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mardi, 17 juillet 2007

United Nation /Voodoo Geopolitics


September 11, 2006
United Nations/

Voodoo Geopolitics

The UN is the chief world producer of political and geopolitical lies.

I am from France, a country where the UN is popular, where people were genuinely relieved when they heard about the 2006 UN-brokered cease-fire in Lebanon, where, in fact, most people think that the UN and its Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan, are the very embodiment of international law, order, and decency.

Of course, there are some reservations even in France about the UN.  The French think that the U.S. exerts too much influence there and deters it from being effective much of the time.  The French think that the U.S. is preventing true peace from being achieved in the Middle East by vetoing too many anti-Israel resolutions.  And the French regret that France is not always given the full influence that it deserves at the UN, despite Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin's powerful and inspirational speeches.

As must be clear, I come from a wasteland.

Current European thinking is driven largely by three factors: history, fear and immigration. Europe feels guilty for having been the colonial overlord and exploited the non-white nations for about five hundred years. At the same time, it feels a bit nostalgic about its past grandeur and power, and may not be fully reconciled with not being as grand and powerful any more. As for fear, Europe has been exposed to Islamic terrorism - in Madrid in 2004, and then in London in 2005, not to mention earlier terror waves, and quite deadly ones, in France back in the 1980s and the 1990s. And finally demography is destiny.  In Europe today we have a demographic implosion.  The average birth rate is dropping, the society is aging and immigration is changing Europe fundamentally.

The average birth rate throughout the European Union is under 2.1 babies per woman, the threshold for group survival. In Italy and Spain, the average is closer to 1.3, and in northern Italy, it is said to be 0.8, approximately the level in a besieged and starving Leningrad during World War II. The first consequence is that the present European population is not going to be replaced as such. The second is that European society is getting old. While we all may be in favor of having a blessed long life, how sustainable would a society be in which senior citizens made up one-third to one-half of the entire population? At the same time, we have immigration.

Like most things in the world, immigration can be good or bad. Immigration is certainly wrong for democratic countries when immigrants do not want to abide by democratic necessities, or when they are under the sway of ochlocracy.  Ochlocracy means the rule of the mob.  It is dictatorship of everybody over everybody, the dictatorship of conformity. In Western countries, based on the primacy of the individual, the idea is difficult to grasp. We do not understand that there are societies in which conformity, not singularity, is the norm. It is hard for us to believe that conformity can be a matter of life or death for millions, perhaps billions of human beings. But it is a fact. There are places and environments where you die if you don't conform.  You either get killed, or you go insane, or you commit suicide in one way or another. It is perhaps not a mere coincidence that two societies that could have been described at some point in their history as ochlocracies - namely Japan and the Arab world - have generated the same phenomenon:  the kamikaze or suicide attackers.  The dictatorship of conformity can drive you to extreme ends like blowing yourself up, in an attack either on an enemy position or on innocent civilians.

It is the tragedy of France and of most of Europe that many of the immigrants who now come from Muslim countries are under the sway of this kind of social pattern.  As individuals, they can adapt perfectly well to the French or the European society. Beyond a certain point, however, they cannot really escape the pressures of their family or their group.

An estimated 10 to 15 per cent of the European populations are now from Islamic countries: North Africa, the Middle East, Muslim Sub-Saharan Africa, Pakistan, and others. Taking into consideration the demographic collapse of the original European population, and considering the younger brackets of the population, we find that the immigrant Islamic sub-society is in fact much stronger. In many areas, up to 30 per cent of the people under the age of 25, and in some cases up to 50 per cent, are Muslim immigrants or their sons and daughters. Since young people are usually more prone to combat than older people, it means that, in a scenario of crisis between the immigrant and Europe's older populations the ratio is one to one.

All of France was rocked by ethnic riots in the fall of 2005. Drawing on those events, Jean-Eric Boulin, a 28-year-old novelist, has just written a book called Supplément au Roman National (loosely translated as A Sequel to the National Narrative). He foresees the coming revolutionary war in France, the war of the poor and the immigrants united under the green flag of radical Islam. This is Boulin's fantasy ; he is in favor of that revolution. What is relevant is that he is attracting a large readership by forecasting such trouble - in other words, by making explicit what is now on most people's minds.

A nation unsure and bitter about its history and therefore its identity, frightened by terrorism and threatened by ethnic upheavals, will resort to voodoo geopolitics and find solace in the voodoo world organization par excellence, the UN. The UN as it is now - and as it has been for most of its existence - is the chief world producer of political and geopolitical lies. In fact, producing lies is its essential function. I am referring to the General Assembly's resolutions, to the UN agency operations, to the activities and declarations of successive Secretary-Generals. Security Council resolutions, thanks to the five great powers veto, and more specifically to the United States veto, tend to be more rooted in political and geopolitical truth.

The UN produces lies by positing itself as union of nations, whereas many of its members do not really qualify as states with functional governments.  It produces lies by not checking regularly upon its members' compliance with its Charter and its Declaration of Human Rights. It produces lies by acting as a kangaroo court on various issues. And above all, by pretending that this obscene chaos is order.

The Talmud says that turning crime into law, and natural law into crime, was the hallmark-and the major sin - of Sodom, the wicked city. George Orwell elaborated on that in his novel 1984. He understood "newspeak", the alteration and moral inversion of language, as the main tool of totalitarian regimes. Alexander Solzhenitsyn made the same point when he rose against Soviet tyranny:  the only weapon against the Red tyrants, he warned, was never to take part in their lies.

The UN lies are not just empty words and posturing; they are cast into educational programs, cultural and academic orthodoxies, economic utopias, and perverse aid programs that spread all over the world and gradually vitiate - much as a computer virus does - the entire fabric of politics and geopolitics, of public morality and international law. Think of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), from which the United States gallantly withdrew in 1984 and to which it should never have returned. Think of the UN World Population Prospects, which have had much impact since the 1960's on the demographic implosion in Western countries and particularly in Europe, or of the Kyoto Protocols of 1997. Think of the «Zionism Is Racism» resolution of 1975 or the Durban conference of 2001. Think of United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) , which in fact created the Palestinian refugee issue in the early 1950's and has kept it out of control ever since. Think finally of the Iraq oil for food operation and billions averted from needed Iraqis, while the United States was blamed for their condition.

I see a clear link between the spread of the UN-induced political and geopolitical viruses and the inability of my own country or of the European Union at large to face many of the present challenges. Though I am certainly not a Gaullist, General de Gaulle was right when he expressed contempt and defiance for the UN, or rather ″That Thing″, Le Machin, as he used to call it. Nor am I a Socialist, but François Mitterrand was right when he said: "You don't reform bad things. You just scrap them".

© Michel Gurfinkiel & The Hudson Institute, 2007

This speech was delivered at the Hudson Institute conference on the future of the United Nations, on September 11, 2006.

It has just been published as Chapter 16 of  "The UN and Beyond" (Hudson Institute). Editor : Anne Bayefsky.

Some things have improved over the past months : a decent Secretary General is now in charge of the UN ; a no-nonsense, pro-West, president has been elected in France.

Still, the global assessment of Europe's political anemia and the indictment of the UN and "Voodoo Geopolitics" remain in full force.

RETROUVEZ MICHEL GURFINKIEL SUR www.michelgurfinkiel.com

Photo  © Alain Azria

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