Cross-Atlantic… Cooperation??

I know, it sounds crazy.

But if you combine these three news stories… well, maybe there is a bit of a “thaw” happening between the EU, UN and US.

Updated Once

  1. UN presents Syria with Ultimatum (Cheers: The War in Context)

    A top U.N. envoy will tell President Bashar Assad that Syria will face political and economic isolation if he does not completely and quickly withdraw from Lebanon, U.N. and U.S. officials said yesterday.

  2. US Backs European Incentives for Iran (Cheers: TWIC)

    President Bush has decided to back European allies in their plan to offer economic incentives to persuade Iran to abandon any effort to build nuclear weapons, a sharp shift in policy for a government that had long refused to bargain for Tehran’s cooperation, senior administration officials said yesterday.

  3. EU brands Hizballah “terrorist” group

    The European Union Parliament passed a resolution today branding Hizballah as a terrorist group and affirming that the EU Council should take all necessary steps to curtail terrorist activities undertaken by Hizballah. While a step short of adding the group to the EU’s list of banned terrorist groups, the parliamentary decision marks a turning point in European attitudes toward Hizballah. This shift has been in the works for the past few months; the decision follows France’s December 2004 decision to ban Hizballah’s satelite television station and a German court’s ruling in January 2005 that described Hizballah as a terrorist group.

Seperately they don’t look like much, but together do they perhaps indicate a new found cooperation between the Bush Administration and the UN and EU?

This is a good thing on a number of fronts:

  1. It shows that perhaps the Bush Administration is starting to realize that negotiations involve both give and take. Is this the end, finally, of the “you’re with us or against us” mantra? I can only hope so.
  2. Europe and the UN might finally be waking up to the fact that their reticence to break with tradition (ie. their traditional, implicit support of Hezbollah, Syria and the Palestinians) may have been doing more harm than good. And perhaps a slightly more realistic and/or proactive stance is needed in order to actually create change in the trouble spots of the world.

It has been true for many years now that the western political scene has become over-politicized (if that makes any sense?) and even extreme. Hopefully these three occurances signal a deeper shift from confrontation between traditional allies back to negotiation and cooperation.

Is it too much to hope that this might eventually lead to real momentum to truly reform the UN and make it more effective?

OK, sorry, I got a little ahead of myself there. 😉


The BBC just caught up to the story on the US and Iranian negotiations.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said it would no longer object to Iran joining the World Trade Organization.