Since February 2009 , this blog and Huib's 3 other Euroblogs are together at:

- In Europa Zu Hause [DE]
- L'Europe Chez Soi [FR]
- At Home in Europe [EN]
- In Europa Thuis [NL]

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Europe in the US "Long War"

Comment today in The London Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Fighting the long war on the four-annual Strategic Defense Review of the Pentagon:
"European allies digesting his [Rumsfeld's] 92-page text are likely to be concerned by the likelihood of more pre-emptive attacks launched by Predator drones against suspected terrorists, killing innocents along the way. The document refers to the need to work with allies though Nato's post-9/11 experience shows that when the US is in the driving seat, it is very hard to get it to budge. Europeans now expanding their dangerous Afghan mission will need to make bigger efforts to wield the influence they should."
This statement is one to my heart. It is made, after having observed correctly:
"Are Osama bin Laden and co. truly on the same level as Hitler or Stalin? Elevating terrorism to the level of an ideology risks exaggerating the importance of a modus operandi - though the fear of an al-Qaida-type nuclear, chemical or biological attack cannot be avoided - and underplaying the need to tackle motivation. Above all is the danger that the concept of endless war will be self-perpetuating, a permanent recruiting sergeant for the jihadist cause. Root causes, it goes without saying, matter more than their symptoms, however menacing."
The concept of a quasi eternal war against "terrorism" should be rejected. As such. Struggle against terrorism, fanaticism, imperial pretensions, etc., is absolutely needed. But not by means of "war" exclusively. As shown in Iraq, war is counter-productive in this struggle, if it is used at the wrong moment at the wrong place and with mostly wrong conceptions.
And more specifically, THIS war, under THIS leadership has to be ended as soon as possible. What, if the American Democrats wake up, finally, out of their lethargy and declare "VICTORY" in the war against Al-Qaeda?
I am afraid, that my advice will not soon be followed by them. Although, it seems a very good one for them: Declaring VICTORY! cannot be considered as unpatriotic, and, taken apart Abu Ghraib etq., there is much they can say that they are proud of. And Bush-Cheney would be stripped of their imaginary extralegal powers, that are a venom in today's American society.

But, as The Guardian editorial comment indicates: "[Europeans] will need to make bigger efforts to wield the influence they should." A united Europe is at this moment the only power in the world, which may be able to rectify the disastrous US course as shown in the Pentagon document. The three main EU powers should co-ordinate more closely their international security policies and bring them under an EU umbrella. That would enable smaller EU countries to participate in it and prevent dangerous "go-it-alone" acts (as 'willing' coalition hirelings of the US, mostly), like we have seen from the Polish, the Dutch, the Danes, the Italians and the Spaniards. Only the Belgians seem to have understood this, ref. their jest at an European coalition in 2003 (the "Tervuren General Staff" - did anybody hear from it since?).
The Danish cartoon incidents have shown, that in the world, the EU is already considered as a bloc, where everybody is held responsible for the acts of one partner-country.
This should work in two ways: a. Individual countries are going to take into account, that their lonely cowboy acts may have repercussions on the whole EU, and, b. Greater European powers are leaving their traditional selfish concept of defense and security, in order to create a maximum security and a common intelligent policy towards the "near foreign countries" (i.e. the Southern-, South-eastern and the Eastern regions).

Fiat Lux!

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