Disastrous Consequences

DUBLIN/BRUSSELS/BERLIN | | irlandusa

DUBLIN/BRUSSELS/BERLIN (Own report) - In the run-up to next week's EU summit, a German EU politician has threatened the Irish government with "disastrous consequences". According to the influential German CDU member of the European Parliament, Elmar Brok, it is imperative that Dublin present its concrete proposals for winning a second referendum on the "Lisbon Treaty" at the meeting of the EU heads of states and governments. They are under time pressure because of a possible change of government in London. Meanwhile there is talk in Brussels of bringing sanctions against Dublin, if the treaty is not soon ratified, Ireland may possibly have to renounce on its EU Commissioner. At the same time high-ranking German European parliamentarians have launched a campaign against the Irish treaty opponents. Their agitation for the "No" was possibly financed by the US military and secret services, alleges the president of the European Parliament, Hans-Gert Poettering (CDU). The German media is claiming that there is a "conspiracy of anti-Europeans." This is because opponents of the treaty are seeking to forge an EU-wide alliance of Euro-skeptics for the coming EU Parliamentary elections next June. There is an attempt to stigmatize the Euro-skeptics as influence agents of the CIA.

Now or Never

Elmar Brok, a German CDU member of the European Parliament, declared yesterday that the Irish government must reckon with "disastrous consequences" if it does not table precise proposals for the ratification of the "Lisbon Treaty" at the EU summit meeting next week. Already Monday, the SPD European parliamentarian, Jo Leinen, pressured the Irish foreign minister and confirmed that he expects the ratification to take place long enough before the European Parliamentary elections.[1] Next March is considered to be the last acceptable timeframe. Brok reiterated yesterday that the German parliamentarians were raising the pressure on Dublin because of a possible change of government in London.[2] Though the British Parliament has already ratified the "Lisbon Treaty," the Conservative Party, if it should win the coming elections, as opinion polls are predicting, is planning a referendum on the question. If this happens, Brok says, it would prove impossible to win the vote "anytime within the next decade" and urges haste.

"Step Down!"

In Dublin German pressure is by no means being objected to on reasons of principles. Members of the government as well as high-ranking representatives of influential parties have already spoken out in favor of a second referendum.[3] But the mood in the population is what worries them. The government would like to prolong preparations for ratification because opinion polls have recently exposed that currently more than 70 percent of the Irish are against a repeat of the referendum and - far more than in the first - nearly two-thirds will vote "NO" if the referendum is repeated. In the Irish capital the word is that by the end of 2009, it may be possible to approach the question, without the prospect of a certain defeat. But that would be too late for Berlin and other proponents of the "Lisbon Treaty". To pressure Dublin to repeat the referendum soon, Brussels is contemplating imposing sanctions. The chairman of the liberal European Parliamentary group proposes that the Irish EU Commissioner - currently, Charlie McCreevy - be relieved of his duties.[4] An ex-EU Commissioner from Belgium yesterday demanded that a government, such as the Irish, that is incapable of imposing a ratification should step down.[5]

Coordinated

High-ranking German EU parliamentarians are lending a hand by initiating a new campaign against the Irish opponents of the treaty. Their accusation is directed at the founder and chairman of the "Libertas" organization, the Irish multi-millionaire, Declan Ganley. As the president of the European Parliament, Hans-Gert Poettering (CDU) and the chairman of the European Green Parliamentary Group, Daniel Cohn-Bendit declared, "Libertas" is under suspicion of having received money for its "No" campaign from "US military and espionage circles." The CIA is seeking by this means to weaken the EU and thereby hold back a rival that has been growing stronger - an aspiration that Poettering and Cohn-Bendit sharply criticize. Brok also declared that "everything" points to "it having been a coordinated action by anti-Europeans on both shores of the Atlantic."[6]

Rivals

It is not the content of these accusations that is new in the campaign against Ganley. In fact, Ganley has had close business relations with the Pentagon for years. His enterprise Rivada Networks is supplying the US Army in Iraq and is participating in the quasi-military fortification of US borders to stave off unwanted migrants. Veterans of the US military as well as former officials of various conservative US administrations are on the Rivada staff. This has been known for years. It has also been known that back in 2003 Ganley wrote an exposé for a conservative US think-tank, in which he propagated the founding of a new party. This party by the name of "Libertas" was to aim for defeating the EU Constitution (today: "Lisbon Treaty") and promote an alternative "vision for Europe".[7] Ganley’s main criticism: By defining "Europe" as a countervailing power to the United States, the EU Constitutional Treaty would provoke rivalry in the future.

