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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.

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.

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:
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 of
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...”
Winston 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.

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.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (21+ / 0-)

    Why doesn't Mitt Romney carry an iPhone? 1. He has staff to carry his cellphone 2. He has an Ann Droid.

    by Lib Dem FoP on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 10:21:37 AM PDT

  •  kind of subtle (3+ / 0-)

    I suspect that the EU has bigger fish to fry...

    Obama 2012...going to win it with our support!!!

    by mattinjersey on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 10:29:50 AM PDT

  •  Why would another country ever want to be led (6+ / 0-)

    by American patriotism?

    ...principled global leadership—a history that has been written by patriots of both parties.
    We're more exceptional than you are...  so you should listen to us.  

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 10:30:24 AM PDT

    •  why do Americans want to be led by it?! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NearlyNormal

      There are days - more and more it seems - where I truly wish I could live in the Soviet Union. Free room and board, health care, guaranteed employment ... and a utopian mission rather than the pettiness and selfishness of capitalism.  Freedom and opportunity are empty promises at best and cynical lies to get me to sell myself into slavery at worst.

      To those who say the New Deal didn't work: WWII was also government spending

      by Visceral on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 10:44:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It seems he's still playing the Russia card (5+ / 0-)

    with his thinking (if you can call mindlessly regurgitating neocon talking points thought). With the simplistic world view of Russia being the bad guy he's hoping to lure former eastern European contries like Hungary, Poland, or the Czeck Republic to him.

    If we got Mitt to be slightly less dishonest and gave him some personality he could pass as a used car salesman.

    by ontheleftcoast on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 10:31:10 AM PDT

  •  All he left out was "New World Order" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tamar, Thorby Baslim

    Not that he thinks the rest of the world should have any say in that, anyway.

    "It's not funny, Jack" - Chris Matthews, dressing down Jack Welch for being an asshat regarding job statistics.

    by lotac on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 10:35:38 AM PDT

  •  If I was the EU I would take more exception (7+ / 0-)

    to the characterization as the U.S. as leader during WWII.  I thought we were all partners in that war and that no one country led the others.

    "I watch Fox News for my comedy, and Comedy Central for my news." - Facebook Group

    by Sychotic1 on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 10:35:50 AM PDT

  •  the Marshall Plan was a $13B stimulus package (6+ / 0-)

    to foreign countries for economic development!!! Somebody pick John Bolton up off the floor! It is egregiously hypocritical for Romney to invoke Marshall on so many different levels.

    http://www.marshallfoundation.org/...

    Warning: That light at the end of the tunnel just might be an oncoming train.

    by history first on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 10:37:22 AM PDT

    •  Marshall (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pistolSO, zinger99, history first

      You should also remember that the Marshall Plan was devised during the 1946/7  Winter of Hunger in Germany, in large part due to the policies of the Truman administration. In particular the denial of Prisoner of War status to interned German soldiers (where have we heard that one more recently) and the stopping of aid packages for civilians caused huge suffering.

      Why doesn't Mitt Romney carry an iPhone? 1. He has staff to carry his cellphone 2. He has an Ann Droid.

      by Lib Dem FoP on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 10:54:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Whoa! I did not know this. Thanks for sharing! (0+ / 0-)

        I saw a night owl diary more on Marshall this morning. Learned alot!

        Warning: That light at the end of the tunnel just might be an oncoming train.

        by history first on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 08:50:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Memories (0+ / 0-)

          Knowing about the hyper inflation under the Weimar republic and the post war starvations helps understand the policies of the German government today. Both are deeply ingrained in the folk memory (volks memory?) especially of the politicians.  

          Why doesn't Mitt Romney carry an iPhone? 1. He has staff to carry his cellphone 2. He has an Ann Droid.

          by Lib Dem FoP on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 11:28:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Romney comparing himself to the State Department (5+ / 0-)

    under Truman?   Yeah, Willard could even be an hundredth of the man that was George Marshall.

    Also an interesting tidbit about Marshall(from the Wikipedia page on him)

    As Secretary of State, Marshall strongly opposed recognizing the state of Israel. Marshall felt that if the state of Israel was declared that a war would break out in the Middle East (which it did in 1948 one day after Israel declared independence).
    And Romney says "Jewish state of Israel"?   I don't want to get into I/P issues but theocracies tend to be bad, and thus "secular state of Israel" would sound better.
  •  I'm just sick of hearing (6+ / 0-)

    about "American exceptionalism".

    I love my country and served proudly for 20years in the military, but give me a break. Every country is exceptional in some way.

    The idea that America is somehow supremely special, in spite of all our faults and history of injustices rankles me.

