Revival of the ‘Concert of Europe’ in Its Worst Form
By Sajjad Shaukat
Renowned historians agree that in the post-Napoleonic era, the Treaty of Chaumont which was made in March 1814, by Great Britain, Russia, Prussia and Austria…even the Vienna Settlement (1815) and various conferences of the Concert of Europe (1815-22) were used for the purpose of suppressing nationalism and liberalism everywhere in Europe and restoring the status quo…sealed the triumph of reaction and restored the pre-revolutionary conditions” [of the French Revolution]…the same four Powers tried at the Congress of Vienna to effect a regeneration of the political system of Europe…the Powers devoted to the grand interests they had in common…it was in this way that the Concert of Europe was formed.”
Prince Metternich, the emperor of the Austro-Hungarian Empire did what he could by subjugating the alien peoples by employing every possible techniques of state terrorism. It was due to his influence that the principle of intervention in the internal affairs of other states was accepted in 1820 by the Congress of Troppau which gave the European powers, the right to interfere in the internal affairs of those states where revolutions took place. The Protocol enabled Metternich to police the whole of Europe and crush liberalism and nationalism wherever it raised its head. When revolutions had broken out in Naples, Spain and Portugal and the people had forced their kings to give them liberal constitutions, it was in pursuance of this policy that Austria was able to crush the revolts in Naples and Piedmont. France also interfered in Spain.
Under the cover of the welfare of the world, the European powers also called upon the King of Sweden to explain why he had ignored the treaty rights with regard to Norway and Denmark. The ruler of Monaco was ordered to improve the administrative system of his country.
The principle of intervention in the internal affairs of the states divided the European powers into two camps. In 1822, despite the opposition of the Great Britain, France intervened in Spain and the former withdrew from the Congress of Vienna. The era of Congresses collapsed with the withdrawal of Great Britain.
In fact, Metternich stood for the maintenance of the status quo in Europe, and an international alliance of the like-minded rulers. He followed a reactionary policy in Austria-Hungary. He did all that he could to crush liberalism and nationalism within the country. In this regard, Carlsbad Decrees were enacted in 1819 to curb secret societies or revolutionary activities. He set himself to suppress the nationalist and democratic movements of Germany and Italy, and to counter the aspirations of the people of the Balkans for independence through military terrorism.
According to Indian historian, V. D. Mahajin, “Terrorism at that stage initially appeared as the mode of activity of the small conspiratorial groups, such as student bodies and secret societies, which grew up throughout Europe in the aftermath of the post-Napoleonic restoration. These early days were exciting, since Europe still abounded (as indeed it did until 1918) with kings, emperors and tsars to be eliminated because they were using the machinery of state terrorism in suppressing the genuine aspirations of peoples such as liberty, freedom and justice…the French Revolution of 1789 stood for certain principles and those were Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity. The example of France became the inspiration of Europe and from there of the whole world. Her ideas dominated the European politics throughout the 19th century…Metternich was the enemy of the French Revolution and all that it stood for. He described it as “the disease which must be cured, the volcano which must be extinguished…Metternich had to admit that he was fighting for a lost cause, and the empire disintegrated, resulting in the independence of Italy, unification of Germany, Bulgaria and other states whose secret societies had been waging wars of liberation.”
In the words of Hayes, “in spite of the efforts of Metternich the old regime was doomed and could not be saved.”
This is of particular attention that with the elimination of the Cold War and the disintegration of the former Soviet Union, the US and European thinkers evolved a new concept of balance of power to justify their interest in the aftermath of the changed circumstances in the world’s changed arena. In their writings, they paid a serious consideration on the system of collective security, maintained by the major powers of the Concert of Europe.
In this connection, George W. Downs remarked in relation to ‘The Pew Project’ which supported the research for the case of collective security in the aftermath of the Cold War, “The timing of the project is a function of both real-world events and theoretical developments…inspiration is also due to the strategic behaviour in environments where the enforceability of agreements by a central agent is absent” and “where individuals are motivated by self-interest…although the emphasis of this approach on actors, motivated by self-interest makes it natural extension of classic realism…its achievements lie largely in explaining the conditions under which self-interested agents…be they individuals, companies, or nation-states will cooperate.”
