Thursday, February 10, 2005

Unilateralism Is No Vice

Today, Prime Minister Tony Blair announced he was marrying his long-time lover...oh, wait, that's not right. Today Tony Blair gave support to Kofi Annan and his plan for reforming the UN, including the expansion of the Security Council to 24 members. I can't for the life of me see why the United States would allow this to happen without permanently withdrawing. I can see myriad reasons for nations that oppose U.S. interests to think this is just a smashing idea.

The expansion of the Security Council fits in quite well with the Eurocentric worldview of the UN. The whole idea of world government is a utopian pipe dream, but still the overpaid diplomatic corp puts on the show, pretending that, for example, it is Brussels rather than Paris and Berlin that calls the shots in the Euro zone, and that it only takes a decree from the UN to define the acceptable parameters of warfare and humanitarian interventions. Unfortunately, of all possible worlds, we live in this one, and the real world will never allow for a group of many nations, all with their own objectives and desires, to agree on any significant course of action.

When you add in the fact that most international bodies see their primary raison d'etre as acting as a counterbalance to US dominance, America has even less reason to go along with such a transparent 'reform'. The only material consequence of expanding Security Council membership would be even more obstacles to the US and its allies in pursuing their agenda (you know, that evil business of trying to spread liberty).

The whole trouble with the world government movement can be nicely summed up through a story in the January 21, 2005 print edition of the Wall Street Journal (EU Leader Confronts Schroder, by G. Thomas Sims). The article concerns a dispute that has arisen in the EU over permissible budget deficits. The EU member states signed a Stability and Growth pact in the 1990s to make the Euro a more attractive currency for conducting international trade. The idea was that the move to a single currency required a single fiscal policy for the currency to have any credibility. A part of that policy is that budget deficits are limited to 3% of GDP for each member state.

All very boring, I know - but here's the point. The policy is a joke. 11 of the 25 current EU states are in violation of the pact, including France and Germany (the two combining for the lion's share of the EU's population and trade). The European Commission has been unable or unwilling to enforce the provision. Chancellor Schroder of Germany is locking horns with the current president of the European Union, Jean-Claude Juncker. After a contentious meeting between the two, Juncker had this to say: "[Schroder] is not in charge of the European economy. He's not a head of state. He's the head of a government."

He's not a head of state. He's the head of a government. This remark is directed at the powerhouse of the EU in population and economic might. Can you imagine in your wildest dreams the President of the United States being spoken of in such a manner? Can you imagine the US giving up its sovereignty in fiscal matters? Impossible, yet this is the dream of the world government crowd - a neutered group of nations, endlessly haggling over 'rules' the other nations must follow, that none follow themselves, at God knows what enormous expense. This is also a preview of the sort of debate we could expect from an expanded Security Council.

I say to you with an honest heart: unilateralism is no vice.

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