The surveys according to which the citizens from many European Union states oppose the Constitutional Treaty project are increasing. France could become the first country to reject it and its example would spread, which would probably cause its rejection in other countries where this text must be submitted to a referendum. The situation gives rise to a great media offensive in France, just as in the rest of Europe, in favor of the French «approval»»
In France, the media coverage in favor of the «approval» is at its full, which looks as though there is a monolithic and debate reluctant journalistic class. Taking on the role of reasonable priests in the face of popular passions, various weekly magazines published recent headlines about the «lies» of the «negative». Though the law imposes an internal pluralism on audiovisual means, the French Media Observatory highlighted that 71 percent of the personalities were favorable to the «approval» in the TV programs broadcast between January 1 and March 31, 2005, while in TV newscasts, the «approval» supporters took up 73% of the time dedicated to the expression of opinions.
Le Monde’s Director Jean-Marie Colombani publishes a newspaper, which perfectly depicts the archetype of the arguments favoring the «approval», and proclaims, adapting the headline of the famous editorial published by him the day after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, that «we all are European». He thus asserts that having a referendum would be a bad decision as the French are unable to evaluate the issue, that the rejection of the project would lead to chaos, that its adoption, on the contrary, will encourage social progress and will provide the European Union with more authority worldwide, and concludes asking the electors favorable to the «negative» to vote only on the grounds of the text and not on the situation in France. In so doing, Colombani implicitly impeaches the people’s sovereignty principle and shows concern over the possibility of the working class to indirectly penalize the elite.
In that same newspaper, a group of German intellectuals present in Paris during the Encounters for the Europe of Culture, which take place this Tuesday and Wednesday in the French Capital in favor of the «approval», condemns, of course, the French «negative». Resorting to alarmism, they assert that the rejection of the Treaty would endanger French-German relations, the position of France in Europe, the peace, freedom and democracy that the EU has brought to its members and could lead to the division of Eastern Europe between Germany and the «Russian Empire». In other words, rejecting the Europe of the 27 would be equivalent to isolating France and pushing Germany to share out with Russia the Mittleeuropa. Good Lord, no!
In Libération, the French researcher of the Brookings Institution Justin Vaisse, announced that France should accept this project because rejecting it would favor the neo-conservative in the United States. This author, who approved the invasion of Iraq and supports now the «war against tyranny» by the Bush administration, takes up again in his analysis the Atlantic rhetoric of the lesser of two evils: supporting this treaty would amount to helping those members of the Bush administration to be willing to talk with the Europeans.
The propaganda for the French «approval» goes far beyond the limits of the French press. For instance, the European Parliament President, Spanish socialist Josep Borrel, reintroduces in El Periódico the arguments of the French supporters of the Treaty: The supporters of the «negative» do not understand the text and mix it up with other issues. Borrel regrets the fact that as a result of this campaign other European problems such as those of the Chinese fabrics or the Bolskestein leadership are paralyzed in front of the French fears. Robin Cook’s former adviser - British Labour Party member David Clark defends the Constitutional Treaty in a more original and interesting way in the Guardian. According to him, the French are making a mistake in rejecting a text, which rather than a backward step as they believe it is, represents a greatest social progress. However, the French rejection is mainly due to Tony Blair’s wish to Americanize the European Union rather than getting closer to Europe. Such a policy will increasingly separate the British from the European and London will have to pay for this separation when the European economy get started again.
The Vietnam war specter showed up again in the U.S. press with the beginning of the U.S. occupation problems in Iraq to gradually disappear later in the newspapers’ pages. This weekend, the United States was particularly careful as to the thirtieth anniversary of the Saigon’s fall. That defeat - a symbol that the peoples are able to resist and overcome the Empire - continues to be a point of reference for many liberation movements all over the world. Vietnamese novelist Pham Thi Hoai, one of the few authors who have gone beyond the description of the Saigon’s fall in the U.S. mainstream press, wrote an ambiguous text in Los Angeles Times. The United States triggered a war that cost 4 million deaths, and launched tons of chemical substances on Vietnam, the effects of which still last. The Unites States has therefore the moral obligation to help change the Vietnamese regime, which oppresses its people. However, she does not say what Washington must do in order to change the situation in her country. But, what could the United States do in that country without inevitably causing the same evils that the very same author is condemning?
In The Age, Australian Attorney Michael Sexton invites his own fellow countrymen to examine their conscience. When the United States still doubted about getting further involved in Vietnam, the Australians pushed Washington in that direction in the hope that that country would commit to the ANZUS in the event that any problem arose with Indonesia. Australia approved the Vietnam war and never condemned the politicians that supported it. For that reason Australia is now indebted to the United States and cannot obtain anything from that country. That war turned Canberra a servant of Washington.
The Russian press tone is quite different. Vremya Novostyey interviewed two former Red Army generals who were «military advisers» of the North-Vietnamese antiaircraft defense - Evgueni Antonov and Anatoly Khiupenen. They both rejoiced in the achievements then made before the U.S. enemy. This praise of a Russian victory, or at least a U.S. defeat, must be considered in a context where many think that a new cold war era has already started.