Stephen M. Walt, Michael W. Doyle and Charles Lipson favoured a system of collective security among the big powers of the West and America like the Concert of Europe of the past with a view to stopping any hostile revolution in the world. They opined, “Believing that balances of power often fail to form…balance-of-threat theory as a refinement of balance-of-power theory. States respond to imbalances of power in balance-of-power theory, and balancing and bandwagoning are defined in terms of power…the success of the Vienna Congress suggests that great powers can forge durable cooperation and provide a significant measure of collective security for themselves…the New World Order we are now entering is a new rendition of the classical balance of power…international accommodation among liberal states, together with opposition to non-liberal states…rather than the opposition of power to power…interaction under anarchy…this is because for liberals, threats are defined in institutional political terms (liberals versus non-liberals) rather than in power terms (capabilities versus capabilities). Liberal states therefore balance against the political threats that non-liberal states seem to pose.”
Even, Henry Kissinger offered an eloquent portrait of a more developed strategic model with the statesman as the architect of the balance of power. According to Kissinger, “Stability is a product of legitimacy and legitimacy is not natural or automatic, but created…the international order is not also up for dispute…Europe rescued stability from seeming chaos [at the close of the Napoleonic Wars] was primarily the result of the work of two great men: of Castlereagh, the British Foreign Secretary, who negotiated the international settlement, and of Austria’s Foreign Minister, Metternich, who legitimized it. Great statesmen succeed in creating international orders within the balance of power by reconciling what their societies regard as just with what the resources of their nation and its allies make feasible. Metternich sought to create a conservative order that forestalled revolutionary change; Castlereagh, to create an international order that contained aggressive change…the Congress of Vienna reflected the success of those two projects…Metternich established a concert system that would intervene against revolutionary change.”
These political scholars strongly favoured the system of collective security which could be formed by the United States and its Western, especially European partners in meeting any world threat collectively. They proposed a definition based on the commitment of a group of states to maintain a security norm within them which is consistent with the realist theory of balance of power.
It should be kept in mind that in the aftermath of the Cold War, particularly America and its other Western allies had declared the so-called Islamic fundamentalism its new threat and enemy which was used by them against the former Soviet Union in Afghanistan. Al-Qaeda which was created by the CIA was funded and armed by America and Saudi Arabia.
However, both American and some Western prominent political scholars had started equating that new threat of the so-called Islamic fundamentalism with terrorism, also emanating from the non-liberal, uncivilized and failed states. As the Soviet threat was over, the new balance-of-power theorists had given one more shape and a new meaning to the balance of power—the liberal versus non-liberal states which means US-led Western world versus Islamic fundamentalism or terrorism.
These thinkers justified the Concert of Europe, formed under the leadership of Metternich who had united the conservative powers against revolutions.
Nevertheless, their theory is quite opposite to the real definition of balance of power. In this context, famous scholars of international relations, Lord Castlereagh, Quincy Wright, Hans J. Morgenthau and Kenneth Waltz agree by remarking, “Checking the unusual dominance and hegemony of the world by a single power is very essential for the survival of other states which live in anarchic situation where there is no international agency to impose international law and to provide security…the concept of balance of power rests with the basic assumption that excessive power in the system is a threat to the existence of other units and that the most antidote to power is power.”
After the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, power-vacuum was created in the world. Waltz and other thinkers expected “unipolarity to give way quickly to multipolarity as other major powers of Europe and Asia would move individually and collectively to balance the preponderant power of the United States.”
Unfortunately, other major nuclear powers or any prospective alliance did not challenge America’s hegemony in accordance with the system of balance of power. In that backdrop, the US emerged as the sole superpower in the unipolar world. In consultation with his Zionist-advisers, American former President Bush, (The Senior) replaced the old bipolar order with the New World Order, with the US acting as a kind of global policeman to protect the political and economic interests of Israel and the American Jews who are owners of many big cartels—multinational corporations, oil companies, banks etc., including print and electronic media of the US in particular and the world in general. Thus, by dominating American internal policies, Zionist Jews mould country’s foreign policy for their own interests, devoted to Israel.
