And its about time too dammit! What a bunch of goobers the EU members have become on the topic of Turkey joining their club. Turkey has been a staunch ally of ‘the West’ since WWII, was one of the original inductees into NATO over 50 years ago, and has been petitioning to join the EU for over 40 years! 40 damn years? Yep, for 40 damn years the Europeans have kept Turkey waiting at the alter; always a EU bridesmaid, never an EU bride. Turkey has sat on the sidelines while virtually all of Eastern Europe has joined the block, with Romania and Bulgaria being the most recent inductees last year.
What? You mean they let the down-and-out, broke-ass, former Soviet satellite states into the EU before their NATO ally Turkey? Yep. What a crock of shit.
Full-fledged entry talks for Turkey started in earnest in 2005, but as of 6 months ago the proposal was dead in the water again because the two sides could not agree on a whole host of issues, a main one being that the EU demanded Turkey open up trade with Cyprus: a long-standing hot button issue that I won’t go into right now. But the Turks seemed to have had enough of demand after demand after demand that the EU has thrown at it, year after year after decade after decade…so they stopped negotiations last year. But the game is back afoot:
EU to re-start talks with Turkey
I just wanted to talk about why this whole fiasco has happened. While EU entry has long enjoyed popular support by most Turks, the Europeans have been grinding them down, and as a result public opinion of the EU is growing more dismal by the day. Many Turks refer to the EU as the CU…which stands for the ‘Christian Union’…and the Plaid Avenger does believe that there is something to this interpretation.
Europe was the cradle of Christianity. Not the birthplace, but the cradle for its growth into a worldwide phenomenon. Europe is still a Christian dominated culture. The EU is overwhelmingly Christian. In fact, I had an excellent German historian point out the fact that the original members of the EU covered the exact same area of Europe once held by the Carolingian Empire under Charlemagne…an entity dubbed ‘The Holy Roman Empire’. He suggested that this new European group was simply falling back on its old religious roots…..hmmmmm….interesting how looking back helps you understand what’s ahead. But I digress.
Europe is Christian. Turkey is not. There are those in Europe that would argue that Turkey, being an overwhelmingly Muslim country, simply won’t ‘fit’ in well with European values and principles. The Plaid Avenger thinks that is a load of shit. But some EU members will continue to shovel it.
Turkey is a modern country for the most part. Turkey is a democracy. Turkey is in the NATO defense network. Turkey helped in small part win WWII. Turkey in greater part helped win the Cold War. Turkey in a very large part helped the US win the Gulf War: Part Uno. But somehow these guys aren’t going to be able to get along with the Europeans? Ha! The very Europeans they helped protect as a NATO member? What a joke!
So Plaid, what’s the real deal? I’m glad you asked. There is concern among many EU states that including a Muslim nation is going to increase the flow of Muslim people into the EU which may perpetuate a clash of cultures (look to cultural problems in France right now for your best examples of this). Some argue this increased flow of Muslims might also include a modicum of Muslim people who might be terrorists–thus it’s a security issue. There are other folks that think Turkey is too big with too many people and would wield too much power in the EU. Others think they are too poor and would be a strain on the EU. Still others fear an inflow of Turks that are going to ‘take my job!’
What the fuck ever.
Turkey deserves better. And as a moderate voice of Islam, as the only true Islamic democracy, and as a continued staunch ally of ‘the West’, the EU OUGHT to be kissing Turkey‘s ass! Does Europe really want to be in a position of pissing off Turkey and having them turn around and embrace the Middle East? Or Russia? Or China? Wake up EU goobers!
And know this world watchers: the US is not happy about the European foot-dragging. The US would very much like to keep Turkey in the western camp. Watch for US pressure to mount on the side of the Turks in future stories about the EU.
Party in Plaid.
Pay attention world watchers! Today’s under-rated story involves two titans teaming up for a tour promoting trade:
Hu heads to Russia to boost trade
Chinese leader starts Russian tour
Russia‘s Vlad ‘the man’ Putin of Russia is hosting Chinese President Hu Jintao for a three-day tour which will certainly revolve around increasing economic links between the two countries. The titanic two largest territories of Asia talking trade! And what kind of trade in particular? Guns and gas! Guns and gas! Guns and gas!
China has become the largest purchaser of Russian weaponry in the last decade. Guns, tanks, missiles, you name it. Those Ruskies were always good at building that shit! Of course, this upsets the US because they feel threatened by the growth of Chinese military power, and perhaps more upset because they’re not buying the death toys from us. Missile-envy can be a bitch. But this issue is of lesser consequence for me right now. The other commodity is of more strategic importance.
As you well know, China already produces every damn manufactured trinket and textile on the planet, so they are selling loads of that shit to Russia—and of course they are selling way more of that shit to the US too. But what does Russia have for sale that China needs? First and foremost: fuel. Oil and natural gas to be precise. Russia has shit-tons of the stuff in reserve, and these fossil fuels are almost solely responsible for Russia economic growth out of the gutter for the last decade. As China continues to expand, they need more fuel to keep the ball rolling, and Russia has it!
Why is this important for understanding your Plaid Planet? Russia is re-gaining its position as a world power player precisely because they are positioning themselves as the energy broker for the whole damn Eurasian continent. Russia already supplies the EU (European Union) with the majority of their fossil fuel needs: a fact which has many folks in Europe a bit worried. They are heavily reliant on Russia for energy, which puts Russia in a position of bargaining power, and perhaps outright political power if something crazy like a oil embargo were to occur out of the Middle East (Yeah, I know how crazy is that idea? That would never ever ever happen would it? Oops: look into 1973 oil embargo)
And now let’s make you smarter: the Plaid Avenger knows how this shit is going down in real life man! Vlad ‘the Man’ Putin is all about strengthening ties with China, specifically by selling them more fuel. Do you see the position this puts Russia in? Vlad sure does! If Russia gets the Chinese addicted to their gas and oil, just like Europe already is, then Russia is essentially the pimp daddy for all the energy-whores of Eurasia. They will literally be making money coming and going, on both sides of the continent. Which means they can pit consumers against each other in a bidding war and, much more importantly, can use this energy addiction as a source of political capital across the continent.
What do I mean by this? What happens if the China pisses off Russia? They can choose to sell more oil to the EU for cheaper. What happens if the EU or a single European country pisses off Russia? They could turn the oil spigots completely off– By the way, that actually already occurred last winter in Belarus. Lesson: Don’t piss off the bear!
Man, everybody will be kissing Russian ass…just to get that Russian gas.
Hmmmmm…me thinks a fossil fuel rhyme just occurred.
The Plaid Avenger has struck again!
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Issue 2: Battle For Burma
Well, the battle for the heart and soul of this country is on, but no one outside Burma seems to be able to do a damn thing about it! Why not?