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Re: questions for discussion
by Elson Boles
26 September 2002 16:34 UTC
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As for Europe, note that while Schroeder isn't backing off his position
-- how could he? -- he has become nearly apologetic for the damage done
to US relations, and, as the recent post on oil (that I sent) indicates,
the US says it is going make life a little more difficult for German
enterprises and politicians.  At the personal level, GW and staff aren't
returning Germany's calls to patch up the differences.  If it weren't
for the elections, Schroeder wouldn't have taken his position, and if it
weren't for GW's push to invade Iraq, Schroeder wouldn't have been
re-elected.  In short, I don't think a growing rift will develop between
Europe and the US on this -- Wallerstein overemphasized that.  The only
possibility lies with a mass anti-war movement in Europe, which just
isn't very likely, not unless the war becomes protracted.  If it does,
then a small movement could develop here too.  How long is protracted?
At least a year of street fighting in my view.

Steve is convincing in that just which way the war will go is difficult
to predict.  I personally think that the combination of technological
"advances" in war making as seen in Yugoslavia, and the likelihood of
defections by people in Hussein's inner circles (they recall the "turkey
shoot" in the desert ten years ago), will see a war shorter than that
still going on in Afghanistan.

But the economic fallout of the war -- paid this time by the US -- will
probably lead to "regime change" here with the next presidential
elections, just as it did for Bush Sr.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: wsn-owner@csf.colorado.edu
> [mailto:wsn-owner@csf.colorado.edu] On Behalf Of Threehegemons@aol.com
> Sent: Wednesday, September 25, 2002 2:01 PM
> To: wsn@csf.colorado.edu
> Subject: Re: questions for discussion
> I have little to add to John's comments about military
> prospects in Iraq.  Between the scylla of believing the US is 
> all powerful and the Chardibis of always declaring 'the US 
> will regret this' its very difficult to make accurate 
> predictions about precisely how any military operation will go.
> Boris raised some interesting questions about the UN and the
> EU.  The UN has often been a tool of US hegemony (Korea, the 
> gulf war up until 1998)but, when necessary, the US has simply 
> ignored it (Israel, Vietnam, Kosovo, Afghanistan).  For a 
> time in the seventies and eighties it seemed to be becoming a 
> tool for a challenge to US hegemony by the third world (at 
> this point, liberal opinion in the US became highly skeptical 
> of the UN).  I suppose what Boris is wondering is whether the 
> UN can be a tool for the EU to restrain the US a bit and push 
> for a settlement of Israel/Palestine.  The question is, how 
> much power does the UN really have? Could it grow in power 
> without the cooperation of the US? And if it remains a tool 
> of the US, what other tools might the EU try to use to 
> further its objectives?
> I was kind of surprised about Al Gore's statements.  On the
> other hand, Clinton was always the most 'European' point on 
> the American political spectrum (excluding ex-President 
> Carter, who no one takes seriously).  I suspect most popular 
> opinion in the US will fold into pro-war sentiment once (if?) 
> Bush launches a war.
> I don't think popular opposition to war will collapse in
> Europe.  At this point Bush is acting almost like he doesn't 
> care if Europe is with him.  I think the EU would just as 
> soon remain close friends with the US, but Bush is making it 
> difficult.  What would be the implications of a deepening 
> split?  Would a fraction of the US elite object and try to 
> force Bush to mend fences?
> I have to say, I find the Bush phenomenon a little puzzling.
> Obviously, the guys an idiot surrounded by nuts, but why is 
> the US elite letting him get away with this?  I think there 
> is an aspect of bonapartism here.  The 2000 election was the 
> first in a long time when left of center forces won a clear 
> majority of the vote.  And the trends that led to that 
> majority are going to intensify.  So Bush stole the election, 
> and unleashes the hawks to whip up a patriotic furor that 
> will keep real debate about domestic politics off the table...
> Steven Sherman

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