The State of the EU
26 mei 2023 | John Laughland
In April, the European Council agreed to send € 1 billion of ammunition to Ukraine. The structure which disburses these funds is called, without irony, the European Peace Facility. In today’s EU, war is peace. The EU foreign policy representative, Josep Borrell, tweeted last year that the conflict could be solved only on the battlefield. Borrell said this after the talks between Moscow and Kiev, which had started immediately after the Russian invasion, were broken off on the insistence of the then British Prime Minister and chief architect of Brexit, Boris Johnson. Borrell’s Tweet was on 9 April, the very day Boris visited Kiev to tell Zelensky that Putin was a war criminal with whom there should be no negotiation.
So the European Union, originally created to promote peace in Europe, now promotes war. The European Union, allegedly created to give Europe more weight on the world stage, in fact takes its foreign policy from non-EU capitals, London and Washington. The European Union, which is supposed to create economic prosperity, is pursuing policies which are impoverishing Europeans. The European Union, which is supposed to promote and consolidate democracy has fast-tracked candidate status for one of the least democratic and most corrupt countries on the continent – corruption of which Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, are a part.
These contradictions are nothing new. On the contrary, they are more than a century old. In 1899 and 1907, peace conferences were held in The Hague which led to the creation of supranational institutions supposed to guarantee peace through law. The Permanent Court of Arbitration created in 1899 (and still in existence today) was housed in the Peace Palace built by the American steel magnate, Andrew Carnegie, in 1913. Carnegie encouraged the German Kaiser, Wilhelm II, to hold a peace conference in Berlin the following year but the First World War broke out instead. The peace movement had encouraged states to identify themselves with “civilisation” and “humanity” and so each side in 1914 thought of the other as barbarians. This made negotiations impossible – the warring parties became entrenched both literally and metaphorically - and indeed the war ended in 1918 without a proper peace treaty but instead only an armistice and then the Versailles diktat.
But the spectacular failure of the new institutions to prevent the Great War did not dent globalists’ belief in supranationalism, for which peace was a convenient pretext. The League of Nations was set up in 1920, together with the Permanent Court of International Justice (today’s International Court of Justice). Here again, the American role was decisive. Woodrow Wilson was the principal architect of the League of Nations - even though the US Senate refused to ratify the Versailles treaty and so the USA never joined. Instead, Wilson’s Fourteen Points broke up central Europe into unviable states on the territory of the Austro-Hungarian empire, which the Americans were determined to destroy. As Jacques Bainville and John Maynard Keynes warned in their respective books on the political and economic consequences of the peace, the American “peace” made European war inevitable.
The Americans argued with especial conviction that peace would be guaranteed by trade. Just as the British author, Sir Norman Angell, claimed in 1910 that war was no longer possible because of economic interdependence, a theory for which he was awarded the Nobel peace prize in the fateful year of 1933, even though it had been invalidated by the First World War and was soon to be invalidated by the Second, so in 1939 the World Trade Center created at the New York Universal Exhibition adopted as its slogan “World Peace through World Trade.” This did not prevent world conflict breaking out that September. But in fact, these people really regarded economic integration as a political weapon. The League of Nations was based on the belief that economic sanctions would henceforth replace military warfare: that conviction also emerged unscathed from the inability of sanctions to constrain states like Italy in 1935 and it continues to constitute the default position of the EU since February 2022, which has similarly tried (and failed) to constrain Russia by economic means.
After the Second World War, the Americans were again at the forefront of creating supranational organisations ostensibly aimed at peace but in reality intended to be an instrument of war. The Marshall Plan set up and financed the first pan-European structure, the Organisation for European Economic Cooperation, in 1948, which the following year stated that its goal was to create “a single European market”. In 1948 the Americans also set up the International Authority of the Ruhr to control Germany’s industrial heartland: its functions were taken over by the European Coal and Steel Community after that body was announced, again with US support, in 1950. The ECSC is the basis of today’s European Union. In 1950 the Americans encouraged the Europeans to create a single European army, the European Defence Community, to face down Soviet Russia. Today’s Euro-American financial and military support for war against Russia in Ukraine is only the continuation of the same old policy, except that the cold war has now become hot.
Supranational organisations do not create peace. Peace comes only when warring parties decide to make it. You cannot create peace in a marriage by making divorce illegal ; you cannot prevent conflict between countries by making war illegal or by imposing other forms of constraint to bind them together. Worse, supranational organisations encourage states to think in ideological terms – to believe that they embody universal values. This in turn encourages the belief that any state which refuses to accept those values must be destroyed because the existence of a rival value system invalidates their claimed universalism.
Today, the EU and NATO together say that they stand for “the rules-based international order”, a view so blatantly hypocritical coming from the authors of the NATO wars of 1999 and 2011 that it has been rightly dismissed by Vladimir Putin thus, “Who has ever seen these rules? Who agreed or approved them? Listen, this is just a lot of nonsense, utter deceit, double standards, or even triple standards! They must think we’re stupid.” The self-elevation by members of supranational organisations to the status of representatives of the highest values of humanity only makes them to think of their adversaries as inhuman. You do not negotiate with people you dismiss as inhuman – Untermenschen - and so instead you pursue war against them, as in Ukraine today.
Peace in Europe will come not from the millenarian musings of American oligarchs in The Hague in 1913 but instead from the wisdom expressed in the Treaty of Utrecht of 1713. In that agreement to end the war of the Spanish succession, and for which the British court composer George Frideric Handel composed a glorious ode, the key to enduring peace was “a just balance of power” between European states. “Balance” implies an equitable relationship between separate entities - not the attempt to control those entities from the top down.