Interview with Robert Steuckers (part 2)


The Belgian activist and writer Robert Steuckers is one of the most important and inspiring thinkers of our time. Weblog Oskorei is therefore very proud to present an interview with Mr Steuckers. In the first part of the interview, he described the history of Euro-Synergies and analyzed both the European Union and the topic of geopolitics.

In the second part of the interview, Mr Steuckers develops his perspective on the relationship between Europe and Russia, Turkey and America.

What is your analysis of the actual and ideal relationship of Europe and Russia, Turkey and the United States?

To answer your question here in a complete and satisfying way, I should rather write a couple of thick books instead of babbling some insufficient explanations! Indeed your question asks me in fact to summarize in some short sentences the whole history of mankind. I suppose that, for historical reasons, Swedes don’t perceive Russia and Turkey as citizens of Central or Western Europe would perceive these countries. Swedes must remember the attempt of King Charles XII to restore what was seen as the “Gothic Link" between the Baltic and the Black Sea by becoming the heir of the Polish-Lithuanian State in decay at his time: therefore he had to wage war against Russia and try to obtain the Turkish alliance. During the Soviet-Finnish war of winter 1939-40, Swedes were terribly worried because the move of Stalin’s Red Army to recuperate Finland as a former Tsarist province implied a future Soviet control of the Baltic See reducing simultaneously Swedish sovereignty and room for manoeuvre in these waters. It was also jeopardizing the fragile independence of the Baltic States.

Russia still wants to have access to the Atlantic via the Baltic see routes but in a less aggressive way than in Soviet times, when a messianic ideology was running the agenda. After the disappearing of the Iron Curtain, we are back to the situation we had in 1814. Once Napoleon Bonaparte had been eliminated and together with him the tone-downed Bolshevism of his time, i. e. the blood drenched French revolution ideology, Europe was a more or less united block nicknamed in Ancient Greek language the “Pentarchy" (The “Five Powers"), stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific coasts. We often forget nowadays that Europe was a strategic united block between 1814 and 1830, i. e. only during fifteen years. This unity allowed the pacification of Spain in 1822-23, the Greek independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1828 and later the crushing of Barbary Coast piracy by the landing of French troops in present-day Algeria in 1832. But the “Pentarchy" ceased to be a harmonious symphony of allied traditional powers when Belgium become independent from the King of Holland: indeed, Britain (in order to destroy the sea power of Holland, the industrial capacities in present-day Belgium’s Walloon provinces and the potentialities of the Indonesian colonial realm of the United Low Countries Kingdom) and France (aiming at recuperating Belgium and the harbour of Antwerp as well as a portion of the Mosel Valley in Luxemburg, leading to the very middle of German Rhineland in Koblenz) supported the rather incoherent Belgian independence movement while the other powers (Prussia, Austria and Russia) supported the Dutch King and his United Kingdom of the Low Countries. France, which started in the Thirties of the 19th Century to carve its African Empire not only in Algeria but also in present-day Gabon and Senegal, and Britain, which was already a world empire whose cornerstone was India, became very soon Extra-European realms deriving their power from wealthy colonies and were therefore not more interested in the strategic unity of Europe, as the genuine civilisation area of all the people of our Caucasian kinship. The competition between European powers to get colonies implied that colonial rivalries could perhaps end in inner European conflicts, what happened indeed in 1914. The spirit of 1814 was kept alive by the “Drei Kaisersbund", the “Alliance of the three Emperors" (United Germany after 1871, Austria-Hungary and Russia), which unfortunately started to disintegrate after Bismarck’s withdrawal in 1891 and due to the French-Russian economical-financial alliance under Tsar Alexander III (cf; the limpid book of Gordon Craig and Alexander L. George, “Zwischen Krieg und Frieden. Konfliktlösung in Geschichte und Gegenwart", C. H. Beck, Munich, 1984; this book is a history of European diplomacy from the Treaty of Vienna in 1814 to WW1, where the authors describe the gradual disintegration of the “Pentarchy", leading to the explosion of 1914; both authors remember also that Nixon and Kissinger tried to re-establish a kind of “Pentapolarity", with China, Japan, the United States, Europe and Soviet Russia, but the attempt failed or was reduced to nought by the new human rights’ diplomacy of Carter. The only possible present-day “Pentapolarity" is represented by the “BRIC"-system, with Brazil, Russia, Iran, India, China and maybe, in a next future, post-Mandela South Africa).


