EU wants more contact with new Iraqi cabinet
The EU Observer, Brussels
It sounds like the EU is feeling a tad shunned by the Iraqi government, having troubles "trying to establish contact" with the new government officials. The EU commission evidently found out about the new Iraqi cabinet members voted in via standard news outlets, just like the rest of us common folk on the planet.
"This is the first elected government in Iraq for a number of decades," the commissioner's spokeswoman Emma Udwin said.
"We want to be an important partner for Iraq and we are waiting to discuss our offers with Baghdad," she indicated. "We are already taking the first steps to normalise political dialogue," she added.
Now that it's looking like the regime change wasn't such a bad idea afterall, the EU wants in on the party, hoping to set up an EU bureau in Baghdad "to help coordinate training of Iraqi judges and prison guards."
Oh puleeze... this is almost laughable. "Train" judges and prison guards? To do what? Stand by and let everyone else do the dirty work? The major EU players are hardly an example of concerned and helpful neighbors in the region. Nor are they a bastion of corrupt free judicial and penal systems. In short, they aren't offering much.
They have at least set aside money to throw at Iraq. In lieu of offering those that would shed their blood with the Iraqis in the fight for freedom, the EU has pledged 200 million euro for aid in 2005.
That's like standing idly by while a colt struggles to survive during and after birth, yet offering a new coat of colors when the horse is well and ready to enter the race. Too little, too late. But Iraq will do well to take the money, and run from the offers of help in "training".
Of the current 25 EU member states, 12 were part of the US Coalition and provided troops to the "unilateral" action that took out Saddam's brutal rule. In numbers that's just shy of half... but hardly the half that wields the most influence and power.
The only major league EU hitters standing tall to help the US Coalition and Iraqis rid themselves of a murdering thug was the UK and Italy. Spain started to, but acquiesced to terrorists quickly following their own terrorist attack. Then they couldn't beat a path out of the country fast enough.
The fact is, the EU countries that were bold enough to stand, long term, with the US troops were small, loyal countries such as Denmark, Czeck Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, and Slovenia. You may recognize them more readily as "the coalition of the bribed and coerced", as so indelicately put by Dem leadership during the Presidential campaign.
Obviously the Iraqi's should and will extend their hands to the EU as they progress thru their larvae stage of democracy. But frankly I see their lack of enthusiasm for the EU's offer of help at this moment as being appropriate. The Iraqis know who was there and who wasn't when the going was tough. And it wasn't the big boys of the EU, now licking their wounds for the less than enthusiastic reception.
It might be important to note that the EU still doesn't have a Constitution. And instead of it gaining more support, even the French populus is backing down in signing.