Monday, April 6, 2009


This exchange would be crude even by the standards of American TV shoutfests. Mélenchon may confuse Article 2 of the NATO treaty with Article 5, but he's right on the merits, and Lellouche's willful confusion of the issue, substituting voluntary participation in Afghanistan with the ostensibly obligatory treaty response to an attack on a member state, is shocking for someone who aspires to foreign policy responsibility. Of course, in reality, every member state can opt out of responding as required by the treaty, but the whole point of collective defense is to induce in the mind of a potential enemy substantial doubt as to the wisdom of attempting a strike on an isolated member.

Lellouche's challenge to Mélenchon to fight a duel brings the absurdity to a pinnacle.


MYOS said...

Birenbaum's take on this:

(Wiht Birenbaum, you can never tell when he's tongue-in-cheek...)

organe said...

I'd say both are losers with no special fault from Lellouche compared to Mellenchon. Calling someone a CIA agent to discredit him is still weak, even today.

On the content, Lellouche has also better information. The "automaticité" lines were added in 1949 by the Europeans who feared an american disengagement just like in 1919. NATO nowadays is really a toolbox with no compulsory reciprocity.
Btw, the whole NATO debate as introduced by Moati was dead. It was way too general, so that Attali can play the goodwilling brain that states that "a european defense will be born, my friends", while nobody gets on the true question: how do we sell that to other europeans, most of which just want NATO? What strategy is ours and at what cost?

And what does Bernard Guetta do here after all those years of painful pronunciation and permanently wrong or unqualified analysis? I was watching at some intervention of him recently in 1989 just after the opening of the east-west german borders which was hilarious ("the eastern strategy seems to succeed, the opening of the wall will allow GDR to live").