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Debates Forum

  1. 14 Jun '10 04:13
    the article says "the last remaining federal powers" are "justice, health and social security".

    no defense?

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703389004575304073383864524.html?mod=WSJ_latestheadlines
  2. Standard member spruce112358
    Democracy Advocate
    14 Jun '10 05:34
    Originally posted by zeeblebot
    the article says "the last remaining federal powers" are "justice, health and social security".

    no defense?

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703389004575304073383864524.html?mod=WSJ_latestheadlines
    No defense. Most European nations believe that defense spending is no longer necessary.

    I was amazed to learn how universal the view seems to be -- a kind of cultural sneer at anyone who would degrade themselves by picking up a weapon.
  3. 14 Jun '10 06:04
    Originally posted by zeeblebot
    the article says "the last remaining federal powers" are "justice, health and social security".

    no defense?

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703389004575304073383864524.html?mod=WSJ_latestheadlines
    Defence is certainly still federal, the wsj just forgot to mention that.
  4. 14 Jun '10 06:13
    I'm also quite surprised at how eager foreign media are in calling the end of Belgium. The party that won the election is indeed a separatist party, with the stated goal of Flemish independence in the long run, however, they have also publicly stated that this isn't their short term goal. It might be possible that a complete breakdown in the negotiations on the state reform might lead to a break-up, but neither side is stupid enough to let it come to that. (I hope)
  5. 14 Jun '10 08:59
    Most Belgians don't want a seperation into two states. However, some kind of reform of the government structure is needed, as the current system creates various conflicts of interest.
  6. 14 Jun '10 13:06
    Originally posted by zeeblebot
    the article says "the last remaining federal powers" are "justice, health and social security".

    no defense?

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703389004575304073383864524.html?mod=WSJ_latestheadlines
    How about speed bumps for the panzers?
  7. 14 Jun '10 15:15
    that didn't work so well last time.
  8. Standard member Scheel
    <blank>
    14 Jun '10 20:25
    Originally posted by spruce112358
    No defense. Most European nations believe that defense spending is no longer necessary.

    .
    Tell that to our soldiers ?
  9. 14 Jun '10 20:28
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Most Belgians don't want a seperation into two states. However, some kind of reform of the government structure is needed, as the current system creates various conflicts of interest.
    Certainly true in Wallonia, and also in Flanders. Most people I know that voted for N-VA aren't separatists. Their votes mainly come from disillusionment with the other centre-right party, the Christian Democrats. However, there is a lot of popular support for a state reform and apparently most people think the N-VA is the best party to push that through.

    Fun fact, even though a centre-right, Flemish nationalist party won the elections in Flanders, there is a good chance that the next prime minister will be a gay socialist from the French side of the country (which would be the first time since the late 70's that the prime minister isn't from Flanders)
  10. Standard member Scheel
    <blank>
    14 Jun '10 20:29
    Originally posted by Barts
    I'm also quite surprised at how eager foreign media are in calling the end of Belgium. The party that won the election is indeed a separatist party, with the stated goal of Flemish independence in the long run, however, they have also publicly stated that this isn't their short term goal. It might be possible that a complete breakdown in the negotiations on th ...[text shortened]... m might lead to a break-up, but neither side is stupid enough to let it come to that. (I hope)
    add to that that the seperatists have no credible plan for how independence would play out in real life
  11. 14 Jun '10 20:57
    Originally posted by Scheel
    add to that that the seperatists have no credible plan for how independence would play out in real life
    That would be Vlaams Belang and maybe a small portion of N-VA. The rest of N-VA probably did think twice about it, right about when they decided it would become a 'long-term goal' instead of short-term.
  12. Standard member spruce112358
    Democracy Advocate
    15 Jun '10 11:12
    Originally posted by Scheel
    Tell that to our soldiers ?
    I don't have to. European liberals have proved to their satisfaction that wars involving them no longer occur.

    Defense budgets are used to pay for healthcare and government pensions.
  13. 15 Jun '10 11:40
    Originally posted by spruce112358
    I don't have to. European liberals have proved to their satisfaction that wars involving them no longer occur.

    Defense budgets are used to pay for healthcare and government pensions.
    So how come "European liberals" sent their soldiers to fight wars in recent times in Serbia, Iraq, Afghanistan, ...?
  14. 18 Jun '10 04:35
    Originally posted by zeeblebot
    the article says "the last remaining federal powers" are "justice, health and social security".

    no defense?

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703389004575304073383864524.html?mod=WSJ_latestheadlines
    http://article.nationalreview.com/436145/the-very-model-of-a-modern-major-generalist/mark-steyn?page=2

    One thinks of the insistence a few years ago by Louis Michel, then Belgian foreign minister, that the so-called European Rapid Reaction Force “must declare itself operational without such a declaration being based on any true capability.” As even the Washington Post drily remarked, “Apparently in Europe this works.”
  15. Standard member spruce112358
    Democracy Advocate
    18 Jun '10 16:53
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    So how come "European liberals" sent their soldiers to fight wars in recent times in Serbia, Iraq, Afghanistan, ...?
    Not a lot. It's for show to deflect criticism. Imagine dying in a war to 'deflect criticism.' Talk about a wimpy epitaph.

    The European military will atrophy and when it shrinks enough the Turks will do what Turks ALWAYS do -- attack Vienna. Serbia will give them free passage in return for Kosovo.