Alexander Stubb Asharq Al-Awsat



Finnish FM Alexander Stubb:We all know that the peace process in the Middle East is a long and slow process, but I am still optimistic as there is no other option.”
Thanks to Topi for the hat tip on the Stubb interview at the Arabic news daily, Asharq Al-Awsat. The Finnish FM never ceases to dissapoint, proving that parliamentarian politics in Europe (especially in Scandanvia) produces some of the worst forms of “politics by consensus” known to human governance.

There is little difference in the foreign policies (and domestic/economic policies) of the Left or Right in Finland, Alexander Stubb, though not overtly anti-Israel like his predecessor Erkki Tuomioja, nonetheless he treats the conflict in the same nauseating way as the former socialist FM. They all are either desperately naive or highly disingenuous in their approach to the Arabs conflict with Israel.
In answering a question to how he views the Saudi stances toward the Middle East issues, and will they help in achieving stability in the region? Stubb states:

“The answer in a nutshell is yes. The Arab initiative is written by Saudi Arabia, and we strongly support this initiative. We also believe that Saudi Arabia has a very important role as a mediator in the region because of its good relations with the United States, and with the European Union, and also because of its good relations with many of the countries of the region.”

Is Stubb being both cautious and cunning in his response to the questionm, or demonstratively naieve and absurd? For those of you who don’t know, the Saudis’ “peace intitiative” for ending the Arabs’ conflict with Israel came on the heels of 9/11, and was nothing more than a highly disingenuous attempt to deflect unwanted attention away from the Saudis’ role in the attack. The Saudis call for a “peace” with Israel has to be viewed with that in mind.

By placing a “take it or leave it” demand upon Israel it cast itself as a contributor to the stabilization of the region, while painting the Israelis as the nay-sayers when they would naturally reject such a high handed, and one sided proposal. The Saudis could also count on the international media to help them in that process, of whitewashing themselves, and tarring and feathering ofIsrael. Guess what? It worked!
The Saudi Initiative is a clever piece of work for it’s vagueness over the Arabs’ responsibilities, “establish normal relations with Israel” but very clear on what Israel should do:

“Full Israeli withdrawal from all the territories occupied since 1967, including the Syrian Golan Heights, to the June 4, 1967 lines, as well as the remaining occupied Lebanese territories in the south of Lebanon; Achievement of a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem to be agreed upon in accordance with UN General Assembly Resolution 194; (III) The acceptance of the establishment of a sovereign independent Palestinian state on the Palestinian territories occupied since June 4, 1967 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

Israel will only accept full normalization of relations with the Arabs, meaning the exchange of embassies like they hav done with Jordan and Egypt. That’s “normal relations”, but the Arabs can count on the Europeans to place an incredible amount of importance on that, while they would never fall for anything short of that “full normalization of relations” themselves. The Euros are breathtakingly disingenuous and cunning that way.
Moving on.

Asharq Al-Awsat: In your opinion, what is the way out of the current crisis with Iran, and how grave is the Iranian nuclear dossier?
Stubb: It is very grave. In the European Union, we are very frustrated. We are happy that the framework of the negotiations is the European Union 3+3. But the results so far have been feeble. Iran does not adhere to the UN Security Council resolutions, or to the rules of the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA]. We hope for more commitment from Iran. Our stance is clear, we are following a two-track approach; if there is no progress in the nuclear talks, there will be sanctions. The first batch of sanctions will be from the United Nations, and the second batch from the European Union. I believe that the time is short, and we hope to reach a diplomatic settlement. I believe that ultimately we will reach this solution, but Iran has to respond, and so far it has not.
Asharq Al-Awsat: Under what circumstances will it be possible for Finland to support resorting to the military option with Iran?
Stubb: We do not support the military option under any circumstances.
Asharq Al-Awsat: Do you think that there is the possibility of a military action?
Stubb: I am always optimistic; otherwise I will not be in this profession. Therefore, I do not think that we will find ourselves on that track.

Translation: “We Europeans are very frustrated, but in the end, the EU will not seek the option of going to war with Iran even if they keep insisting on rejecting all of our offers and continue to build a nuclear weapon. If Israel attacks Iran, they will not find a friendly voice coming from Brussels, though some of our member states may privately clap and shake hands with some of Israel’s ambassadors”.

Asharq Al-Awsat: Do you think that under the presidency of Barack Obama there will be more activity, and perhaps more pressure on Israel?
Stubb: I hope, if I may quote Obama, that there will be more activity. I believe that this is happening already. We have to remember that the first think that Obama did was to appoint George Mitchell as envoy to the Middle East. Also the Obama Administration deals with the Binyamin Netanyahu Government in this field. We all know that the peace process in the Middle East is a long and slow process, but I am still optimistic as there is no other option.

Stubb is just parroting the EU line which is accomodation with the Arab narrative to the conflict. The Arabs won’t do anything to reign in the Palestinians, while continuing to promote anti-Israel and antisemitic propaganda. They know that the West wants their oil, so they can count on Europe and US Democrats and a short list of Republicans, to apply pressure on Israel to help kick start “the peace process”.

Asharq Al-Awsat: Let us go back to Iran. You said that you will not support a military action under any circumstances?
Stubb: The only case is when the military action is according to a resolution by the UN Security Council.
Asharq Al-Awsat: Then, if there is international authorization, you will support the military action?
Stubb: Yes, but how can such authorization be obtained? I rule out this possibility.

A classic Catch-22 response if there ever was one. “War is not an option, but only if the UN calls for one will we act, which they won’t, so there won’t be any military action taken against Iran. That a boy Alexander Stubb, that’s the way to put the fear of the West into the Iranian regime, talk to them until you’re blue in the face and their sides are aching from uncontrollable laughter. That’ll show em!

Asharq Al-Awsat: With regard to the European Union, there is a great deal of controversy about its direction. Do you support a United States of Europe?
Stubb: The United States of Europe is an exaggerated expression. This is because the European Union will always be more than and international league, but less than a state. However, we, and I especially, support a very strong European Union, and support more political and economic integration. I believe that we ought to establish a strong institutional structure in order to achieve a stronger Europe. I believe that the recent Lisbon Treaty is a good step in this direction, because now we have a tool that enables us to undertake an international role, not only in the field of foreign trade and aid, but also in the field of foreign relations and security. I believe that we have to grab the opportunity to undertake such a role.

Finnish FM Alexander Stubb, a champion of the nightmarish Brussels behemoth called the EU, is being highly disingenuous in his response to the question. Henrik Raeder Clausen states the following to the TT:

HRC: “Morten Messerschmidt is very clear about the European Union: The explicit goal is to create One Political Entity, fully erasing the sovereignty of its member states. They do that piecemal, of course, not publicly making statements that disclose what they’re aiming at. It’s always a ‘begign improvement’.”
That pretty much makes hash out of Stubb’s response. It also shows the depth of their ease in lying to the greater public without a drop of concern that they’ll be taken to task for their serial lying and false misrepresentations to their own constituency. KGS

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