Why Is Social-Imperialism So Irritated With West European Union?
[This article is reprinted from Peking Review, Vol. 17, #6, Feb. 8, 1974, pp. 16-17.]
THE Soviet leading clique has cranked up its propaganda media in the last two months to attack the growing trend of the West European countries to strengthen their political union as well as their defence. It has become so furious because its policy of expansion in Western Europe suffered one setback after another in the last year.
The Soviet Union has left no stone unturned to intensify its contention with the United States in Europe. While making further military deployments in Eastern Europe, it took pains to press for the heads of the European governments to meet before the end of last year in the third stage of the conference on European security and co-operation, so as to lay what it called a “solid foundation” for European security and co-operation. It hoped in this way it could not only consolidate its overlordship in Eastern Europe, but also lull the vigilance of the West European countries, divide them and edge the United States out so that it could put the whole of Europe under its sole domination.
“Grandiose Plan” Fizzles Out
But the conference on European security and co-operation last year ran into a deadlock, as did its twin conference in Vienna on force reductions in Central Europe. At the second stage meeting in Geneva last September, the European security conference which the Soviet Union had spared no efforts to organize became “a dialogue of the deaf.” Consequently Brezhnev’s “grandiose plan” for a European summit meeting at the third stage of the conference fizzled out. Facts have proved that instead of creating a sense of security in Western Europe, the talks in Geneva and Vienna showed the threat of Soviet expansion more clearly. The British weekly The Economist pointed out in its December 29, 1973 issue: “Their (the Russians) aim at Geneva appears to be to get the West formally to recognize the division of Europe, and at Vienna to formalize its own military inferiority.” The weekly Die Zeit in the Federal Republic of Germany wrote in its December 21 issue that at both the conferences on force reductions in Central Europe and on European security, “the negotiators have manoeuvred themselves into a blind alley.”
“Detente” Myth Explodes
The Soviet leading clique has tried its best to advertise “relaxation” of the international situation. However, the reality of the stepped-up Soviet arms expansion and war preparations in Europe and its intensified contention with the United States in the Middle East have relentlessly exploded the “detente” myth and cannot but increasingly heighten the alertness of Western Europe. The French paper la Politique ce Matin in an article on October 12 said that “it is very difficult to neglect this fact: The Soviet military disposition vis-a-vis Western Europe has not been relaxed simultaneously with the progress in the detente” and what has happened is “just the opposite.” In these circumstances, the paper said, “it is, therefore, unreasonable to cherish the illusion that the European security and co-operation conference is able to solve all the questions facing the European continent today and to do away for ever with the risk of confrontation, or at least, of tension.”
The French paper l’Aurore reported on December 4 that the “ennui” is because French foreign information servicemen “discovered almost everywhere in the East (of Europe) only signs of militarization, and frenzied armament.” The F.R.G. paper Die Welt carried an article last December 8 saying that the “Western detente-illusionism has begun to crumble” recently, and that the “accelerated Soviet missile-programme” as well as “the consequence of the Near East crisis” have put some Western countries in a “process of disillusionment”; and there is now a “better understanding of the real situation” and a “disenchantment of the detente-mythology.” Die Zeit, in its December 21 issue, stressed: “Detente between East and West—twelve months ago it promised to become the smash-hit of the year. Now hardly anybody still speaks of it.”
Present Main Trend in Western Europe
The Soviet ruling clique has tried every means to divide and disintegrate Western Europe, in particular to break up the political union of the nine Common Market countries. But since last year, particularly since the October Middle East war, the West European countries have been more vigorous in pushing ahead with their political union, so as to wage a common struggle against the power politics of the two superpowers. In the foreign policy field last year, the nine consulted with each other on some important questions and took a common stand at the European security conference.
The summit conference of the-nine European community countries held in Copenhagen last Demmber in accordance with French President Georges Pompidou’s proposal at the end of October showed the desire of the nine countries to strengthen their political union.
The document on “European identity” approved at the conference said: “International developments and the growing concentration of power and responsibility in the hands of a very small number of great powers mean that Europe must unite and speak increasingly with a single voice if it wants to make itself heard and play its proper role in the world.” In spite of various difficult-to-solve contradictions existing among the West European countries, further strengthening of the union is certainly the main trend.
While increasing the superiority of its forces over Western Europe, the Soviet leading clique has made every effort to weaken the West European defence by means of the “disarmament talks,” etc. But its smug calculations can hardly be realized. The French paper Combat wrote on December 10 last year that the Soviet Union “appeals for peace and disarmament, and manifests its reprobation for all the velleity of independent military defence of the nine European countries,” but its leaders have failed to answer the question’ “Why all these tanks in a period of detente?” Thus the West European countries, particularly since the Middle East war last year, have put on the agenda the question of reinforcing defence and begun exploring the question of defence co-operation in Western Europe.
Kremlin’s Real Intentions
All these moves of the West European countries have made the Soviet leading clique ill at ease. Of late, Soviet papers and journals such as Pravda, Literary Gazette and New Times have come out one after another to rail at those West European personages and papers that have advocated a closer political union and stronger defence of Western Europe as having “ulterior motives” and being “opponents of detente” and “opponents of collective security and all-European co-operation.” However, the more furiously the Soviet papers rant and rave, the move clearly will people see the Soviet leading clique’s real intentions in Europe.
In France le Monde wrote on November 30: “The Kremlin is in a bad humour due to the stand taken by French diplomacy”—“a fact which it is almost unnecessary to cover up.” It said that the main reason for the Kremlin’s discontent is that recently “French diplomacy has once again stressed the need of the nine countries’ political union and Western Europe’s independent defence.” “Soviet diplomacy watches with an evil eye the attempts at European union.... In the Soviet leaders’ view, it would obviously be better for them to have an economically strong, but divided and defenseless Europe.”
France-Soir said in an article published on December 1 that what causes anxiety in the Soviet Union is the fact that “Paris hopes to see Europe with a strong and independent military force some day.” It said that the Soviet Union was reluctant to see “a Europe decide its own destiny.”
The F.R.G. paper Die Welt pointed out that the Soviet Union wanted “to fill stealthily and in many stages the vacuum that might be left by the United States in Western Europe.” “This power wanted to obstruct the independence of Western Europe and intended to build it according to its own desire,” it added.
The British Financial Times wrote on December 8, “The Russians’ West European policies have suddenly run into trouble.” After the Middle East war, it said, “the Soviet Union not only found itself staring at a row of backs (in Western Europe) but began to realize that what the nine had always been saying about integration, they now apparently meant.” It said that the Soviet Union has made little secret of its “alarm” and “fear” of this.
Moscow’s propaganda machine continues its hue and cry. The West European countries and people are heightening their vigilance against this superpower. The trend of strengthening their union and defence is thus developing. Social-imperialism can never realize its unbridled ambition to extend its hegemony to the whole of Europe and the world.
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