February 11, 2003

Another French/German Motive: In the

Another French/German Motive: In the International Herald Tribune John Vinocur crafts an interesting analysis not often seen in the U.S. press: That in obstructing U.S. efforts for coalition-building France and Germany are not making a principled stand against military conflict (which none of us believed), nor are they protecting their own economic ties to Iraq (as some have argued more recently). Rather, Vincour argues that the French and German strategy is driven by a desire to symbolically assert the preeminence of the traditional European "core" in the face of EU expansion and the growing influence of nations from the South and East of the continent. Vincour writes:

The point in pressing the case now appears less the expectation of stopping a military strike against Iraq than to create a marker, a reference point for the future in Europe that legitimizes its distance from the United States - before the sheer numbers of an expanded EU or NATO make France and Germany, in their fears, just additional members of an American-oriented provincial sideshow

According to this thesis, then, it's not about principle at all ... it's about the future opportunity for continental power and EU leadership. There's more, and it's worth the read.

Posted by Avocare at February 11, 2003 09:05 PM
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