Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics
 

Good job the EU doesn’t have a Tardis.

Posted by Jason O on Mar 17, 2011 in European Union |

The EU: Travelling through time surrendering to people.
The EU: Travelling through time surrendering to people.

Watching the EU’s dicking around over Libya, one must be glad that they don’t have a time travelling machine.

March 1936. German forces illegally enter the Rhineland.

May 1936. The EU replies, after two months debate, with a stern letter calling for Herr Hitler to show respect.

March 1939. German forces invade Czechoslovakia.

April 1939. Acting quickly, the EU sends a very stern letter indeed, and threatens to call an emergency summit.

Sepetember 1939. German forces invade Poland.

October 1939. The EU holds an emergency summit, issues a condemnation, and issues a firm call for another summit.

May 1940. German forces invade France.

May 1940. EU proposes sanctions on moustache wax, jackboot polish and scarlet red uniform dye. To be discussed at next summit.

June 1940. German forces destroy French army, drive British army into the sea. EU summit (on beach in Dunkirk) votes to impose said sanctions.

1941. EU summit in London calls for Nazis to enter constructive talks on future of Europe.

1943. Russians counterattack. EU calls for summit on future of Europe.

1944. US led forces liberate France. Russians destroy Nazis in the East.

1945. VE day. Nazi Regime smashed. EU declares sanctions a success.

9 Comments

Daniel Sullivan
Mar 17, 2011 at 10:56 am

Around 1994/95 I wrote a letter to the IT which is now buried behind the archive wall the gist of which was that I felt my generation had let down people the Balkans by our indifference to what had gone on there compared to the focus the Vietnam generation had given that topic. And I believe I noted that the EU was allowing this to happen on our doorstep.

It prompted an article of hand wringing from someone who thought I was of the Vietnam generation and was lamenting how our activism had waned, and I later received a leftish magazine/newsletter on the topic published in Belfast with the hand written note that “not all of us have been inactive”, cos publishing a newsletter in Belfast was definitely stopping Serbian forces in their tracks.

I came across a movie recently called ‘Unthinkable’ (which doesn’t really work as a movie it seems like a stage play that got luck with a sets budget. And it poses, amongst other questions, whether or not we are weak in the West because too many of us are not willing to consider that sometimes, just some times we will have to kill other people to preserve the values we hold dear. It should never be amongst the options of first recourse, but if we rule it out entirely then we are open over the long term to our societies and the values we are seeking to protect being destroyed by those for whom it is a option of first recourse.


 
Peter C
Mar 17, 2011 at 11:29 am

I don’t understand your point and peoples contention that the EU should act like a government or at the very least a federal system. It is, as many of its detractors fail to understand, a union of nation states and by extension acts in accordance to the will of those 27 members. There is nothing stopping France, the UK or Germany from doing anything about it unilaterally or through NATO but if you want unilateral action from the EU then you want a single EU government. Last time a checked, that isn’t on the cards (taxes, anyone).

I might also add that the US is not keen in getting involved either because the no fly zone wouldn’t serve your stated purpose. In order to support the opposition now, we would have to start offering close air support against armoured targets. Very different prospect.

To bring it back to the main point, have you sought what the Irish governments opinion on this is? We might well be one of the member states opposing any military action or at the very least wait until there is UN approval.


 
William
Mar 17, 2011 at 7:52 pm

Isn’t there a bit of a grandfather paradox in this?

Aside from that tongue-in-cheek ahistoricism, up to September 1939, isn’t this fairly much what happened. That’s three years into your timeline. Assume Britain to be Eurosceptic, or sceptical of the EU specifically, and from 1940 on your timeline assert their own foreign policy. Ireland goes on about neutrality and does nothing. USSR take over Eastern Europe, US mainly responsible for freeing France.

Not trying to be a dull pedant or anything, just wondering how your EU in a Tardis has made any difference, bar possibly there being less fighting.


 
Jason O
Mar 17, 2011 at 10:28 pm

I was just pointing out that even in Europe’s greatest hour of need, the EU would have been ineffectual.


 
Jason O
Mar 17, 2011 at 10:33 pm

Peter: The EU takes incessantly about the power of pooling sovereignty, and magnifying our influence in the world through it. We do have military cooperation in the EDA. The problem is for me that, as usual, the EU’s high talk about supporting democracy and human rights is once again proven to be waffle. Should we be offering close air support? Yes, we should. Should we be seizing this opportunity to rid Africa of one of its nastiest tyrants? Yes we should. But like Bosnia and Rwanda, European waffle comes nowhere near actually doing anything.


 
david morris
Mar 18, 2011 at 3:29 pm

EU ineffectual ?

Does La Ashton know about this ?

I think she should be told

Kind regards


 
Peter C
Mar 18, 2011 at 3:30 pm

And that’s fine but you didn’t really address the point I raised. The EU is a union of 27 member states, all with different foreign policy objectives and stances. If you want the EU to act unilaterally you would have to fundamentally altered it to something capable of taking those decisions. That is either a European government or a federal system with an elected President or Prime Minister. I don’t see much support for that so we have to make do with the soft power option (which, like it or not, as proven to be quite successful).

Now that there is a UN sanctioned mission lead by two member states of the EU I think we see that your criticism should not be levelled at the EU in its entirety but the member states who do not support the action you wish to see. Perhaps we are one of them?


 
Jason O
Mar 20, 2011 at 9:10 pm

Couple of points: The EU does act unilaterally in some areas, like international trade, so it is not a new concept. I do agree that the fact that countries like Ireland completely opt out of stuff like this is shameful, considering that even Denmark is contributing fighters.


 
E
Mar 22, 2011 at 11:11 pm

Maybe but why isn’t Turkey being asked to send fighters for example.. a strong local Muslim nation getting ideas about itself?


 

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