A Refined Europe with Umbrella
The other day a public meeting with a new EU Special Representative for South Caucasus Philippe Lefort was held in the Center of Zurab Achba. It was organized by the Sukhum Center for Humanitarian Programs and Paris Institute for Security. It was attended by the Security Council Secretary Stanislav Lakoba, Deputy of Foreign Minister Irakli Khintba and Director of Strategic Studies Center at the President of RA Oleg Damenia. Meetings with EU representatives have been already organized for several years. As a rule we try to explain to Europeans that the EU's desire to work with Abkhazia through Georgia is futile, that it is necessary to build direct relationships, even if not officially recognizing the independence of Abkhazia. Eventually, our persistence seems to have worked out, and the previous EU Special Representative Peter Semneby suggested a EU formula in Abkhazia - involvement without recognition." However, this formula is still in the air, as not only us move slowly from words to deeds.
It seemed important to me F. Lefort's assertion several times expressed that the European Union, despite its geopolitical weight (the number of its citizens is 720 million, its economy is three of Chinese and 16 of Russian, etc.), does not aspire to become a global hegemon and follows the principles of good neighborliness and while participating in conflict resolution excludes the use of military force. Of course, it was known before, but the new special representative is laying a special stress on it. Perhaps for the first time at these meetings a diplomat of such a rank said as well that in visible perspective the EU will unite with Russia to strengthen its power.
Perhaps this information imprinted in my soul, because I have been startled recently by George Friedman's political bestseller "The Next 100 Years," written before Barack Obama came to power. Friedman, an American political scientist and director of a private intelligence-analytical organization STRATFOR, is adamantly convinced that the twenty-first century will become the United States Age, that wars will occur and the United States should use everything, including armed force to maintain its leadership position. According to Friedman, the current apparent weakening of the US is an illusion, that America loses the war in other countries, not because of weakness, but because it tends to strengthen not an order there, but a chaos that prevents these countries to become strong and compete with the United States. Friedman is convinced that the Chinese "bubble" will burst soon, Russia will collapse after the 2020, and weak- willed and having lost the taste for battles Europe will forfeit its value.
For the first time I met an apologia of power and superiority, described on a such intellectual level. And this is terrifying. An intelligent and educated analyst at the beginning of the third millennium thinks mainly as a Neanderthal man - to hit a neighbor’s head with a truncheon and grasp a fresh piece of meat! Of course, not all of Americans are "hawks," Obama's victory in the last election speaks more to the contrary, but to write such a book in Europe is not considered comme il faut, but in the States, Friedman's book became a bestseller of the most influential American newspaper " New-York Times" - this says a lot!
Therefore, an old Europe, in spite of prolonged crisis of its union, seems to be as a prominent and refined lady who does not step on other’s feet and hit heads with umbrella in the rain to jump first into a taxi.