To extend Sir Henry Wotton’s famous formula: diplomats lie for their countries, politicians to their countries. ❝I believe that Europeans are in control of their destiny❞, says Angela Merkel in response to Donald Trump’s ❛destabilizing❜ dismissal of NATO as obsolete, of her migration policy as a colossal error, and his likely diplomatic tilt towards Russia. What went largely unnoticed was Frau Merkel’s softly-spoken, colossal lie. Europe lost control of its own back yard during the long Ottoman occupation, and surrendered it completely during almost all of the twentieth century. It never convincingly regained control thereafter. And little wonder, when such feeble, effete leadership as it could then muster visibly hoisted ❛values❜ above strategy, and hence mass casualties above support for regional order in the Arab lands. God help us: and they called it Spring!
No-one of the calibre of Charles de Gaulle ever returned to the scene.
For Europe to be collectively in control of its destiny would require serious-minded leadership and the support and cultural amour-propre of its people.
For Europe to be collectively in control of its destiny would require serious-minded leadership and the support and cultural amour-propre of its people. Does anyone seriously suggest that the louche ideologues paddling the European Commission around a vortex are providing strategic direction? Or that even the twilight of the soixante-huitards will somehow give way to a re-ignited interest in European culture and education? Or that any concerted attempt will be made to secure Europe’s external borders at common expense? Or that the purgatory of Greece will be lifted? Or that the lessons — now called learnings to soften the effrontery — of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Brexit, Chilcot and Trump will be assimilated? Or that the true meaning behind Davos will cease to be lied about?
Angela Merkel’s peevish and colossal lie confirms that, far from being in control of its destiny, Europe will continue as before to be trapped in a perpetual mugging […]
Post-imperial Europe remains as it was: by comparison with the continental leviathans, a loose collection of exceptional, but Lilliputian states. If they wish to become a stable, unitary Brobdingnag, their leaders will need to mobilize their flaccid bellies in an entirely different way from hitherto. Angela Merkel’s peevish and colossal lie confirms that, far from being in control of its destiny, Europe will continue as before to be trapped in a perpetual mugging between Turkey, Russia and the ❛International Community❜, while the White House and State Department look on with an indifference that they must now feel they have earned.