May 31, 2005
The French and Treaties
The international community of intellectuals has pilloried this country for not signing favoring international agreements, the Kyoto Treaty and the International Criminal Court agreement are two of the most prominent. Look at France, our traditional ally, they have signed and they are critical of us for not signing -- we are losing the respect of our traditional allies. Intellectuals dismiss our refusal to give up national sovereignty to these international supra-government bodies as just -- well-- selfish and stand-offish. We need to join the global community, they argue.
The truth of the matter is that in signing these international agreements France gave up very little and hoped to recieve more -- some say in United States policy. France showed its true colors when the shoe was on the other foot, when it was the big dog ceded sovereignt to a coalition that included many smaller contries.
France rejected the proposed European Union constitution. Why? France refused to cede national sovereignty. The country could lose jobs "offshore" and might be forced to allow more immigration. Over seventy percent of the French farmers voted no despite the fact that French farmers are the largest recipient of EU farm subsidies (a deal necessary get to France to agree to EU expansion).
This was a very selfish vote. Even those who voted in favor of the EU constitituion did so under a conviction that their personal economic interest would be served thereby. The high- minded moral principles that French intellectual use to bludgeon the United States in the debate over the ICC, for example, were largely absent in this vote.
May 31, 2005 | Permalink
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