Questions by Gene H. Hogberg
Translated by Dr. David Wainwright
Part 4 of 6. (For the rest of the interview, click here.)
Question 6: The NATO alliance is now nearly four decades old. Under what conditions do you see American military forces leaving Western Europe?
Jean Thiriart: I won’t say how I would personally envisage the departure of the American forces from Europe. My option, my choice, is the result of a lengthy maturation in my ideas: The course of history must be sped up and the fusion between Western Europe and the Soviet Union must be prepared. The following answer, rather than being mine, will be a reasonable, conventional solution. I shall outline for you a non-radical solution. Let’s imagine for the moment that I again become an enlightened, peace-loving liberal bourgeois. I say peace-loving rather than pacifist.
For us Europeans the decision of pressing the button that would lead to nuclear catastrophe absolutely cannot remain in American hands. American foreign policy is often adventurist. The recent bombing of Libya had no historical justification: Qaddafi is no real threat; he is doing nothing in Europe. American adventurism contrasts sharply with the cool deliberations of Kremlin policies. By contrast the blunders of American foreign policy are too numerous to mention. Remember the American debacle in Iran. The day before yesterday Carter made a fool of himself in Tehran. Yesterday, so to speak, Reagan followed suit in Tripoli.
If I were a lackey of the United States, like Mrs. Thatcher, or Monsieur Chirac, I would have little confidence in my employers with their impulsive approach toward Tripoli or their naive approach toward Tehran. A digression to illustrate Carter’s ingenuousness. My source, which is American, is taken from the book Debacle. The American Failure In Iran 1980, by Michael Ledeen and William Lewis, Knopf, New York.
Carter and his aids would often forget that words don’t always have the same meaning in all cultures and in differing contexts. One of the most misleading words in the Iranian crisis was “religious.” Once the “Ayatollah” had been labeled “religious,” it was difficult for President Carter to see him as an enemy. His own religious experience led him to believe that an Ayatollah has a soul like his own. Young’s conviction that Khomeini was a saint certainly came from the same lack of critical discernment.
Having said this, let’s consider my reasonable non-radical solution. According to this, a united, democratic (sic), parliamentary and liberal-capitalist Europe would finally adopt a single currency, and a lingua franca (probably English). And finally, this reasonable Europe of the Common Market (12 countries) would organize an integrated European Army. No state exists without an army. Even a “democratic” Europe must have an army. It would be a normal, integrated army like the present army of the United States and not the current farce that we see in Europe with 12 different air forces, 12 different navies, and 12 different armies. Can you imagine armies completely independent of each other in Minnesota and Wyoming; different navies for Carolina and Oregon; different air forces for the Dakotas and Wisconsin? It’s laughable isn’t it? Yet that is precisely the situation your “European allies” find themselves in (I put allies in quotation marks of course — since they are really your lackeys and puppets).
So let’s imagine a “common market army,” a truly European national army with a single language and, necessarily, under a single military command. It would also have a single strategic command under control of the civil power. This is what was envisaged in 1954 with the EDC (European Defense Community) and torpedoed by the Gaullists, by the French Communists, Moscow’s puppets, and also, of course, by the Jewish Political Lobby, as arrogant and heavy-handed as usual. This Common Market Army would have enormous scientific, industrial, financial, and demographic means at its disposal. The Europe of the 12 is already much more than what the United States is.
The old EDC project (accepted in 1953–54 by Belgium, Germany, Holland and Luxembourg, but shunned by England), conclusively torpedoed by the French parliament (the French National Assembly) on the 13th of August 1954, could be reconsidered. The small scale EDC of four or five members, as conceived in 1951–53, could give place in 1988, to a greater EDC of 12 members this time. Of course, this is all pure hypothesis. But let us examine the scenario. The “EDC of the 12,” immediately re-establishes order and calm in the Mediterranean, which again becomes the “Normal Mare Internum of Europe,” as it was for the Roman Empire.
The abscess of the Middle East would be cauterized. The Palestinians would regain their lands and dignity. The security of the small state of Israel would be guaranteed by the very great power of the “12-member EDC.” The paranoid project of a “greater Israel” from the Nile to the Euphrates would be buried. Palestinians and Israelis would learn to live side by side as secularized and civilized peoples.
And the Soviets? Well the “EDC of the 12” would accept the line of division known as the “Iron Curtain.” Europe would adopt a policy of vigilant neutrality. She would possess her own nuclear arms, rockets, and satellites. She would not be dependent on the United States for anything. This era of the 12 would proclaim itself neutral and would distance itself from the planetary conflicts between Washington and Moscow. In this hypothesis it is taken for granted that a Europe of the 12, possessing its own integrated army, would nurse no ambitions for a new crusade to the East. The Europe of the 12 knows that any war means war at home. The USSR also knows that war would mean war own her own territory.
