Sunday, September 05, 2004

The Way of the Peacemakers

Unilateralism: one corner of the globe trying to impose upon the rest home-grown values that have served its interests. Long-standing notions of peace and war, sovereignty and national identity, justification and justice, turned on their heads for the sake of a short-term security. The U.S. in Iraq? Nope, try post-modern Europe.

The potential models for post-war Europe, even up to 1989, were intended to keep Germany weak. When the Berlin Wall came down, German unification was opposed by many European politicians, including Margaret Thatcher. The fear of a resurgent German nationalism, and thus European war, has always been an unspoken motivation for the European project. To fulfil this aim, European integration must progress to the point where Germany (and therefore any European country) can no longer wage war against another European state.

Looking at European defence budgets, the idea of a war in Western Europe might seem amusing. However, a look at history shows that the last 60 years have been the quietest in a long time; Europe has been at war with itself for centuries. Apparently, the chosen means of preventing another Franco-German war is to dissolve the national interests of European states – hence the disdain of Chirac, Fischer and so many other European politicians at America acting in its own interest in Iraq. American unilateralism is thus an affront to the world of Kant’s perpetual peace Europe is trying to create.