02 February 2011

Gee, Sailor... You’re so Butch!

Of the popular insurrection taking place in North Africa, Italian Foreign minister, Franco Frattini called for a European “Superfriends” intervention, albeit one promising some aid (or ade,) ‘n stuff.

"...the EU should send a high-level "political support team" to calm tensions in Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia and other countries in the region hit by deadly civil unrest in recent days.

"The European mission ... [should] take contact with the highest levels, beginning with the authorities in Tunisia, with civil society, mayors, opposition parties, to collect information, not to give orders," he said, Italian newswires report.

"I do not think this can be dealt with by sporadic initiatives of this or that country in Europe, but only by a European initiative."
This should give one a good idea of Europe’s intellectual boundaries and its’ self-regard: The Eurocentric European Citizen looks at Frattini’s statement and adds a caveat without irony:
To calm tensions, but to not give orders? The EU would have to be very clear about what it wanted to see in the region after the protests ran their course. Does it want to see a return to the status quo, or does it want to ensure a stable transition to more democracy or an accommodation of the protesters' demands? Sending in a clearly political mission without figuring out what kind of role it is to play could backfire pretty easily - what would be the reaction to the mission if the protesters failed or succeeded? Would the EU mission get some of the blame for the outcome, even if it didn't really do anything?
NOT Guaranteeing security, and promising an unknown future ruling entity some aid, does not necessarily entitle then to give orders. After the colonial legacy, the world was supposed to be different, but these are states that have had decades of grooming by, and engagement with their future lesson-givers.

It should also be noted that this crisis “in their neighborhood” caught the Europeans by surprise. Not much of a neighborhood watch in Mudville, I guess, because the CIA saw it a mile away, and were all over it like white on rice. All this gets you in “the neighborhood” is damning accusation that the entire revolution was a CIA plot... even if that IS true, who the hell are these clowns siding with?


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