This awareness of “war at home” enables the leaders in Brussels and Moscow firstly to maintain the necessary self-control, and subsequently enables them to proceed to a progressive, verified, step-by-step disarmament. For the Europeans of Brussels (the democratic Europe of the 12) and for the Europeans of Moscow, war would become unthinkable because it would mean suicide for both sides.
What is tragic at the present time, both for the West Europeans (Common Market) as well as for the Europeans of Moscow is that the United States is capable of triggering total war in Europe in order to avoid it on her own territory (however, this is a delusion). You Americans have escaped war “at home” in 1917–18 and in 1941–1945. This is what makes you so imprudent today. The Soviets would gain a lot by having a “Europe of 12” as neighbors instead of a US army in Germany and an American fleet, the sixth, in the Mediterranean.
Even in this “liberal democratic” version of a Europe of 12, I do not imagine it without an integrated army proportional to its industrial power. I have never been a pacifist, but I know how to be a peace-loving individual. And the United States? Well, in regard to this Europe of the 12 (which would be properly armed with nuclear weapons) the United States would gain a powerful buffer state. This buffer state, even though neutral, would necessarily be more friendly than hostile with respect to the United States.
In my reply to question number one, I mentioned the remark of General Von Lohausen: “For Russia, there are four possible Europes.” The geo-strategist Von Lohausen clearly sees that a Europe that is “independent and allied of its own free will” would be a “net gain” for the USSR. I can turn the phrase around and say that a Europe that is independent, and friendly (I do not say allied — one does not ally oneself with irresponsible adventurists) would be a net gain for Washington. Certain American politicians have understood this.
The smaller EDC of 1951–54 was somewhat (too much in fact) the brainchild of Washington. Later, the Nixon-Kissinger strategy had, at one time, thought of returning to this concept of American military disengagement in Europe. The following quotation is from an American source, Stanley Hoffman in his work, Primacy or World Order:
One . . . way of reducing expenses consisted of changing the means for maintaining supremacy. There would be fewer overt military interventions and more secret activities, less blatant advice to our friends and allies on what we considered to be preferred behavior (as in the days when a supernational European integration was America’s goal), and the establishment of a certain framework, that is to say, a way of placing others in situations where they would act according to our desires; fewer troops and bases but more transfers of arms and investments; less aid in the form of food and military assistance but more sales of comestibles and arms, which would help the American balance of payments and would turn buyers into debtors of American banks.
Today’s Europe of the 12 is not independent. It is a Europe dependent on the United States, a “Kleinstaaterized” [“small-stateified”–Ed.] Europe; a Europe with a knife in its back that has to buy American corn and American planes; a Europe totally dominated 100 percent by the Tel-Aviv lobby; a Europe that is grovelling, weak, and subjugated. The present leaders of the 12 Common-Market are all, if not rogues or scoundrels, then at least charlatans. In Europe there isn’t a single well-informed man with any backbone (I mean with a sense of his own dignity) who is pro-American.
This hypothesized Europe of the 12, fully armed, can only be envisaged in the perspective of:
(a) total independence from the United States
(b) total independence (not to say mistrust) with respect to the extreme right and the Zionist lobby.
Friendship in independence to be sure, but never friendship in dependence. It’s a contradiction in terms. There can be no friendship between a master and a lackey. I forgot to mention, but does it need to be said? I forgot to say that a Europe of the 12 properly armed, would not envisage any expansionist or geopolitical action against the United States or any crusade to the East toward Moscow, or against Moscow. And certainly there would be no crusade in the direction of Latin America. Still, do not forget how short the distance is between Dakar and Recife.
It also follows that this rearmed Europe of the 12 would, return to Africa to re-establish economic efficiency between Algiers and Antananarivo and between Cairo and Kinshasa. For us “democratic” Europeans, our co-prosperity sphere would be Africa; yours would be Latin America.
As for the USSR, she would be able to develop Siberia at high speed thanks to Western-European industrial aid. Europeans can help each other. In Cuba you backed the Batistas and created Castro. It was you who forced Castro to become anti-American. Here in Europe you continue to count on local Batistas, the crooks of Bonn and Rome, the scoundrels of Brussels and Paris. You have a flare for making the wrong choice of allies. In point of fact, you look for docile lackeys. It will be your undoing. It will cause you to lose out in the Philippines, in Latin America, and in Europe. You could have friends in Europe, but this would require a total revamping of your dealings with others. So try to make an effort to understand just what the “dignity of others” means.
