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Thread: EU attitude on US spreading democracy

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    EU attitude on US spreading democracy

    What's European poster and national opinion on current US foreign policy of democratizing ME nations using intimidation and if necessary force?

    How has this affected foreign affair policy conducted by EU nations regarding those nations targeted by the US for reforms?
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    Quote Originally Posted by georged
    What's European poster and national opinion on current US foreign policy of democratizing ME nations using intimidation and if necessary force?
    I don`t like it. The actions of the US threatens the idea of non-aggression and the sanctity of soverignity. To be frank, I`d rather let my politicians gamble away the soverignity of my country than to let american politicians snuff it out.

    Another aspect is that the relatively high level of international respect and status my country currently enjoys is based on our commitment to the UN, with US actions eroding the percieved legitimacy of UN, they also erode our international status. Which is a worrysome development from my point of view.

    EDIT: Oh, and everyone hates the US over here now. Honestly, they do. It is almost scary... Even the most serious US supporters and admireers have changed their position...

    Quote Originally Posted by georged
    How has this affected foreign affair policy conducted by EU nations regarding those nations targeted by the US for reforms?
    Apparantly we are now willing sending egyptian fugitives to egyptian torture chambers as long as the US asks (or demands) us to. I don`t like it... Not one bit.
    Last edited by Eddie; 03-19-2005 at 12:59 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie

    EDIT: Oh, and everyone hates the US over here now. Honestly, they do. It is almost scary... Even the most serious US supporters and admireers have changed their position...
    That's what I'm curious about. US media considers that sort of an untouchable subject, much like the recently announced self-imposed policy of not showing Iraq atrocities from US actions. Disturbs advertiser audiences.

    I've noticed European resentment towards US foreign policy (Iraq in particular) be expressed in US product boycotts, notably Coke, but would expect that to expand as Bush and Rice make continual demands of and veiled threats against Iran and now Russia.
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    Quote Originally Posted by georged
    What's European poster and national opinion on current US foreign policy of democratizing ME nations using intimidation and if necessary force?
    US foreign policy is counter-productive in just about every way.
    The bottom line is that the US doesn't respect or really try to understand the other parties involved. The US has 'moral and cultural highground' syndrome, also known as 'arrogance'. This ****** people off.

    It wouldn't be so bad if the US at least acted responsibly, but alas, responsibility seems to have vanished from the Amercian countryside (debt, lawsuits, gung-ho foreign policy etc.).


    Quote Originally Posted by georged
    How has this affected foreign affair policy conducted by EU nations regarding those nations targeted by the US for reforms?
    Policy is still the same, though over the years China has become of ever greater interest.
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    The interesting thing for me is the way that the US actions have made the US very unpopular with European populace at large, even in the countries that supported the War, for example the last time that GW Bush visited the UK over 50,000 people demonstrated against his visit. At the end of the demonstration a effigy of Bush was toppled to the ground in the exact same way that the Statue of Saddam was toppled in Iraq.

    Now this doesn’t sound like a lot of people but usually those sorts of demos only attract a few hundred people at most, and those demos are usually attended by the usual crowd such as the Left wingers and Anti-Globalisation people, at this demo you had church leaders, old people and some Conservatives as well.

    Now another problem I have is that the Special Relationship between the UK and the US only seems to go one way, we support the US but when we want to push something through in the World Stage the US blocks it, for example the Global Warming Problem and the recent measures to protect certain of Worlds Forests. Now I realise that the UK is very much the junior partner but you think there would be some sort of back up from the US on those issues.
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    Quote Originally Posted by georged
    That's what I'm curious about. US media considers that sort of an untouchable subject, much like the recently announced self-imposed policy of not showing Iraq atrocities from US actions. Disturbs advertiser audiences.

    I've noticed European resentment towards US foreign policy (Iraq in particular) be expressed in US product boycotts, notably Coke, but would expect that to expand as Bush and Rice make continual demands of and veiled threats against Iran and now Russia.
    I think it wil take an unprecedented animosity towards the US before our consumer behaviour will be affected. But the way things are going these days, it might only be a matter of time.

    Now, I`m sure the relations between the US and Europe are still repairable. But I think the actions taken by the current US administration will be lodged into our collective memory of grudges in my entire generation. Sort of like how the vietnam war stuck in the mind of the parents of my generation....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie
    I think it wil take an unprecedented animosity towards the US before our consumer behaviour will be affected. But the way things are going these days, it might only be a matter of time.

