By Arab News
By Mohammad Al-Rasheed
Europe’s contribution to human progress is colossal. That is a fact. Just remember the Renaissance and the Industrial Revolution and what followed and you get the idea. The other fact is that Europe has contributed immensely to human misery. It started with the search for spices to keep meat fresh, and ended with colonizing and ruining the world for indigenous peoples. Even the trip West was originally embarked on to find a way to India and the much-needed spices.
World War I was nothing more than a “family squabble” as one historian put it. Considering that most of Europe’s royal families, including the Kaiser, were a product of that extra-fertile Queen called Victoria (good thing her husband died early and rather young otherwise we would have had her progeny ruling Arabia itself) the family connection is obvious. Otherwise, I can hardly see in 1914 the ultimate ambition of a Russian peasant to be the desire to occupy Berlin.
Nevertheless, rule they did. Both France and Great Britain ruled the world under occupation. Germany was not a super colonial power. Germany wanted to rule the rulers. Germany wanted to rule Europe and, by default, rule the world. So within 20 years of the end of World War I, the second started and the world was plunged into darkness again.
Today we find Europe threatening the world again. This time economically. The euro zone’s financial troubles are now common knowledge. If the pen is mightier than the sword, we can safely assume that money these days is mightier than Russia’s defunct nuclear arsenal. Economics and dynastic ambitions are the major causes of wars.
France and Great Britain (dynastic in the historical ambition sense) still harbor illusions about their past glory. They simply refuse to accept the fact that they are marginal in more ways than they can count. The real powerhouse is the US. Add China economically, Germany (alone) industrially, Japan in its economic and innovational resilience, and you have the real powers that should and can dictate the tune this world dances to. Yet Germany and Japan are not permanent members of the UN Security Council. France and GB are there with the veto power. No wonder no one takes the UN seriously and Bush 2 had the audacity to send his foreign secretary to lie outright about Iraq with impunity.
Though Europe, in its NATO guise, helped send Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi to his much-deserved end, the real reason they intervened was oil, money, and business. Those who bombed him were a few weeks earlier kissing his cheeks (some kissed his hands) and hailing him as a “leader.” This was done with complete disregard to “human rights” and whatever slogans Europe was peddling at any given moment. More people are being slaughtered in Yemen, yet Europe is silent.
The world today is connected in a very unhealthy way. No longer can we say that when X catches a cold, Y sneezes. We have to say that when European banks fail (if not states) the ramifications are incalculable. The United States gets enough flak for its contributions to human discord, but this time you can trust the old culprits to practice their magic in this hideous exercise.
They should put their house in order and not inflict another disaster on the world. Over the centuries they have stolen every ounce of raw material from the world starting with gold and oil and not sparing cotton and wheat. They converted this to mighty cash economies. Now is the time to cough up this money to save themselves and spare the world another disaster. It really means little if the rest of the world dies from nuclear bombs or simple starvation. Death is death. And historically Europe has enough blood on its hands, I should think.