In Europe, as elsewhere, you have banked on the anti-elite rather than on the counter-elite (I imagine you know the difference as far as socio-politics is concerned). Batista was the anti-elite of a society. Castro was the counter-elite: the revolutionary intelligentsia. Lenin represented the counter-elite in 1917, Robespierre in 1792, and Mazzini in 1850. Sooner or later leaders always arise to re-establish the dignity of the oppressed.
The whole of American strategy, except for rare moments (EDC 1954) has consisted of preventing European unification and playing at kleinstaaterization. The history of the 21st century will show us what the consequences of this policy will be for you. For there are several possible reactions to any given situation. At the present time it is undeniable that (for either valid or naive reasons) the vast majority of Europeans would prefer an American friendship to a Russian Communist friendship.
This is the psycho-political view at a given moment in time. But confronting this psycho-political view, there is geo-historical reality. This reality says that from Vladivostok to Dublin there is a natural empire, an obvious geo-political empire. Is it to be history by way of “interlocking atoms” or history by way of geopolitics?
Forgive me for having taken so long to reply to question number six. But what a fine subject for a historical treatise. Are you ready to take the calculated risk of bringing into existence a truly independent Europe?
In the history of Europe between 1500 and 1870 the “German vacuum” led to dozens of serious wars including the atrocious Thirty Years’ War. In the history of the planet the “European vacuum” risks leading to a general suicidal war. Here is what a page of my manuscript (written three years ago, but not yet published) contains regarding the Euro-Soviet empire which bears on question number six. (The text concerns Madame Veil and Herr Glucksman):
The state of Israel guaranteed by the USSR and (or) by Europe. There remains the solution that Europe could provide; that is a united Europe with nuclear weapons.
Madame Veil was the first to envisage this solution which would consist of substituting a united and armed Europe for the role played in this respect by the United States. Glucksman was even more frank and straightforward. He went straight to the point in stating “yes” to the German bomb. Let us imagine, as pure supposition, a “united Western Europe” stretching from Lubeck to Lisbon and from London to Athens, with a common currency and an integrated European army. It follows from this hypothesis that such a Europe would guarantee the survival of the” state of Israel as formulated in the U.N. resolutions” for two reasons:
1. The Mediterranean being-a European geopolitical zone, no destablization in this sphere would be tolerated by us;
2. History has already seen enough massacres, and that of the population of Israel would not be admissible. My position is very clear: if the state of Israel asks for guarantees of survival from a united Western Europe, they must be given to her with clear conditions and without hesitation. But if the Israeli lobby wishes to draw Western Europe into a crusade against the Soviet Union, such folly must strongly be denounced and prevented with determination and in no uncertain terms. It would be madness for Europe. Europe must protect a “small” pastoral Israel (with the borders prescribed by UNO), “an Israel of Kibbutzes and grapefruit.” However, the Biblical paranoia of the (Israeli) Extreme Right who dream of a Greater Israel stretching to the Euphrates, must be denounced and resisted with vigor.
For us Europeans to die for the bellicose pipe-dream of wild-eyed rabbis is out of the question. Whether in the framework of a hypothetical united Western Europe or in that of a Euro-Soviet empire, Israel must be reduced to a local problem, that of a minority that must not be allowed to be massacred. I think it would be helpful to quote the Soviet historian Kniajinski — whom I met in Brussels in April 1986 — regarding the EDC of 1954. Here is what professor Kniajinski writes in typical communist political jargon:
In the mid-fifties, deep divergences of economic interests and concrete policies appeared between the adherents of the imperialist blocs placed under the leadership of the United States, particularly in the ranks of leadership of the future “European Community” These ranks were deeply divided regarding the “supranational” character of the “Community.” These divergences were particularly marked in France, the only one of the victorious powers being party to the treaty on the creation of “European Communities.” From the start of the fifties, projects tending to limit national sovereignty clashed with the reservations of certain influential circles of the French middle class and were the object of quarrels within the majority of middle-class parties. The Gaullists were the most opposed to these projects. One of the leading men, Michel Debre, had many times emphasized the American origin of “supranational” concepts, and he criticized the policy of the United States which he said “is imposing on nations, on public opinion and on parliaments in the political and military sphere a concept of Europe which is only one of the concepts possible.”
