View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Sunday, February 02, 2003
One of the more interesting debates is over the exact nature of the Axis of Weasels: are they twisting the Americans' tail, or are they after something more? I come down firmly on the Steyn/Hindrocket/Lowry side, which says that they are trying to use existing international institutions to contain the Americans. Then, they'll try to build the nascent Europe into a Franco-German dominated alliance, to provide a permanent counter-balance to the US, and to resurrect French power.

What's more interesting to me is the resurrection of Britain's traditional role of gathering up all the "out" powers to provide a counterbalace to the main continental power. It used to be Germany, or Germany-Austria. Now, it's France-Germany. By lining up Italy, Spain, Portugal, and some of the newer, Eastern countries, Brtiain is seeking to keep France-Germany in check. This amounts to a revival of the old diplomatic game, but without the guns. The Quartet may be dissonant when it comes to Israel, but Britain clearly sees a revival of the old notion of the Concert of Europe.

One interesting question is what this means for Britains acceptance or rejection of the European project as a whole. Already, the currency question is on hold indefinitely - Labour has given up getting it past their own party, much less the country as a whole. Britain has always had reservations about being sucked up by Europe - that's one reason it didn't join the EEC in the 1950s - but now it's confronted with concrete dangers of the EU.

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