What will Federica Mogherini be remembered for? Admit it, you don’t even know who she is now, let alone how her EU political eulogy will be written. The former socialist foreign minister of Italy five years ago took office as the EU’s foreign policy chief, heading up a 1bn dollar a year department, which, apart from spouting the views of the EU on international affairs, actually oversaw the management of over 100 EU ‘diplomats’ around the world.
You’re already bored. And this is the EU’s real problem, which the new EU chief, Josep Borrell will struggle with. EU foreign policy is deeply boring, largely because it is based on a series of fantasies held together by eurocrats and rank federalists that the EU has a policy in the first place. And is going to exercise it.
Yet why would you employ someone so lightweight as ‘Moggie’ in the first place, if the EU were serious about its delusional views about being an international player? In five years of travelling the world and shaking sweaty hands with its despots, Mogherini is not going to be burdened with embarrassing accolades, or statutes built for her achievements as, even die hard, grovelling euro hacks in Brussels, who are happy to be spoon fed their news every day by EU propagandists, struggle to even write a single article itemising what she has pulled off. Naddah.
In fact, it’s worse than that and Borrell, a man remembered for being the European parliament president who sent droves of MEPs to sleep when he spoke, will be only too aware that this job comes with one overriding handicap: it’s fake.
The best kept secret in Europe is that the EU foreign policy chief is not meant to actually achieve anything on the foreign policy circuit, expect oversee the rampant distribution of billions of euros of taxpayers money to African dictators, who are happy to have those huge signs erected which read “this road was build with the assistance of….” in exchange for the EU to look the other way while they enjoy an afternoon’s genocide. You get the idea.
And you can blame the Brits. We started this clever little trick of sending to Brussels Catherine Ashton (a Tony Blair crony) to take up the job as the first ever EU foreign policy chief (after the Lisbon Treaty unveiled its new bold frontiers of taking on the world. Oh yes it did). And Ashton, a woman so remarkably gifted at being so ungifted did a brilliant job at doing nothing and achieving zero. That was the idea. That is what the nefarious plan was which suited both London and the EU. It was almost as though the EU bosses met with David Cameron in smoke filled rooms and said “we need someone instantly forgettable, who can’t even tie their own shoe laces, has no public speaking skills whatsoever and is as thick as two short planks” and Cameron replied “for the new job of foreign policy supremo? I’ve got just the person from the Labour back benches!”.
And so the tradition continued with Mogherini who has taken uselessness to a whole new level. In the Middle East, Netanyahu pissed over her, with their relationship reaching a whole new level when just recently she asked if he was in Israel on a certain week to meet her, and he replied “naaagghh” without even offering an alternative date. This came after years of Moggie making herself look stupid and ineffectual on just about everything from illegal settlers, to Palestinians’ rights not to be bombed cos the IDF was bored one day, right through to really important stuff like stickers on shit made in Israel. Or the occupied bit. Whatever.
But wait. There was more. In Syria Mogherini really, really, really wanted to be relevant. Really. Years passed though with no one taking her pathetic attempts at conflict resolution seriously before she could take it no more and threw the ‘i’m about to go mental’ switch when no one would take her calls and journalists in the region never actually got around to doing those high profile long hand pieces about her. Our Moggie, bless her, came up with a master plan. The EU, stop laughing, is going to buy off both sides of the war in Syria. Oh yes it is. We have lorry loads of cash and jihadists and Assad are welcome to it for a lifetime of jollies in Dubai and your chicks for free. Hell, we’ll even let you take it to Cyprus and buy EU citizenship if you agree to leave your baby ‘Klash’ or M4 behind. Maybe it was the fine tuning. But it just didn’t come off in the end. Perhaps the boffins in Brussels were worried that both sides might just use the cash on cocaine and Lebanese whores in super nightclubs in Jounieh and order more weapons from Uncle Sam. Details.
Undeterred, she was going to make her mark in Syria. And there was only one thing left to fix the war and show the world what the EU really was. A conference in Brussels with all the key players was to be organised, which would be called, wait for it, The Syria Conference. A conference! With people talking about Syria! And journalists, who had been especially shipped in from 25 meters across the road camped in Kittie Oshea’s Irish pub, facing the new shiny European Commission. Amazing.
But never mind. There are more wars to fund, er, sorry i mean find, surely?
Much could be achieved in Libya. It had all the markings of low hanging fruit and the EU could do great work there. A problem with a murdered dictator, who we all miss as he did all the dirty laundry for Blair and Sarkozy – from funding their re election campaigns to fixing Lockerbie and new energy deals – and a raging war which Brussels could either fix, back (both sides?), or provide assistance in the form of humanitarian aid, right? We’re good to go. So what’s the plan Mogherini? British gun boats should, under a UN mandate, be positioned off the Libyan coast and blow out of the water any trafficking vessels which try to leave for milk and honey Europe. I’m not making this stuff up. This was an idea Mogherini offered as a solution to the “refugee problem”. Murdering them. Dead Africans can’t lodge cases in the European Court of Human rights, or do Euronews soundbites, right?
