Europe needs to call a halt before it’s too late

by Karl Müller

Fiction …

Let us start with a parable: The locomotive of a fully occupied train has fallen into the hands of a politically-fundamentalist suicide squad. They have blown up a railway bridge and are driving the train towards the abyss in full speed. The squad is following the creed of hypocritical prophets hiding their real goals. The goal is to let all passengers die together with the suicide candidates… but in order to avoid panic they have not been informed about it. All passengers should think, until the very end, that nothing serious will happen, that it was a normal ride. Still there are some passengers suspecting what is going to happen and they start speaking out. Some of the other passengers react defensively; they believe the promises of the railway company. This company has given itself an aura of absolute reliability, repeatedly declaring that such incidents could be excluded. There are also controversies among the passengers about what is going on and what needs to be done. Some are torn but still hope for a happy end. Sure help must be under way. Others are sure that there is imminent danger but they see no way to escape the catastrophe. Then there is an emergency brake on the train. But it carries a sign that only train officials are allowed to use it and that its usage is prohibited for passengers. Violations will be punished.
What should be done?

… and facts

US politics have reached a level of unpredictability that forces us to expect the worst. The US “civil war” has a devastating influence on US-American foreign politics. Recent examples are the US laws on tightened sanctions towards Russia, Iran and North Korea, the open economic warfare against European states with firms interested in normal relations with Russia and the blatant threats of war against North Korea. There does not seem to be a counterforce in US politics which is able to act.

The world has changed

In 2014, on the occasion of the breakout of World War I, Wolfgang Effenberger and Willy Wimmer gave their book the programmatic title “Return of the gamblers” [Wiederkehr der Hasardeure]. Indeed! But the new gamblers are operating in a world that has changed. This is one of the reasons why they are gamblers. They do not want to realise that the world has changed during the past 25 years – and that the dream of the “only superpower” (Brzezinski 1997) is over. What remains is a devastating military potential, intelligence agencies like octopuses, acting without qualms – and still devote vassals, mainly in Europe.
But even here the situation has become confusing. Even within the European Union ideas of governments regarding domestic and foreign politics are drifting apart. On the one hand this is connected with the highly-praised globalisation. The open and clandestine competition of states which see themselves as local officials of “their” financial and economic elite has increased substantially in sharpness and unscrupulousness. Peoples and politicians of the states that were deceived into the market-radical trap after 1990 have realised that all that glitters from Brussels is not gold. They are no longer willing to renounce basic elements of national sovereignty. And: in order to prevent an independent Europe, Anglo-Saxon forces are making use of the spirit of discord which will leave the EU intact as an institution (after all it prevents a true European formation of identity in an equal community of sovereign, free, democratic and constitutional states) but make sure that it will be too self-absorbed to be a real player in global politics.

Russia, China etc.

Then there are the states who really want to go their own way. Brzezinski had not taken them seriously in his book of 1997 about the US as the only superpower, looking for means to knock them off the global political stage. But he himself has realised later that this is not feasible. The striving of these states and cooperations of states for equal rights among all nations on earth in agreement with the UN Charter and international law has resulted in more and more responsible persons seeing the world in transition from a unipolar to a multipolar world.
But this transition is full of dangers coming mainly from the power which has hitherto considered itself as the only superpower and still expresses this strive for superiority in its strategic documents.

Why Europe is so important

Having a closer look at this strive for superiority we see that this power is in need of faithful vassals. Brzezinski has also seen this in 1997. He saw the EU, particularly France and Germany, complemented by Poland and Ukraine. This was meant to be the wedge towards the soft underbelly of Russia. The precision in following this script for years is still astonishing.
The US need the allegiance of the EU and its states in order to keep their domination and to lead the “war” against other states, a war stretching far beyond the usage of armies. Without the NATO, without the EU, deprived of the vassalage of European “elites” from politics, military, economy and society, the US would be forced to change their power and foreign politics. For many years it has now been an illusion to think that Europe had to pay the price in order to be protected against potential “enemies”. On the contrary: The close connection with the USA is now threatening Europe’s existence. Turning back is becoming the imperative for survival. Just imagine the US carrying their politics of confrontation with Russia too far, towards an open war, with the EU states and the European NATO states at their side. Then the complete destruction of Europe would be imminent. There is no point in pretending otherwise.
But if Europe said no to this confrontation with Russia, no to its further participation in it, no to a US hegemon… and yes to a multipolar world of states with equal rights – then this would be a very important step towards a global détente underlining the need for serious efforts of all parties towards peace and safety.

If Europe emancipated from the USA

The European “elites” are not yet prepared to emancipate from the US. Connections and obligations are still too strong. Still the trans-Atlantic networks are too influential. But projections based on an independent Europe are popping up more frequent, fuelled by the increasing realisation of the catastrophic internal state of the US, the fact that Europe is taken hostage for US-American interests, the realisation that this “alliance” is far from being a community of values and last but not least also with the continuous decline of this formerly so important superpower. There are examples in history after 1945. Think of General de Gaulle, of Willy Brandt’s Ostpolitik, the decision of Schröder’s government in 2003 to refuse participation in the Iraq war and to focus instead on a closer cooperation between Paris, Berlin and Moscow, the current Hungarian government’s courageous steps to rein in George Soros … and so forth.
Nobody demands the European states break their relationships with the US. But why shouldn’t it be an equal relationship among sovereign states like with any other state? It would be a blessing for the world and also for most people in the US if the requirements of the UN Charter and international law were fulfilled. There is no longer a justification for privileges for some states in the community of nations. The remains of the privileges of the victorious powers of World War II need to be discussed.

Europe needs a new “constitution”

Europe’s citizens have bad memories of a “Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe” – justifiably. But today it could be a different story. Maybe like this: The best heads of Europe, independent thinkers and fellow beings, convene to discuss a constitution for Europe and to propose a draft for all European citizens. The draft guarantees the sovereignty of all European states, declares Europe a neutral continent and proposes forms of cooperation on a liberal, constitutional and democratic basis. An extensive public discussion and finally a referendum in all European states could be the consequence. In the states where a majority of citizens has agreed to the proposal, the legislative is required to adopt all stipulations of the constitution into national law. Before, all European states have passed laws regarding the referendum and declared that they will make their citizens’ decisions the legal basis of their acting in a binding law. The “Charta of Paris” of November 1990 could be the basis of their work. Then the heads of states and governments of all OSCE states convened, declared the end of the Cold War and promised an age of peace and welfare, equality and cooperation for all. Just a few years later this declaration had faded to nothing. 27 years later we are facing a prospect of general wreckage.
Time is pressing. Europe should urgently reflect its own substance.    •