Flattening Globalism

By Pinkerton, James P. | The American Conservative, June 3, 2008 | Go to article overview

Flattening Globalism


Pinkerton, James P., The American Conservative


Sovereignty. What a glorious word. A bit hard to spell perhaps, but worth every letter.

Yes, I know it seems like only yesterday that the world was flat. That was Thomas Friedman's best-selling argument: "Walls" were a thing of the past. Flatness, globalism, the twilight of sovereignty-these were the waves of the future.

Well, maybe Friedman needs to spend more time with the Irish and the Iraqis-and the Americans. In recent days, all three peoples have shown signs that they don't wish to be rolled over by the electronic-bureaucratic herd of universalist sovereignty-stampers.

Let's look at those plucky peoples willing to put a pitchfork into the grand globalists and their vast schemes.

On June 13, the people of Ireland rejected the Treaty of Lisbon, which would have enmeshed Eire even deeper into the coils of the European Union. The Irish were perfectly happy to accept subsidies from the check-writers in Brussels, but proved unwilling to bow down to foreigners. Over the centuries, they've had enough of that.

Ireland's prime minister Brian Cowen, along with the political and business elites of his country, had advocated a "yes" vote on the EU treaty. And his reaction to "no" was revealing: In the spirit of Fabian globalism, he allowed, "In a democracy, the will of the people-as expressed at the ballot box-is sovereign." But then, in the very next breath, Cowen added, "We must not rush to conclusions. The Union has been in this situation before and each time has found an agreed way forward." Ah, yes, "forward"-the inevitable and ineluctable long march to the radiant future.

Such is the power of an idea whose time has come-come to the elites, that is. As the New York Times had to admit in the wake of the Irish election, "In general, such treaties are far more popular with Europe's leaders than with its voters." As the Irish just proved. Score one for the don't-tread-on-me pitchforkers.

That same day, Iraqi Prime Minister Noun al-Maliki, in the midst of negotiations with Americans over permanent basing rights for Uncle Sam in Mesopotamia, said flatly, "The Iraqis will not consent to an agreement that infringes their sovereignty."

Some say, of course, that al-Maliki is just a puppet for the Americans. But if so, he is becoming an ungrateful puppet. And yes, he was safe inside the Green Zone while GIs built 106 military bases in his country, including one called "Camp Victory. …

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