Movement on the Foreign Policy Front

It is frustrating write about global politics for the average American. Until there is a direct involvement, and once the belated counter-punch becomes difficult, the interest is minimal. So is the appreciation of the effort.

How odd! Unless PC-drugged, Americans are known to be shrewd, but they become naïve once the venue is beyond the water’s edge. After avoidable world wars, and now in the internet age, one wonders how this can be. For generations, the world’s troubles have unfailingly descended upon the USA. Does being a continent nurture illusions about immunity from global viruses?

America’s foes like to whine about her “imperialism” and “interventionism”. In fact, the US has been, ever since 1917, a reluctant global power. That role she did not covet; it was imposed. The case suggests that a well led and lucky small country might be neutral, but a great power –never. This fits the cases of WWI when unrestricted U-Boot war forced her hand, but also WW2, when Japan’s folly made intervention unavoidable. Ditto for the Cold war: Europe’s collapse, and Stalin’s encroachment, forced involvement and prevented the retreat into isolation’s neutrality.

Once the Cold war ended – by the way with little contribution from “Europe” or the global “intelligentsia” – it came as a whirlwind. We filed that one as the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the end of the communist empire in central Europe. The magnitude suggested a new era of history and, wrongly but not without a good reason, there was talk about the “end of history”. All that hinted that, the last battle against tyranny might have been won by liberty.

Currently, a new tremor is building up to propel events in the advanced world. It sees itself as responding to a threat to country, nation, culture, religion and identity. That response can be attributed to the old imperial overlord which is primarily Russia to the Poles and Baltics. Or, as in the case of the Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Hungarians, Croatians, and Slovenes, etc. the EU, a super-state-in-the-making, darkens the sky.

At center stage is the unlimited immigration demanded by those that are safe in their PC bubble.  In this case several governments, and the political outsiders of many countries, feel they need to defend their identity and the right to their own soil. From what?  Some institutions, parties, organizations and VIPs demand that millions of illegal migrants –relabeled as refugees- be taken in by “Europe” and the US. This lures to the gates masses that do not resemble the migrants of the last centuries.

History’s positive experience is used to advocate unlimited resettlement in the pursuit of a multicultural ideal. True, when German rocket scientists, Italian Physicists, Hungarian mathematicians, and Russian aeronautic engineers “merged” with, say, “America”, the amalgam surpassed what would have come about in isolation.

What makes that experience inapplicable today are the quality and the intention of the migration. Its historic precedent that worked so well for the English-speaking nations had participants that pursued a dream. It was unhindered personal success through achievement. The new, largely illegal, migrant seeks an easier life. On the whole, the millions moving from the Middle East and Africa are not integrable. Ascribe that to skills and a deceptive perception of life in a modern society.

The resulting clash is between the pre- and post-modern world. Beyond the cultural cleavage, there is also the religion-enhanced rejection of assimilation and the rejection of the host’s ways. Crime and terrorism express that the difference is a license against indigenous “unbelievers”. That converts residence in a rejected alien world into a moral duty to “convert” it to the seventh century’s standards of purity.

Why this excursion into the theme of migration? It happens to be the acelerator that triggers a new constellation within the European Union. Driven by Berlin, seconded by France, and cheered on by the West’s ruling left-liberal political class, Brussels dictates an open door policy regardless of its consequence for member peoples. The response is a counter-force tagged as the “Visegrád 4”. The term goes back to the 1335 when the then powerful Polish, Bohemian and Hungarian kings stabilized Europe and their region.

Today’s divisions between East Central Europe and the post-1945 West, has roots in different perceptions. These diverging appraisals mirror different pasts. Europe’s West lived between 1940-45 “Nazism Easy”, while in the East it meant extermination. American power saved the Western side of the Iron Curtain from forty-five years of socialist stagnation and oppression. Thus, Europe’s west does not believe that anything hurtful could be imposed on it. At the same time, the “East” takes threats of slaughter seriously and regards the “erasure” of nations as realistic. For ex-slaves, their regained independence and liberty appear to be threatened and, PC or not, it deserves to be protected.

The result is resistance to Brussels’ intention to disperse migrants among member states. The newly freed East regards the problem as German-made and to be solved there, and by those that like to gulp down PC concoctions. Additionally, there is the concern, that the throng to be inserted into small and vulnerable states means an identity-threatening “occupation”. The result goes beyond a mere debate and is fueled by threats of sanctions to cow the EU’s new -looked-down-upon- members. “Extortion” stiffens spines and stirs up new alignments. Result: Europe is changing.

There are signs that this “movement” might transcend the limits of the “Visegrád Group.” For one thing, there is the apprehension that once passive masses express through the support of new parties. As in England, Italy, Holland, and France, they coalesce, develop structures and, regardless of occasional idling, they their influence grows. A sign of that is that governing elites suddenly pay lip-service to measures they had once called “Nazi”. Orbán’s old concept, that properly handled, migration is stopped where it originates, and not by settlement in Europe, is an example.

Of at least equal significance is a process that is often ignored because it “does not fit” -or due to the journalist’s ignorance.

As indicated, led by its luck-honed experience, the West’s governing political class wishes that the Continent’s less fortunate half accept its leadership and adjust its policies to visionary perceptions. By liberal doctrine, these measures will save the world. Most of the EU’s new members wish to save their national independence which is seen as a pre-requisite of personal liberty. To them that is a rational doctrine. The retort, that those that think along these lines are “nationalists” and that per definition every form of nationalism is “baaad”, does not calm waves.

The result of this collision of perceptions, values and priorities is a yet amorphous, but shape-gaining skeleton of organized common interests. After WWI, the victors created entities to replace the empires that united Europe’s center, south, and east to enhance France’ influence. The ultimate beneficiaries were Hitler and Stalin. The boundaries drawn to replace large multinational states with small national ones have created much dissatisfaction. That made the cooperation, even the peace, among the “succession states” difficult. This now century old condition might be overcome.

The Visegrád Group unites several old enemies against a new tutelage. It appears that the conglomerate might grow in response to a commonly perceived threat –making old nationalistic antipathies fade. If Croatia and Slovenia joins, the alliance-within-the-alliance will connect the North Sea with the Adriatic. Once the Serbs, the Bulgarians and the Romanians count themselves in, the Black Sea will be accessed. Austria, part of the West, but earlier the core of an south-eastward looking Empire, manifests sympathies for what might coalesce along her borders.

If the described alliance, the “Three Seas Initiative” materializes, there will be significant consequences. (1) The character of the EU will change. The process of centralization will be blocked, and the features of the revived, originally intended, mainly economy-centered confederation, will gain contours. (2) The new formation could reconcile its constituents and end their dependence from eastern and western great powers that pursue their own agenda. That would stabilize a region whose discord had been, for a century, the source of global problems. (3) The block’s size -and role as a buffer-zone- could hinder a renewal of Russian expansionism, while it would be able to withstand interference from a German-French led conglomerate.

The other upshot will also involve the Atlantic Alliance and, thereby, the USA. Washington will find the new formation to be much friendlier than is the old EU. Furthermore, and importantly, the rearranged entity will also become more vigorously ready to defend itself than is the case with the present’s EU and NATO.

 

 

 

 

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