I haven’t written anything here for a very long time now. My situation has changed and I no longer have the time or energy to look through all those news sources.
I used to read a dozen blogs and newspapers every day. Partly because of this blog I then happened to get a job where I sit all day (or night) and write news summaries. Unfortunately it’s only local or national news. That means I spend seven hours of sifting through stories that are of no particular interest to me and when I get back home I’m just too tired to go through all the Asian stuff.
A shame really.
Also, 90% of the people who do happen to hit this site are looking for one of two things: 1) “Essay contest Japan” or “Kurara Chibana gallery”. Everyone is welcome. It’s just that the overwhelming majority of these kinds of hits just aren’t particularly encouraging me to write more about aspects of society as I see them.
If I want my political commentary to be read then this medium is obviously not the right place. Or maybe I just don’t know how to use a blog correctly?
If I may catch up on my previous story on what the Chinese would do after UN resolution 1718 condemning North Korea’s nuclear test, I’ll do it quickly here: (old news, sorry) First China balked at doing anything at all but then agreed to pretend to try and check the northern border. The point is that no one can check if they are actually checking and the Chinese themselves made sure to point out that it was actually impossible to go through everything up there. Excuses, excuses. They specifically refused to take part in any naval regime. Beijing probably didn’t want to get into a situation where they would have to turn down a request by someone to stop and search a North Korean ship.
Japan has implemented the resolution and more. So far as I know no North Korean ship is allowed in a Japanese port at the moment. They have had some discussion over the legality of stopping and searching vessels in Japanese waters but I think they will manage somehow. (I’m not in a mood to go and check up on all this.)
When I’m too tired to read more than absolutely necessary I tend to choose news sources with a profile that fits my own observations. Today I happened to spend some time away from home and started reading a different newspaper than usual. It featured an essay by the Swedish foreign minister, Carl Bildt, that I just have to react to. The piece has previously featured in International Herald Tribune. Go read it.
The title, “Open Wide Europe’s Doors”. The reason? “A critical part of the soft power of Europe lies in the continued process of enlargement”, he says.
The idea seems to be that expansion of EU is expanding peace and democracy. He then holds up the ten countries that recently joined EU as an example of why we should open the doors to Turkey. In fact those countries are right now slipping back into the political disorder they came from. Now that they don’t have to exert themselves any more to get into EU, the shine has gone considerably off the political and economical polish. What we did for European ideals by accepting the ten countries was more akin to bribing them while they pretended to care about ideals.
Accepting Rumania and Bulgaria is also a huge mistake. The two countries are more or less run by organised crime. And the only reason anyone can come up with, is that “we already promised them that they could join!” Blah. What a bunch of fucking nitwits we have as our negotiators.
Even more of a mistake would be to accept Turkey. For one thing, only a third of Turks actually want to become members. Secondly, their insistence that they actually belong in the European family is just ridiculous. Islam is one thing but the sheer hysteria and irrationality that is integral to Turkish public debate and politics is too much to handle for an EU that struggles hard to find common ground on anything as it is. Putin was polite enough to only make a fool of EU over the lack of unity in private at the latest summit in Finland.
Third, the security problem of extending EU’s borders to Iran and Syria is just overwhelming. They can’t control the borders as it is. If EU takes away its border controls as well then the drug road from Afghanistan to Europa will be wide open. Not to mention what else follows in the likes of human traficking and terrorism (do I really need to mention that?).
Having Turkey sign on to some protocol won’t make EU any greater a player on the world stage either. No one listens to Turkey. The arabs don’t trust them. Persians don’t trust them. EU already can’t figure out where to put its feet. Why would making an even bigger mess of EU’s institutions give us more punch?
“Drawing big lines on big maps of the east of Europe risks becoming a dangerous process. We should know that such a process will have profound effects in those areas or nations that fear ending up on the other side of those lines.”
So we should accept them out of fear of their destructive potential?
If trouble outside our borders is dangerous what is the great idea of inviting it inside?
The historical neutrality of Sweden is not a courageous voice for philosophical pacifism but more of a cowardly refusal to speak out on what is what. Saying something clearly always carries the risk of someone disagreeing with you. If everyone joins EU that means we’ll all agree and be friends, right? Wrong. We need to draw some lines to explain to ourselves and others that we have some standards and values that not everyone can live up to. They are welcome to try but we are not going to finance it.
”I do believe that even more of Europe, in an even larger area, is perhaps the only way of meeting the new challenges now mounting.
But for that to happen, Europe must again believe in itself and in its mission.”
For that to happen we have to first of all agree on what we believe in. Islam does not fit into that category. Secondly we need to accept that the reason why other countries disagree with us is not that they are unenlightened or poor. They won’t change their minds if we just sit down and have a chat. Not even if we subsidise their farming.
That is why EU enlargement is not a critical part of any kind of lasting power. It only lasts as long as it takes to cash the agricultural subsidies check.
The strength of EU lies in our considerable economic wealth and a stability that affords us to go out in the trouble spots of the world and lend a hand.
If we invite trouble inside EU we put our own stability on the line and everybody ends up losing.