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<nettime> Re: Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite?
Ivo Skoric on 29 Jun 2000 01:25:13 -0000


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<nettime> Re: Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite?


This seems like yet another cold war item between France and the 
US - the real protagonists of the new cold war, which the American 
administration euphemistically calls new world order.

Of course, there could not be a better place for this to happen than 
Warszaw! The city that gave its name to that other bloc during the 
old cold war. The country that was 'converted' from one bloc to 
another with much haste and controversy.

Now, the notion of democracy as a universal right falls victim to the 
clash between anglo-saxon and frankophone conception of 
European integration. Polacs, who just recently entered the club of 
democratic nations, are punished for their toadying to big American 
boss: they're told by their historic European pals that democracy is 
not everybody's birthright - and they are told so in their own capital 
city.

What actually happened? France insisted on excluding non-EU 
members from the talks on European Joint Security Force - Force 
that the US on one hand urges Europe to form (in order that 
Americans can be spared sending their boys to Kosov {AT}  for 
example) but on the other hand US fears EJS taking over the task 
of European protection from NATO, the military organization 
dominated by Americans. France is naturally a big proponent of 
EJS. Poland is a member of NATO, but not a member of EU. 
However, Poland is a European country with ugly history of being 
conquered by others much too often, and Polacs resented not 
being included in the EJS talks (they are on insistence from Brits, 
those official American Trojan horses in EU). However, France did 
not make a lot of friends in Poland by trying to exclude them, and 
Polacs immediately fired a barrage of statements on how they want 
NATO in charge of protection of Europe, whic provoked counter-
reaction from France that Polacs would be American Trojan horse 
in EJS. But Europe is not blameless: why not extend the benefits 
of the free trade that EU enjoys to their Eastern European 
compatriots? With new and more aggressive Putin's Russia and 
with exclusive Europe, of course that Poland would seek US 
protection. So, now democracy stops being an universal right and 
becomes an American marketing concept in French eyes.

On the other hand - French may be right. If Americans so 
staunchly believe that democracy is the universal right, why don't 
they allow people like me, who are in this country for more than 10 
years and who pay taxes to this country for all that time, to vote, to 
come and leave as they please, and to have any other right as 
citizens? How can the democracy be the universal right if it does 
not apply to every particular individual case?

ivo

No Taxation Without Representation!!!!!!!!!



Date sent:      	Tue, 27 Jun 2000 11:48:39 -0400
Send reply to:  	kbassuener {AT} usip.org
From:           	Kurt Bassuener <kbassuener {AT} usip.org>
Organization:   	United States Institute of Peace
Subject:        	Liberte, Eaglite, Fraternite?
To:             	JUSTWATCH-L {AT} LISTSERV.ACSU.BUFFALO.EDU

guess not.  Dig this. I'm speechless.

Kurt

---

Tuesday, 27 June, 2000, 11:46 GMT 12:46 UK

                  France rejects democracy declaration

                  France and the United States have clashed at an
                  international conference on promoting worldwide
                  democracy held in the Polish capital, Warsaw.

                  At the end of the conference, which was organised by
                  the Americans, France was the only country present to
                  refuse on principle to sign a declaration that democracy
                  was a universal right.

                  The French foreign minister, Hubert Vedrine, said
                  western countries were too convinced that democracy
                  was a religion to which people should be converted.

                  The American Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright,
                  said democracy was not a religion but a faith that had
                  lifted the lives of people in every corner of the globe.

                  From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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