Europe and the U.S. must partner in current “age of uncertainty”

Europe must enter into a partnership with the United States and make strides to share fully in the responsibility for international security if it is to enjoy and extend peaceful coexistence in the world, says Catholic author Vittorio Emanuele Parsi in his latest book.

“The Inevitable Alliance: Europe and the United States” was released just days after the U.S. and Europe passed Resolution 1515 at the United Nations. Journalist Sandro Magister recently reviewed the book.

Parsi teaches geopolitics at the Catholic University of Milan and at the Graduate School of Economics and International Relations. He is also part of Camillo Cardinal Ruini’s think tank and a writer for the newspaper of the Italian bishops’ conference.

The Catholic author, however, has frequently opposed the Vatican’s views of war and peace since Sept. 11. In particular, he opposes the Church’s view on the war in Iraq, the Bush administration and Israel. He agrees with Poland’s decision to side with the U.S. on the eve of the Iraq war. In keeping with this recent tradition, Parsi continues to draw away from the Vatican in his new book. 

Magister writes that Parsi argues that the system of international relations, which has regulated the world for more than three centuries, is finished. The world has entered an “age of uncertainty” and disorder, writes Parsi. Each region has its own rules: Asia resembles 19th-century Europe, the Middle East has religious wars, and the new menace of terrorism is not identified with any one state or territory.

The United States understands this new world order, argues Parsi, but Europe does not.

While, Parsi does not criticize the Vatican directly, he attacks the pacifist movements – including the Catholic ones – accusing them of being incapable of offering any real alternatives to war, writes Magister in the review. Parsi also associates pacifist movements with the “prelates who, susceptible to the fascination of the marching crowds, break out into unlikely anathemas, thus running the risk of muddying the clarity of the pope’s position.”

Magister says that Parsi does not recognize the same strong moral sense in the pacifist movement that he sees expressed in the “ethically responsible” decisions of Tony Blair, for example, “who prefers battle to surrender.”

If Europe has the good fortune to live in its “Kantian paradise regulated by laws, and not by force,” it is because “someone else is doing the dirty work of maintaining security,” he writes. Europe must acknowledge that, create the appropriate alliances and be committed to act.

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