If our politicians don’t want to face up to brutal facts, such as Islamisation, Iranian nuclear weapons or a resurgent and hostile Russia, what do they do? Why, they turn to ‘the international community,’ or more specifically the United Nations, the EU or ‘our European allies.’
But what is the track record of the UN or Europe? Can they be relied on in life and death decisions?
The UN stood idly by in Rwanda while the mass slaughter went on under their noses. The UN passed resolution after resolution on Iraq for years without taking any action to enforce them. Indeed, the UN was part of the massive corruption in the oil for food programme, which enabled Saddam Hussein to divert huge sums into buying weapons and palaces for himself.
Some years ago now, when the UN seated Libya on its human rights committee, that was proof of its moral bankruptcy. So was the Durban conference on racism — and its successors, which was a platform for Arab antisemitism.
Europe’s track record throughout the 20th century has been one unbelievable disaster after another. European countries, including ourselves, blundered their way into two world wars from which every country emerged worse off than before, both times left devastated with peoples left hungry amongst the rubble. Both times American food fed them and us.
The two biggest ideological disasters of the century, Communism and Fascism, were both created in Europe, causing countless tens of millions of civilian deaths, in peacetime and in war.
For more than half a century Western Europe has not had to defend itself. The American nuclear umbrella was the only thing that prevented the Soviet Union from marching to the Atlantic coast.
This protection had effects similar in many ways to the welfare state (a 19th century invention of Bismarck). They (Britain to a much lesser extent but only until recently) were allowed to neglect their own national defences, and in some instances used their armed forces as simply another government featherbedding programme. NATO’s forces include unionised soldiers who absorb a much higher proportion of military spending than the US and UK. Which left NATO with much less money to spend on up-to-date weapons and equipment.
NATO troops get generous vacations and light enough duties that many have part-time civilian jobs. The average age of Belgian soldiers (as at 2006) was 40. The American age was 28. No country could afford to fight a war with over-age soldiers and obsolete equipment without leaving its military defence to someone else.
So protected from harsh realities, Western Europeans have been able to indulge in illusions. The most unrealistic being their belief that it is possible to talk their way out of international threats with ‘negotiations’, treaties and UN resolutions. Which was precisely what they indulged in in the years after the first world war and led directly to the second.
France, not surprisingly considering the battering she took, was the worst. In the twenties foreign minister Aristide Briand negotiated much trumpeted agreements renouncing war that won him the Nobel Peace Prize and did absolutely nothing to deter war. In fact this had the effect of breeding a dangerous, ultimately fatal, complacency which emboldened aggressor nations such as Germany, Italy and Japan.
France’s record of cowardice and betrayal of its allies during the thirties was climaxed by its own surrender after only six weeks of fighting in 1940. At the eleventh hour, France appealed to the United States for military equipment — i.e. the kind of unilateral intervention at which the French would sneer at America for in later years.
Are these the people we should depend on in future life and death situations? Are these the ones on whom Cameron wishes to pin Britain’s security? Are Britain’s actions to be limited to what is acceptable to the lowest common denominator at the UN or EU?
Is the lofty rhetoric and condescension of foreigners to impress us more than their dismal track records? Or does our future safety and prosperity lie with our friends and family in an Anglophone grouping of America (sans Obama) and the white Commonwealth?