To the European Union: Your Day Still May Come, But Not the Enlightened Utopia You’re Hoping For
All of the blather about principled democratic enlightenment and the unfettered movement of people across open, welcoming borders in an idyllic world of fraternal co-existence and order can no longer disguise the rot from within. Western Europe is in a state of chaos, and no amount of bloviating from its cadre of High Commissioners can alter the state of discontent brewing in the cauldron of “Federated Europe.”
The ultimate withdrawal of Great Britain from the EU, resurgence of the European Right-Wing on the Continent, and the election of Donald Trump to the Presidency of the United States has cast a pall on the European experiment of an “enlightened, one-world order of peace and prosperity for all.” None of this has happened in a vacuum.
To better understand this frightening phenomenon, it is necessary that Americans first understand what the European Union is and what its values and policies represent to the United States of America. To begin with, it is about European power to counter and ultimately displace American power. The European Union is well on its way to becoming the world’s largest federal superstate, complete with one legal system, one currency, one police force, and even its own national anthem.
Soon after the destruction of World War II came to an end, the countries of France, West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg signed the Schuman Agreement. The intent was to pool coal and steel production. It was also an attempt to prevent centuries old rivals from ever making war against each other again, especially France and Germany.
This revolutionary idea planted the seeds for advancement of a European age of peace and reconciliation, and largely through the American economic assistance provided under the Marshall Plan, former European antagonists were able to rise up and rebuild after the carnage let loose upon civilization by the erstwhile barbaric Nazi German regime. Through successive decades of cooperation, Europe realized a greater measure of economic and social integration with achievements like the establishment of the European Single market, the launching of the Euro currency and establishment of the open border policy amongst EU nations as set forth in the Schengen Agreement.
Today, the European Union governs the World’s biggest economy. Its present 28 members (including Great Britain), which combined generates a whopping 14 trillion Euros in goods and services, surpasses the economy of the U.S. Since the signing of the Treaty of Rome in 1957, which established the European Economic Community (EEC), Europe, through whatever name, has sought to establish a countervailing weight to American dominance.
The name European Union came into vogue in the 1990’s, and the 15 nations it represented was vastly expanded between 2004 and 2007 with the addition of 13 more. At the recent commemoration festivities of the 60th Anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome, European Commission President, Jean-Claude Junker, no bosom friend of the United States, was quoted saying:
“We do solemnly renew our vows and reaffirm our commitment to our undivided and indivisible union. But we do not do so out of nostalgia. We do so only because by staying united can we rise to the challenges we face together. Only by staying united can we pass on to future generations a more prosperous, a more social and a safer Europe.”
While this is a not-so-veiled way of saying that America’s time has come and passed, the era of European hegemony, if it is to endure, must accept certain realities with respect to the mantle of leadership it seeks to usurp. Let’s examine how building of the new world order on the present European Utopian assumptions will be like building a skyscraper on a pool of quicksand.
Europe has been getting a free ride on the backs of the American taxpayer for the last 70 years with respect to defense arrangements. Although the NATO alliance in theory represents a formidable bulwark against the threat of aggression against all comers, the truth is that the United States contributes 3.7% of GDP, or $582 billion dollars on the military, which is 3 times more than all of the other NATO members combined.
Only 4 of the 28-member European nations pay the targeted 2.0% of GDP required by NATO guidelines, and these nations are Greece, the U.K., Poland and Estonia. The United States is NATO, and has always been NATO. The European Union cannot have it both ways. Its members cannot continue to provide increased largesse to the maintenance of their “nanny” states, where people are cared for from cradle to grave and leave the United States to bear the burden of financially upholding the North Atlantic alliance.