    Grrrr

    "Human beings make life so interesting. Do you know, that in a universe so full of wonders, they have managed to invent boredom. " - Death (Terry Pratchett character)

    by Thorby Baslim on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 10:43:36 AM PDT

  •  his speech is bad history (5+ / 0-)

    and worse diplomacy, but the Marshall Plan was considered and put into place in 1947.  The map of Europe was being redrawn much earlier, and yes, Marshall was at Yalta in 1945 and was an advisor to Roosevelt,  but dividing Europe is really rather distinct from the European Recovery Act (Marshall Plan) that spent billions to help modernize and rebuild Europe.  The Soviets were even given an opportunity to participate but didn't like the strings that came with the offer.

    The US certainly helped divide Europe, but it also recognized that Soviet armies were sitting on huge chunks of eastern European territory and were exercising defacto control of those areas by 1945.

    The financial aid probably provoked the Soviets, but probably a lot less than the huge military and nuclear programs the US engaged in.

  •  thank you (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ybruti, majcmb1

    however this Mitt wouldnt have alienated me since I wouldnt have been aware of him giving this speech at all. He doesnt get reported on that much, over here in Europe, where we are generally complacent in our expectation of a clear Obama win. (I mean, our natural assumption is that Americans are reasonable folks.)

    theres something I might add to your historical explanations. And that is that the paneuropean thought goes even further back than 1943.Already before the First World war, there was a split amongst German industrialists - not all supported hypernationalist imperialism (like Krupp); there were very influential groups like the Thyssens who then already suggested the general industrialisation should lead to a unified Europe as it made the national scale redundant.

    thats not widely known but it underscores what a tragedy 1914 was.

    •  Governments (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      majcmb1

      I happened to be catch the last part of  that particular section when I turned over to BBC News - in London hence my ability to go back immediately in BBC iPlayer and check what he said at the start.

      I agree that apart from perhaps closer to November there might be more attention to the never-to-be potential President from the wider public. On the other hand, these things are monitored in the foreign ministries.

      Why doesn't Mitt Romney carry an iPhone? 1. He has staff to carry his cellphone 2. He has an Ann Droid.

      by Lib Dem FoP on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 11:11:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have so much trouble agreeing with this. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    billmosby, pistolSO, kaypaul, jcbdem

    I know the diarist is trying to score points against Romney on foreign policy but, really, this is mangled and weak tea.

    1)

    If anything the Marshall Plan divided Europe between East and West and prolonged the Cold War.
        Much more on point would be to say the Yalta Conference/Roosevelt sell-out "divided Europe between East and West."
         Military "stop lines" at roughly the Elbe River had much more to do with dividing Europe (which did NOT preclude a Soviet attempt to occupy Denmark in April/May of 1945 DESPITE the stoplines.)
          Stalin ordering his quartermasters to transport massive resources, tons of equipment and machinery, dismantle entire factories, and tens of thousands of people all NOT to Eastern Europe but FROM Eastern Europe from the Baltic to the Adriatic to the USSR to "build socialism in one country", leaving everyone from Tallinn to Leipzig to Budapest to Sofia dependent on the Russian dole had a LOT to do with dividing Europe and LAUNCHING the Cold War.

    2)

    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.
         So Marshall and the American team set up the Paris Conference, invite EVERYONE in Europe to attend (including the Russians). Having annexed (the Baltics) and occupied Mittel-Europa (from Poland to Bulgaria, as well as 1/3 of Germany) he chewed out Masaryk for wanting to accept Western aid and rewarded Poland's Cyrankiewicz with a juicy trade deal for backing out.

    3)

    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.
    When you are not ALLOWED to look any direction but East, literally, in many cases, on pain of death for you and your family, this is disingenuous.

    4)

    ...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.
    I would wager the end of Communism in Russia has a great deal more to do with the absence of capital punishment there than the ECHR.
    I would agree with the diarist that Reagan's Berlin Wall posturing was small change in the scheme of things (paralleling JFK's similar posturing in 1963 in Berlin). The election of Karol Woytala as Pope in 1978, the rise of Solidarnosc in Gdansk in 1980, hell, even Gorbachev's "Glasnost" advanced central European human rights than Reagan, but this is not saying much, since the list is so long.

    Romney is a weak, pampered, candidate with serious personality issues, backed by an uber-wealthy elite bent on global dominance, but he will fall of his own weight in a month. Foreign policy will have little impact on that fall.

    FWIW.

    Shalom.

    "God has given wine to gladden the hearts of people." Psalm 104:15

    by WineRev on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 11:36:51 AM PDT

    •  Marshall (0+ / 0-)

      I perhaps should have added "further" to divided however the intention of the Marshall plan was to roll back the influence of the USSR, especially in Greece which looked to be going Communist at that time. France and Italy also had a very strong Communist parties.

      So the presentation of the policy to the American public - pure beneficience - was of dubious veracity. Rather more it was partly enlightened self-interest in restoring economies ravaged by war so the countries could by US made products and rather more bribery to stay within the American field of influence.

      Why doesn't Mitt Romney carry an iPhone? 1. He has staff to carry his cellphone 2. He has an Ann Droid.

      by Lib Dem FoP on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 11:55:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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