Amidst all the murder and mayhem which has ravaged the Balkans throughout the 1990s, a lone figure who embodies the entire ethnic mix of the former Yugoslavia has tirelessly sought a solution to the conflict. The son of Serb-Croat parents and married to a Bosnian Moslem, 59-year-old Boris Vukobrat has made the future of his country a personal vocation to which he dedicates all his available spare time, travelling the world as a sort of self-styled diplomat. In 1995, expressing little or no faith in the Washington accords - which overlooked multi-ethnic realities in dividing up the country (and thus most families), marginalised the Russians and dangerously legitimised Milosevic as the sole Serbian voice - Vukobrat had prophesied that "the worst is yet to come."
Using his skills as an industrialist, he has assisted various humanitarian projects such as those helping eastern European countries in their transition from planned to market economies. At the same time, tapping the expertise of various economic and political sources, he also devised a plan for the future of the Balkans which he published in the book, Proposals for a New Commonwealth of the Republics of ex-Yugoslavia. His programme for the peaceful co-existence of the people of the Balkans involves overturning the oppressive Communist legacy of collectivism so that men can "decide their own destiny for themselves as far as possible, according to the principle of subsidiarity." Essentially, whether the author recognises the fact or not, it is about the application of commonsense Catholic social teaching, favouring "a type of direct democracy" that respects all the historically different regions (like Dalmatia or Dubrovnik) which would then constitute the germinal cells of the single internationally recognised republics. "Why can't each region not maintain its cultural, historical and social peculiarities?" he asks.
Vukobrats' model is the Swiss Confederation, "where the cantons did not group together out of love for each other but because they were better off together." Quite true. Yet I wonder if he is aware of the direct intervention of Divine Providence in uniting the diverse nationalities behind those fiercely independent cantons? Whether he has even heard of Nicholas von Flue, that extraordinary individual called by God at the end of the fifteenth century to save and foster the fledgling Swiss Confederation just as it stood on the brink of balkanising the heart of Western Europe? Sad to say, I very much doubt it. And it is very sad indeed, because to know that the Swiss cantons forged a seemingly impossible unity out of rampant diversity without appreciating the Lord's clear approbation of the principles underlying their alliance is to miss the point entirely; like knowing the price of a Michelangelo masterpiece while ignoring the Catholic faith that both inspired the work and imbues it with deeper significance and value.
That the inevitable acrimonious break-up didn't happen is down to St. Nicholas. Canonised in 1947 and known to the Swiss simply as Brother Klaus, his quite incredible life's journey is related in my recently published work The Invisible Crown: first in narrative form, from the perspective of his wife Dorothy, followed by a more detailed biography. Suffice to say here that having progressed through the diverse roles of farmer, soldier, father of ten children, politician, magistrate, hermit and mystic, he also became a bona fide statesman regularly consulted on pressing issues by political powers of the day such as the Duke of Milan and the Habsburg Archduke Sigmund of Austria. Emissaries and special envoys made long and arduous journeys to the area between Lucerne and Interlaken to consult Klaus on affairs of state in his tiny hermitage, still standing to this day in a deep gorge called The Ranft.
"Though a hermit and a mystic," as one priest has written, "Nicholas did not run away from the burning issues of his contemporaries." In fact he was very well informed about complex political affairs both at home and abroad. Bernardino Imperiali, a Milanese envoy who spent an evening and a morning with Klaus discussing a protracted and dangerous dispute between several cantons and the Duke of Milan over customs duties, wrote in a lengthy report to the Duke: "The Confederates have great confidence in him. I found him informed about the whole thing… The affair grieved him sorely and he prayed God would make peace... He said he would send a message in writing to be read at the next Council Meeting... and begged you to overlook minor matters in order to live in peace with the Confederates." The matter was resolved, war averted and Imperiali returned home.
Spared the oppressive information overload we endure today, Brother Klaus' solitary life, given to divine contemplation through self-denial, enabled him to do something increasingly beyond the wherewithal of we moderns: to always think objectively and see clearly beyond narrow local interests to general principles. The leaders of the cantons (which by the mid-14th century had grown from the rural nucleus of Uri, Schwyz and the von Flue's own canton of Unterwalden to include Lucerne, Zurich, Glarus, Zug and Berne) recognised this godly objectivity in Klaus. They thus routinely sought him out for advice as they tried to resolve the myriad problems and conflicts besetting their embryonic Confederation.
This was the complicated background to the long-standing difficulties resolved at the Covenant of Stans in 1481. As Brother Klaus prayed and fasted, the Confederation beyond his hermitage in The Ranft was suffering from discord of every kind, full of confusions and contradictions but lacking the machinery to deal with them. In the several years leading up to Stans, friendly mediation, legal proceedings and arbitration sought to settle these internal differences and Klaus, who was kept informed of the situation through visits by state officials, surely influenced those who drew up various draft statements discussed at meetings of the Diet in late 1481. On 21 December, however, it all dissolved in acrimony and recriminations and the delegates prepared to return to their cantons convinced that only force of arms could solve their problems. The people were seized with terror by the prospect of a bloody civil war that would obliterate their nearly 200 year old Confederation.
