Thursday, March 26, 2009

Anders Fogh Rasmussen the next Ruud Lubbers?

It is hard to predict what is going to happen in the coming days concerning Anders Fogh Rasmussen. I remember how Ruud Lubbers once thought he was going to be the next NATO secretary and even travelled to Washington to meet Bill Clinton. Eventually he was removed from the checkboard because Helmut Kohl did not want Ruud to have the job.

Until now most diplomats think it is inconceivable that Turkey would veto the candidacy of Anders Fogh Rasmussen. But there are no arguments that back up this idea. The theory that is circulating now is the link between the speed of EU-entry of Turkey and the acceptance of a certain candidate and the reentry of France into the military structure of the NATO.

Another theory can be that President Obama is using Anders Fogh Rasmussen to get to know his European colleagues. He can see by their reaction to this candidate, what their positions are. I am just an amateur in diplomacy, but still.

If anyone else has a good theory on why Turkey would not veto this candidate, write it below. I am very interested in how this diplomatic dance is going to be worked out.

The objection to Anders Fogh Rasmussen as a politician is his refusal to implement EU-jurisprudence on immigration, which shows that he does not understand the main goal of the EU and the important role the EU attaches to the fundamental rights of every EU citizen. On immigration and integration conservate politicians have expressed admiration for Denmark's tough, and what they would call realistic, stance. Which I suspect is a reason why these politicians, like Balkenende, Sarkozy and Berlusconi want their "friend" as NATO-secretary.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen has become the symbol of conservative politics in Europe today. Conservatism in Europe has been defined by anti-immigration and anti-muslim rhetoric which flourished under Bush's ideological sun.

To summarize all this fuss I am increasingly convinced that Anders Fogh Rasmussen is put forward by conservative European politicians to test the ideological views of the newly elected American President. A smart move.

Turkey should take this possibility into consideration and take the opportunity to test Obama's views as well. The message that will be coming out of Washington the coming days is probably going to tell us if my theory is correct.

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