Director of the Foreign Policy Institute, Tapani Vaahtoranta, opined in today’s Helsinginsanomat 24.8.06 (Finland’s premier daily newspaper) under the title of “The US has not achieved its goals in the Middle-East”, that:
“big changes (in the ME) have long been discussed amongst researchers, that signs show the world has shifted after the cold war period into a cold war period, and that change has resulted from the ‘crumbling of US hegemony, which has resulted in a ‘disorder’ in international relationships.”
The emphasis behind the words of the director of the Finnish foreign policy think tank, are of course, solely directed in the direction of the US, and on how the various number of international players have reacted to US foreign policy during the administration of the current president, George Bush, and are reflective of the mindset that dwells within the halls of the UPI.
What I find interesting in the article, is the lack of attention to how the US ‘is responding’ to the radical elements within the ME and elsewhere, the total lack of progress by the EU, on such crucial matters such as, Iranian intransigence on its nuclear ambitions, as well as EU reliance on Iranian oil AND Iraqi oil, which explains the European reluctance to draw a line in the sand withregimes, such as Saddam’s Iraq, and the Mullahcracy in Tehran.
The current EU strategy; “of one carrot after the other” is a faulty policy if there ever was one, and in spite of some European claims to the contrary, more damaging. The US version of “carrot and stick” uses every available channel possible in order to diffuse international crisis’s before they become untenable. The big difference here, is the aversion of many in Europe to use the “stick” when necessary, as was the situation in the 90’s, when the US was instrumental in bringing in NATO, in order to stop the Serbian government. Yes, NATO is made up of these same European governments, but it was at US insistence that it ever succeeded in mounting a military response against the Serbs.
” The chaos in the Iraq war has only increased terrorism not lessened it, Afghanistan has not been successfully stabilized, nor has the Iranian problem been solved.”
Am I missing something here, or is Vaahtoranta indicative of the mindset that prevails here in Europe and in some political circles in the US? What I mean to say is, that while its acknowledged within the political elite that democracy and its principles take generations before they have truly become a permanent, stable fixture in a society, they (like Vaahtoranta) cynically expect immediate advances to be made within such a short time frame. Are Afghanis and Iraqis better off than they were a few years ago? The “absolutist pacifist” would say no, because they don’t understand freedom to be a universal right worth dying for, and the slavists that inhabit those stretches of totalitarian earth, hope that they never do understand it.
“In this situation, is necessary to admit the facts. A way forward, would be for the EU to get the US to admit that its ‘isolation of Iran’, is not having the desired result. Iran’s threats have only increased, and the development could lead to a military conflict. The EU should stipulate to Iran that it should also accept facts, and recognize Israel.”
It’s clear to me that the head of the Finnish think tank, (UPI) is floundering in a sea of utopian goodist and wishfull thinking, that’s awash in a moral relativism that could never allow for an absolute right or wrong to even exist. That’s why Vaahtoranta could harbor a thought that its even possible for the present racist/totalitarian regime (that needs an enemy) could ever accept the existence of Israel. Hamas as well as Hezbollah. What’s at fault here, is a moral relativism that puts all other ideologies/systems on an equal footing, believing that the moderation, pragmatism and good faith practiced by the West, could ever be reciprocated by the religiously intolerant/rascist and Stalinist egimes around the world. Total hogwash. KGS