But faster than you could say ‘Amnesty International press release’ annoyingly, a number of Africa experts during her tenure wrote studies which actually proved that the flow of Africa immigrants to Libya – where they were habitually robbed, raped and made slaves – actually came as a direct result as the EU propping up some of the most brutal dictators in modern history in Sub Saharan Africa with ‘restructuring aid’. The exodus from these countries has grown in recent years as has, indeed, the amount of cash being shovelled their way to despots like the President of Central African Republic who received a staggering…what for it…TWO BILLION euros following a conference in Brussels in 2016 which Moggie chaired.
So that’s two billion for the new government which took power in a bloody coup, which it needs to rebuild the country. The one it destroyed. Yep, you’re keeping up. Good.
But Libya, which is in many ways a product of failed western policy, is in the middle of a brutal war, backed by a number of international players, which shifted gear recently because of EU foreign policy. Or lack of it. Another one of Moggie’s failures is not being able to unite the EU on Libya. Hesitating from when her own office gave the green light for EU member states to cultivate their own ideas and policies, now we have the mother of all nightmares as Russia takes advantage of the vacuum – repeating more or less the same move from Syria where Obama’s red lines only produced red faces when his gutless policies imploded – and is showing the whole world what EU foreign policy really is: a bad idea. Like giving military aid to Al Shabab.
EU member states have entirely opposing views about who to back – the expired yet UN-backed President in Tripoli who is really nothing more than a terrorists’ puppet but has the support of Italy (as well as terror group Muslim Brotherhood and its backers Qatar) verses Macron’s man Haftar, who has the backing of the US, Egypt and the UAE, not to mention now Russia. It must be very confusing for Mogherini, especially being Italian.
The Iran Deal. If we are to believe the amusing anecdotes about Mogherini being so excited about it in 2015 that she squabbled with Catherine Ashton when the latter insisted on turning up to the inauguration photo shoot – as Mogherini claimed to be the big shot who pulled it off – then by the same logic is it not a failure of hers as well? A new EU payment mechanism which allows western companies to trade and even buy oil in Iran, bypassing the US banking system? And how are these firms supposed to operate? In secret like intel agencies? Hardly surprising it’s a flop, like everything that Moggi put her mark on, it turned to dust. The anecdote which haunts her is actually the one about John Kerry flying to Paris after getting the green light from Iran that they’re ready to sign – and in his excitement, after sharing the news with both the French and British foreign ministers, it’s believed that he forgot to call Mogherini in Brussels. The Iran Deal. The one which didn’t have provisions in it in case one major player backed out, which was designed to stop the Iranians developing weapons-grade uranium? If it has an EU flag on it, and Moggie’s daft smiling face, then it’s going to do exactly the opposite of what it was intended for. Today, Iran is developing uranium.
And how haunting Mogherini is her cover up of EU aid money going amiss in Lebanon, which despite preposterous letters defaming the journalist who uncovered the scam after a one year investigation, refuses to go away, with a new group of MEPs in the parliament baying for her blood. Mogherini’s ducking and diving to weave her way out of the scandal is out in the open now and something close to 100 million dollars in total of waste management projects – which scientists in Lebanon link to the rise in cancer rates – can no longer be swept under the carpet.
The list of scandals, fuckups and hilarious anecdotes of Mogherini is endless. It really does just go on and on and is a stark reminder of the level of feral experimentation the EU is prepared to go to, to cling on to this idea that it is a big player. But surely, those who herald this lame idea are weary of the Carl Marx comment about not wanting to be a member of a club which would have him as a member. If the EU was really serious about foreign policy it wouldn’t give this post to such under achievers. And now it is taking this idea even further. Now it is giving ‘jobs for the boys’ in its mind set as, post brexit, it has a new challenge: to make the EU a much bigger, relevant player in the world with an EU army and a much bigger budget. This utterly delusional idea is not contested by a number of eurosceptic countries as, I would argue, they are playing the same game that Cameron was playing by sending a buffoon to Brussels in the first place. Borrell is not an achiever. What we have learnt from Britain exiting the EU on January 31st is that the euro elite in Brussels has not learnt the lessons of Maastricht nor Lisbon treaties which both gave the EU more power, but in the process made Britain less relevant and more a peripheral member. The EU’s answer to Brexit is to centralise power even more and to plough ahead and make Lisbon a working example, rather than just creating 130 ‘missions’ in many of the world’s hotspots. Even when you look at how Borrell was appointed, it doesn’t bode well.
Mogherini’s appointment came about through a corrupt and murky deal struck between the political blocks in the European parliament who wanted a socialist from a Mediterranean county. The tradition remains as Borrell is a carbon copy, but the 72 year old is also one of the MEPs themselves. He’s one of them. And although outspoken on Russia, a supporter of Iran and a Trump basher he redefines the word ‘lightweight’ in this area. The EU press hounds will make little of his insider trading scandal as Brussels is a Mecca of bent politicians taking advantage of its immunity laws anyway. Curb your enthusiasm. He’s going to be Europe’s grumpy old man whose rants amount to nothing accept the ridicule of Trump and further proof that the EU is afraid of its own shadow in the area of foreign policy.