In the first decade of the 20th Century, the “Entente" was not an obvious option at the very beginning: Russia and Britain were still rivals in Central Asia and on the rimland of South Asia; Britain and France were rivals in Sudan as Britain couldn’t tolerate a French military settlement on the Nile River (the Fashoda incident in 1898), a situation which would have cut the British possessions in the Southern part of Africa from the Egyptian protectorate in the North; we should remember here that Cecil Rhodes’ project was to link Cape Town to Cairo by a British managed Trans-African railway, after the elimination of the German colony of Tanganyka or a possible occupation of Belgian Katanga. Even if already grossly decided in 1904, the French-British-Russian alliance, known as the Entente, was far to be a sure fact before the fatidic year of 1914. The Anglo-Russian dispute in Persia had still to be settled in 1907. Moreover the three Entente powers hadn’t yet shared their part of the pie on the rimlands, as France had to accept first the de facto English protectorate in Egypt. In return for this acceptation, Britain accepted to support France’s interests in Morocco against the will of the German Emperor, who wanted to extend the Reich’s influence to the Sherifan Kingdom in North Africa, threatening to close the Mediterranean and to reduce to nought the key strategic importance of Gibraltar. For all these reasons, it is obviously not sure that Russian efficient ministers as Witte or Stolypin would have waged a war, as Russia was still economically and industrially too weak to sustain a long term war against the so-called Central Powers, i.e. Austria, Germany and the Ottomans, especially as China and Japan could possibly take advantage in the Far East of a debilitated Russia on the European stage.

The problem is that we Europeans cannot escape the necessity of using the Siberian raw materials and the gas and oil of the Caucasian, Central Asian and Russian fields. The weakness of Europe lays in its lack of raw materials (nowadays 90% of the rare earths, indispensable for high tech electronic devices, have to be bought in China). Europe could save itself from the Ottoman entanglement by conquering America and by circumnavigating Africa and arriving in the Indian harbours without having to pass through Islam dominated areas. Europeans aren’t visceral colonialists: they carved colonial empires despite their will, simply to escape an Ottoman-Muslim invasion.

The European-Turkish relationship has always been conflictual and remains today as such. It is not a question of race or even of religion, although both factors ought of course to be taken reasonably into account. Religion played certainly a key role as the Seldjuks had turned Muslim before attacking and beating the Byzantine Empire in 1071 but one forgets too often that at the same time other Turkish tribes, known as the Cumans, attacked Southern Russia and moved in the direction of the Low Danube without having turned Muslim: their faith was still Pagan-Shamanic. They nevertheless coordinated their wide scale action with their Muslim cousins. Muslim and Pagan-Shamanic Turks took the Pontic area (Black Sea as Pontus Euxinus) in a tangle: the Pagan Cumans in the North, the Muslim Seldjuks in the South. It is neither a question of race as present-day Turkey is a mix of all possible neighbouring peoples, tribes and ethnic kinships. It isn’t a joke to say that you have now Turks of all colours, like on an advertisement panel of Benetton! The European Danubian, Balkanic (Bosnians, Greeks, Albanians) and Ukrainian contribution to the ethno-genesis of the present-day Turkish population is really important, as are the parts of converted local Byzantine Greeks or Armenians or as are also the Sunni Indo-European Kurds. The Arab-Syrian influence is also clear in the South. The Turkish danger is that the Turks, whatever their real origin may be, still see themselves as the heirs of all the Hun, Mongolic and Turkish tribes that moved westwards to the Atlantic. Sultan Mehmed, who took Constantinople in 1453, kept in his mind the idea of the general move of Turkish tribes westwards but added to his geopolitical vision the one that moved the Byzantine general Justinian, who wanted at the beginning of the 7th Century to conquer again all the Mediterranean area till the shores of the Atlantic. Mehmed’s vision was also a merge of Turkish and Byzantine geopolitics. In his own eyes, he was the Sultan and the Byzantine Basileus at the same time and wanted to become also Pope and Emperor, once his armies would have taken both Rome (“the Red Apple") and Vienna (“the Golden Apple"). Mehmed even thought that one day such a shift as a “translatio imperii ad Turcos" could happen, like there had been a “translatio imperii ad Francos" and “ad Germanos", just after the definitive crumbling down of the Roman Empire.

