In the dispute over a U.S. attack on Iraq, serious differences within Europe have also come to light
That a second U.S.-Iraqi war within twelve years would have a lasting impact on the geopolitical situation is an analysis that is currently gaining acceptance across the political spectrum. In fact, the very preparation of the war has a considerable impact on the political relations between Europe and the USA on the one hand, and within Europe on the other hand.
In the dispute over a new war in Iraq, three blocs have emerged in Europe that will probably determine the diplomatic scenario in the medium term. In the south of the continent, a group of states led by right-wing governments and consisting of Spain, Portugal and Italy is being formed. It is flanked by the EU candidate Turkey. Diese Gruppe steht – von nationalistischen Tendenzen etwa in Italien abgesehen -uneingeschrankt an der Seite Washingtons. Europe’s center, led by France and Germany, pursues an independent line and opposes the increasing influence of the U.S. both geopolitically and within Europe. This alliance tends to be close to the Benelux countries. The decisive factor for future influence, however, is Eastern Europe. Here the U.S. Secretary of State sees the "New Europe".
That Rumsfeld’s new Europe can be relied upon is shown by the mood before the impending war in Iraq. Almost the entire region between Germany and Russia is on the side of the USA. Besides Poland, the supporters of the US policy also include Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia and the three Baltic states Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Their "Dangerous early solidarization with the USA" (Jaques Chirac) is indeed playing with fire, since they must choose between a U.S.-dominated NATO and the EU if they maintain their policy of loyalty to Washington. Domestically, a time bomb is ticking for them: The US proximity to the Eastern European states will have very concrete consequences as early as next year, when the decision on the next EU accessions will be made.
It would be a fallacy, however, to attribute the differences within Europe to possible competition between the progressive and the rebellious camps. The left-wing journalist and author Jurgen Elsasser pointed out in the daily newspaper "young world" Elsasser points out a detail that has received little attention:
"What the U.S. is still hoping for in Iraq, France has already achieved in Côte d’Ivoire, the Ivory Coast: Minister Villepin was given carte blanche by the highest UN body for military intervention in sub-Saharan Africa – in the same session in which he once again acted as an angel of peace to his U.S. colleague Powell."
Now Paris was allowed to use its up to now 3000 soldiers in the Ivory Coast for coups. With the obtained UN mandate "to protect the civilian population" Paris has also secured the legitimacy to take action against the Ivorian security forces. In which the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" the "End of the Ivorian government" Elsasser recognizes the "The beginning of recolonization".
Hopes in supposedly noble goals of Berlin or Paris are therefore misplaced, even if they are repeatedly insinuated by the peace movement (In Step with Peace). The choice between policies based on civil and civilizational principles and imperial terrorist regimes that break the law of the people as they see fit will be decided less by those who govern than by those who are governed. It is worth noting that the latest polls show a majority of the population not only in Great Britain, but also in the countries of Eastern Europe oppose an attack on Iraq.