What's behind Europe's and especially
France's weird behavior, opposing the United States and Britain, and siding with
Iraq and the Arab world before the war? What's behind Europe's full tilt toward
the Palestinians? France, as opposed to the over 40 other countries - what
President Bush called 'the coalition' - did everything it could to stop the US
disarming Iraq of its Weapons of Mass Destruction and it's liberation from
Saddam Hussein's dictatorship. They've also been Europe's stalwart
supporter of 'Palestine' even before Britain's Tony Blair climbed
The simple explanation is that France used the Iraq war issue in an attempt to regain its glory days of being an international power broker. France, Germany, and others in Europe see the European Union as a potential counter-balance to America, the sole superpower. It also conveniently deflected attention in France from the prolonged economic downturn there. Jacques Chirac had been blaming the fear of war for weak investment and consumption, hiding his lack of a policy to stimulate growth. I wonder what he's going to blame now? Then there's all the economic interests France and other Europeans had in Iraq, and have in the Arab world, not least, weapons sales in violation of UN sanctions. Maybe they simply didn't want America to find that out. Makes sense, sort of?
But this is the simple way of looking at the situation. Such a serious issue cannot be resolved with such a superficial analysis as this. One must dig deeper to uncover the underlying reason. Penetrating analysis must be employed to view the larger implications of the problem. Only a more holistic view of the pathology will help in curing the disease. Nursing France and others in Europe back to health - by encouraging them in the rejection of support for 'Rogue States' like Iraq, Iran, and Syria - can help return them to the family of sane and peace loving nations.
During the late Cold War period, many spoke of the Finlandization of Europe. Finland, neighbor of the former Soviet Union, fearful of occupation as the Baltic States of Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania were after World War II, was effectively neutralized. In return for their 'freedom' they took a neutral political line during the post-war superpower rivalry. By the 1970's, many felt that this process was expanding to other parts of Europe. Although technically part of the Western Alliance - NATO - there was great pressure on European governments from some of its citizens to take a more neutral position between the US and USSR. This fear of being on the front lines, leading to near identification with the enemy, a sort of 'Stockholm Syndrome' - the identification of a victim with their terrorist capture - on a national scale, concerned American policy makers and their more stalwart allies. Was Western Europe going to be neutralized like Finland?
This is exactly what is happening today with France in particular and other parts of Europe more generally. With more than 15 million Arabs and Muslims in Europe today, and at least 5-6 million of them in France alone - about 10% of the population, some say as much as 20% - actively building mosques and missionizing Europeans; with one eye focused on trade with the Arab-Islamic world, and another greedily eyeing the oil supply, France and others in Europe are succumbing to creeping Islamicization.
Europe, for the most part, post-Christian, has a spiritual vacuum to fill. Unlike America, a country founded on the principle of 'Freedom of Religion' not 'Freedom from Religion'; European political modernization - the rise of secular democratic states - was a direct consequence of the rejection of the Church, and the divine right of kings. Following the Protestant Reformation, the end of monarchy and the rise of the modern nation-state, secularization of society has led to this weakness in the spiritual immune system of Europe.
America was founded by religious and political renegades who constructed a system that both separated religion from state, and allowed it to flourish independent of state support. Modern Europe in contrast, largely revolting from state supported churches, has left the back door open to this Islamic tidal wave, carried initially by its new immigrants from North Africa, Turkey, the Middle East, and Asia.
But today, it's largely being sponsored by Saudi Arabia and Iran - the dual axis - of spreading the 'gospel' of Islam throughout Europe. Not so dissimilar from the role of the Left, Euro-Communists, and Greens, in Europe's not so distant past, Euro-Muslims are spreading the 'Truth' of Islam. But, it's not just 'Islam'. It's a revolutionary, highly political and missionary Islam, whether Wahabbiist or of the Khomeini variety. Jihadist Islam is exerting its influence in Europe, and on European foreign policy - note their strong shift towards the Palestinian cause - even minimizing the moral outrage of suicide bombings in Israel lately. There also has been a rapid rise in the number of anti-Semitic attacks in the last few years. Islamic agitation against Israel and its supporters, including Jews, has helped cause this. Stockholm Syndrome - on a national scale - is beginning to grip parts of Europe. Combined fear of terrorism at home, the consequences of war, cultural confusion, and the fifth column of Islamists within, is leading France, Germany, and others in Europe inextricably toward neutrality and FRANCO-ISLAMICIZATION.