An eyewitness account of the extraordinary turnaround the following day describes how Herr Heini am Grund, a very dear friend of Brother Klaus who providentially had become parish priest of Stans in the previous June, got up in the night and walked 10 miles through the snow to discuss the situation with Klaus. Just as the delegates had eaten and were about to depart Stans on the afternoon of 22 December:
Remarkably, as one contemporary biographer writes, "the dramatic change in atmosphere" affected not only the urgent question of signing two crucial documents but "the sorting out of loose ends not formally dealt with on that day" [including a formula for settling a virulent and pivotal dispute over war booty which dated back to the Battle of Nancy in 1477]. It "provided a basis for the development of the Confederation for more than 300 years… All accounts agree that it was his [Brother Klaus'] last-minute intervention that saved the Confederation at the critical moment. However important his counsels may have been during the years of rumbling disagreement, a clear lead at the moment of deadlock, from a man of great spiritual authority, was seized upon with eagerness… ."
The sense of rejoicing and rapture this successful intervention occasioned is preserved in various letters such as this one to Brother Klaus from the Mayor and Council of Solothurn, whose entry into the Confederation had occasioned the most vitriolic opposition at Stans:
Far from religion being the trigger of universal discord and disunity as the accepted propaganda would have it, in other words, it is precisely the absence of the one true religion that has fragmented Western societies and left them prey to the relentless fiats of the liberal elite about how they should live and what they should think. Whatever may be said of the monarchic Middle Ages with its vassals and serfs, in psycho-spiritual terms our reputedly egalitarian Computer Age has nothing to brag about, having regressed from the feudal freedom of Christian doctrine to the enslaving superdogma of the nanny state - a suffocating political correctness which, between banning things or making them compulsory, is rapidly taking anarchic "freedom of choice" to its logical totalitarian end (John Paul himself has referred to "democratic tyranny"). If men and women of pre-Reformation times lacked the modern secular gods of democracy and technology, they all shared one priceless treasure. Despite their grave faults and their greed and grasping, despite their warlike disposition and social differences, the Swiss Confederates were profoundly Catholic - bound together, in spite of themselves, by the unifying "authority" principle of Catholicism. They recognised God as the sole arbiter of their destiny and His Commandments, interpreted by His Church, as the only basis for lasting peace. They knew well that at the heart of their disputes lay a turning away from these fundamental principles.
In Brother Klaus, therefore, they approached a man having renounced wealth, power, honour and all earthly things that were the source of their own divisions; an obedient son of Holy Mother Church who sought God alone and the accomplishment of His Will. They knew that Klaus would find the solution through prayerful conversation with the Lord. In his advice they recognised the Will of God and knew that the blessing of Heaven accompanied his intervention. This blessing was manifested in a union of culturally diverse cantons that enabled Switzerland to pass through centuries of tumult in Europe virtually unscathed. Moreover, on the rare occasions when they were unfaithful to the spirit in which Klaus had bound them together they came close to ruin.
The Confederates had a further reason to conclude that God directly sanctioned Klaus' intervention and guidance. It was well known that the hermit of Ranft lived on the Holy Eucharist alone. As related in my book, his miraculous fast from food and drink was strictly scrutinised by antagonistic secular officials and duly investigated by the local Bishop before being accepted as an indisputable fact by the civil and religious authorities alike. The technical term in Catholic theology for such a fast is inedia. It is not uncommon among the saints and blessed souls and Klaus' fast of twenty years - from October 1467 until his death in March 1487 - may be one of the longest unbroken periods.
In the normal course of events, total abstention from food and fluids is considered highly dangerous after a mere three to four days. The maximum accepted time for a person to survive with no fluids is six days. In a period of weeks, with no nutrients, repercussions could include symptoms of scurvy and beri beri; increased threat of strokes and heart attacks; major metabolic problems, brain disorders and coma. This puts the magnitude of the miracle accorded Klaus by the Lord in stark perspective but also further underscores the heavenly nature of the Swiss miracle - because the man who effected the union of cantons was a saint who himself miraculously personified the ultimate, life-giving unity i.e. Eucharistic union of the soul with the Saviour.
Neutrality itself was first solemnly proclaimed at the Diet held in 1638. But the Confederates were not always faithful and it was not until the occupation of Swiss territory by the revolutionary empire of France that they clearly understood they would be better off keeping their own counsel. Cantons old and new were obliged to come to terms. The 1815 Treaty of Paris - emanating from the Congress of Vienna which put an end to the Napoleonic wars - stipulated that "the inviolability of Switzerland and its independence from any foreign influence are in the true interests of the policies of the whole of Europe" and that this neutrality was to be "perpetual." This Treaty was confirmed in the London Declaration of 1920 with a concept known as "differential" neutrality, proclaimed at a time when international order was coming to the fore as the guiding light of the future. In 1938 the principle was again re-expressed as "integral" neutrality.
