Prime minister Balkenende these days takes pleasure in comparing those Dutch citizens who consider voting 'no' against the European constitution with those responsible for letting Auschwitz happen. Secretary Donner of Justice thinks we'll have World War III if the constitition doesn't come through, in which case we'll be in a world of trouble. Especially, as one rather agitated reader so kindly put it in a recent email to me after seeing my pics of Margraten Cemetery, the USA won't come to help us this time. They'll nuke our capitals instead and be done with it once and for all.
Bad American tempers aside, David Rietveld (the one sane member of the Dutch Green Party) points out what has happened to countries that didn't join the European Union, such as Iceland, Switzerland and Norway. Not a lot of war there of late. It may have to do something with the fact that they're all fairly rich countries, either by facilitating tax refugees or because they possess vast natural resources, such as oil, or in case of Iceland, lots of fish and steam. (Yes, there's a market for steam. Just ask your local sauna.)
More fishing is out of the question. The European Union already saw to that before the constitution. Besides, you can only eat so much smoked mackerel. And there's really no need for another tax haven in the same continent. So the solution is simple. The Netherlands should invade Iran and make it into a province. Plenty of oil there, and we're already accustomed to large numbers of Arab-speaking foreigners in the country. Hell, we're used to bread and buttered Dutchies who don't speak the language. The province of Friesland is filled with them. And America would be so pleased about us taking care of the little nuclear problem that has presented itself in Iran, they'd probably allow us to open up a coffeeshop (Dutch style) inside the Capitol. Maybe even sell MDMA as well. No, that's pushing it.
Yes, let's have a referendum on war with Iran instead. It's only slightly less crazy than adopting the constitution, the cost will be negligible in comparison, and there's actually some promise of long-term yields from oil revenues. Plus, we'll finally have our very own Florida, a place that is warm enough to send our senior citizens without having to worry about their arthritis. Needless to say, the first civilian flight to Teheran after the Dutch tricolor waves everywhere in Persia will be filled with exactly these kind of sclerotic and grey-haired people: all European Union staff we can round up.