    Now, I`m sure the relations between the US and Europe are still repairable. But I think the actions taken by the current US administration will be lodged into our collective memory of grudges in my entire generation. Sort of like how the vietnam war stuck in the mind of the parents of my generation....
    Rice's latest public statement condemning Europe for selling China weapons technology due to our ridiculous stance on Taiwan's independence being a prime example? I find that one almost another bad joke on US Public lack of awareness when Pakistan, our 'close ally' governed by a repressive military regime and openly developing nuclear hardware and ICBM delivery, provided China with an F-16 to copy the systems software, saving China 3-4 years of fighter systems capability development time. All that stuff is always for sale and sold to virtually anyone regardless of political affiliations.

    I have Vietnam, S. American banana republics (currently Columbia) and now our ME aggression fresh in my mind, all grudges against the lack of wisdom shown by our government. If I transposed those deeds to any European nation, I'd certainly question if they were the sharpest knife in the drawer. Wealthiest, yes, desirability of alliance when we're known for turning on virtually everyone who doesn't totally agree with us would be the question as our wealth declines.

    How quickly the EU comes together as an economic force is going to be a major factor in how long the US feels it can intimidate various European nations on an individual basis. We're now a debtor nation and can no longer buy 'friends' with the ease we were accustomed to in the past in facilitating our foreign policy. Since those funds are no longer trickling down from subsidized commercial contracts to European populaces, US acceptance and concession to our policies are on a different road with European consumers.

    As to Sweden's lack of moral support for our political aggression, I can best point that out in one of your political statements during the Vietnam War:

    The by far favorite personal weapon of US Navy Seals and US special forces engaged in clandestine warfare during that era was the Swedish K, the Carl Gustav 9mm submachine gun, standard Swedish Army issue from WW2 based on the German MP40 design. Sweden discontinued providing those weapons to the US in 1969 as a political statement against Vietnam. Though a US manufacturer attempted to duplicate it, my sources said it never measured up to the original weapon.
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    The massive social and political change in countries vying for EU membership does far more for spreading democracy and human rights than US military force.

    If the US wants to spread democracy it should keep its stick but offer an economic carrot, as oppossed to just hitting people repeatedly with the stick. :
    "Wise men talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something."
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    Quote Originally Posted by wilted_laughter
    The massive social and political change in countries vying for EU membership does far more for spreading democracy and human rights than US military force.

    If the US wants to spread democracy it should keep its stick but offer an economic carrot, as oppossed to just hitting people repeatedly with the stick. :
    We can no longer afford to use the economic carrot, we're a debtor nation. All we have left is the stick and we're pouring what's left of our wealth into that in a feeble attempt to retain superiority. As can be viewed by our failed effort in Iraq and continual threats to the rest of the world. A schoolyard bully growing up without learning anything.
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    Quote Originally Posted by georged
    Rice's latest public statement condemning Europe for selling China weapons technology due to our ridiculous stance on Taiwan's independence being a prime example? I find that one almost another bad joke on US Public lack of awareness when Pakistan, our 'close ally' governed by a repressive military regime and openly developing nuclear hardware and ICBM delivery, provided China with an F-16 to copy the systems software, saving China 3-4 years of fighter systems capability development time. All that stuff is always for sale and sold to virtually anyone regardless of political affiliations.
    I actually support her initiative. I don`t want EU to lift the weapons sanctions towards China, even though I`m sure we could reap economic benfits from it. China is sooner or later going to turn into a democracy once a strong and politicly aware middle class has emerged. Wether the transition will be violent or not, I do not know. But I do know that I don`t want the chinese government to use weapons produced in Sweden to prevent the populace from seizing power. I couldn`t care less about Tawian though...

    Quote Originally Posted by georged
    I have Vietnam, S. American banana republics (currently Columbia) and now our ME aggression fresh in my mind, all grudges against the lack of wisdom shown by our government. If I transposed those deeds to any European nation, I'd certainly question if they were the sharpest knife in the drawer. Wealthiest, yes, desirability of alliance when we're known for turning on virtually everyone who doesn't totally agree with us would be the question as our wealth declines.
    Sad, but true.

    Quote Originally Posted by georged
    How quickly the EU comes together as an economic force is going to be a major factor in how long the US feels it can intimidate various European nations on an individual basis. We're now a debtor nation and can no longer buy 'friends' with the ease we were accustomed to in the past in facilitating our foreign policy. Since those funds are no longer trickling down from subsidized commercial contracts to European populaces, US acceptance and concession to our policies are on a different road with European consumers.
    Actually I think the fear of US has risen since the Bush administration came into office. Before, europe followed US lead based largely on mutual interests, good-will, trust and friendship. Now I think that US gets its way with many european nations due to intimidation. US has shown to act short-sighted and sometimes even irrational. US can`t buy europe off anymore, but it can sure scare the **** out of us...