Despite this history of formal recognition in the international arena, however, Swiss neutrality at the popular level has always been sorely misunderstood and suddenly seems more discreditable than ever in light of the centripetal/globalist political agenda of the present day. Indeed, the supranational forces who dictate that agenda despise Switzerland's famed independence and wealth (according to the latest UN survey it is currently the fifth richest country in the world ahead of powers like Japan, Germany and France and well ahead of Britain), because unlike the rest it is largely beyond their influence and control. Thus the drive to recover Jewish money secreted in Swiss bank vaults by the Nazis went way beyond the limits of a righteous campaign against certain corrupt bankers to become a propaganda exercise in guilt by association - effectively vilifying and marginalising the Swiss people as if they and their entire banking system alone had sinned.
A relentlessly one-sided, hypocritical media assault, spluttering under headlines like Swiss neutrality? It is just an excuse to get rich, manipulated public opinion while overlooking inconvenient news angles - such as the many German and Austrian Jews, for example, who were thankful for the Swiss secrecy that enabled some money to be kept out of Nazi hands; or the role of officials of the Paris branch of Barclays Bank during the War who barred Jewish customers from withdrawing their money after the German invasion, allowed Nazi officers to deposit money stolen from Jewish families being deported to Auschwitz, tipped off the Nazis about their own Jewish employees and lent the Germans money to aid their war effort. Not to mention the British banks currently being investigated by the Security Services for hiding hundreds of millions of pounds plundered from some of the poorest countries by the world's most ruthless and brutal dictators (a scam also involving France and the US)? No, the sins of the Swiss are not unique in our times but their autonomy within the sacred precincts of the increasingly fascist "global village" most certainly is, and it is this galling fact rather than moral indignation which underlay the ferocity and bias of the media's smear campaign.
Yet whatever success the globalists and Europhiles might have in projecting the image of a selfishly independent and covetous Switzerland, the fact is that from the time of the admission of Freiburg and Soluthurn at Stans, neutrality was understood as a creative principle of effective peace-making rather than a selfish desire to keep out of trouble. Newly joined members of the Confederation were obliged to pledge themselves not to take sides in inter-cantonal disputes and to act as mediators if required. From this point of view the idea of neutrality is implicit in the Covenant of Stans and is an attempt to give substance to Brother Klaus' insistence that "Peace is always in God," as he wrote to the authorities in Berne in a letter of thanks for a gift:
This letter of 4 December, 1482, has been called Brother Klaus' "political testament" as it is the nearest thing we have to a general statement on political matters in his own words. Peace is a by-product of obedience to God because "peace is always in God." It was the attitude formed by this understanding that saw Switzerland quickly emerge as a nation with distinct characteristics. As calls for German unification from across the border became more insistent during the nineteenth century, the more consciously and speedily did the Swiss abandon the remains of their German origins. "The Swiss," writes Golo Mann in his epic History of Germany since 1789, "only wanted to be left in peace and did not want to disturb the peace of others." The crucial socio-political dimension of this basic truth - that peace is rooted in obedience to God - is perhaps best summed up in what is regarded as Brother Klaus' fundamental political maxim:
Sovereignty, the EU and Globalism
According to St. Nicholas, for the State to remain peaceful and prosperous it must be united, free, independent, defended and, above all else, Christian. Freedom is a priceless possession that must be guarded and disciplined by the principles of the Gospel and thus true freedom, prosperity and peace are given permanently only when society is Christian and Catholic. Or as St. Pius X put it to the bishops of France in 1910: "there is no true civilisation without a moral civilisation, and there is no true moral civilisation without the true religion." At the same time, even a true moral civilisation is not that heavenly home of abiding contentment in the life of God for which the human soul must ever strive, so any attempt to construct a worldly utopia is essentially a diabolic perversion of the truth about man and thus a recipe for hell on earth.
Directly opposed to this Catholic view is the materialistic ideology underlying the economic and political integration of the European Union. A post-1989 convergence of liberalism and socialism, it is manifested in any one of several forms: from the in-your-face socialism of former German Finance Minister 'Red Oskar' Lafontaine (whose sounding off about a centralised tax-collecting European Superstate rendered talk of secret agendas superfluous), to the saccharine pseudo-Christianity of pro-abort liberal Tony Blair or the "Catho-communism" of his friend Romano Prodi, President of the European Commission.
Prodi, for whom both Blair and Massimo D'Alema (leader of the Italian Communist Party and disciple of Palmiro Togliatti, Stalin's Italian lieutenant) successfully campaigned to have installed as EC President for the next five years, has candidly revealed the height, depth and breadth of this motivating ideology which seeks not just economic and political power but lays claim to the whole of European man. For starters, he wants all children born after the Millennium to be officially declared "citizens of Europe" which will encourage future generations to regard themselves as Europeans first and foremost. In his book titled An Idea about Europe, he argues that to create a "European soul" all babies born from next year would have joint citizenship - with their European status having priority - before eventually moving to a single Euro passport and abolition of all remaining border controls within the Union. The introduction of a harmonised education policy would promote knowledge of EU institutions and history and help create a new "European ruling class."
