January 7, 2008


A Union of the West? Balladur says it's time (John Vinocur, January 7, 2008, IHT)

And now for something radical. It's an idea that comes from a dour-looking man with an acute political mind whose ecclesiastically scarlet or royally purple socks peak out from under the dark trousers of Savile Row suits.

Here's his notion: The United States and Europe soon risk being overtaken by the rest of the world. To hold on to their place and value system, they ought to form an organic alliance, a Union of the West.

The time to get moving is now.

The idea comes from Edouard Balladur, the former French prime minister whose belly-of-the-beast Gaullist establishment credentials stretch back 40 years. Today, part of his pertinence lies in a close relationship with Nicolas Sarkozy, once his budget minister and spokesman, who a decade ago argued that Balladur would make a better president than Jacques Chirac.

Any European nation that wants to should be allowed to join NAFTA and to caucus with us in a Union of Democracies at the UN, but we don't share enough of a culture anymore for any greater union to be plausible. Our 20th Century wars against secular Europe and the insidious Marshall Plan worked too well.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 7, 2008 9:30 AM

Gee, I wonder just who he has in mind as the leader of this Union.
Certainly not a cowboy nation, yes?
Perhaps the suave, sophisticated, nuanced French?

Posted by: ray at January 7, 2008 9:57 AM

Churchillism: USA, UK and Ireland, Canada, Australia, NZ and those countries of europe which share the same values. cf Andrew Roberts 'A History of the English Speaking Peoples'

Posted by: mike in europe at January 7, 2008 3:49 PM

The wiser Euros are getting scared. One of the first comments I made here was that they would be coming to D.C. by 2010 (especially if a Dem is elected next time), with hat in hand. This is the next step.

Posted by: jim hamlen at January 7, 2008 11:44 PM