A journal of political, social, and other important, possibly even somewhat related affairs, including but not limited to: Central European Society, The European Union, HC Kometa Brno, American Politics, Film, and Beer.

27 July 2006

Europe's Role on the Border

This column by Harold Meyerson is interesting. It calls for bold European leadership on the border between Israel and Greater Syria. (Did I say that? I meant Hizbollah-controlled Lebanon.) Meyerson argues that it could refute the George W. Bush "unilateralism" and be an appropriate, yet noticably different, alternative.

Meyerson's logic assumes two things: that multilateralism -- or at least coalition-building -- is preferable to unilateral, single-state action, and that European intervention would be effective. It also assumes that Europe is even willing to disarm Hizbollah. Meyerson, to his credit, points out that this is unlikely.

Europe's commitment to multilateralism as an end in and of itself once again reveals the shortcomings of it as a policy mechanism when dealing with less liberal régimes. By elevating Hizbollah to a legitimate -- i.e. state -- actor in the Middle East, it emboldens terrorist groups, which should theoretically run counter to Western policy objectives. It also emboldens Iran, which is also in neither The U.S.' nor the Europeans' interest. The European determination not to fight for liberal values -- the moral equivalence demonstrated by criticizing Israel, rather than arguing for the liberal goal of imposition of Resolution 1559 -- is disheartening, and a loss for Western liberal ideas of universal values such as human rights.


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