In an interview with the Financial Times of 6 April, 1999, Mr Prodi makes clear that the independent nation state has no future within Europe following the introduction of the euro at the beginning of the year, stating that his "real goal" as Commission president is to draw on "the consequences of the single currency and create a political Europe." He said:
If we add to this the aggressively anti-Catholic stance on socio-moral issues already adopted as a matter of course by the European Parliament, such as the motion passed on 9 March 1999 calling for abortion in member states (read: Ireland - the only member state without abortion on demand) and the EU's notorious promotion of the homosexual and feminist agendas at UN summits, we have in sum a familiar dehumanising humanism which holds that freedom is an end in itself and interference with it obscurantist, and that human reason is the measure of truth. In other words, we find the latest inexorable development of that hellish vision emanating from the French Revolution - a worldview which attributes the origin of all conflict to national and religious divisions, stakes all on human nature and looks to a perfect society - engineered and ruled by a gnostic elite - to be attained in this world; a universal republic with neither states nor religions.(1)
Doubtless, very many of Europe's religiously illiterate politicians and bureaucrats barely perceive or comprehend the diabolic nature and goal of the ideological engine pulling the EU train. Yet if their invisible masters - the transnational brotherhood of billionaires and true believers i.e. the Bilderbergs and Masons - are concerned with anything at all apart from naked power and their ever expanding portfolios, it is this globally godless vision deeply rooted in the anti-Catholic bloodbath of 1789. While these major players and manipulators remain physically discreet(2), however, it is not as if their agents and 'useful idiots' don't regularly trumpet their aim of world government, of which the EU is the latest component part. For instance, in a disturbing article in the New York Times Magazine of 28 March, 1999, Times foreign affairs correspondent Thomas L. Friedman states that "Globalisation-is-U.S." and that "sustaining globalisation is our overarching national interest." He calls for "the United States Army, Air Force, Navy, and the Marine Corps" to act as a "hidden fist" of US globalisation "that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley's technologies." A few weeks later, on 2 May, Times Editor Max Frankel went further, stating: "Someday in the next century we will acknowledge that there can be no global human rights without global laws and no way to write and enforce the laws without a global congress, courts, and cops. … in time we will realise, like the nations of Western Europe, that sovereignty has become the enemy of safety. The time will come when Americans recognise that anarchy among nations constitutes a threat to our interest and welfare. We would then take the lead in creating a canopy of law across the globe." Bill Clinton's adviser Strobe Talbott encapsulates the attitude in his observation that: "Within the next 100 years… nationhood as we know it will be obsolete; all states will recognise a single, global authority."
The same mentality, consciously or subconsciously attuned to this yearning for some kind of world federalism, is also entrenched in Whitehall, as echoed in Margaret Thatcher's plaint of July 1999 that top diplomats have worked for more than 40 years to submerge Britain's independence in the European Union regardless of the views of voters or the Government of the day. Once seduced by European integration herself but now an arch-sceptic, in a letter to the Sunday Telegraph she countered the views of 16 former diplomats that Britain could not prosper outside the single currency, stating that they represented a "continuous strand in the Foreign Office's institutional view of the world which believes that Britain's only way forward is to dissolve our national independence in the European Union." She went on: "This attitude has been held by a handful of senior officials since the Fifties, without regard to the opinion of the electorate or of various Governments since then."
Contrary to the image spun out by Blair's publicity machine, Kosovo was not a damsel in distress rescued by a chivalrous knight from Downing Street. While the Holy Father accused both the Serb and Albanian warlords of being driven by "unspoken motives" and a "thirst for power", he was doubtless also aware of the more conspicuous motives and exercise of raw power by a cynical coterie of Western politicians who believe in nothing beyond the next opinion poll rating and election result. In fact, Kosovo was simply a New World Order opportunity waiting to happen; a crucial stepping stone, as one American critic put it, in "the transformation of NATO from a defensive alliance into the military puppet of an aggressive American Empire that is determined to ignore the concept of national sovereignty and to work its will on the rest of the world." The European puppet-in-chief, Tony Blair, had duly enunciated his pompous "Doctrine of International Community" (i.e. "limited sovereignty") in a speech to the Economic Club of Chicago in April, 1999, according to which significant violations of Western humanitarian values would justify military intervention. National sovereignty is to be limited by human rights violations as determined by NATO(3). A few weeks later, on 11 May, European foreign and defence ministers meeting in Bremen, Germany, began merging the old, pre-NATO defence alliance, the Western European Union (WEU), with the European Union which currently has 2 million men and women under arms - the first major step towards a fully integrated Western European Army under direct Brussels control and superior to all national armed forces, which idea is fully supported by the likes of President Chirac and Romano Prodi.
