|This article appears in the March 21, 2008 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
NO TO EUROPE AS AN EMPIRE!
The Militarization of the EU
Must Be Stopped
by Helga Zepp-LaRouche
[PDF version of this article]
Mrs. Zepp-LaRouche, the chairwoman of the Civil Rights Solidarity Movement (BüSo) in Germany, issued this statement on March 14. It has been translated from German, and subheads added.
The attempt by European governments to get the Lisbon Treaty ratified in a rush by their parliaments, without the population noticing that each nation's statehood and the remains of their sovereignty will disappear into a supranational dictatorship, is only one aspect of this unbelievable scandal. At the same time, the European Union would be changed into a military alliance and closely integrated with NATO, which for its part, would be transformed and used as for interventions all over the world, under all possible circumstances. The planned integration of the EU into an imperial strikeforce must, for every peace-loving citizen, provide a fundamental motivation for us to exercise the right of resistance secured in the Basic Law's Article 20, Section 4while we still can!
The first hearing in the plenum of the Bundestag, on March 13, with less than one-tenth of the parliamentarians present, resembled the theater of the absurd more than a serious debate on the EU Treaty, which threatens to totally change the legal order of Europe. The Sophists of ancient Athens would go green with envy if they could have heard the representatives of the CDU/CSU, SPD, FDP, and the Greens talking about "global challenges," "European credibility," and "preventive conflict solution." There was no word on the panic in the financial markets because of the dramatic dollar-collapse, the collapse of several hedge funds on the same day, or a reflection of how the EU Treaty would have an impact on dealing with the possibility of systemic crisis.
How dangerous the militarization of the EU, through the Lisbon Treaty, is, and its planned integration with NATO, should be totally clear, if you look back at the changes that are under discussion in NATO itself. Among these are the proposed changes of the NATO statutes, which impose majority-rule, exactly the same thing as the right of veto by individual states which is being eliminated under the EU Treaty. The Treaty provides that the defense policy of the member states must be compatible with NATO, that the Solidarity clauses of the EU mean simply the same as NATO's, that the two institutions are melded into one imperial power, and that no member state could resist any military interventions.
Report of the Five Generals
Even though this is not yet the official policy of NATO, one must still take seriously the direction in which certain neoconservative circles want to alter the alliance. Under the title, "Towards a Grand Strategy for an Uncertain World," five retired generals have published a new strategic concept for NATO, in which a new defense structure of the United States, the EU, and NATO would meet six fundamental challenges: population growth (!); climate change; energy security; the increase of irrationality, and the decline of reason (!); the weakening of national-states and world institutions such as the UN, the EU, and NATO; and "the dark side of globalization," which includes international terrorism, organized crime, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the misuse of financial resources or energy control, migration, HIV/AIDS, and SARS. The paper, which is signed by the five former chiefs of staff, Dr. Klaus Naumann (Germany), Field Marshall Lord Inge (U.K.), Gen. John Shalikashvili (U.S.A.), Adm. Jacques Lanxade (France), and Gen. Henk van den Bremen (the Netherlands), is an extremely alarming document.
In an eclectic amalgam of truth and deception, the authors describe a world full of putative dangers and problems, in which the celebrity cult around pop stars must be suffered as much as population growth and climate change. In essence, the paper is in the very best tradition of the notorious NSSM 200 document, which Henry Kissinger had prepared in 1974 as National Security Advisor in the Nixon Administration, and in which, essentially, a global claim was made on strategic resources. The section on the misuse of the exertion of financial influence, so-called "rogue aid," by, for example, China in Africa, is outrageous. China's investments in infrastructure, railroads, hydroelectric dams, telecommunication systems, etc., for which it would receive raw materials and energy, would supposedly undermine the interests of the West. To that, one can only say that if the West itself had helped Africa in the last 60 years, this problem would not even exist in the same form.
In reality, from the standpoint of the authors of the document, the world is represented as a Hobbesian nightmare, in which one must now somehow, with malthusian and geopolitical categories, assert a claim to power for a transformed NATO, which must always remain open for further expansion. The authors argue according to the utopian doctrine of the "Revolution in Military Affairs," when they speak of as a "new principle of minimizing damage and victory through paralysis," through which the "surgical application of all instruments of power" may be appropriate.