Infiltrated

What is new in this campaign against Ganley, is the fact that a European cooperation partner of conservative US circles is being stigmatized as an influence agent for a foreign power. Since WW II employees of the US military and US intelligence services have, not only officially been represented in Germany and Europe,[8] and since the 1940s, the CIA has been engaged in undercover activities. During the Cold War, the US intelligence service had infiltrated "practically the entire European cultural scene", according to an award-winning study by the British historian Frances Stonor Saunders.[9] This has been often criticized by the extra-parliamentary opposition whereas the establishment in West Germany insured its gradual rise through its transatlantic cooperation. in Germany as well as in the other European states, cooperation with the USA - including the US military and intelligence services - is considered politically correct.[10] And now this cooperation is being transformed into an accusation against Ganley.

Friction

This is the result of partial fault lines that have emerged in relations between Berlin and Washington. It is being skeptically observed in the USA, how German world power ambitions see in the EU its vehicle to enhance its international standing and therefore is seeking to model it as a centrally directed, highly militarized power block.[11] Whereas significant circles in Washington, Berlin and Brussels are still seeking to position Europe as a junior partner, conservative US circles have begun to see a change of course as indispensable and are more strongly intervening in Europe, to insure their own world-power status. Accordingly power struggles are arising over US contracts for the growing EU arms industry [german-foreign-policy.com reported [12]) as well as over the further development of the EU on the basis of the "Lisbon Treaty" [13] to become a militarized hegemonic entity. Berlin seeks to repel any real or suspected US intervention.

Tactical

The defamation campaign against Declan Ganley is an example of the gradual development of the German/American struggle for hegemony. Tactically this is to Berlin's advantage, because Ganley is working toward an EU-wide alliance of Euro-skeptical organizations and would like to be successful in the upcoming European Parliamentary elections next June. If they successfully stigmatize him as a - real or assumed - CIA influence agent, they will have struck a blow against the EU-skeptics in Europe, because they are to a large part also skeptical of the USA. This can also be said for sectors of the Irish population. This is how the conflict around a second Irish referendum to the "Lisbon Treaty" becomes exemplary for future conflicts in the EU.

[1] Pro-Treaty MEPs grill Irish foreign minister; EurActiv.com 07.10.2008
[2] MEPs slam Ireland for delaying Treaty solution; EurActiv.com 09.10.2008
[3] see also Ireland is Everywhere
[4] Irisches "Ja" als Preis für Kommissar; Die Presse 26.09.2008
[5] Lisbon signature is solemn promise, ex-commissioner says; euobserver.com 09.10.2008
[6] Die Verschwörung der Anti-Europäer; Der Westen 28.09.2008. Wie ein Milliardär Europa aufschreckt; Spiegel Online 28.09.2008
[7] Europe's Constitutional Treaty: A Threat to Democracy and How to Avoid It; Watch on the West, Volume 4, Number 5, December 2003
[8] see also Steinmeier and His Accomplices, Hauptstützpunkt, Civilians on the Battlefield and Nervenzentrum
[9] Frances Stonor Saunders: Who Paid the Piper? The CIA and the Cultural Cold War, London 1999. See also Heinrich Boell: "State Directed", Heinrich Böll: Im Geheimdienstgestrüpp, Heinrich Boell and Co: "Drinking CIA Brandies", Diamant in der Sammlung der CIA and Beliebte TV-Persönlichkeiten
[10] Dies beweist nicht zuletzt die Komplizenschaft Berlins mit den US-Behörden im sogenannten Anti-Terror-Kampf - trotz schwerer und schwerster Menschenrechtsverletzungen. See also Erpressbar and Oktober 2001
[11] see also "Downfall or ascent to world power", "Supermacht Europa and European Way of Life
[12] see also Krieg, Transatlantic Axis and Transatlantic Muscle Flexing
[13] see also Hintergrundbericht: Verfassung für ein exklusives militärisches "Kerneuropa" and Militärverfassung