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How far are the Europeans willing go to get the U.S. to ratify Kyoto? Try blackmail over the war in Iraq.

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Kyoto, Iraq, Global Warming, and Political Blackmail

How far are the Europeans willing go to get the U.S. to ratify Kyoto? Try blackmail over the war in Iraq.

How far would the Europeans go to get the United States to ratify Kyoto?

The inexorable demise of the international global warming treaty, now on life support after the Russians have all but rejected it, is making some EU officials desperate. Without Kyoto, they will lose a powerful tool to impose their social, political, and economic policies on a global scale.

Those policies, which have very little to do with averting a putative global environmental catastrophe, are the driving force behind Kyoto.

The treaty is a means to bring about “the first component of an authentic global governance,” in the words of French President Jacques Chirac; and, according to EU’s Environment Commissioner Margot Wallstrom, Kyoto is about “leveling the playing field for big businesses worldwide.”

This notion was recently hashed out in Britain’s Guardian newspaper, which lamented that U.S. rejection of Kyoto means, “the world’s two largest economic powers are going in opposite directions in pursuit of growth.”

Indeed.

So to prevent the U.S. from taking a pro-growth path, what step would the Euros take to force President Bush’s hand?

FACT: As it turns out, the EU cynically employed Kyoto as a political bargaining chip in deciding whether to support deposing Saddam Hussein.

To put it more bluntly, EU officials used Kyoto to commit political blackmail: do something on Kyoto and we might just support a war to oust a brutal, tyrannical dictator from power–otherwise, no deal.

On October 30, during debate on the Lieberman-McCain global warming bill, Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) revealed all: “I remember last year, as we were coming close to the vote on the Iraq resolution, I met with a group of officials from the administration and Congress–members of both parties–with the Minister of Defense from an allied government. Somebody from the administration said: ‘How can we get the Europeans to support us more on the potential of a war against Saddam?’ The European Minister said: ‘Get the administration to do something about global warming.'”

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Mr. Catanzaro is Communications Director for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

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