In Chapter 3, in the section called "Principles," it says: "Simultaneously observing proportionality and damage limitation will become extremely difficult in cases where the use of nuclear weapons must be considered. The first use of nuclear weapons must remain in the quiver of escalation as the ultimate instrument to prevent the use of weapons of mass destruction, in order to avoid truly existential dangers. At first glance, it may appear disproportionate; but taking into account the damage it might prevent, it could well be proportionate."
This explicit demand for the possibility of a nuclear first strike, as simply the final escalation in a "quiver of escalation," blurs the fundamental distinction between nuclear and traditional weapons systems, as it has been applied according to the policy of nuclear deterrence; it ceases to apply. Thus, an attack with nuclear weapons has become thinkable, as an attack by so-called "clean mini-nukes" has already been argued for by the utopian military faction. But in addition to the nightmare scenario which an assymetric global war would develop into under these conditions, there is yet another, totally different, consideration. Namely, the question of whether the propagation of a nuclear first strike does not violate Paragraph 80 of the Criminal Code and the UN Charter, Chapter 1, paragraph 2, and possibly be considered collective punishment.
International law still applies, but if this new NATO strategy should ever become reality, then it would be put in the archives. The authors speak, as does Tony Blair, directly of the post-Westphalian world. Since the Peace of Westphalia established the international law of nations, this means in plain language: a "post-international-law world," where, above all, the principle of national sovereignty is no longer recognized. And thus, in the third chapter, in the section called "Elements," it says, that a new deterrence would be necessary, which would convey a single unambiguous message to all enemies: There is not, and never will be, any place where you "can feel safe; a relentless effort will be made, to pursue you and deny you any options you might develop to inflict damage upon us." There will be no fig leaf large enough to conceal the true intentions behind "preventive military operations based on humanitarian grounds."
Solana Provokes the Russians
Regardless of whether military sources are proven correct, that this paper by the five generals will be discussed at the upcoming NATO summit in Bucharest, unfortunately it cannot be dismissed as the morbid fantasy of Dr. Strangeloves. For already in the past week, EU commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner and EU foreign policy spokesman Javier Solana, presented an official EU paper, that directly took up some of the theses of the strategy paper. It is about the ostensible implications of climate change for the security policy of the EU, and in the same breath demands a new strategic concept for NATO.
In the Solana paper, climate change is identified as a "threat multiplier," which, for example, would intensify the conflict over strategic raw materials in the Arctic, where the melting of the polar ice cap would open up new waterways and trade routes. The London Guardian, in a report highlighting how the content of the two papers coincides, asserted that tension is rising between Russia and NATO member Norway, over the large oil and gas deposits under the ice on Spitzbergen.
The Solana paper immediately resulted in a flood of commentaries in over 50 Russian media. Characteristic was the point of view of the economic news agency RBC Daily, in whose report with the banner headline, "European Union prepares to battle the Russian Federation over the Arctic," the Russian political analyst Dmitri Yevstafyev is quoted: "Unlike similar positions, previously stated by European and American experts, this is an official document. It is the first official EU declaration that there exist points of antagonism with Russia."
RBC quotes another expert, Alexander Yakuba of CrossMediaCommunications, who surmises that the U.S.A. could attempt to separate Greenland (the only EU territory with an Arctic coastline) from Denmark, in a Kosovo scenario. RBC writes further: "It is worth noting that the author of the report, Javier Solana, is a former NATO Secretary General. He is not a novice in threatening Europe or advocating solutions for various problems by force. Suffice it to recall the role he played in the decision to intervene with force in the civil war in the former Yugoslavia. Accordingly, his statements can be taken as an attempt to influence the situation on the continent in favor of anti-Russian forces. And that means, above all, in the interest of the moving and directing power within the North Atlantic Alliancethe United States."
Even though the reference does not grasp the complexity of the influence of the British Empire in both the United States and Europe, and it were better to refer to a new U.S.-EU-NATO empire, the message has still been received: The EU is placing itself in an antagonistic relationship to Russia. Like the Solana paper, in general, the Lisbon Treaty and the new NATO strategy paper of the five generals will harden the impression in Russia, China, India, and other nations, that ultimately no difference exists between NATO's eastward expansion and the enlargement of the EU, but rather that both are part of an encirclement strategy, above all in relation to Russia and China. The Russian government had also consequently assessed the over-hasty recognition of Kosovo by the EU as the beginning of the destruction of an international order emerging for hundreds of yearsprecisely the order based on international law, which had emanated from the Peace of Westphalia.