It is noteworthy that neo-colonialism is the most dangerous form of colonialism, which is prevalent in the present world. In the past, the most developed countries had direct control on the less developed countries, but most of the colonies got independence after the World War 11. As regards neo-colonialism, in theory a less developed or developing country is free, but in practice, its government and economy are controlled by a developed country indirectly.
In the unipolar world, even the United Nations became an instrument of the US policy to establish American hegemony in the world. The Third World and a majority of Muslim countries were compelled to realign their domestic policies according to Washington’s dictates. In order to obtain the hidden agenda of Jews, the US imposed its sudden terms of globalization such as free markets, privatization and de-nationalization etc. on the ill-prepared developing countries, which left behind shattered nations and a global financial crisis. It further widened the gap between the poor and the rich countries or G-7 countries. The corporations and international financial institutions like IMF and World Bank which are indirectly controlled by Zionist Jews have continued to drive the project of globalization through the sole superpower.
This is mentionable that the New World Order, decreed after the fall of the Soviet Union, lays down that no social change is permissible outside the logic of capitalism, which in the case of periphery, can only be dependent capitalism. This policy is enforced through financial and trade means, and in case of failing, force is applied either by the pro-US government or directly by the sole superpower. Attempts at changing the social relations through force, as in Venezuela, Colombia, Nicaragua, EI Salvador, Guatemala etc., were of course crushed as illegitimate.
After 9/11, like the Concert of Europe, almost all the major Western countries including NATO states also joined the global war on terror.
Besides, in the name of war on terror, the US and NATO attacked Afghanistan and then without mandate of the UN Security Council, American-Anglo forces invaded Iraq. In both cases, the US-led countries justified their invasions under the mask of right of self-defence and Weapons of Mass Destructions (WMDs). However, the main aim of these major countries was to occupy the energy resources of Central Asia and Iraq.
In this context, about the double game, Hans J. Morgenthau, and Palmer and Perkins opine, “Just as power became the instrument of ambitious nationalism and state’s leaders, it has now become the tool of ideologies. The true nature of the policy is concealed by ideological justifications and rationalization. Therefore, the ideology provides a mask behind which the ulterior motives are concealed.”
Like Metternich, US-led forces also employed state terrorism by special military operations, extra-judicial assassinations and heavy aerial bombardment, which killed several innocent persons especially in Iraq and Afghanistan. And suspected Muslims were also kept in Guantanamo Bay, Abu Graib and other cells, established in some Islamic countries and small European states where personnel of the CIA, the FBI, and the military employed various methods of torture like physical violence and even murder.
In order to fulfill the unfinished agenda of the US President George W. Bush, in the name of war on terror, President Barack Obama continued the same policies in their worst form to secure the illegitimate interests of Israel. Obama-led Administration went on with various techniques of ruthless terror and extrajudicial killings of the innocent persons through illegitimate drone attacks—assisting undemocratic forces, toppling the elected government in Egypt, and like Iraq, creation of more collapsed states such as Libya, Yemen and Syria which opened the doors for Al-Qaeda and ISIS which were already being supported by the CIA and Israeli Mossad.
While, Islamic movements everywhere had been equated with terrorism since September 11, but, like the Concert of Europe, India and Israel who jumped Bush’s anti-terrorism bandwagon were given green signal by Washington to crush wars of liberation in the Indian-held Kashmir and Israeli-occupied territories of the Palestinians. The death squads and security forces of these alien powers used every brutal tactic to suppress the genuine rights of self-determination—the very basis of the unification of Germany and Italy, including other European states which got independence.
Notably, in 2008, a rights group reported unmarked graves in the Indian-controlled Kashmir. In its report, China’s leading News Agency Xinhua unearthed more unmarked graves in Poonch of the Indian-occupied Kashmir. The report quoted the statement of Sofi Aziz Joo, caretaker of a graveyard as saying, “Police and Army used to bring those bodies and direct me to bury them. The bodies were usually bullet-ridden, mutilated, faces disfigured and sometimes without limbs and heads.” In this respect, in August, 2011, Indian Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) officially acknowledged in its report that 2,156 unidentified bodies of the innocent civilians killed in the two-decade conflict had been buried in unmarked graves in various regions of the Indian-held Kashmir.