Since unnatural principles breed unnatural troubles, it was all bound to get curioser and murkier by turns. For starters, it will hardly surprise readers to learn that in order to activate Blair's flawed "Doctrine" and thus effect NATO's "transformation", the Clinton administration was not above lying about alleged atrocities and manipulating public emotions through a pliant media. The alleged Serbian massacre of ethnic Albanian civilians in the Kosovo village of Racak, for instance, which Clinton used to justify military action, was not about "ethnic cleansing" at all. It was, in fact, a hoax. The dead were actually 45 Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) soldiers - killed during a fierce exchange with the Serbs which was witnessed by a French television crew and reported in Le Monde - who had been re-dressed in civilian clothing and piled into a nearby ditch. This fact was verified by a team of Finnish doctors brought in by the international community but their report was buried because, according to the German newspaper Die Welt, it was a "hot potato" that would undermine the US position. Clinton lied, again, because the actual number of civilian killings in Kosovo, according to his own State Department figures and as reported in the New York Post of 2 April, 1999, were so few as to be less than the murder rates for some major American cities! One estimate of less than 100 Kosovar deaths (in a genuine civil war) between January-March 1999 hardly sounds like the Clinton-Blair assessment of a "mass slaughter" warranting violation of a nation's sovereignty and its bombing into the Stone Age. It was reported by all those on the spot in Kosovo that whatever NATO thought Milosevic may have had planned, it was their (criminal?) intervention that escalated "cleansing" to unprecedented levels in fact.
Meanwhile, distant viewers manipulated by emotional TV footage didn't get to hear much about the extreme complexities of Balkan life, like the "cleansing" of Serbs by Albanians (according to UN figures over 90 Serb villages were "cleansed" in 1998 alone by Kosovar Albanians) - thus confirming the pattern observed by British journalist Joan Phillips, who wrote after NATO's 1995 bombing campaign that "the western media have sustained a deafening silence about Serbian victims of the conflict." Nor was there a media squeak about possible geo-political hidden agendas, such as Western designs on the multi-billion dollar Stari Trg mining complex incorporating Kosovo's unsurpassed mineral wealth, refining, power and transportation, all of which is rather inconveniently State-owned and possibly the largest uncontested piece of wealth not in the hands of the big capitalists of the US or Europe (hence the millions of dollars worth of high-tech weapons suddenly made available to the arch-criminal KLA by the US and Germany?). And as for serious debate about the pivotal Christian-Islamic subtext of the whole encounter? Well, just not PC old chap. When the BBC's John Simpson actually did attempt to break through the wall of official NATO propaganda and put things in perspective, he came under attack from Blairite spin-doctors for his "simplistic", "pro-Serbian" reporting.
Thus the Intervention came and went with a gaping, emotionally sated, dumbed-down TV audience none the wiser, and NATO claiming a great "humanitarian victory" despite the fact that it was not their horrendously bungled bombing sorties but Russian diplomatic pressure on Belgrade which ended the war. Indeed, NATO had precious little to boast about, having sent Balkan "cleansing" to new levels and compounded the slaughter by killing nearly five times more innocent civilians (both Serb and Albanian) than military personnel(4). It also tripled the number of refugees from previous years, re-ignited the Cold War, almost started World War Three(5), created severe regional tensions in its backing of aggressive Islamic forces and then saw the Serbs and Co. go merrily on their bloody way - as the typical 'post-war' (23 July) slaughter of fourteen Serb farmers by Kosovar Albanians testifies. Only a week after this murderous incident, Britain's comically shallow Prime Minister made a fleeting victory tour of Pristina. About as well versed in Balkan history as America's Faustian President (who reportedly said he had "read up on the area" the night before launching his first offensive!), Pollyanna Blair gushed before the cheering Albanians now in the process of "cleansing" Serbs: "We want all the people of Kosovo whatever their background to live in friendship, one with another." He then planted a tree, boarded a helicopter and disappeared, godlike, into the heavens. "If the Balkans never learn the lessons of their dreadful history," wrote one British journalist, "the meddling and ignorant West in turn always under-rates the force of that history - to the detriment of all concerned."
This last point takes us back to the anarchic heart of the global forces constructing the EU mentioned earlier. The Wall fell only ten years ago but most Europeans act as if it were a hundred, so quickly have they forgotten the hateful, alien spirit that animated the Communist East and the Soviet-controlled political parties and trade unions in the West. That spirit was all about overturning the established Christian order of things, about bringing countries to a standstill, shutting down the politico-economic system through organised chaos. Why? So the Communist controlled State - "the world's new lords and ladies" - could step in and assume dictatorial powers to restore order. The same essential spirit continues to animate the smiling, post-'89 Social Democrats who present themselves as harbingers of peace in textbook Gramscian fashion(7). A false dichotomy is deliberately set up between the petrified socialism of the 'old' left, who opposed the assault on their comrade Slobodan, and the enlightened social libertarianism of the 'new' centre-left who launched the offensive. But as Correspondance europeene, voice of The European Institute of Research, Study and Formation, has observed: "The intimate core of these two strategic visions is the same: philosophical and moral relativism carried to their ultimate conclusion. The final goal is identical: an anarchic, egalitarian society "liberated" from all moral bonds and every stable and permanent institution. A conflict of anarchy and relativism remains the soul of socialism which is today destroying the world while simultaneously self-destructing, because it has in itself the roots of all destruction."
