You might think that Tony Blair and Jacques Chirac (with his close political friend, german chancellor Gerhard Schröder), have little in common when it comes to world politics. You would be wrong, however. What they share is the ambition to have Europe displace the USA as the number one superpower.
They have different ways of going about it sometimes, but in the larger game it actually suits their purpose for them to appear to be divided. While they look divided, Europe looks weak, so the US does not get too worried. However, for my money, the most significant piece of news today is not what is happening in Iraq or in Israel-Palestine, but the fact that European Union defence ministers will today sign plans for battlegroups of troops poised for instant action, in a significant move towards a European army. Note that this plan is the result of an Anglo-French-German initiative and the first two 1,500-strong expeditionary forces, starting in January, will be provided by the British and the French. This is co-operation at the point where politics becomes all too real and at that point, Blair and Chirac are at one. Europe has growing economic power and military power will follow as sure as day follows night. America is number one militarily at the moment, but its economic position is fragile. The dollar has fallen as never before in my lifetime and looks lame beside the euro. Anthoer significant snippet not in the headlines is the fact that on 2nd December European forces will replace NATO in Bosnia. For NATO, you can usually read "US controlled". This represents a significant shift. We can expect to see more and more of this sort of shift over the next few years as Europe starts to test its strength and, little by little, to ease the US out of areas that the Europeans regard as their own domain. There is a big game going on that cannot be made public. There is no way that any British government could possibly say that it is in Iraq to protect Britains interests against the US. The UK has to pretend to be the USA´s best friend. I am not, however, at all surprised that British troops have taken over a few of the duties previously managed by the US west of Baghdad and I would not be surprised to see more of this in the future. The US is becoming over-stretched and eventually there will be increasing calls for the US to pull out. It is not unthinkable that the British will still be there after the US have gone. And then, of course, Europe might take a renewed interest too. This is all part of the grand game, but, at the moment, it is, perforce, a game of stealth. Everybody talks about China, but Europe is now a bigger home market than the US - and Europe is the only world power that has the kind of sophistication of technology to rival the US.
Watch this space - but don´t forget: its just infighting between different capitalistic/imperialistic powers... for the workers and the exploited it`s no matter by whom they get opressed...