Wednesday, November 13, 2002

Says Enric Juliana in these excerpts from this article in La Vanguardia (his text is in italics, our comments in regular type)

The presumption that a Europe open to Turkey and other Islamic countries (Morocco) is an idea that is at heart progressive, and that a non-expansionist EU that is sincere about the role of Christianity in its genesis is a right-wing reactionary attitude, is an excessively Manichean position. It just doesn't fit.

Wait a minute. I think this guy is saying that if you want to join the EU, you have to be a Christian country. Then what does he want to do about Muslim Albania, Kosovo, and Bosnia when their turn comes up? Is he going to say to the people of Sarajevo, Tirana, and Pristina or to the survivors of Srbrenica that they're just not good enough to get in? And what would the officially secular, non-Christian French state, with its 10% Muslim population, have to say about the idea of a Christian EU? And where do the Jews fit in here? And, when you get right down to it, keeping the Turks out just because they're not Christians is politely called racism, at least where I come from.

The proof is named Bush. The United States is the largest source of pressure for Turkey to be admitted to the Union. The imperial optics are diaphanous on this issue. Not only do they want to nail down a key piece of the puzzle that is the Western defensive system, the safest access route to the energy resources of the Caucasus, Arabia, and Mesopotamia. but they want to water down the strength of Brussels. The bigger Europe is, the better for Washington. The more it looks like Mercosur or NAFTA, the farther we are from the old ideal of the nation of nations, from the new political body that has never quite been born and which we will perhaps never see.

Good God, where do we start? First, check out his logic. Admitting Turkey to the EU can't be "progressive" because Bush is for it, and anything that reactionary Bush is for must automatically be bad. Second, note the bad geography. Oil from Mesopotamia and Arabia will continue to be shipped by tanker because that's the most convenient method. True, stability in Turkey and the Caucasus is necessary for the explotation of Caspian Sea oil and its transport by pipeline, but there's not much oil in the Caucasus. The oil's in the Caspian, down around Baku, and this is not a new find; it's always been known that the Caspian basin is rich in oil. Hitler was trying to grab it in late 1942 in his drive toward the Caucasus; the Wehrmacht's target was Baku. Third, the Americans, let me repeat again, occasionally have foreign policy objectives that have nothing to do with oil, and methinks this is one of them. America simply figures that after 50 years of alliance, the Europeans really owe it to Turkey to set reasonable conditions (e.g., say, the legalization of education in Kurdish) and a deadline that the Turks would have to meet to get in. If the European Union is going to expand to Romania and Bulgaria, and they've set a tentative date for admission of those countries for 2007, then they should also expand to Turkey, much more deserving than either of these two. It's that simple. Washington is lobbying on behalf of its good friend Turkey, which ought to be a good friend of Europe, too; at least that's what Turkey would like. And this guy Juliana is again suffering from typical Spanish conspiracy-theory-itis regarding America and everything else. Since the Spaniards don't trust anybody, much less themselves, they are always prone to believe that a sinister ulterior motivation, in this case the destabilization of the European Union, is hiding behind the most innocent-seeming American initiative.

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