EU dilemma: Bringing war to neo-ex-colonies to avoid conflict within
Stealing the long-established role of the United States in terms of mongering, fighting and leading a war against “others,” some heavyweights in the European Union have enthusiastically geared up for battles to turn the skies over their former colonies dark amid an intra-conflict that risks turning into an all-out battle among member states.
The French aggression in West Africa in Mali, which was launched with the claim of “liberating” the poor country from an Islamist “threat,” now appears to be a longer-term invasion based on a recent statement by the country’s defense chief, who set France’s goal there as “a total re-conquest.”
Jean-Yves Le Drian’s remarks echoed those of his boss, President François Hollande, who said earlier that French troops would remain in the region for as long as is necessary “to defeat terrorism.”
While other EU nations, remarkably Germany, which until now refused to even give transport support to France in its Mali intervention, appeared more cautious about France’s war, Euroskeptic Britain was blunter, with its premier breaking out the failed U.S. rhetoric about “enemies of the West.”
Extremist and Islamist, al-Qaeda-linked terrorists “want to destroy our way of life,” suggested fear-spreading David Cameron, who also set the deadline for the battle against “terrorism” in Africa “decades” into the future. His words were not unfamiliar to those who saw a U.S. president also putting fear into “the hearts and minds” of its voters, and the entire world, while arguing that “not only our lives, but also our way of life” was threatened by Islamist “terrorism.”
But things have changed, and deep from under the wreckage of his predecessor’s Iraq and Afghan wars, the new U.S. president has remained reluctant, and even purportedly opposed, to the invasion in Mali, wittingly clearing the way for his European allies to take the helm of the “modern” world in its fight against “terrorism.”
With its Mali offensive, what Paris has achieved in the eyes of voters – rather than on the battlefield – so far is nothing more than diverting the public’s attention, as well as discontent, from the country’s dire economic situation to the “Islamist threat” in the country. Experiencing the worst financial crisis in decades along with its neighbors, Paris is still in big trouble with recent data suggesting that France, the region’s second-biggest economy, may be in recession.
Furthermore, Paris was required by the rules of the capitalist world order to waste its military power somewhere far away from home, given that it spends fifth most out of 15 major military spenders at $62.5 billion, together with the continent’s British and German powers – the former of which has pledged to put dynamite at the very heart of the EU idea.
In the midst of a growing, but still vague plan to convert the EU into something more like the United States of Europe, Cameron recently made an “in-or-out” referendum call that came as a slap in the face of the EU, which was designed to avoid future wars on the heels of World War II, despite his vows to support the French war in Africa.
Fearing a new conflict at the European borders backed by the rising military might of each country and mounting, devastating economic crises that have wreaked havoc in all members, the giants of the EU, for now, seem intent on avoiding an eventual conflict within by taking the fight to their old battlefields.
But the wisdom of their recent military deeds is doubtful since it carries the high risk of a backlash both within and without.