Sunday, February 06, 2005

Havel on EU Appeasement

"But today this is happening. One of the strongest and most powerful democratic institutions in the world -- the European Union -- has no qualms in making a public promise to the Cuban dictatorship that it will re-institute diplomatic Apartheid. The EU's embassies in Havana will now craft their guest lists in accordance with the Cuban government's wishes. The shortsightedness of socialist Prime Minister Jose Zapatero of Spain has prevailed."

It is surely no coincidence that, at the same time it is considering lifting the ban on arms sales to China, the EU: is banning the presence of Cuban dissidents at Cuban embassy functions. Vaclav Havel's visit to Taiwan this fall coincided with calls from Glenn Reynolds and others that he be the choice to replace Kofi Annan at the UN. A better choice couldn't possibly be made. The Bush administration certainly can be criticized for speaking in overly-musical tones about advancing democratic values, when, in fact, its policy is a balancing act between US interests and principles. But what's striking about the EU is that they've abandoned any pretext about advancing democratic values in the world at all. This issue also calls into question the judgement of The Taipei Times - Taiwan's most stridently pro-independence newspaper - in viewing much of the world through the prism of the European left. Do they not understand? These people are not your allies!