Speaking at a general session of the consultative assembly of the Council of Europe and the Council of the Assembly of the CECA in June 1953, Debre proposed to replace the “supranational” Community of the Six with a “union” placed under the authority of a council of the prime ministers who would hold monthly sessions. In certain French middle class circles, it was feared that the Germans might dominate the future bloc, and they were unhappy about the absence of England. The circles had an active spokesman in the person of Pierre Mendes France who became premier of France in June 1954. Under pressure from the popular masses, and in view of the serious divergences troubling the circle of leaders, the question of ratifying the treaty was perpetually postponed. French capitalism had reinforced its position to a certain degree. Important measures agreed upon after the end of the second world war to modernize the economy had enabled France to surpass the best previous level of production — that of 1930 and to continue to rapidly expand the volume of production. Economically, France was less dependent on the United States.
On the other hand, the support that America was giving to West Germany showed well enough that French Imperialism was wrong to lay claim to the role of principle partner of the United States on the continent. As the hysteria attributed to the “Soviet menace” began to diminish (a hysteria by which American Imperialism attempted to reconcile the opposing viewpoints of its West European partners), the aims of American foreign policy became quite clear. It was at this time that the new American government announced and began to put into operation its famous liberation policy. The new Secretary of State, J. F. Dulles, laid much greater stress than his predecessors on the creation of a “European Federation” where West Germany would have the leading role. He wasn’t beyond using blackmail, even going as far as to threaten “reconsidering” the United States foreign policy on Europe. American pressure had a totally different effect from that of a few years before. Even such a loyal supporter of “supranational” integration as Jacques Freymond, the director of the Higher Institute for International Studies at Geneva, noted renewed criticism and reservation in Europe with respect to American policy, “particularly to American declarations about ‘containment’ and ‘massive retaliation’ ” On August 13, 1954, the French National Assembly rejected the EDC project by 319 votes to 264 with 43 abstentions, and decided to “pass on to consideration of more immediate matters.” The European defence community had had its day. The fiasco of American concepts of integration was immediately used by the English diplomatic service to try to regain a dominant position in Western Europe.
From the beginning of 1954 the Foreign Office Secretary had prepared a plan for the integration of the German Federal Republic with the Western Alliance. In September 1954 Anthony Eden went to Bonn, Rome, and Paris, to discuss the matter. Later, in his memoirs, he mentions the “fear” of the possible affirmation of “neutralist tendencies” stimulated by the Soviet Union’s peace proposals. This fear was shared by the governments of the Federal Republic of Germany, Italy, and France. This is why the English proposal to reunite Germany with the Western Alliance was favorably received. It is true that during an impromptu visit to Bonn, immediately after the departure of Eden, Dulles and the Chancellor of West Germany had declared that between them “there was total agreement on the fact that European integration was of vital importance for peace and security, and that since the final goal should not be abandoned on account of a temporary setback it was important to pursue such efforts resolutely to a successful conclusion.” What is more, during a later trip to London, Dulles, while taking pleasure in stressing his convergence of views with Adenauer, sharply criticized the British proposal for not mentioning a “supranational” solution.
Nevertheless the United States supported the English plan, while devoting their energies to establishing their control over subsequent agreements. It was in such a context of bitter political rivalries between imperialists states, during the course of conferences in London and Paris from September to October 1954, that measures were finalized to integrate the German Federal Republic into the Brussels Pact organization (which was substantially modified and became in the interim the Western European Union), and above all to integrate it with NATO. In a declaration adopted in Moscow on the December 2, 1954, the socialist states had good reason to characterize these agreements as favouring a rebirth of German militarism, as creating insurmountable obstacles to the reunification of Germany and as a menace to peace in Europe. The Western European Union hardly concealed the entry of West Germany into NATO. The Federal German Republic got back her old forces. These two events together with anti-Soviet and anti-communist campaigns which were used as an excuse for reinforcing the “defence of the West,” enabled the parliaments to muster the majority of votes vital for the ratification of the Paris agreements. Those in favor of “supranational” integration who had voted in favor of the Paris agreements, took these as indicating progress toward “true integration.” Thus, F. Dehousse, the spokesman for this question in the Belgium Senate, in analysing the Paris agreements, said in February 1955 that they were an obstacle to the “pro-Soviet neutralization” of the German Federal Republic, that they assured its “military contribution,” that they avoided a crisis in NATO, that they permitted a rapprochement of the continental states of Western Europe with England, and that at the same time, they were not a hind-rance to the pursuit of integration.”
In the “reasonable, non-radical” scheme of my reply to question number six, one is led to imagine two good neighbor co-prosperity spheres. First, there would be a Europe of the 12, initially with vigilant neutrality, then later in friendly neutrality with the USSR. Then there would be the United States in good neighborly relations with a type of great Latin-American common market.
