Tuesday, February 17, 2009

To one Very Special European, It Doesn’t Matter if NATO Matters

But then again, aren’t they all just so special? All their leaders and bright lights of the political and social class exemplary in their carriage and leadership? Worthy of admiration and all that? Isn’t that what one is supposed to say to get them to momentarily stop fidgeting in their chairs and behave like adults?

In large part to the European modern sensibility, any and all organizational mechanisms is about nothing more than every other one: a talking shop for a subsidized class of minions, and an opportunity for political types to grandstand pointlessly and at the expense of the reason the organization even exists.

French president Nicolas Sarkozy has threatened to boycott the April NATO summit celebrating the 60th anniversary of the organisation, unless he is allowed to choose where he sits at the conference table.

The president appears not to want to follow the established rules whereby seating is arranged by alphabetical order. Instead, he has insisted he should be seated next to NATO secretary general Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, according to a report in German Spiegel Online.

Under a compromise deal, Mr Sarkozy would sit on Mr de Hoop Scheffer's right whenever TV cameras are in the room, while German chancellor Angela Merkel would sit to the left of the NATO chief.

Once the doors are closed to outsiders, however, the 26 leaders would switch chairs and be seated according to alphabetical order.
Never mind the history of child-like drama France has put NATO through in the past, the Elysee insists on looking like it’s most involved member. It isn’t – not by any stretch of the imagination.
In addition, the French leader's gaps in English mean he cannot participate in "small talk" with his non-French speaking counterparts during high-level meetings, and cannot freely give interviews to CNN or other English speaking media, unlike his wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy or his predecessor Jacques Chirac.
It needs to be noted that Chirac’s English was laughable, and something he displayed dramatic silliness over, rather than just admit that the basic protocol of how ones uses a translator is held to.

Am I being too harsh when I say that the modern European sensibility wants everything to look and behave like the same type of talking shop as every other one that they dominate? Hardly. Even a think-tank dwelling almost entirely on NATO thinks it should be dwelling on global warming as dozens of others already do.

In case you’ve forgotten at this point, NATO is a mutual defense pact. If the Europeans didn’t in the past have a propensity to involve the rest of the world in their wars with one another, it wouldn’t have ever been necessary. On the other hand, if they could form a serious partnership of genuine mutual interest with one another half a century after the creation of the EU, they wouldn’t need it either and a simple, multilateral partnership where they actually did something for themselves would do.

No comments: