“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, March 30, 2007

Where is the leadership? Where is the carrier group HMS Thatcher?

I urge you to watch this speech from 1990. The subject matter is very familiar. The questions and answers brilliant.

Margaret Thatcher

Poland Should Learn From British Hostage Fiasco In Iran Masterpage

Warsaw, Poland March 29, 2007 The European Union response to Iran taking Europeans working under a U.N. mandate should show the Polish government that Poland cannot depend upon the European Union for any assistance if that assistance would be contrary to the interests of any of its members' government.

The British sailors taken hostage by Iran are Europeans. The British forces were operating as part of a multinational force under an explicit UN mandate, to protect oil installations and prevent the smuggling of guns into Iraq

And the European Union has largely abandoned them.

The current President of the European Union, Andrea Merkel, has been telling members of the European Union that the European Union should speak in one voice.

But now when it is time to speak with one voice, the European Union is silent.

The European Union could swiftly solve the hostage crisis.

The EU is by far Iran's biggest trading partner. More than 40% of its imports come from, and more than a quarter of its exports go to, the EU. Remarkably, this trade has grown strongly in the last years of looming crisis. Much of it is underpinned by export credit guarantees given by European governments, notably those of Germany, France and Italy. According to the most recent figures available from the German economics ministry, Iran is Germany's third-largest beneficiary of export credit guarantees, outdone only by Russia and China. Iran comes second to none in terms of the proportion of German exports - in recent years up to 65% - underwritten by the German government. See European Union: will you put your money where your mouth is?
It would be a simple matter of Andrea Merkel to tell the Iranian Government, on behalf of the European Union, that the citizens blatantly taken as hostages in Iraqi waters should be freed or Germany, as a member of the European Union, speaking with one voice for its members, would halt export guarantees.

But that would have adverse consequences for German business interests. And because of that it is likely that the European Union will not speak with one voice and leave its European citizens and the United Kingdom, a fellow member of the unit European Union, to their own devices.

Andrea Merkel by not stepping forward to help the people taken hostage has confirmed that the European Union is little more than a weak trading community and that the members of the European Union will follow their own business interests and disregard others around them should they need help.

Poland should prepare to care for itself and not depend on the Europe Union. The European Union is all talk and side deals. It is weak and will run for help but won't give any.


  1. Prediction:

    No one will do anything about this. Britain will negotiate.

    The Dems are demonstrating that one thing they can do is an inquisition. Tony Blair has also been undergoing one in the UK.

    Picture a gallant man trying to fight off street thugs while his "friends", fearful of provoking the thug, pull at their brave friend's back and yell "Stop it" in his ear.

    Better yet, picture this. You are the President. Your country is attacked by Islamic terrorists and 3,000 citizens are killed. Trying to do what you think is right, you take the war to the middle east but are vilified at home. You are called every vile name in the book, accused of every whacko leftist conspiracy theory and at every turn, subpoenaed by a Congress salivating at the thought of making the last days of your administration totally irrelevant. Their most fervent desire seems to be seeing your head along with those of your vice president and your chief political adviser displayed on pikes mounted to the Whitehouse fence.

    What would you do? Seriously?

    I believe that Tony Blair and George Bush are done for this go-round and it will take a much greater offense than snatching some sailors to get any real action.

  2. The sailors are not as important as the act of a state taking them. The death penalty is argued to be necessary as a deterrent to murder not retribution against the convicted murderer.

    How are you going to deter Iran or states like them from future hostage taking by negotiating with them?

    Punish them and then let them negotiate.

  3. Better yet, picture this. You are the President. Your country is attacked by Islamic terrorists and 3,000 citizens are killed. Trying to do what you think is right, you take the war to the middle east but are vilified at home.

    You are the President. In 2001 your country is attacked by Islamic terrorists and 3,000 citizens are killed. In 2002 your response to that attack, Operation Enduring Freedom, with the enthusiastic support of the international community, suddenly bears fruit with the fall of the Taliban-controlled regime in Kabul. In Tora Bora you have the mastermind of 911, Osama bin Laden, surrounded on three sides, so he naturally takes the fourth side and escapes into Kashmir, where he remains to this day, either 98.6F or ambient temperature. For an encore you invade Iraq, kill the sons of dictator Saddam Hussein, and by December 2003 capture the big guy himself. At that point you can declare victory and go home, with your place in the history books secure. But what do you do? You lay the groundwork for a multi-generational war on a tactic called the "War on Terrorism" something along the lines of the War on Cancer or the War on Poverty. This eternal war begins consuming 900 American lives a year and the financial costs rise from $4 billion to $8 billion per month over the course of three years. Convinced that you are carrying out the will of God, you dig in your heels and take your own political party down to defeat in the mid-terms, and further setbacks in Iraq coupled with endless hearings on Capital Hill may very well bring complete doom in 2008, raising the curtain on a gutted military, single-payer health care, tax hikes, federal funding for abortions, legalized pot, gay marriage, and all manner of other woes.