In both cases there are, right from the start, economically complementary relationships, with Western Europe contributing powerfully to the development of Siberia, and with the United States contributing (honestly) to the industrialization and normalization of Latin America.
These are reasonable solutions. It is unfortunate that man rarely chooses reasonable and constructive solutions.
Question 7: There are increasing trade problems between the United States and the European Community. Do you foresee an actual trade war? If so, what would be the consequences for Europe?
Jean Thiriart: In the revolutionary scheme of things, an economic war between the United States and Europe can only be beneficial. This economic war will stir up Europe’s political conscience. Escalation of the economic war can only be positive, desirable in fact, for the political formation of Europe. American economic cynicism will open the eyes of people who initially do not see the United States as the geopolitical enemy that those of us who are conscious of being Europeans consider it to be.
Since 1945 the European “ruling class” (I put “ruling class” in quotes because they’re anything but “ruling,” in fact they are the “owning class”) has renounced all claims for European political independence. It has accepted American political leadership in exchange for being allowed to make money. The Germany of the Bonn government perfectly illustrates my point: Politically speaking, it’s a totally castrated Germany. Lacking a historical existence, it has just an economic existence.
The economic war in which the United States is currently engaged with Europe will, or could, rouse the political conscience of the “yes-men” (“Beni-oui-oui,” to use a Moroccan Arab term) in Bonn, London, and Paris. America’s economic cynicism will begin to stir up “European economic patriotism” among those who initially servilely accept American political domination. Bluntly stated, the United States is beginning to irritate even its lackeys, its “kollabos.” It’s going too far. In Europe and elsewhere the United States displays an excessive, almost pathological type of economic libido dominandi. An appropriate term to describe Washington’s relations with Europe is economic arrogance.
A few facts and figures for the record, since they are regularly published in the inter-national financial press: The United States’ most important trading partner is Canada; you export 46 billion dollars worth of goods to them and import $62 billion. Next comes Europe with $45 billion worth of exports from the United States and $68 billion in imports. Japan is only in third place. Japan exports $72 billion worth of goods to the United States but only imports $23 billion. Your best trading partner is still Canada. Your worst is Japan. In all three cases you have a deficit balance of payments.
The “European Community” of Brussels, with its political eunuchs, gave in to the United States on the matter of American corn in January 1987. Spain and Portugal “can” [sic] buy two million tons of American corn annually and 300,000 tons of sorghum. But there is already a surplus of such commodities within the Common Market. The name of the American Rambo-Tarzan who pulled this off is Clayton Yeutter.
Daily improvisation and weekly impulsive actions seem to be the chosen style of the Reagan team. One time you bomb Libya without valid reason. Another time you let the dollar find its own level, that is if it was not deliberately contrived. As the Wall Street Journal stated on January 29, 1987: “The United States Government is concerned about the dollar, but it has not decided if, and when, to intervene.”
The refusal to export (civil) high technology products to the communist countries results in an annual loss to the United States of $17 billion. That is a tenth of your annual deficit. Yet a body as responsible as the National Academy of Science has criticized this ineffective embargo. It also commented that this embargo was creating uneasiness, not to say bitterness, among the European “allies” (the lackeys).
Belgium knows something about this in the matter of the Pegard factory in Andenne. The American economy has always been protectionist. Customs duty is almost the basis of its philosophy. Get a copy of Merle Fainsod’s work Government and the American Economy, W.W. Norton and Co. Publishers, New York.
The documentation on worsening relationships between the United States and Europe is increasing. The stack is growing higher. There was the recent Airbus affair (see Financial Times, January 30, 1987). Leaving his post as American Ambassador to the Common Market in Brussels, Mr. William Middendorf stated: “During the next two years, unless we are very intelligent, we will find ourselves on a collision course.”
As for the European combat plane (a combined effort of England, Germany, Spain, and Italy), read what the Financial Times, February 3, 1987, said. Even in telecommunications, American economic imperialism is tactless. Read once more’ the aggressive and cynical statements of Mr. Clayton Yeutter, Reagan’s special-representative, in the Financial Times of February 18, 1987.
Here is my conclusion for question seven. American economic arrogance is a very good thing for resolute and clear-minded advocates of European unification, like me. You are really going too far. Lack of restraint will be your downfall. Even the eunuchs of Bonn, Paris, and London are beginning to get worried. You chose them when they were in a politically castrated state, in 1945. Now, you want to castrate them a second time economically.