A tragic historical role reversal

In 1948, one of the founding fathers of the European Union, Paul-Henri Spaak, made a speech before the General Assembly of the United Nations. It is referred to as the ‘Discours de la Peur’: the Discourse of Fear. It is one of those moments that may be associated with the start of the Cold War, and the breakdown of the international system that was put in place to prevent a new war. I read it again today, and I am thinking we might well substitute the Soviet Union for the United States in that speech. Let me do that by paraphrasing a few of his lines:

“I am scared. I am scared because the United States and Europe are in a undeclared war with Russia. I am scared because of the insane level of the United States’ defense budget and the insane level of arms and sophisticated weapon systems it supplies to third countries that cannot be said to be of strategic importance for our security. I am scared because, this year, critical energy infrastructure has been blown up, right in the heart of Europe, and one cannot accuse Russia of what happened there: it is an act of international terrorism that has been left unexamined. I am scared because a defensive alliance of democracies has become an offensive one. I am scared because of the belligerence of our leaders. I am scared because of the lack of democratic legitimacy of our political system, especially when it comes to questions of war and peace at our borders. I am scared because our discourse on rights, freedom, democracy, international trade and business has been contaminated with moral fascism, unwarranted protectionism, neo-colonialism and misplaced talk of empire.”

Text and video link to the speech:
https://lnkd.in/e9xAGUNA
https://lnkd.in/embs2TtR

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