Similarly, since its creation and during various phases of the Palestinian Intifada, Israeli forces used chemical and radiological materials against the unarmed Palestinians and thus killed several innocent people, including women and children.
Undoubtedly, if the double game of President Bush franchised Al-Qaeda on global level, President Obama’s dual policy franchised both Al-Qaeda and ISIS as part of the anti-Muslim campaign and left no stone unturned in advancing the agenda of the Zionists, Israeli lobbies and the neoconservatives in the pretext of global war on terror. Secretly, Obama authorized CIA to create ISIS. His perennial covert support to the Israeli atrocities on the Palestinians, silence over the supply of oil by ISIS to some European countries whose governments have also not taken action against those companies which are exporting oil from the ISIS-controlled regions of Iraq, including CIA-assisted Al-Qaeda (Al-Nusra Front) and ISIS militants to topple the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime might be cited as instance. Thus, under the cover of democratization of the Middle East, the region was deliberately thrown in worst form of terrorism and civil wars.
In the phenomena of the post-terror attacks in Paris and Belgium and under the cover of countering Russia, American President Obama sent additional troops in Syria, and its Western partners (NATO) are also supporting the US in this respect. The above mentioned drastic developments and various other developments such as American support to Kurds, exaggeration of the threat of the so-called threat of Islamophobia in the West-especially Europe, persecution of the Muslims in the continent, implications of the migrant-crisis, controversial Turkish-EU refugee deal, forced returns of refugees by the Turkish authorities to war-ravaged Syria, protests and violence at the Greek border against the refugees can simply remind readers of the revival of the Concert of Europe in its worst form.
Emulating Metternich, at present, the US has been siding with the reactionary regimes in the developing world, especially in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and United Arab Emirates to maintaining status quo. The chief aim of the US-led West is to encourage every effort in maintaining the status quo in the world, as it secures their collective interests at the expense of the weak states. By blindly following their anti-Russia rhetoric, now, the US and its Western friends have totally ignored the dangers of their flawed strategy. Even, they do not bother for violation of the sovereignty of an independent state, as noted in case of Syria.
So the current situation resembles with past era of Metternich and such events as the Concert of Europe, rise of revolutionary movements etc.
It should be emphasized that while US foreign policy has shifted from multilateralism to unilateralism, non-recognition of a world beyond the borders of North America and Europe to a growing sense that the developing world is complex, the pregnant powers in the United States like Zionist Jews are not, emphatically, ready to revise the current world order, in which wealthy nations dominate the world economy to the detriment of most of the citizens of the globe. There is no likelihood, either in political Washington or in the corporate boardrooms of America, that the US will play a role in changing the inequitable distribution of wealth or income. Yet without real change in the distribution of wealth, the developing world will never be able to achieve its social goals; without significant change in the distribution of income, billions will continue to endure poverty, preventable illness and lowered expectations. Whatever the specific causes of terrorism, its breeding grounds are that malignant mixture of despair and rage which is a concomitant of living in dire poverty in a world where material wealth abounds, but is not shared. Without paying attention on the actual causes of new brand of terrorism, counter-terrorism becomes the overriding theme of the US-led West like Metternich.
Particularly, British Prime Minister David Cameron who is famous due to his anti-Muslim approach and has left no stone unturned in supporting America against Russia and Syrian President Assad, while covertly following the US-led Israeli policies must know that the era of Congresses (The Concert of Europe) had collapsed with the withdrawal of Great Britain which had opposed the interference in the internal affairs of states.
Perhaps, in pursuance of the past era of Metternich in wake of the modern world of social media and international trends like renunciation of war, peaceful settlement of disputes and economic development, US and its allies have forgotten that they produce ‘surplus’ which is being exported to the Third World, especially the Islamic countries. Latest machines produce products quickly and rapid means of communication and correspondence through internet or email have accelerated the business transactions. In the present world, terrorism is being manipulated by the Zionist Jews—the indirect arbiters of the global politics and economy.
Hence, if the revival of the Concert of Europe continued by the US-led West in its worst form, it would bring about further political and economic instability in the world by jeopardizing global and regional interests of these Western powers in wake of increasing threat of terrorism. And their irresponsible approach could result in to Clash of Civilizations in the sense of Huntington.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations