Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
As many of us point out regularly, our safest future lies in cooperation as (distinctly) opposed to competition. This not only applies to new types of business organizations, new political structures (ie real democracy) and new types of social activist groups (driven by www), but also to diplomacy.

International diplomacy is just a bigger version of what we do every day - negotiate as fairly as possible the differences between different cultures. Or, in our everyday case, it is the negotiation between different 'personalities'.

But it is the same problem. And the first part of a solution is always to try to understand the other person's point of view - if you want to find a workable compromise. That is what cooperation is: finding workable compromises - ways to move forward.

In the area of this diary, that means trying to understand the basic beliefs, perceptions, history and traditions of Islam. It means also looking at our non-Islamic world through the eyes, not only of Islam (or any other major or minor belief set), but also the living conditions and aspirations of people who are not able to live like us.

We use diplomacy to avoid conflict, not to impose our beliefs on others.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Mar 7th, 2007 at 02:42:48 AM EST
As good an opportunity as any to ask :

When France's diplomacy was kind of lonely, trying to prevent the US from invading Irak, with Villepin flying around the world trying to get support, how was the public opinion in the other European countries ? In Germany, I believe I have an idea, but elsewhere ?

Why didn't France get more support when trying to stop the bully by diplomatic means ?

by balbuz on Wed Mar 7th, 2007 at 04:36:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Italy, Spain and the UK had governments fully on board with Bush' folly, which explains the size of the popular demonstrations against the war [much larger than the ones in France and Germany].

France had all the support it needed to stop the bully. The fact is that the attempt to cajole the UNSC into lending legitimacy to the adventure failed, and the failure was acknowledged at the Acores summit in early March 2003. What France (or Russia, or China) did not have was the intention of getting physically [or financially] in the way of the bully if the bully insisted in undertaking an illegal action. And that proves the US is a superpower.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 7th, 2007 at 04:55:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Como se dice, los bandidos ? Aux poubelles de l'histoire !

by balbuz on Wed Mar 7th, 2007 at 08:31:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Aznar didn't seek re-election, but his party was ejected from power and some of his policies reversed. Berlusconi was also ejected, but he was not at the meeting. The only reason Aznar was there [despite his delusions of grandeur] was that Spain happened to chair the UNSC for the first half of 2003. That meeting was the last time the Anglo-American press paid attention to him.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 7th, 2007 at 08:50:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Finland officially suppported UN policy 100%, including the continuation of inspections under Hans Blix etc. Many in goverment spoke out against Bush.

In the media it was less clear cut editorially. But as I recall, rigid sampled polling and the kind of newspaper 'What do you think?' type of loose polling, all had regular majorities against invasion.

Finland is very much a serious EU team player, though sometimes taking minority positions against France, Germany, Britain. Finland is not a member of NATO, though it has observer status. Finland has limited its military role abroad to UN peacekeeping and is a frequent and early contributor to UN efforts in this regard.

Finland, for historical, pragmatic and commercial reasons, sees itself as an important moderator between Russia, the EU, the UN and to a much lesser extent the US. Add into this mix, that Finland is a so-called Welfare State in the classic Nordic model, while still being very active with the emergent Baltic states, even though they are taking a different line. Finland sees Estonians as genetic brothers and sisters, tied by an almost common language. Latvia and Lithuania are also developing strong relations with Finland - taking up again the old trading ideas of the Hanseatic League.

The Baltic Sea is the unifying factor.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Mar 7th, 2007 at 05:28:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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