The best sitting mayor of a big city in the English-speaking world, London’s Boris Johnson, writes in the Telegraph that it would be an outrage for President Obama, as appears more than possible, travels to England in the next few weeks to urge the British people to vote to stay in the European Union.
Freedom-loving Americans owe it to our closest ally — and to themselves — to respond to Mr. Johnson’s passionate and deeply reasoned appeal by protesting this unseemly interference in the affairs of a free nation, most effectively, I should think, by urging one or more leading public figures to answer the president’s predictable line. He, or they, should travel to England to express agreement with the mayor’s position, which should be read by any and all Americans at all concerned with Atlantic affairs.
The issue in a nutshell is this: can Great Britain remain in the European project as currently designed and remain free and British? Prime Minister David Cameron, leader of the Conservative Party, believes it can and must. Opposition in the country, and in his own party, have led him to propose a referendum on the question in June. Several leading members of Mr. Cameron’s own party, including ministers and Mr. Johnson, believe the best terms Britain can get to stay in are not good enough, and have joined the “Exit” (or “Brexit” as it is dubbed) campaign.
Since the early 1950s, Europeans have sought to reduce the chances of a third continental war, while increasing the opportunities for economic growth in the framework of a free economy, by promoting free trade among themselves. The “European project” merits much of the credit for keeping Western Europe free and for serving as a powerful encouragement to the captive nations during half a century of armed truce between East and West.
As happens, however, all too often, the pragmatic movement toward a “common market” grew into a bureaucratic monster controlled by unelected, unaccountable, and for the most part unknown petty bureaucratic tyrants. As the Soviet bloc failed and collapsed, the Common Market morphed into a “European Union” to which ancient nation states surrendered their currencies, their border controls, increasingly their very identities. The delusions of grandeur entertained by anonymous despots in the Kafkaesque labyrinths of EU headquarters at the Palais Egmont in Brussels, the “capital” of an undeclared European suprastate, deserve blame for the violence that has spread in Europe since the early 1990s, from the Balkan wars to Ukraine, for they have sought power with neither purpose nor moral compass.
By commission and omission, the Europeans have contributed mightily to the continuing disaster which is Arabo-Islam. Willful denial of their complicity in maintaining the threats to their own civilization finally was dented by the migrant crisis directly attributable to Arabo-Islamic barbarism. Our own failure under two administrations to defeat it represents the worst U.S. foreign policy failure since World War II. (The tragic loss of Vietnam served to contain the spread of totalitarian communism in Southeast Asia; our failure in the Middle East is spreading to Africa and risks the subversion of Europe that Soviet communism never achieved.)
Thus the “Brexit” movement represents more than its immediate objective, which is to save British sovereignty from the grasp of the soft tyranny of Brussels. Boris Johnson is altogether right to be outraged at the sheer gall of an American president telling the British people to vote for their own abolition. If the Obama administration does not retreat from an unseemly and insulting urge to side with the forces of Eurotyranny, American voices must be heard alongside those of Boris Johnson and his friends, reminding the English people that once again, the free world looks to them to stand against the odds and prevail.