Whether France or other European states 'convert' to Islam officially is of little practical consequence, although it's true that people in Europe are converting in droves. Euro-Muslims and their fellow travelers are already winning. Franco-Islamicization; the neutralization of Europe in the War on Terror and its latest focus Iraq; the turning of European foreign policy fully toward the Palestinians; rising anti-Americanism in general and the infection of the European body politic in a morally debilitating way, is taking place slowly, almost imperceptively, yet taking place nonetheless.
Let's get things straight. The 'War on Terror' as stated by the Bush administration, is against a political behavior - terrorism - rejected by western democratic civilization, and some Asian countries with Islamic majorities might come aboard, fancying themselves evolving democracies. But, wherever Muslims live, they are susceptible to the plague of Jihadist Islam. Take note of the recent suicide bombing in Tel-Aviv, in April 2003; two British-born Muslims came to Israel to 'help' the Palestinian cause by blowing-up. Security officials in Israel have expressed concern that this is only the beginning of a new phenomenon - European terrorist volunteers.
Islam started as an Arab imperialist movement, and at its core aspires to WORLD DOMINATION. Unlike the Judeo-Christian created western democratic paradigm - live and let live - Jihadist Islam like the 'old time religion' Communism, is TOTALITARIAN & MISSIONARY in nature.
The term 'War on Terror' is an attempt to define the problem in the narrowest possible way, to ignore the cultural or religious implications of the issue. But until the equivalent of an Islamic Reformation takes place -and a dominant peaceful version of Islam emerges - ready to live with the rest of the world, discussion of democracy and tolerance in the Arab-Islamic world will prove fruitless. Don't forget that these Islamic radicals are generally supported financially and otherwise, in their communities, whether in Europe, America, or elsewhere.
Analyzing the problem of terror on the individual or small group level, such as by al-Qaida, or even state supported, such as by Iran, Iraq, Syria, or in the Palestinian Authority, but deliberately ignoring the civilizational aspects of the present conflict with the Islamic world, reduces the discussion, to an analogous rejection of a commune here or there during the Cold War. But a conflict of two world-views existed between the US & USSR, each with competing systems of economic, social, and political organization; it wasn't a fight over a commune or two.
The 'War on Terror' unless used as a code word for civilizational conflict, confuses and disarms the western democratic public. Psychologically unprepared for this war, western societies, as evidenced by the 'Anti-War Movement', strongest in Europe - aside from Saddam's natural allies, Islamic societies - but also pushed by Leftist forces in America, are slipping into FRANCO-ISLAMICIZATION.
American leadership under President Bush and Secretary of State Powell, with the best of intensions, has missed the point. Functioning on the individualist paradigm of democracy and not wanting a direct conflict with its allies in Europe and the Arab states, have by default contributed to the confusion. Israel's leaders, dealing with Palestinian Islamic terror - suicide bombings and the like - aren't far behind. Blaming 'terrorists' as individuals, rather than seeing it in civilizational terms - that they are supported by their societies - leads nowhere. Without recognition of the symptoms, without understanding the method of transmission, and without proper diagnosis of the disease, its cure is next to impossible.
The symptom is FRANCO-ISLAMICIZATION. The method of transmission is EURO-MUSLIMS AND THEIR FELLOW TRAVELERS. The disease is JIHADIST ISLAM. Israel and the West need to recognize this. If a cure isn't found soon, we'll all be awakening to the call of the Muezzin - Islamic prayer call blasting out of Mosques.
Ariel Natan Pasko is an
independent analyst & consultant. He has a Master's Degree in International
Relations & Policy Analysis. His articles appear regularly on numerous
news/views and think-tank websites, in newspapers, and can be read at: