Monday, April 24, 2006

Who's running Danish foreign policy?

Don't hesitate to answer the question above. Just look at the picture. And it's a lot more than a satirical cartoon.

Two days after the US started "Shock and Awe" in Iraq on March 19th the Danish parliament voted for a Danish joining up - or should we say ganging up - with the "Coalition of the Willing" in the unlegitimate war in Iraq.

On April 21st the Prime Minister Fogh Rasmussen's office could proudly send out the following message to the press:

President Bush invites the prime minister to Camp David.
The American president George W. Bush has invited prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen to a visit in Camp David on June 9th 2006. On that ccasion the Prime Minister states:
"Denmark and the USA are close friends and allies in the efforts to promote peace, freedom and prosperity in the world. We appreciated the president's and the first Lady's visit here in July 2005, and the visit will be a good opportunity to confirm our close relationship. I look forward with pleasure to a continuation of our talks on subjects of common interest".

The press announcement mentions Iraq-Afghanistan where Denmark helps the US to secure the strategic interests of the West in building up a secure provision base for oil. NATO and the UN are also mentioned. Denmark has become chairman of the Security Council's terrorism committee. The US is generous to its friends.

The Generosity is also economical. Leading Danish exporters and TNC's have got good contracts with the Americans.

There is an established tradition for this kind of helpfulness. Vice-president Dick Cheney made $44m during his time as head of Halliburton, a company that has grabbed lucrative contracts in Iraq and has been accused of overcharging the Pentagon, which helps to increase corporate profits for the companies involved. He also appointed friends from the energy industry to his energy task force. The Iraq war and the coming military expedition or war in Iran has much been his and the Washington neo-cons' work. It's time for EU leaders to say "no" - even though this may antagonise the Americans; and they may start giving bad names to some of our most cherished products, like calling French fries "freedom fries". You can imagine what would happen, if the Danes changed course. Would the Little Mermaid be called the "old slut", A. P. Moller Maersk a "rotten Viking boat", the Lego bricks "PVC food for kids"!! There are ample opportunities for a nick-naming game.

When you look at the picture and contemplate the fact that this man is effectively running Danish foreign policy through his long hand on the steering wheel, you feel some kind of a chill. Before Anders Fogh Rasmussen came to power in Copenhagen in 2001, Danish foreign policy was much more directed towards humanitarian goals: Leader in development assistance, help to Palestinians in Gaza, etc.


Blogger Sophia said...

For a small country like Danemark, they can be impressed by a visit to Camp David which means:'good doggy here is your cookie'. In my opinion, the visit comes very late because Bush is feeling the heat. italy will be withdrawing from the coalition soon.
As for the change in Danemark,s foreign policy from humanitarian to hawkish, we are at risk of having the same turn here in canada with our new conservative government. But hopefully we will defeat this (minority) government in the next elections.

4:07 AM  
Blogger Sophia said...

Is that rasmussen smily and happy as a school boy in a bus on a field trip ?

6:45 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Duck said...

It was from a meeting with Bush, cf also the flags. Bush visited Denmark i July 2005 on way to G8 meeting in Scotland.

7:00 AM  

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