Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Holland as the Canary in the Mine of the EU

By Aussiegirl

According to Reuters, Geert Wilders, a Dutch anti-immigration politician, has been living in a maximum-security jail cell in Holland after he went into hiding following the November 2 murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh by a radical anti-Western Muslim, but said he plans to continue his political campaign to create a new anti-immigration party and to lobby against Holland's entry into the EU.

Another threatened parliamentarian, Somali-born Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who made a film with Van Gogh which accused Islam of condoning violence against women, has been housed on a naval base. (Read my commentary below on what this bodes, in my opinion, for Ukraine's future.)

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Wilders wants a five-year halt to immigration, particularly of Muslims, and called for the arrest of what he called 150 followers of "fascistic Islam" under observation by the Dutch secret service and the closure of 25 mosques he described as "radical."

He cited experts who estimate that 5 to 15 percent of the one million Muslims living in the Netherlands are followers of radical Islam and demanded they respect Western values, the rule of law and freedom of religion, or leave the country.

"We have to be far more strict in order to keep our country together," he said. "If we don't learn to be more intolerant to the intolerant ... the majority of Muslims in Holland, who have nothing to do with terrorism or extremism, will pay the price."

He said the new European constitution, on which the Dutch will vote in a referendum on June 1, will mean a loss of national control over issues like immigration and a bigger say for larger countries, which could eventually include Turkey.

The Netherlands was a founder member of the European Union and support for the bloc is traditionally strong. But euroscepticism is rising and officials fear a low turnout might hand a victory to Wilders' "No" campaign.

"If we want to keep Holland a sovereign country, there is only one answer possible ... this is to say no," Wilders said. "I hope and I expect at the end of the day ... that the majority will vote against this stupid constitution."

I've talked before about the negative repercussions that accession to the EU may possibly hold in the future for Ukraine. While I understand Ukraine's desire to join the EU and its lobbying for admission as a means of finally shedding the pernicious influence of Moscow, they may find that they are jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

Although not so far wielding the kind of oppressive military threat that the Kremlin yields, the bureaucratic rules and laws which govern the countries under the EU umbrella are suffocating in similar ways to the old centrally commanded economy of the old Soviet Union.

Coupled with the immigration laws which will be a feature of joining, Ukraine may find itself, like the rest of Western Europe, inundated with non-assimilating Muslims who will threaten the very fabric of a fragile and emerging Ukrainian cultural life. My sincere hope is, that by the time the EU gets around to considering Ukraine's membership, the EU itself will have collapsed under its own bureaucratic weight and sunk into the dustbin of history, along with all the other failed Socialist experiments of the 20th and 21st centuries.

With the re-emergence of the GUUAM pact, between Georgia, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Moldova and Azerbaidzhan as a pact of democratically inclined former Soviet states who wish to band together to withstand over-reliance on Russia for energy and other needs, the so-called "New European" states, such as Poland, Lithuania, and perhaps the Czech Republic, and all those other former Soviet states which choose a democratic future, would do better to form a new union among themselves. They have much more in common with each other, and with the United States with its muscular foreign policy, appreciating as they do their new-found freedom and democracy, than they do with "Old Europe" which seems to have identified itself with the status quo and "stability", choosing to deal with tyrants, despots and the UN, rather than standing on the side of democracy.

Ukraine would to well to leave the EurocRATS to their own devices in "Old Europe", issuing dictates from Brussels on everything from pasteurization of English Stilton and French Brie to the sizes of tomatoes which may be grown and sold.