In other words, as John Paul has said in a dozen different ways, the materialistic Marxist agenda carries on seamlessly through the rampant consumerism, sexual license, rationalist economics and tyrannical "market forces" of the West - a soulless world led by a melange of reconstructed/unreconstructed Socialists and "conservative" fellow travellers. The Blair government's official European blueprint, for instance, is simply the radical manifesto of The Party of European Socialists, a 21-point clarion call for a centralised European Superstate drawn up by a committee headed by Britain's Foreign Secretary Robin Cook. Replete with traditional Socialist jargon, it advocates the rejection of "narrow national interests" in favour of "social rights." And so it goes. As Le Monde Diplomatique and the Spanish daily Le Pais have pointed out in recent times, most of the EU/NATO enterprise is driven by former Class of '68 maoists, trotskyists and pacifists who today occupy key posts in European political structures. NATO's Secretary General during the Kosovo war, Javier Solana, was a famous leader of the Spanish Socialist Workers Party and once one of NATO's most ferocious adversaries! During the 'war' he relied on the support of the most eminent members of Europe's Socialist set: Gerhard Schroder, Lionel Jospin, Massimo D'Alema and Tony Blair. Furthermore, Solana is to be replaced in the autumn by Britain's Defence Secretary George Robinson, an amiable Party plodder and one time unilateral pacifist (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament supporter) who duly reinvented himself and now oversights the nuclear arsenal! Referred to as the "apparat's apparatchik," he has reportedly axed Britain's famous Royal (Military) Tournament because it was "too patriotic" while signalling "that he is not averse to seeing NATO's role of defending Europe widened to international protector and policeman." As for Solana, in the latest round of Euro-Socialist musical chairs he now becomes EU foreign affairs supremo.
There is no need to look any further to appreciate why, as Parents and Teachers for Real Education (Ireland) recently put it, the EU "denies European culture, flouts European norms and precedents and, indeed, steals our Christian cultures by stealth." For to recognise the nefarious source of the current political reality, is to better understand the perilous moral vacuum in the public square today and consequent perversion of every facet of modern life, especially that of the individual and collective moral conscience. It is to fathom why the Natural Law, written into human nature by God, has been replaced by a purely Positive Law, emanating from the self-will of omnipotent legislators in Brussels and Strasbourg. Ultimately, it is to comprehend the anti-Catholic animus simmering beneath the bear-pit of Socialist ideology and power that is the EU.
Similarly, Cardinal Ratzinger speaks of our post-European society; one which has abandoned what constituted Europe as a spiritual reality in favour of a society that has its roots and justification in reason alone. And having thus lapsed into practical atheism the very idea of "union" has become a logical impossibility. "An unchristian state is possible on principle," wrote a Protestant theologian, "but not an atheistic state."
If God was replaced in public consciousness firstly by the nation after 1789, then by the proletariat or world revolution in 1848, it must surely be said of modern consumer societies: "Their god is the belly" [Phil 3:19]. In such societies - where spirituality has become a purely private construct; isolated and impenetrable - there is no core; no enduring spiritual glue to bind the hearts and minds of men in a way that soulless economic and political structures on their cyclical way to collapse can never bind them. There is no centre, no reference point, no guarantor of societal coherence. The ensuing chaos and social schizophrenia assaults us daily. This year the press have featured articles about the sexual fecklessness of British teenagers whose record of abortions, pregnancies, drug-taking and venereal diseases is the worst in Europe. Concurrently, they have reported that "morality" lessons in the new school curriculum will teach pupils about "the range of lifestyles and relationships in society" while studiously ignoring the two-parent family and the importance of marriage. "Different stories, of course," commented one newspaper editorial, "but how sad that nobody in this Government seems capable of making a connection between the two." Clearly, it is this failure to make elementary connections between godless cause and devastating pagan effect which has set the consumer State on its relentless downward spiral. And such a State, Cardinal Ratzinger writes, will "open itself up to tyranny once it is sufficiently exhausted by anarchy." Indeed, with the full force of law, it is happening before our very eyes. As Father Michel Schooyans of Belgium states in his comprehensive, scholarly Catholic analysis of present day events, L'Evangile face au desordre mondial ("The Gospel In The Face Of World Disorder"):
Those who obstinately refuse to accept that explosive package will find, as have the ancient Balkan countries, that there are more literal ways of being bombed into submission prior to the "reprogramming". And since the aim of New World Order reprogramming is the homogenisation of cultures - the creation of a truly global mentality excised of any provincialism in culture or outlook - Boris Vukobrat's idea of a Swiss-style confederation where each Balkan region maintains "its cultural, historical and social peculiarities" will remain a pipe-dream(8). In any event, even the common Slav origin of the Balkan peoples and the benefits of economic co-operation would not be enough to overcome the dead weight of their violent histories and cement their union as Vukobrat suggests. In his observations about the original Swiss rapprochement, he fails to understand that Brother Klaus was able to appeal successfully for peace between the pre-Reformation warring parties only because they shared the infinitely deeper common language of Catholic Faith. It was only because the canton leaders were connected by the same Catholic thread which ran through and joined together every visible and invisible reality of the pre-Reformation world that they were able to recognise and appreciate the practical value of spiritual, Christ-like authority when they heard it. Even their own faithlessness and the plague of a scandal-ridden Church at that time, brought low by the same worldly churchmen we currently endure, did not render them deaf to Brother Klaus' teaching that "Peace is always in God, for God is peace." They instinctively accepted and understood his insistence that obedience to God and to each other was the only enduring foundation for this peace.