The idea of moving westwards is still alive among Turks. The strong Turkish desire to become a full member of the EU means the will to pour the Anatolian demographic overpopulation into the demographically declining European states and to transform them in Muslim Turkish dominated countries. This statement of mine is not a mean reflection of an incurable “Turkophobic" obsession but is purely and simply derived from an analysis of Erdogan’s speech in Cologne in February 2008. Erdogan urged the Turkish immigration in Germany and in other European countries not to assimilate, as “assimilation is a crime against mankind" because it would wipe out the “Turkishness" of Turkish people, and urged also to create autonomous Turkish communities within the European states, that would welcome the new immigrants by marriage of by so-called “family gathering". Later Erdogan and Davutoglu threaten to back the Turkish mafias in Europe, would the authorities of the EU postpone once more the admission of Turkey as a full member state. Every serious political personality in Europe has to reject such a project and to struggle against its possible translation into the everyday European reality. A migration flood of totally uneducated workforces into Europe would lead to high unemployment and let the social security systems collapse definitively. It would mean the end of the European civilisation.


The Turks are plenty aware of the key position their country has on the world map. Would I be a Turk, I would of course staunchly support Erdogan and Davutoglu. But I am not and cannot identify myself to such an alien vision of geopolitics. I wouldn’t care if all the efforts of the new Turkish geopolitics would be directed towards the Near East, as the Near East needs a hegemonic regional power to get rid of the awful chaos in which it is now desperately squiggling. It wouldn’t perhaps not be so easy for the Turks to become again the hegemonic power in an Arab Near East as conflicts were frequent between Ottomans and Arab nationalists, especially since the end of the 19th Century when Sultan Abdulhamid started a centralisation policy, which was achieved by the strongly nationalist Young Turks in power since 1908. Arab liberal nationalists contended this new Young Turkish nationalist rule, which was not more genuinely Islamic, universal and Imperial-Ottoman but strictly Turkish national, stressing the superiority of the Turks within the Ottoman Empire, reducing simultaneously the Arabs to second-class citizens. The challenging Arab nationalists were severely crushed at the eve of WW1 (public hangings of Arab liberal intellectuals were common in Syrian or Lebanese towns at that time). But a renewed Turkish policy in the Near East cannot in principle collide frontally with the vital and paramount European interests, except of course if it would dominate the Suez Canal zone and control this essential portion of the sea route leading from West Europe to the Far East: one should not forget that the Zionist idea, i. e. the idea of settling Jews in the area between Turkish Anatolia and Mehmet Ali’s successful Egypt of the first half of the 19th Century, that was supported by France, was an idea shaped in the late 1830s in the English press and not in the mind of Rabbis in Eastern European ghettos. The idea had already been evoked by Prince Charles de Ligne during the war between the Ottoman Empire and the coalition of Russia and Austria in the 1780s as a means to weaken the Turks and to create a focal point of troubles on another front, far from the Balkans, Crimea and the Caucasus; Napoleon wanted also to settle Jews in Palestine in order to prevent a future Turkish domination in the Suez area, as the French at that time, by supporting the Mameluks of Egypt against their Turkish masters, already had the intention to dig a canal between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. Zionism is also not a genuine ideology born in Jewish ghettos but an idea forged artificially by the British to use the Jews as mere puppets. This role of Israel as a simple puppet state explains also why the relationship between Turkey and Israel are worsening now as the renewed Ottoman diplomacy of Davutoglu induces the Turkish state to resume his previous influences in the Arab Near East or Fertile Crescent. This could lead to a complete reverse of alliances in the region: voices in the United States are