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"How sharper than a serpent's tooth is an ungrateful child"

Now you’re grown up, make friends with America

The European Union, which turns 50 this Sunday, is America’s pampered godchild. You won’t find people saying that at the birthday fling that Angela Merkel is throwing in Berlin...it would have been a sickly infant had it not been for America’s unflinching strategic and financial support for European recovery, and for the idea of European unity.

The extraordinary Marshall Plan, whose 60th anniversary this year is likely to get somewhat less attention than the EU’s half-centenary, rained American taxpayer’s money on the stricken continent ....it was Nato, another instance of American statesmanship, that guarded the gates of Europe’s zone of peace against the Soviet threat. If the European Venus had not had Mars at her side in those years of now mostly forgotten danger, Europeans would be nothing like as rich today; nor would they, perhaps, be so smugly self-righteous about their streak of pacifism.

...it is now dogma that, with a population of nearly 500 million, the enlarged EU is more than a match for America. The flavour of this week’s birthday celebrations, to judge by some of the supercilious rubbish already written, is to dwell on the EU’s superiority as a social, even moral, model for the world, compared with the raw brashness of American power. To a great extent, the EU defines itself by what it is not: it is not America.

It is hard to say how well the EU “model” sells abroad, though it shows no sign of being copied. But it is embarrassingly clear that the EU is not selling well at home....

The sad truth is that the punters will barely notice this EU birthday, or care if they do. The EU brings to mind two things: politicians arguing over such impenetrable legal texts as the late unlamented EU constitution; and endless, irksome EU regulations governing slaughterhouse, shop, even the fabric that covers your sofa. ...Excessive regulation also means that people associate the EU with less, not more, democracy. Their votes have no impact on the EU; most laws come from Brussels, not the governments they elect. And this had bred a general disaffection with politics. No wonder then that politicians are desperate to get voters to love the EU, or at least to dislike it a bit less.

Happy Birthday, hope it's the last.


it was Nato, another instance of American statesmanship

Nope. NATO was Ernie Bevin's creation.

"Yerp" is like a bloated, monopolistic corporation, so don't be surprised if it behaves like one and the politicos act like those venal, provincial "execs" who infest heirarchies across the globe.

I thought my parents were idiots when I was a child. Since growing up and becoming independent, I became grateful for all they did and gained a healthy respect for their achievements.

I wonder what would happen if the United States were to announce that only ships registered in the U. S. or en route to or from U. S. ports would be afforded the protection of th U. S. Navy?

The other side of the coin was that it was in the strategic interests of capital and of the government of the United States to approve the Marshall Plan and to forge NATO. That the Western liberal system was far preferable to the Soviet hegemony is indisputable, but after the Soviet Union collapsed in the 80s the Western empire found itself in a world in which it needed a new enemy to fight. The government of the United States radicalized Islamic nations by ruthlessly exploiting them, and its support and funding of the nation of Israel can be seen in Realpolitik terms. As the age of colonial empires gave way to corporate capitalism, the North continues to oppress the South, and the trend toward militarism in the West can understood in terms of the lack of any real opposition to the increasing concentration of capital and military force in the hands of the few.

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