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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

For fatuous advice ring Brussels...

... but if your country has been invaded, please ring someone else.

The euro-commentariat are now frantically working up grand "strategies" and "ten point plans" for Georgia.

Blithely ignoring the facts that (a) the Russians have annexed parts of Georgia and (b) we are apparently not going to do anything about it, vapid euro tripe of the worst kind is now being served up by the shovel-load.

The grandly-titled "European Council on Foreign Relations" (see what they did there?) suggest that:

The EU should promote an international peace-keeping mission and offer to deploy a civilian reconstruction mission dealing with development, building confidence and security between both sides, and tackling wider political issues. It should also encourage the United Nations to set up a commission of enquiry to help establish the truth on the causes and conduct of the war.

Ah. That sounds a bit like James Boren's famous advice for bureaucrats: "When in doubt, mumble; when in trouble, delegate; when in charge, ponder."

Veteran europhile John Palmer also has a cunning plan:

If the growing divide between the EU and its eastern neighbours (including Russia) is not to grow into a chasm, some alternative will have to be found. One possibility would be for the EU and those of its neighbours who are members of the pan-European Council of Europe to create a United European Commonwealth. This would replicate the EU's own arrangement for deciding issues of mutual interest through both co-operation and a degree of sovereignty sharing...

Although qualification for membership should be linked to proven observation of the Council of Europe's democratic and legal standards, accession should be open in principle to all countries across the greater Europe - including the Russian Federation.

So, we invite Putin to a meeting with tea and biscuits and he will play nice, right? A likely story.

Of course it's easier to criticise than come up with a plan. So we should probably write something about this. If we really don't want Russia to invade / attack targets in its near abroad then we need a policy of aggressive containment. The elephant in the room here (sorry) is Europe's piddly military spending. Russia invading countries is (oddly enough) mainly a military problem.

Not all the advice coming out of Europe is bad though. This greek dude seems to have grasped the main point here:

you know as well as we do that right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.

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