Is Europe’s Star Falling?
Only six weeks after the enactment of the much-touted Lisbon Treaty/EU constitution, suddenly the dream of European unity seems to be falling apart.
Headlines tout a continent in confusion, largely ignored by its postwar transatlantic partner, the United States. “New European Leadership Faces Economic Hurdles,” “The EU ‘Has No Vision of Where We Are Heading’,” “Indecision Is Evident Across the Board in Europe,” “EU Too Slow to Act Over Greece, Say MEPs,” “A Crisis in Transatlantic Relations,” “Why Obama Is Ignoring Europe,” “The Euro’s Darkest Hour” … and so the week’s headlines read, offering very little encouraging news about what appears to be a failing dream of European unity.
But look again. As the saying goes, one man’s loss is another man’s gain. In the instance of the Greek debt default crisis, the best analysts have made it clear that this is Germany’s moment of opportunity. But the scenario can be broadened far beyond Greece. What is happening in Europe today has far, far wider geopolitical implications beyond just Europe’s most powerful nation bailing out one economically deficient EU member nation.
Hans Morgenthau highlighted the unique position Germany holds on the European continent. That old sage of international relations stated, “The fundamental fact of international politics from the German point of view has been from Bismarck to Hitler [and beyond] the ‘encirclement’ of Germany by powerful nations in the East and in the West” (Politics Among Nations). Thus, Bismarck was “compelled to accept the existence of France and Russia as the inescapable fact upon which to build German foreign policy.”
For over 30 years, from the signing of the Treaty of Rome in 1957, France and West Germany were bound lockstep within the developing European Union project. When Germany reunited, following the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, it immediately commenced to develop a foreign policy separate and distinct from that of its French partner. From that point on, the projection of French power within the EU was destined to be weakened and that of a united Germany strengthened. Russia was then courted by Germany in preparation for an eventual pact to secure their mutual security.
Via a series of treaties, commencing with the 1992 Maastricht Treaty on European Union and extending to the most recent Lisbon Treaty of 2009, German elites pulled the strings within the EU to force that collective of Continental nations to sign up to deals that inherently strengthened the power of the German nation. Thus it is that, during the second week of February 2010, Germany’s defining moment has come. More than that. It is the moment of truth for the entire EU project.
Among the clearest of perspectives on the Greek crisis are those of the German analysts at German-Foreign-Policy.com and the U.S. think tank Stratfor.
German-Foreign-Policy.com, under the headline “The End of Sovereignty,” observes that “The European Union has submitted to German demands, imposing unprecedented cuts in the Greek national budget, resulting in a large loss of jobs, cuts in wages and high increases in taxes. … The demand that Athens take drastic austerity measures does not stop Berlin from pressuring Greece to buy expensive warplanes. In Athens, the German foreign minister insisted, at the beginning of the week, that they acquire Eurofighter jets (made in Halbergmoos, Germany). Berlin’s austerity dictate is very controversial” (February 4; emphasis mine throughout). Controversial it may be, but that will not stop Berlin from enforcing its will.
Stratfor called this a “seminal moment” for Germany: “German power since the Second World War was nonexistent until reunification was completed in 2003. Germany was flatly denied both an independently tasked military as well as an opinion on international affairs. Yet it was still the largest economy in Europe, leading the other Europeans to use Germany as a slush fund to pay for European projects. Now, however, Germany has woken up, and while it still does not have meaningful military capacity, it does have an opinion again” (February 10).
Today, far from Germany being denied an “independently tasked military,” those same nations that sought to enforce this denial are now actively encouraging, even pressuring, Germany into drastically stepping up its military development. To this, Germany’s defense minister has quickly responded by recently calling for Germany’s economic and defense policies to be merged, a prospect applauded by Germany’s heads of industry. Even Germany’s liberal “peacenik” vice chancellor, Guido Westerwelle, has completely reversed his antiwar tune this week and publicly called for a ramping up of German troops in Afghanistan, endorsing Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg’s call for Germans to recognize they are at war.
The government-endorsed news service Deutsche Welle reports that Westerwelle, speaking on Wednesday morning during a parliamentary debate on the government’s new strategy for the Afghanistan campaign, “pushed for more troops to be sent to Afghanistan. … ‘Simply continuing as we have is not an option,’ Westerwelle told representatives. ‘Neither is walking away and looking away.’ Westerwelle said the mission in Afghanistan was ‘an armed conflict within the parameters of international law’” (February 10).
When well-known liberals tout for an increase in German aggression, watch out! The last time that happened was when the Greens leader, Joschka Fischer, called for a similar strategy after Germany’s unilateral recognition of Croatia and Slovenia had lit the powder keg of conflict in the Balkan Peninsula. That call, endorsed by the German parliament, launched Germany into its first combat role since defeat in World War ii. The result was the virtual handing over of the entire Balkan Peninsula as colonies to Berlin/Brussels control.
By bailing out Greece, with powerful controlling strings attached, Germany is demonstrating its chief position in Europe. By forcing embattled Greece to buy German-built warplanes, it is accelerating its strategy to militarize Europe under German leadership.
Truly, while the EU’s star appears to be falling, Germany’s is on the rise.
As Stratfor stated, “Germany has woken up.” Martin Lee put it a little differently when he declared of Germany, in his eye-opening work in 1997 of the same title, The Beast Reawakens. The fact that this whole scenario was prophesied in your Bible to happen exactly as it is now rapidly emerging in Europe is concisely covered in our own booklet Who or What Is the Prophetic Beast? If ever there was a time to answer that question, it is right now!