Almost five years on from "Operation Iraqi
Freedom," the neocon dreams of imperial conquest have hit the buffers.
Despite the lies about the "surge" being a great success, Iraq remains
in chaos: in the first week of February alone over 200 people have been killed
in the violence. In Afghanistan the situation from the neocons' viewpoint, is
even worse. "There is no doubt that armed resistance to foreign occupation
is growing and spreading. NATO forces' own figures show that attacks on western
and Afghan troops were up by almost a third last year, to more than 9,000 "significant
actions," writes Seumas Milne in the Guardian.
The neocons had another setback late last year when the Joint Intelligence Report
stated that there was no evidence that Iran was developing nuclear weapons
thus removing their favored casus belli for military aggression against the
Most normal people when faced with defeat and humiliation on such a monumental
scale would admit the game is up and make their exit from the political arena.
But neocons, as surely the whole world knows by now, are not normal people.
Five years ago, Donald Rumsfeld arrogantly stated that the US, would, if necessary,
go it alone in Iraq and attacked "Old Europe" for its opposition to
the illegal war. But now, the empire builders realize they urgently need European
support. With its own military forces overstretched and its economy heading
into recession, the US desperately needs the EU to fall into line, and for European
troops to be sent in their thousands to die on the front line.
That's why Condoleezza Rice spent last week scurrying frantically around Europe's
The opposition of most of the EU to the Iraq war still irks the neocons and
they are determined to do all they can to ensure that Europe's governments are
much more pliant in the future.
The regime change last May in France, in which Jacques Chirac, who had opposed
the Iraq war, was replaced by the staunch Atlanticist Nicolas Sarkozy was warmly
welcomed in Washington. And Sarkozy's choice of the "liberal interventionist"
and Bilderberger Bernard Kouchner as Foreign Minister could not have been more
to the neocons' liking. Kouchner was the only prominent member of the French
Socialist Party who supported the Iraq war. Elevation to the grandeur of Quai
D'Orsay wasn't a bad reward for being proved wrong. Already a shift in French
foreign policy can be seen, with Sarkozy taking a much more hawkish line on
Iran and saying he would like France to return to NATO's military command. Charles
De Gaulle must be turning in his grave.
Other recent elections in Europe have also gone the neocons' way. In Poland,
the new government of Donald Tusk announced last week that it had agreed to
the United States plans to install a missile defense system on Polish territory.
The foreign minister in the Polish government and the man who announced the
controversial decision, is Radek Sikorski, a former Executive Director of the
"New Atlantic Initiative," a part of the notoriously neocon American
Enterprise Institute. Sikorski is married to the über neoconservative Washington
Post columnist Anne Applebaum, who once said that France and Germany would
"risk being completely disqualified as serious members of the international
community" when Iraq's WMDs turned up.
With Sikorski steering Poland's foreign policy we can expect the country to
play an even more aggressive role in undermining the democratically elected
socialist government in neighboring Belarus a country where the US State
Department would love to engineer a regime change. In his excellent new book
Last Soviet Republic, Stewart Parker chronicles the way Poland, with
US backing, has interfered in the domestic political situation in its neighbor.
Back in 2004, Sikorski himself opened a conference held in the offices of the
American Enterprise Institute, entitled "Axis of Evil: Belarus the
Missing Link," which featured leaders of the Belarusian opposition and
various US officials. Sikorski certainly hasn't wasted time in pleasing his
former colleagues in Washington; in addition to announcing the missile shield
agreement, he also said that Poland supported the expansion of NATO to include
Georgia and Ukraine.
As welcome as recent developments in France and Poland are to the neocons,
what the serial warmongers require most is to have control of the EU itself.
Which is where a certain former British Prime Minister comes in.
The appointment of Tony Blair as President of the European Council, with extended
powers in the sphere of defense and trade would be the culmination of the neocon
dream: to fully neuter Europe as alternative source of global power. While the
election of Sarkozy has already neutered France, traditionally the main European
source of opposition to Pax Americana; the appointment of Blair as EU President
would be the final piece of the jigsaw. But while Blair's appointment would
be a dream come true for the Empire builders of the Project for the New American
Century, for the rest of the world, it would be a nightmare, making European
involvement in US illegal wars of aggression far more likely.
Will the neocons succeed in their aims?
Whether they do or not depends on us, the people of Europe. Already a pan-European
petition has been launched to stop Blair from being EU President, it can be
signed at the Stop Blair website. Of course,
signing petitions on its own won't be enough. The people of Europe need to wake
up to what's going on and withdraw their support from any leaders or political
parties who favor closer military ties with Washington.
If the US neocons want more wars, let them do what Donald Rumsfeld boasted
of five years ago, and fight them on their own. Europe, "Old" or "New,"
should have nothing whatsoever to do with them.
This piece first appeared in The Morning Star.