Britain’s dramatic decision to pull out of the European Union has caused incredible hand wringing in Europe and in the United States. As revenge, the British pound has lost a great deal of value, and pro-EU interests in the UK are demanding a new vote, saying that the British people did not know what they were doing. To prove their point, they have trotted out examples of morons who said they did not know what the EU was, or how valuable it was.
But the truth is that the EU has largely become undemocratic and in many ways merely a front for Germany to exercise its will over a weak collection of European states.
The EU was originally intended to integrate Europe, but it had to do this walking carefully because of sovereignty issues. In large measure European state governments handed over their authority to the EU, which became a regulatory and faceless nightmare, covering Europe with regulations and decisions without any voter input or accountability. In short, the EU became non-democratic and mostly non-participatory, certainly non-responsive to growing restlessness among its subjects.
The most inflammatory, of course, was the matter of the free flow of people and the attitude of the EU to migrants and refugees (however one defines these terms). Much of this was inspired by the Germans. On display is the chaos this has caused in Germans towns and cities, and the threat to traditional values as people soon found out that the real idea of Germany’s leaders was to import cheap labor under the guise of humanitarian access for poor and downtrodden refugees. The latest manifestation, the terrible almost-deal with Turkey that would let Turks flood into Europe may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back. David Cameron, Britain’s Prime Minister, lied through his teeth about the Turkish deal (or non-deal), trying to say it was far into the future. But people understood it was imminent. On top of the already large flow of Middle Eastern, African and East Europeans flowing into Britain, there was no tolerance for any more.
Desperately trying to salvage the “stay” vote the British government worked to gin up an anti-Soviet mood in the UK, figuring that somehow the value of NATO and the EU should be clear and that anything else would be a disaster for British leadership in Europe.
But Britain, along with other European countries, has been dismantling its defenses for some time, cutting large numbers of soldiers, sailors and marines and getting rid of costly defense equipment. British defense capabilities are, like NATO’s, at an all time low. That is why the nonsense about provoking Russia and putting brigades in the Baltic states, is foolish and dangerous. All the so-called policy experts and military men should take up mathematics. They should then count up what forces we have and ask whether it is wise to stimulate yet another unwanted conflict. When they are done counting, perhaps they will have a look at a map of Europe and think about how they would go about reinforcing NATO troops once they are defeated by superior Russian armor, missiles and aircraft. Then one can ask, why play into Putin’s hands?
The truth is that the entire European fabric is in need of significant change, starting with democratization. In short, Europe run by Germany through the device of Brussels is no longer a real option. Until that is changed, the EU will likely continue to disintegrate.
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