Just a quickie about the speech Romneyshambles is making in Lexington on foreign policy. I did not believe my ears that he was claiming what he did but rolling back on BBC iPlayer confirmed it.
Rmoney has just alienated the entire EU!
How did he manage that? In this part of the speech:
Statesmen like Marshall rallied our nation to rise to its responsibilities as the leader of the free world. We helped our friends to build and sustain free societies and free markets. We defended our friends, and ourselves, from our common enemies. We led. And though the path was long and uncertain, the thought of war in Europe is as inconceivable today as it seemed inevitable in the last century.A little history lesson Mr Romney. If anything the Marshall Plan divided Europe between East and West and prolonged the Cold War. The Russian response to the Marshall Plan was to create Comecon. From Wiki:
This is what makes America exceptional: It is not just the character of our country—it is the record of our accomplishments. America has a proud history of strong, confident, principled global leadership—a history that has been written by patriots of both parties.
The primary factors in Comecon's formation appear to have been Joseph Stalin's desire to cooperate and strengthen the international socialist relationship at an economic level with the lesser states of Central Europe, and which were now, increasingly, cut off from their traditional markets and suppliers in the rest of Europe. Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Poland had remained interested in Marshall aid despite the requirements for a convertible currency and market economies. These requirements, which would inevitably have resulted in stronger economic ties to free European markets than to the Soviet Union, were absolutely unacceptable to Stalin, who in July 1947, ordered these communist-dominated governments to pull out of the Paris Conference on the European Recovery Programme. This has been described as "the moment of truth" in the post-World War II division of Europe.An unintended consequence perhaps but for the next 40 years the countries of central Europe were to look east to Russia for their markets and political influence - sometimes under the tracks of tanks. And it damn well was not Radio Free Europe that determined Jan Palach to self immolate in protest at the effects of the Warsaw Pact invasion of his country.
The people of those central European countries (note the wording!!, they are not in the east of the continent) were to look to the EU as their future, not as some American satellite (although the right wing in Poland would probably prefer it that way). And the vision of a united Europe as a catalyst to make war obsolete came before the Marshall Plan was thought of and before the end of the third pan-European civil war. The visionary was not General Marshall but Jean Monet. (.pdf)
In 1943, Monnet became a member of the French Committee ofWinston Churchill's speech in Zurich in 1946 advocating a "United States of Europe" also preceeded the appointment of Marshall. His legacy, the Council of Europe was to go on to produce the European Convention on Human Rights which, though imperfectly applied, means today there is no death penalty in Russia. The essential role of compliance with the ECHR as part of the EU acquis meant the more for the advancement of human rights in those central European accession countries than all the posturing of Reagan at the Berlin Wall.
National Liberation, the de facto French government in exile in
Algiers. It was at this time that he first became explicit about his
vision for a union of Europe to regain and retain peace. During a
meeting of this committee on 5 August 1943, Monnet declared:
“There will be no peace in Europe, if the states are reconstituted
on the basis of national sovereignty... The countries of Europe
are too small to guarantee their peoples the necessary prosperity
and social development. The European states must constitute
themselves into a federation...”
Perhaps the seminal point in the road to final peace was the signing of the Elysee Treaty. Again, Konrad Adenaur was not inspired by the Marshall Plan but his own experience of tyrany and his belief co-operation between countries. It was he as Chancellor who formed the vision of a modern Germany as a free and democratic country at the heart of a united Europe.
It's not only Monnet, Churchill, Adenaur and the other early Founding Fathers of the EU he insults. He forgets the foundations of the concepts that the US Founding Fathers drew upon. Indeed, if you look closely at the Declaration of Independence and the early Constitution, you could mistake them as (in modern parlance) a cut and paste job from the English Bill of Rights. It was Europe that exported the concepts of the Rights of Man and "liberte, egalite, fraternite" to North America - admittedly the latter are probably viewed as communist by Rmoney and his cronies. It was Schiller in 1785 who celebrated the universal brotherhood of Man in the poem whose setting by Beethoven is the European anthem.
Romney's diatribe is another in a long line of "we went over there and freed them" themes that sour relations between the USA and Europe. The "Ugly American" lives and his name is Mitt.