24 November 2008

Thoughts on the EU

Post No 11

Whatever we may think of the EU as it is today we should never lose track of the simple fact that it was established primarily to prevent another
devastating war on our continent.
For the record, World War 1 cost about 20 million lives, the majority in uniform,
whilst World War 2 cost a staggering 70 million lives, the majority civilians.
The vision of the common Europe's founding fathers, French politicians
Claude Monnet and Robert Schumann (Luxembourg-born),
was disarmingly simple (pun intended!):
If some important national governments (read: primarily France and Germany)
could somehow be persuaded to relinquish sovereignty over their coal and steel
industries, which would then be placed under a separate non-national authority,
that would at a stroke make terrible wars between those nations practically
impossible as they would no longer control the very raw materials and basic
industries required for heavy weapons manufacture.

It is to the eternal credit of Monnet and Schumann that they succeeded
and in 1953 the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) was born,
which later (1957) evolved into the European Economic Community (EEC),
which became the European Community (EC) which became the European
Union (EU).

You can always find something to criticise and you may argue over the
small print here and there but overall, in my opinion, the whole experiment
has been, and is, a resounding success.

I am not saying that there will never be small local wars again in Europe,
possibly possibly even within the EU itself, but will France and Germany
(who had gone to war over the natural resources in their border region .....
times in a century) ever go to war with each other again? Unthinkable!

Externally the EU seems to be just a "softer" version of the US.
What I personally would like to see is the EU distancing itself from America.
I am not suggesting that the two should have nothing to do with each
other, of course they should, but only insofar as it does not damage the
reputation of the EU as a whole.

Almost everything the GW Bush administration has done around the world
(and at home but that is an internal American problem) during its 8 years
in power has been illegal and barbaric - and tragically the EU has
collectively gone along with most of it and tolerated the rest, seemingly
unable to find a voice and a purpose of its own.
Make no mistake: In round figures there are 300 million Americans, less than
5% of total world population, whereas we are now 500 million EU citizens, or
nearly 8% of humanity.
If democracy matters, and we are endlessly told that it does, and if democracy
has anything to do with numbers, which surely must be the case, then it is high
time the EU starts exerting the influence which is rightfully its own.

My next post will pose the question: Why not an Islamic bloc?

>>> For Viking-Muslim's ARCHIVE please visit Ibraheem's website <<<

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