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There has been a lot of criticism lately of the lack of a European consensus on the Iraq crisis and Britain's role in thwarting such efforts. I have just been to a talk at the Law Faculty in Cambridge given by Lord Owen (once foreign secretary) entitled 'A Common, not Single, European Foreign and Security Policy'.Here are the arguments of a man who feels threatened by the prospect of a European consensus and who supports the government line on Iraq. Lord Owen perceives a single European foreign policy as a serious threat to our national 'freedom' - such a policy means 'we will cease to be a nation' and will become part of the Unites States of Europe instead (horror of horrors!). He had some interesting things to say about Iraq in view of this: His view is that while Britain is on the path of reason in supporting a military strike, the rest of Europe, notably France, has its 'distinctive view' as regards the Middle East. Without the slightest hint of irony Lord Owen sighted Frace's real commercial interests in weaponary and the oil industry. 'There is nothing wrong with this', he went on, 'we happen to have these interests in other parts of the world'. Perhaps he failed to notice the arms to Iraq scandal during his long political career, and perhaps he is unaware of British oil interests in the Gulf! Another shocker was his reply to a question I asked concerning the threat not of being dominated by Europe, but of being a slave to the 'special relatioship' with the US. His answer is to contain the US within the United Nations - infact the authority of the UN rests on its ability to ensure that resolutions are not broken. If the UN fails in this, we risk loosing congressional support for it and the UN will collapse. I personally am more inclined to think that the UN's authority rests on its ability to withstand American bullying, to respect the views of all 5 permanent security council members and to abide by international law, as outlined in its own charter. Lord Owen on the other hand believes that without American support, we have too much to loose. The Gulf war saw the triumph of American diplomacy - yes, he actually said DIPLOMACY! So what happened to the great spirit of US diplomacy this time round, I wonder? He told me that I was obviously a European Federalist Idealist, and he was just old and tired. Well I thought I would share this with you. I was profoundly disturbed that poeple with similar views ran our country and still do so. Tony Blair was highly praised by Lord Owen for his slavish adherence to American policy. I hope that more of a future lies in Europe, especially when the lives of Iraqis depend on 'American diplomacy'. Selwa Calderbank -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To be removed/added, email firstname.lastname@example.org, NOT the whole list. Archived at http://linux.clare.cam.ac.uk/~saw27/casi/discuss.html