Few moderns, attuned as they are to interminable bleating about the "rights and dignity of man," would be able to assimilate the notion of the "rights and dignity of God" implicit in the idea of obedience to Him, let alone fathom the necessary connection between obedience, freedom and peace. Today, as Cardinal Ratzinger has stated: "the concept of 'obedience' has been, as it were, anathematised, eliminated, not only from our vocabulary but also from our minds." Moreover, the heavenly wisdom of a spiritual giant like Brother Klaus would nowadays be received with about as much genuine interest as that accorded the utterances of Pope John Paul II, who was all but ignored by the international press during the Kosovo crisis, especially the English-speaking media, as he pleaded for an end both to the atrocities committed by the Serbs and the NATO bombing. In noting how correspondents speak about the importance of John Paul's opinion in world affairs only when it suits them, Italian writer Antonio Gaspari said: "The Pope's calls for peace aren't politically correct. Since they don't like what the Pope is saying - essentially, stop the bombing - they simply ignore it….[they have] made no mention of the forceful pronouncements of the Pope against military intervention and in favour of dialogue." As The Wall St. Journal observed, even John Paul's particular plea that bombing be suspended during Holy Week was dismissed - most aggressively by the nominally Protestant countries (USA, Britain and Holland) who overrode the half-hearted reluctance of the nominally Catholic ones (Portugal, Spain, Italy and France).
Hence the futility of John Paul's unfailing efforts to re-plant a Catholic soul in the European void; to re-establish "the ineluctable relation between God and the City"; to re-propose Christian doctrine as the foundation of unity and public order. It is his duty, of course, to continually point out as he does that "a loss of confidence in the truth has led to a crisis of culture" and to proclaim that "truth does exist, that it can be known, and that Christ has established a teaching authority within the Church to safeguard and make known the truth of faith." But no one is listening. God and His spokesman have been "driven from the State." The sense of déjà vu is crushing. "Ever since the precepts and practices of Christian wisdom ceased to be observed in the ruling of States," wrote Benedict XV in November 1914 as war broke-out across Europe, "it followed that, as they contained the peace and stability of institutions, the very foundations of States necessarily began to be shaken." It always ends in tears.
Grist for God's Mill
As for the orthodox Catholic remnant scattered around the Old Continent and now besieged on all sides, they truly are strangers in a strange and ever more precarious land. Clinging to that ancient Faith which once united their forebears in all their glorious cultural diversity; bewildered by the complicity of churchmen in the pagan global agenda unfolding rapidly about them; fighting endless rearguard actions within and without the Church - they might draw comfort from this snippet of wisdom by John Paul's mentor, the great Cardinal Wyszynski of Warsaw, who perceived that:
(1) In this respect, Romano Prodi's sinister proposals about Euro "citizenship," which coincide with the introduction of compulsory national "citizenship" lessons in British primary and secondary schools from 2002, are a clear echo of the Revolution and, as with all revolutionary societies that talk endlessly about "citizenship," will stimulate nothing but constant change and tumult and further politically correct encroachment on individual freedom properly (i.e. spiritually) understood. At the same time, British schoolchildren will gradually be deprived of a sense of national identity by dropping slabs of history from syllabuses (the so-called Dark Ages, covering 700 years of Anglo-Saxon history, have already been jettisoned by the majority of schools while, as of September 2000, teaching about kings, queens, battles and other famous historical dates from 1066 to the 20th century will become merely optional for 5 to 14-year-olds). Formal lessons in loving Europe will then fill the vacuum to complete the psychological shift, such as those advocated in the "Partners in Europe" pack sent to state secondary teachers this year, which stresses a greater focus on Continental history and geography, suggests maths problems using the single currency and promotes other activities aimed at making pupils more positive towards the EU.
