Europe faces crucial battle to save UN and international order

The dramatic events we have all been experiencing over the past two months with the war in Iraq, the rift between Europe and the USA, internal discord within the ranks of the EU itself, and the invalidation of the role of the United Nations, have made us all wiser. They have also confirmed an unavoidable truth: In a world which is changing rapidly – and apparently for the worse – no one can justifiably remain inactive, immovable, stubbornly and rigidly defending their version of the truth. The early anti-war protests, which took place in most countries across the globe, showed that no rational human being can accept the paranoia and raw violence of war. The message was clear and was being sent to those who had decided to launch the offensive. Since then, however, things continued to develop and the horror of war has dominated everything. First, our European partners – who boldly and at great expense attempted to avoid such developments – made use of their experience in handling major crises to readjust their arguments and their strategies, attempting to shift the emphasis to the sphere in which they are more likely to have some influence – namely, the governmental structure of a postwar Iraq, the future role of the UN, as well as an effort to avoid the imposition of the dogma «might is right.» Greece’s two main political parties reacted in the same way, as it is clear that this is where the new battle will take place. On the other hand, certain deluded individuals – including the leaders of smaller parties – persist with the gratuitous and pointless argument that the war should end immediately. As if we have the option of turning back the clock or stopping the advance of the US and British tanks. Meanwhile, the next gamble looks as if it will be even greater than the last. If the UN, France, Germany, Russia and whoever else joins the operation (which will quite possibly be backed by London) do not succeed in changing Washington’s uncompromising stance – according to which the UN should only operate as a humanitarian organization, distributing food and medicine to those in need – then the UN faces the risk of total invalidation, as does the international framework that has been shaped over the past 50 years. The people are being asked to participate in this new battle – which will determine the new postwar balance of power as well as the prosperity of us all – as they did before the war began, but this time with the hope that there will be acquiescence and agreement. If some people in our country consider this behavior to be submissive and subservient, let them propose an alternative plan for placating a storm that has already begun.