...it's not dark yet, but it's gettin' there...

August 07, 2004

Europe, Internationalism, And A New Twist On Old Style Balance Of Power Politics

Kenneth Timmerman's The French Betrayal of America is not on my personal reading list, so i'm grateful to Neil Uchitel for doing the reading and the reviewing so i don't have to.

. . . Timmerman shows how this inability of Europe, and especially the French, to wield power has made them pursue 'morally superior' means of checking America’s uncontested power. This is why Dominique de Villepin gave his speech before the U.N. stating that under no circumstances would France support America’s push for war. Not only did France have billions of dollars to lose from their oil contracts with Iraq . . . but it could simultaneously cover this hypocrisy and its inability to keep any rogue power in check (like their failure with the Serbs), but also keep itself among the power elite by morally upstaging America.
In the old days, say pre-WWII, the great powers would keep each other in check by relying on the threat of military force. Now, when Europe essentially has zero ability to threaten force, they cynically feign a moral force that they also do not have. Their appeal to international law and institutions is merely old style balance of power politics, repackaged for a new one-superpower world.

i'm anxious to see if the Timmerman book addresses whether Europe and the French government's coddling of extremist Islam is also part of a strategy to counter-balance America's military and economic advantage.

Posted by annika, Aug. 7, 2004 |
Rubric: On The Blogosphere