peace

Europe is passing through critical times when a lot of caution as well determination is needed to avoid the possibility of large scale destruction. Hence this is a time for all those committed to a future of peace for Europe and for world to unite, setting aside all relatively less significant differences for the time being, to ensure that the Ukraine conflict ends without further destruction as soon as possible or, at the very least, to ensure that further escalation and widening of conflict are avoided.

The peace movement should make it clear that Europe must not be dragged by the USA into any conflict escalation or larger quest for world dominance as a junior or even equal partner. Instead Europe must be dedicated to evolving independent policies for protecting its legitimate interests within a framework of world peace. Having friendly relations with the USA as far as possible (without being forced to become a partner in hegemony) and encouraging peace groups within USA should be seen as a part of this. Instead of being subordinating itself to US dominance, Europe should seek a role of dissuading USA away from the more dangerous pursuits of its dominance goals.

In the Nord Stream tragic and dangerous episode (which also led to massive methane emission) the role of European countries should have not been to accept quietly or to even collude in this, but instead to try to dissuade USA from such a dangerous and destructive course of action, and to have an open and free debate on all aspects. The peace movement in Europe must assert that Europe must have independent policies, guided by the enlightened self-interest of Europe integrated with the best interests of world peace.

The peace movement of Europe should assert that all controversial issues including Nord Stream should be discussed in rational, evidence based ways, instead of being covered up or censored. Europe needs to introspect that while it has been raising concerns of freedom of expression (as well as other concerns of true democracy) all over the world, its own recent record in such matters leaves much to be desired.

Much has been said and done about European unity, but all efforts in this direction (and good intentions) notwithstanding, what we see today in reality is a deeply divided, scared, scarred and confused continent. At one extreme Britain seems to be much more closely allied to highly aggressive US policies than to Europe, in open as well as secretive ways, at the other extreme the biggest country Russia has been isolated, pushed aside and antagonized more than before.

Europe appears to be edging closer to the possibility of catastrophic war, and to avert this danger, the peace movement has a very important role. Let all aspects of the crisis be discussed without fear and favor in an unbiased way, in true democratic spirit, and true solutions will then emerge.

For over 400 years of modern history colonialism unleashed the biggest ever wave of destruction and distress in various continents and a few countries of Europe played the most central role in this. In the 20th century their race for dominance brought them into internal conflicts which in turn unleashed two world wars causing destruction all over the world and this time Europe itself suffered a lot too.

The imperial, colonial streak never went away entirely of course, and after the Second World War some European leaders appeared to be merely handing over the baton to a new, more distant leader. However many enlightened groups, people and some leaders emerged too, committed to a future of worldwide peace, justice and environment protection. These will need to assert themselves more with increasing unity and increase their numbers to save Europe from the existing path of becoming a junior partner for world hegemony, a path which will almost inevitably unleash even higher destruction in Europe as well at world level.

Bharat Dogra is Honorary Convener, Campaign to Save Earth Now. His recent books include ‘Planet in Peril’, ‘A Day in 2071’, ‘Earth without Borders’and ‘Protecting Earth for Children’.


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