The NATO Summit
It is interesting in this connection, and to be regarded as positive, that German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier is now campaigning for a new version of Ostpolitik, as it had been championed at the time of the Cold War. However, the question is, what shall be the substance of this new Ostpolitik? And does such an experienced foreign affairs politician and diplomat as Steinmeier, who, at the same time, makes himself into the advocate of the fastest possible ratification of the EU Treaty, really not see the implication of the merger of the EU and NATO? Even though Germany and France are half-heartedly pulling the emergency brake, and have argued against putting the admission of Georgia and Ukraine on the agenda of the NATO Summit in Bucharest in April, in order, as a German diplomat said, not to worsen even further the already very tense relations with Moscow since the declaration of the independence of Kosovo, that does not end the policy aimed at confrontation.
An important topic for this NATO Summit, to which the outgoing President Putin is also invited, will be the situation and course of action in Afghanistan. While U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, just like Gen. Klaus Naumann (ret.), urges that Germany should deploy Federal Armed Forces troops into the south of Afghanistan in this war, which is lost under present conditions, Putin has made a sensational proposal: that Russia could participate in the fight against the Talibana proposal which can scarcely be rejected, in view of the desperate situation there on the part of NATO, without this raising the most unpleasant questions.
Another proposal is appropriate to the overall situation, namely that of Lt. Col. Jürgen Rose, who, one year ago, made a name for himself with his resistance to the Tornado attack aircraft deployment in Afghanistan. In view of the complete failure of military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere, he argues that one should take note of the not-so-glorious end of a defense alliance. The definitive collapse of NATO would mean a unique opportunity for a more peaceful world.
In the face of an ever stormier collapse of the world financial system, in which the depreciation of the dollar to historic lows, collapsing hedge funds, a credit crunch which has lasted for eight months, and rising hyperinflation are only predicates, the attempt by the EU and NATO to merge into an imperial monster must be stopped under all circumstances.
It is obvious that the financial oligarchy, dominated by the thinking of the British empire, has no lesser goal than to throw the entire world into chaos. To that purpose belongs the encirclement policy against Russia, along with the current obvious provocations against China, with the intention of ruining the Olympic games there, as well as the massive interference into the internal affairs of India and Africa. It must be clear to every thinking human being, that continuing on this course, which may include immediate new wars, such as one against Iran, would lead sooner rather than later to a world war.
Therefore, the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, which is an integral component of this imperial policy, must be stopped and ultimately abandoned. The Bundestag is challenged to immediately establish the rules so that a popular decision can be made on the EU Treaty, preferably at the same time as a referendum in all the European nations.
If we can stop the world from being thrown into a new dark age of depression, chaos, and war, then we must put on the agenda the question of a new financial architecture, a New Bretton Woods system, and a global New Dealnamely, the construction of the Eurasian Land-Bridge as the kernel for reconstruction of the world economy.
We do not need the paranoid Hobbesian image of man, which lies at the foundation of the strategy paper of the five retired generals, according to which man is misconceived as being a wolf toward his fellow man. And we should abandon the malthusian and geopolitical vision of the world, which follows from this bestial image of man. We should abandon a policy of nuclear first-strike, because it represents a kind of thinking for which, a good 60 years ago in Germany, people were brought before the Nuremberg Tribunal.
Today, more than ever, we need a reaffirmation of the principle of the Peace of Westphalia. And even more, we need love for mankind, and the idea of international community, which, through a universal image of man links us together, which is worthy of the best traditions of the great thinkers of all cultures. Beethoven and Schiller belong to that tradition, as well as Confucius, Vernadsky, or the philosophers of the Vedic scripture. We don't need to debate whether the chorus of Beethoven's Ninth Sympathy should be the anthem of the European Union, but we should concern ourselves instead about whether our humanity is worthy of Beethoven and Schiller!
 Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union, Social Democratic Party, Free Democratic Party. All notes are from the editors.
 The West German government's policy of détente with Eastern Europe, which began in 1963, during the Willy Brandt Administration.