    Quote Originally Posted by georged
    As to Sweden's lack of moral support for our political aggression, I can best point that out in one of your political statements during the Vietnam War:

    The by far favorite personal weapon of US Navy Seals and US special forces engaged in clandestine warfare during that era was the Swedish K, the Carl Gustav 9mm submachine gun, standard Swedish Army issue from WW2 based on the German MP40 design. Sweden discontinued providing those weapons to the US in 1969 as a political statement against Vietnam. Though a US manufacturer attempted to duplicate it, my sources said it never measured up to the original weapon.
    Hehe.. yeah. The vietnam war was really, really big over here. Our, by far most recognized and accomplished prime minister, Olof Palme is most remembered for his critisism of the war. He wasn`t afraid of publicly calling the US administration things like "bloody murderers" and "creatures of oppression". He also marched to the US embasy together with the ambasador from North Vietnam to personaly file a complaint against the war... At another time, he officially gave the US government "the finger" ...

    Now, I`m sure that the US government couldn`t care less about Swedish oppinions at the time, but that only ensured that the frustration and resentment grew and grew among the populace.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie
    I actually support her initiative. I don`t want EU to lift the weapons sanctions towards China, even though I`m sure we could reap economic benfits from it. China is sooner or later going to turn into a democracy once a strong and politicly aware middle class has emerged. Wether the transition will be violent or not, I do not know. But I do know that I don`t want the chinese government to use weapons produced in Sweden to prevent the populace from seizing power. I couldn`t care less about Tawian though...
    The EU and the US already sell weapons to China despite the embargo. The weapons embargo is nothing more than a political statement. Weapons are being sold regardless of whether or not the embargo is in place.

    Beefing up the Chinese army and by extension Chinese political power, has the effect of creating a multi-polar world where China, the EU and the US all have equal power. This way no one country (or federation) can dominate world policy, which is the way China and the EU like it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gamehuis
    The EU and the US already sell weapons to China despite the embargo. The weapons embargo is nothing more than a political statement. Weapons are being sold regardless of whether or not the embargo is in place.
    If the embargo has no effect, what so ever, then it hardly matters wether we keep it or not.


    Quote Originally Posted by gamehuis
    Beefing up the Chinese army and by extension Chinese political power, has the effect of creating a multi-polar world where China, the EU and the US all have equal power. This way no one country (or federation) can dominate world policy, which is the way China and the EU like it.
    As a foreign polycie initiative, I can understand the rationale behind lifting the embargo. From a more idealistic standpoint, I don`t want it lifted. The possible gains from lifting the embargo as a oforeign polycie intitiative do not IMO outweigh the costs from an idealistic point of view.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie
    As a foreign polycie initiative, I can understand the rationale behind lifting the embargo. From a more idealistic standpoint, I don`t want it lifted. The possible gains from lifting the embargo as a oforeign polycie intitiative do not IMO outweigh the costs from an idealistic point of view.
    That sounds like pandering to conflicting US foreign policy. The technology is currently being traded, sold and granted without formal policy approval, which means all involved parties (governments) are providing informal approval or the goods wouldn't leave the dock or airport. The US has condemned open policy because of pathetic US demands for Taiwan's independence, denied by China, nothing else. Even China's traditional enemy Russia, one of the world's largest suppliers of arms behind the US, has taken no public stance against weapons trade with China.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie
    If the embargo has no effect, what so ever, then it hardly matters wether we keep it or not.
    It matters politically. The Chinese hate the fact that they're now lumped together with rogue states like Burma and Zimbabwe with regards to an arms embargo. They view the embargo as a rather large stain on China-EU relations.
    If the EU lifts the embargo it will severly strengthen our relationship with China.
    Considering that the EU is China's largest trading partner and that China is the EU's second largest trading partner I think it would be wise to appease the Chinese with the symbolic gesture of removing the arms embargo.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gamehuis
    It matters politically. The Chinese hate the fact that they're now lumped together with rogue states like Burma and Zimbabwe with regards to an arms embargo. They view the embargo as a rather large stain on China-EU relations.
    If the EU lifts the embargo it will severly strengthen our relationship with China.
    Considering that the EU is China's largest trading partner and that China is the EU's second largest trading partner I think it would be wise to appease the Chinese with the symbolic gesture of removing the arms embargo.
    Or, one could keep the weapons embargo as a symbolic gestures of critisism towards the chinese human rights transgressions and lack of liberal democracy.
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