Friday, March 24, 2006

The Lost Continent

Commentary by Martin Kelly
January 20, 2005

The sins of the neoconservatives are hard to count. To use the words of the old Church, they are hardened in sin, so steeped in the values of aggression, denunciation, intolerance, imperialism, pecculence, propaganda and torture that the immediate future of America under its current ruling class seems very bleak indeed.

However, of all the enemies the neos have made, there is perhaps just one that deserves their scorn – the European Union. Their opposition, of course, does not stem from wholesome reasons; like the UN, it sees it as a rival for international influence.

The European Union is a de facto empire, its governors, the members of the European Commission, de facto satraps who wield almost unlimited and accountable power over the private lives and commercial affairs of nearly 500 million people. Its values are just as bankrupt as those concocted in the mental hellbroth of the American Enterprise Institute but the very fact of its existence holds great appeal for a great many continental Europeans, on an almost atavistic level.

Although the people of continental Europe are extremely committed nationalists, most of them share one principal common memory; that of being conquered people. Whether the conqueror was Rome, Charlemagne, Spain, the Ottomans, Napoleon, the Hapsburgs or the Third Reich, at some point or other in their histories your average continental people will have been occupied at least once, some, like the Dutch, the Serbs and the Poles, several times. The history of the Third Reich shows that just as occupation was righteously opposed by some it was warmly welcomed by others, and it is perhaps this feeling of being able to abdicate responsibility for your own affairs that occupation can bring that makes the secular pan-European dream so dangerously attractive.

However, the limit of the European experiment has been reached – Brussels has just lifted its arms embargo on weapons sales to the Chinese.

Sino-EU relations are advanced – one of the greatest threats to US security comes not from the dastardly goatherders of Fallujah, but from the ‘Galileo’ project. ‘Galileo’ is a Sino-EU joint venture to develop a satellite-based positioning system to rival GPS, using frequencies very similar to those of America’s spies in the sky. The Chinese have almost unlimited ambitions in space, and such projects as these only underline their desire not just to compete with, but to rival, the USA.

One has to wonder what the Chinese have to gain by buying weapons. They are already a nuclear power, the most populous and one of the most advanced countries in their region. They have no predators – there is no invader they could not repel. The only reason they could have for wanting to buy more guns is to improve the ones they already have, to better equip the agents of an already murderous state become even more efficient killers. If they want to improve their guns, one can only wonder against whom they would want to use them.

The greatest irony, of course, is that while the State Department may protest as much as it likes, the White House will continue with the ruinous economics of international free trade, which really means that the American people are financing Chinese armaments by continuing to accept the decline of America’s own manufacturing sector for the sake of what Pat Buchanan has called ‘all that junk at the mall’.

There is much hidden suffering on the continent of Europe, not least of all amongst its young women. One by-product of the end of the Cold War and the descent of Russian public life into turf wars between corporate and corporatised crime gangs has been an increase in what used to rather quaintly be called ‘white slavery’, or the trafficking and sale of females for the purposes of prostitution. Every year, thousands of young women make their way from East to West in the hope of a better life, only to find themselves trapped in the clutches of compatriot pimps.

This is not a civilised place – leastwise, not any more.