March 07, 2004

2 of 5 Say Westphalia's Dead

Of the 5 UN permanent Security Council Members, 2 of them have now enunciated policy that kills the sovereignty and non-intervention principles of the Treaty of Westphalia. President Bush's declaration in this year's State of the Union speech has already attracted my commentary but I just noticed that Prime Minister Blair's recent constituency speech in Sedgefield does the same thing:

So, for me, before September 11th, I was already reaching for a different philosophy in international relations from a traditional one that has held sway since the treaty of Westphalia in 1648; namely that a country's internal affairs are for it and you don't interfere unless it threatens you, or breaches a treaty, or triggers an obligation of alliance.

You can make a case that President Bush's abandonment of Westphalia is a neocon, right wing aberration born in inappropriate reaction to 9/11. Blair's rejection of Westphalia is explicit, it predates 9/11, and is issued from the world leader of the '3rd way' movement. This demands more thoughtful treatment by those who are knee-jerk anti-Bush, anti-Republican, or anti-US.

Westphalia's dead. The principles it enunciates can't withstand the rejection of even 2 of 5 permanent Security Council members. When those two are a defacto majority of the planet's military power, there's little hope that Westphalia's non-interventionism will be resurrected anytime soon.

Posted by TMLutas at March 7, 2004 09:51 PM