(2) Discreet but never far away! As with Canadian Bilderberg Conrad Black, Chairman of the Telegraph Group (and major stakeholder in England's "Catholic" Herald!), who is suddenly attempting to undermine the committed Eurosceptic position of his current Daily Telegraph Editor, Charles Moore. A recent article by Black suggesting that Eurosceptics could be won over if Germany devotes itself to 'free market economics' was reportedly welcomed as "a most significant development" by Tony Blair, who now thinks Mr Black's papers might dilute their opposition to the single currency. Black, along with English MP's Kenneth Clarke and Peter Mandelson, was among the attendees at the last Bilderberg gathering of the world's political, financial, industrial and media elite held in Portugal from 3-6 June, 1999, where "global governance" was the main agenda item, incorporating: NATO's ultimate transformation into a world police force, "the dismemberment of Yugoslavia" and the "general redrawing of borders in the region." Other issues under discussion reportedly included the creation of a Palestinian state as part of a Middle East "peace settlement" and "global taxation" to support the United Nations. A small core of Bilderbergs, the real movers and shakers, are believed to hold monthly steering committee meetings near Oxford. Effectively part of an unelected, unaccountable 'shadow world government', it was these super-elite Bilderbergs and their counterparts in other manipulative bodies like the US Council on Foreign Relations that American television commentator Bill Moyers referred to when, after a fifteen-day, globe-trotting trip with David Rockefeller, he observed that "just about a dozen or fifteen individuals made day-by-day decisions that regulated the flow of capital and goods throughout the entire world."
(3) Embracing this dangerous principle of using one's military for what has been called "international social work," Chancellor Gerhard Schroder proudly claimed at a recent swearing-in of new army recruits that Germany showed in the war for Kosovo "that our military really is a force for peace." Fresh from their first involvement in battle since the Second World War, he added, ominously: "Our soldiers put into practice what we have learned from history: to take responsibility for human rights."
(4) Predictably, the carnage NATO left in its wake is now yesterday's news and of little interest to the Western media. Yet the death, destruction and toxic environmental damage which the people of the Balkans have been left to deal with is astonishing in its scale and severity. The director of Pristina's hospital said he had never performed so many amputations as on the victims of NATO's cluster bombs. Missiles which contain and widely disperse many little bombs attached to tiny parachutes, cluster bombs were used by the thousand despite being so savage that they are banned by international law and conventions. Typical of the mayhem was that inflicted by the cluster bombs which NATO admitted overshot their target by 1,500 feet and hit a hospital in central Belgrade on 20 May, killing 4 patients and injuring 7 women in labour. The neurological ward, maternity ward, gynaecological ward and children's ward for lung diseases were destroyed. The list of bombed sites is endless, including monasteries, schools, nurseries, churches, colleges, embassies, youth centres, theatres, museums, libraries and hotels. Environmentally, the whole of Europe will pay for the dangerously high level of toxins now polluting the air and waterways in the aftermath of the bombing. The UN has already warned the people of Yugoslavia and the entire region of the Danube and Black Sea that they will produce babies with birth defects and will suffer diseases of the nervous system and liver. (An extensive, eye-opening list of NATO's attacks that wounded or killed civilians can be found at www.counterpunch.org and hundreds of photographs of the damage caused to people and property, but also not offered for public consumption, at www.rts.co.yu).
(5). Britain's General Jackson refused an order by America's General Clark, NATO's supreme commander, to send in an assault force to prevent Pristina airport from falling into Russian hands on the day NATO troops crossed into the province from Macedonia. Jackson feared this could have triggered off a global conflict and in an extraordinary clash told the gung-ho American: "I'm not going to start the Third World War for you."
(6) Thus the inter-regional conflict inflamed by NATO's Kosovo debacle simply provides more potential "hot-spots" to project its power in the name of peace.
(7) Between 1928-37, during 9 years of imprisonment under the Italian Fascists, Antonio Gramsci produced nine volumes of material about how to Marxise the West by a non-violent, anonymous world-revolution involving deception, penetration and corruption of every facet of Western life: to achieve a "Marxist hegemony of the mind" by replacing the remnant of Christian transcendentalism in the world with Marxist immanentism (materialism). Western minds thus emptied of any yearnings beyond the here and now would then become not merely non-Christian but anti-Christian. The Gramscian formula was finally adopted by the Soviets in the mid-60s under guise of the "Brezhnev Doctrine" and taken to another level under Gorbachev. In so far as our godless Social Democracies are saturated with the Marxist revolutionary sense of immanence - concerned only with earthly existence and development - they are effectively Gramsci's blueprint realised.
(8) Whether achieved through the export of McDonald-style "McCulture" or deceitful Euro-global education curricula which undermine the pupil's sense of national identity (see footnote 1), such homogenisation increases pressure on governments to withstand the natural resistance among their citizenry. Thus the vicious circle: ever increasing homogenisation fuelling violent nationalist/secessionist sympathies fuelling calls for outside intervention and further homogenisation on "humanitarian" grounds.