How does Europe propose on the basis of this pathetic model to be co-equal with the United States in repelling Russian and Chinese aggression, if it ever seriously believed it would have to? While Europe pays lip service to taking its defense arrangements and responsibilities more seriously, the hard core commitment to increase the percent of GDP for Alliance military purposes is pitifully lacking in two countries in particular–the two countries that are the powerhouses of Europe. Germany and France contribute approximately 1.19% and 1.78% respectively, as opposed to countries like Poland and Estonia, whose contributions are at the 2.0% benchmark in Poland’s case, and 2.16% for Estonia. This is clearly unacceptable with respect to the former, and President Trump is well disposed to being harshly critical in evaluating any kind of lopsided arrangement in this regard.
In its essential political structure, the EU is a forum of binding treaties affecting its members like the federal government making laws for the United States. Instead of states however, the EU is legislating and overseeing 28 countries of different languages, histories, cultures and economic development. The fissures of dissent and suspicion even among so noble a fraternity are never far from the surface.
Probably no greater issue has tested the veracity of Junker’s statement with respect to European unity than the events of the past two and a half years concerning the massive and unchecked immigration of Muslims from war-torn countries like Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Libya into the heart of Western Europe. The size and scale of this immigration equals, if not surpasses, the scope of displaced populations at the end of World War II.
Largely the result of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s desire to replace an aging work force, as well as an attempt to generate kudos for Germany as reparation for 55,000,000 military and civilian deaths as the result of the Nazis, not to say anything of the extermination of 6,000,000 European Jews, upwards of 1,000,000 Muslim immigrants have been given refuge in the German Federal Republic.
A lethal example of the naivety of Europe’s enlightened triumph of compassionate democracy, Merkel’s Germany has been reeling from a series of brutal rapes, murders and security related issues because of the incompatibility of absorbing huge numbers of Muslims into Western European culture, who neither possess traditions respectful of democratic institutions nor accept “Judeo-Christian” ethics. Rape and defilement of women have become the new normal; Christian religious practice the new enemy.
France has fared far worse, where numerous and often deadly attacks have plagued the French people in the wake of that country’s invasion by hordes of Islamic refugees. Most worrisome in the wake of this continued onslaught into Europe is the likelihood that significant numbers of refugees from Muslim countries are in fact hardened Jihadis, awaiting the opportunity to export the blood fanaticism of ISIS in their ongoing war with the West. To be sure, the Brexit movement was fueled not by the London metropolitan worshipers of diversity, but by the man in the Midlands, in the North of England, areas where entire towns and villages have been totally Islamized.
What the enlightened European bureaucrats only grudgingly acknowledge is that there is hardly a consensus among the member nations of the so-called “united” European Union as to what the correct response to the immigrant dilemma should be. Some nations, acting in defiance of imposed quotas dictated by Brussels have closed borders, reasserting those dirty words of “national sovereignty.” The possibility of future Brexit-like votes in more than a handful of countries: France, Hungary, Austria, Italy and some of the Nordic countries is far from fantasy. The Brussels administrators should not grow too fond of their salaries and pensions.
In the final analysis, the age of Europe leaves much to be desired. While it is indeed noble that it seeks to refashion itself as the arbiter of the highest of civilized and humanitarian norms, extraordinary democratic example, and beacon light for the socialized order of benign government involved in the most minute details of the lives of its citizens, it should well take heed of its own tumultuous past, and contemplate its present exuberant arrogance.
Europe and the world it gave us was responsible for centuries of bitter secular and religious warfare, slavery, class warfare, disease, pestilence and horrendous World Wars resulting in the deaths of countless millions of people. To the Elitist hypocrites of Brussels and to the European Union, you accuse President Donald Trump of racism and bullying because he has had the courage to stand up for national sovereignty and the values and principles that made the United States the greatest leader-nation of the world, unparalleled in human history. Yet in your own midst, you have Marine Le Pen, Viktor Orbin, Jaroslaw Kaczynski and Kristian Thuleson Dahl tugging hard on your heels.
Think long and hard Mr. Junker. Your shoes will have to be as big as your mouth if you ever expect Europe to be the leader of the pack!
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