Friday, January 12, 2018

Europe's Appeasement Policy

Weakness, cowardice, appeasement… when you think of them you will now be thinking of the European foreign affairs chief, Federica Mogherini. An Italian by birth, Mogherini has taken charge of the European Union’s foreign policy… and proves yet again that citizens from nations that are not in the game should not be thrown into the game. It would be like listening to an Argentinian opine about foreign affairs.

Yesterday, Eli Lake called out Mogherini for her willingness to appease dictators and tyrants. As in, Cuba.

Lake explains:

Just consider her trip last week to Cuba, a plantation masquerading as a nation-state. Did Mogherini use her visit to call attention to the struggle of human rights activists or to comfort the families of political prisoners? No, Mogherini was in Cuba to reassure a regime that Europe will not go along with America's trade embargo.

"I know very well that right now some are trying to isolate Cuba. We Europeans want to show, on the contrary, that we are closer to you than ever," she said in a speech at Cuba's San Geronimo College. Stay tuned. Next month, Cuba's minister for economic development will participate in a broader dialogue in Brussels on improving Europe's ties to the island.

But, Mogherini outdid herself when commenting on the recent demonstrations in Iran. Lake explains:

She waited six days to say anything about the demonstrations there. When she finally did, it was a mix of ingratiation and neutrality. “In the spirit of openness and respect that is at the root of our relationship," she said, "we expect all concerned to refrain from violence and to guarantee freedom of expression."

It's as if Mogherini believes that Iranian demonstrators are arresting and silencing members of the state Basij militia, and not the other way around. And why does she speak of openness and respect? Has the European foreign policy chief not followed the ordeal of European dual national citizens, detained on trumped-up charges in Iran? Apparently this openness and respect is a one-way street.

It was even worse:

Mogherini's ideology is a particular tragedy in the case of Iran. The West can help aid Iran's freedom movement by linking the regime's treatment of its people, and particularly its political prisoners, to economic and political engagement. The U.S. has some leverage here, but Europe -- because so many of its businesses want a piece of Iran's economy -- has far more.

As Suzanne Maloney, an Iran expert at the Brookings Institution, told me this week: "This is the European moment on Iran." Europe's response to the regime's violent suppression of protests after the stolen election of 2009 was firm. The EU should send the same message today: "We are not going to sustain political and economic engagement with a country engaged in the suppression of peaceful protests," she said.  

So far Mogherini and the Europeans have delivered the opposite message. On Monday, the high representative invited Iran's foreign minister, Javad Zarif, to Brussels next week for more discussions on the Iran nuclear deal. Alireza Nader, an Iran expert at the RAND Corporation, told me this week that Mogherini's statement on Iran was "saying both sides are equal, when it's Iranian security forces that are shooting and killing people."

So, the European Union has managed to elevate another incompetent fool to a major policy role. At least, it has struck a blow for diversity. We all know that that is what really matters.

When Russia annexed Crimea, Mogherini was the Foreign Minister of Italy. How did she react? Lake explains:

Toomas Hendrik Ilves, the former president of Estonia, pointed to a public conversation from 2014 to illustrate the Mogherini method. When she was foreign minister of Italy, Ilves was on a panel at the Brussels Forum with her right after Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine. Ilves, according to a video of the forum, made the point that Russia's actions violated the U.N. charter and an agreement Ukraine had made with the U.S., Russia and the United Kingdom to abandon its nuclear arsenal. He complained about the relatively anemic response from the U.S. and its allies to impose a round of sanctions and ban the travel of a group of senior Russian officials. Mogherini's response was to ask: "So let's bomb Russia? What is the solution then?"


James said...

As a personal belief I have long held that the EU and NATO or nothing more than social clubs. Considering European history from around the mid 70's it would be surprising to me if that was not the case. The above post on German engineering is somewhat to the subject, though I will say that Jack makes a good point in that a military background does not prevent you from producing military duds (programs), history is littered with them. It is somewhat unfair to put all the blame on the German DM due to her background, but it does point to an over all group think that is disturbing at least for Europeans.

Sam L. said...

Where did the engineers go to college?

James said...

That should be easy to find out as college transcripts are of the public record, at least that was my understanding.

James said...

I may not be right on the transcript public record thing. It seems law schools have a somewhat different approach to that subject.