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Foreign Policy

The European Union and Its Expansion

The PDSJ understands the EU not as a mere aggregate of states which happen to be situated, geographically, within the physical region referred to as „Europe“ but rather as a genuine community of states, said community being defined both in terms of common trading arrangements and shared values.

The EU, however, is not, for all that, a community based on a shared religion.
For this reason, all those states should be permitted to accede to EU membership which fulfil certain requirements. Such requirements would include: respect for human rights; recognition of the rule of law and of democratic principles; the sharing of certain Western values such as, for example, monogamy; a certain level of economic capacity and, last but not least, a positive policy on environmental and peace issues.
Co-operation between EU member states must finally prove workable in practice. This especially on the levels of the intelligence-service, police, and judicial systems.

Steps must now be taken in order that EU law quickly come, in member states, finally to enjoy the same force as the respective national laws – although it should also be carefully examined here whether the existing multiplicity of laws and regulations is really in all respects necessary.

EU that is strong both economically and politically that will be able to exert a counterbalancing force vis-à-vis (presently) the USA and (in future) also China.


Globalisation

Given that the tools of reason no longer suffice to hold up the process of globalisation, discussion about its „pros and cons“ has become pointless.

The issue is now rather: how are we to create forming and guiding conditions for this de facto process which will make it socially tolerable?

Globalisation also offers us opportunities in the areas of human rights, democracy, the environment, and global peace – opportunities which we cannot afford not to grasp.


Hunger and Poverty

Not only in our own but in every state, hunger and poverty represent significant threats to peace.

Many of the armed conflicts and „ethnic cleansings“ that plague, in particular, the Third World, have their roots in a dire lack of basic necessities among the populations concerned.

The costs that ultimately ensue for us from such a state of affairs – those, for example, of deploying UN peacekeeping forces or of aid for social reconstruction – are enormous.

It is thus in our deepest and most genuine interest to combat hunger and poverty worldwide by means of appropriate forms of development aid!


War and Crises

The PDSJ deplores every resort to arms and violence but recognizes the right to self-defence where this is needful and acknowledges, moreover, that there exists a positive duty to come to the aid of those in need of this kind.

Mass expulsions of people from their homes, genocide, and „ethnic cleansing“ – these are things which no democratic society committed to social principles can stand idly by and watch occur, and this quite regardless of whatever economic self-interest may or may not ultimately be involved.

Given that such serious infringements of human rights are in almost every case preceded by a social crisis of some other sort, it is clearly the task of political authorities to recognize such crises as they emerge and to take steps – involving even, where this cannot be avoided, the threat of the use of military force – to prevent their escalating into atrocities of the sort we have mentioned.

In no case can we permit a repetition of, for example, recent events in the Balkans, which saw the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians before either UN or EU finally felt moved to intervene.

Swift action is required above all in order to prevent the emergence of situations in which aggressors end up with certain potent, but self-created, faits accomplis on their side.

The threat of rapid and large-scale military intervention, regrettable as it is, really can help to prevent still worse eventualities.

Regardless, however, of the manner in which the parties to the conflict themselves behave, the intervening powers and their armies must adhere to the rules and principles (be these those of the Geneva Convention, or simply the unwritten principles of human rights, ethics, and morality) the respect of which they implicitly, by their intervention, demand of others.

Such complacent and arrogant comportment as, for example, that of the USA in Iraq, must be condemned in the sharpest possible terms and steps be taken to make its repetition impossible.

Were such ideas only developed and applied also to individual wars and armed clashes between states, they could perhaps, where they were combined with appropriate economic incentives, prevent altogether the tendency of developing countries to assemble larger and larger standing armies.


Terrorism

History has already proven sufficiently clearly that there are no really effective counter-measures to be taken against terrorist attacks. This was demonstrated in Europe by the actions of the IRA and ETA, and in Russia and Japan by those of other forces; in Israel, it is demonstrated almost daily to be the case, although this latter state has proceeded with every conceivable rigour against such attacks and their alleged sources, even to the point of the disregard of many international conventions. Even the „invulnerable“ superpower, the USA, has proven powerless against terrorism.

This present sense of powerlessness has led to the hasty ushering, through the parliaments of many countries of „anti-terror laws“ which are contributing to the undermining, in said countries, of the basic principles of democracy and the rule of law. We are waging wars (Afghanistan, Iraq) the consequences of which are impossible to foresee. We see daily new instances of torture, pillage and murder, while the governments involved sink to ever greater depths of dishonesty and deceit. And what is there to show for it? The number of terrorist attacks all over the world has risen instead of falling!

The USA is attempting to get its hands on the terrorists by means of posting millions of dollars worth of rewards for information leading to their capture. But how can the USA ensure that this money, once paid, will not itself be used to fund terrorism? And if, in the end, they refuse actually to pay the rewardmoney out, will this perceived treachery not itself go to raise new generations of terrorists?

Clearly, this is no solution. Rather, the only possible solution consists in removing the fundamental motivation behind the actions of the terrorists, while at the same time ensuring that anyone who persists in such actions will no longer find any refuge or support in the population at large.

But the very thought of such a solution demands thought also about the question: what are the motivations behind the actions of terrorists and how is it that such actions do meet with resonance and support within certain populations?

Clearly, this is no solution. Rather, the only possible solution consists in removing the fundamental motivation behind the actions of the terrorists, while at the same time ensuring that anyone who persists in such actions will no longer find any refuge or support in the population at large.

The victims of his action must, in the view of the terrorist, be classed in the category „collateral damage” – a category also, of course, deployed by such opponents of the terrorist as the USA, when yet another American rocket happens accidentally to destroy a block of residential flats.

Nor is this view the lonely paranoid delusion of the individual terrorist. He is very often fêted as a hero by large sections of the nation to which he belongs. His nation, that is to say, shares with him his political goal.

We are told all too often, by those who claim to know, that the actions of terrorists are exclusively the results of brainwashing and religious fanaticism.

Such factors may indeed play an ancillary and contributory role but they do not form the real core of his motivation. This real core consists in the fact that the terrorist feels himself to be „with his back against the wall“ both in terms of his concept of honour and in terms of his suffering from poverty and subjugation.

The key issue here is not whether this sense of being dishonoured, beggared and subjugated is one which corresponds to the real state of affairs in the world. What matters is that the terrorist feels the situation to be so.

It follows that the only method which will ever really succeed in „beating terrorism” is tolerance. Behave like guests in someone’s home, even when you are an occupying army; take care to observe and respect the concepts of honour, and the customs and mores, of the national groups with whom you have to do; and make sure that your commercial agreements, when you make them, are fair and just. Then, and only then, will you „win the war on terror” – quickly, efficiently and at minimal economic cost!