Although relatively small in size, ‘Europe’ or, as I prefer to call it, the Eurasian Peninsula, which has throughout history been a fractious place, is threatened with implosion by several major problems that it appears incapable of handling.
First is the near-impossibility of hearing each other’s financial woes when East and West have diametrically opposite attitudes toward the large numbers of outsiders flocking (sailing, swimming) to its shores. Aside from the difficulty faced by all of drafting budgets that can be approved by Brussels and the IMF, needed to cope with hundreds of thousands of needy newcomers, in the East those newcomers evoke a painful history, in which ‘turn the other cheek’ was embedded in the Credo: “There is no God but God and Muhammad is his messenger.”
Following President Macron (alias ‘Jupiter’s) failure to get Angela Merkel’ to back deeper unification and more protection for European workers, challenging fiscal discipline, ‘Mutti’ decided that after serving four terms, she would not run again as German Chancellor. However, she took one final initiative that cements her reputation as the de facto leader of Europe, setting up an African Trust Fund to address the root causes of migrations. It may come too late, however, to overcome the opposition’s abhorrence of multiculturalism. In fact, it revived past German alliances with a far-right Hungary — and even with Poland, which Germany had repeatedly aggressed, reconfirming for the nth time its power over Eastern Europe.
But while the division of Europe following World War II into ‘capitalist’ and ‘communist’ has been replaced by one based on religion (Christ versus Muhammad), America’s problem with Russia remains, as well as the geographic impossibility for Europe to avoid becoming its coming battleground.
Continuing its old habit of squabbling over minor matters — the only change being that English has displaced German and Russian as the lingua franca — it fails to address the only real threat that humans can do something about. The US-Russia spat over who deserted the intermediate range missile treaty first, or how many missiles each side should be allowed to maintain — or the extent to which ‘defensive’ weapons can wipe out the other side — appears of little concern to those living on the unmovable battlefield. Perusing France’s Le Monde and Liberation dailies, as well as Italy’s Corriere della Sera I found not the slightest hint of anxiety over the US-Russia standoff.
After being warned for decades that the Soviet Union was about to overrun them, Europeans appear to have tuned out cries of ‘Wolf!’ implicating their neighboring Bear. After several decades of opulent living that includes the latest model automobiles AND all-encompassing health-care, Europeans are obsessed with getting more of both, and are even willing to ‘stay up all night’ as happened last year, in order to demand that electoral platforms be carried out.
However, nuclear war just doesn’t seem to be as big a problem as sharing the peninsula with The Prophet’s followers.
Deena Stryker is an international expert, author and journalist that has been at the forefront of international politics for over thirty years, exlusively for the online journal “New Eastern Outlook”.