is using the military argument as a reason to support the Lisbon treaty, except you. The Lisbon treaty talks about coming to the aid of other countries and offering assistance in an emergency. It also allow countries to ope out of an defense pacts which other EU countries might decide to enter into. I think your scaremongering. I personally would like to see a stronger EU military and I also support the Lisbon Treaty, but that does not mean the Lisbon Treaty will create that.

The EU has been the greatest organisation for peace the world has ever seen. It is trying to create a new world with an emphasis on human rights, sustainable developments and peaceful coexistence. To accuse it of having secret militaristic tendencies is crazy. As I said earlier the neo-cons in the US continually argue that the EU is soft and almost feminine (this being a bad thing in their eyes). This is the complete opposite to what you (and Sinn Fein) are saying about the EU.
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PostSubject: Re: The USA view of the Lisbon Treaty   Sat Feb 21, 2009 1:38 pm

Art, there is appearance and essence in everything. What you are talking about is appearance. I'll come back to this later.

Cheers.
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PostSubject: Re: The USA view of the Lisbon Treaty   Sat Feb 21, 2009 2:04 pm

cactus flower
Sat Feb 21, 2009 10:38 am
Art, there is appearance and essence in everything. What you are talking about is appearance. I'll come back to this later.


I think the Charter of Fundamental Rights speaks for itself and is the essence of the EU's plan for the future. Your the one thats voting no to its implementation even though you appear to be in favour of human rights and a peaceful world. I think your mixed up not the EU.
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