Analyses Featured Voorpagina

The case against Jan Peter Balkenende as EU president

balkieI honestly cannot believe that Dutch prime minister Balkenende is a serious contender for the job of EU president. Scanning the foreign press, one gets the idea that Balkenende is the perfect candidate – no sworn enemies, a neutral fellow with leadership experience, and so on. Yet this is also the prime minister who presided over two failed governments, who faces politically deadly scrutiny regarding his support for the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and leader of a party that would rather see him leave. Exactly who is this Dutchman who is suddenly seen as perhaps the first president of the European Union?

Analyses Verkiezingen Voorpagina

Ganging up on the little guy is easy.

Yes, Robert Mugabe, dictator-for-life of Zimbabwe, is an evil man. He lives up to just about every benchmark George W Bush and Tony Blair once set for being part of the ‘Axis of Evil’. Saddam Hussein was removed as leader of Iraq for being an evil man. (When the WMD-issue fell through, of course, but still.) Robert Mugabe, however, is still leader of his nation and it doesn’t look like he’ll be ousted anytime soon. Instead, European leaders in Lisbon in the past days stumbled over each other to find enough microphones in order to shout down Mugabe. Without one hint of irony they lambasted him for being a cruel, evil dictator who has created massive inflation and uses every violent means available to him to repress and kill Zimbabweans. At least the EU leaders had the gall to beat up on the little guy.