pleading for a new Iranian-American tandem between Mesopotamia and the Indus River which would fade or dim the usual alliance between Ankara, Washington and Tel Aviv. Such a shift would be as important as the Nixon-Kissinger renewed diplomacy of 1971-72, when suddenly China, the former “rogue state", turned instantaneously to be the best ally of the States. It would also rule out many oversimplifying ideologists who have opted for cartoonlike pro-Zionist, pro-Palestinian (or pro-Hamas or pro-Hizbollah) or pro-Iranian positions in order to support either a Western Alliance or an Anti-Western/Anti-American coalition on the international chessboard. Things might or even may be completely turned upside down within a single decade. The Anti-American pro-Iranian ideologist of today may become a pro-Zionist Anti-American tomorrow if he wants to remain Anti-American and if he is not turned still crazier by the crumbling down of his too schematic worldview as many Western Maoists did in the 1970s, when their former anti-American anti-imperialist perorations coined on the Chinese model of Mao’s cultural revolution became totally outdated and preposterous once Kissinger had forged an alliance with communist China, that wasn’t ready anymore to support Maoist zealots and puppets in the Western world. Indeed, the United States would better than now contain Russia, China and India in case of a renewed alliance with Teheran. And using the quite wide influence sphere of the “Iranian civilization" (as the former Shah used to say), they could extend more easily their preponderance in Central Asia, in the Fertile Crescent, in Lebanon (with the Shiite minority armed by the Hizbollah) and in the Gulf where Shiite minorities are important. But Iran would then become a too powerful ally, exactly like China, the new ally of 1972, does. And before Iran would become a new China and develop naval capacities in the Gulf and in the Oman Sea, i. e. in one of the main area of the Indian Ocean, like China wants to control entirely the Southern Chinese Sea in the Pacific, Europe would have to unite with Russia and India to contain a pro-American Iran! Stephen Kinzer, former “New York Times" bureau chief in Turkey, celebrated analyst of Iran’s turmoil in 1953 (the Mossadegh affair) and International relations teacher at Boston University, pleads in his very recent book “Reset Middle East" for a general alliance on the Near East, Middle East and South Asian rimlands between Turks, Iranians and Americans (which would include also Pakistan and so re-establish the containing bolt that the Bagdad Treaty formerly was). When you are interested in geopolitics you should have fine observing skills and foresee all possible shifts in alliances that could occur in a very near future. It is also obvious that if Washington continues to treat Teheran as a “rogue state", the Iranians will be compelled to play the game with Russia that remains nevertheless historically a foe of the Persians. Each Russian-Persian tandem would split in its very middle the rimland’s room that was organised by the Bagdad Treaty of the Fifties and give the Russians indirectly a broad “window" on the Indian Ocean, which is a state of things totally contrary to the principles settled by Homer Lea in 1912 and since then cardinal to all the Anglo-Saxon sea powers.

The relationship with the United States is a quite complex one. Two main ideas must be kept in mind if you want to understand our position:

1) Like the British historian Christopher Hill brilliantly demonstrated in his books “The World Turned Upside Down Radical Ideas During the English Revolution" and “Society and Puritanism in Pre-Revolutionary England", the core ideas that lead to the foundation of the British Thirteen Colonies in the Northern part of the New World was “dissidence" in front of all the European political systems inherited from the past. Later Clifford Longley in “Chosen People The Big idea that Shapes England and America" produced an very accurate historical analysis of this Biblical idea of a Chosen People that leads Britons and Americans to perceive themselves not as a particular people of the European Caucasian family but as a “lost tribe of Israel". Longley explains us that state of affairs by writing that Britons and Americans don’t have an identity, as other European people have, but thinks that they have a particular destiny, i. e. to build an aloof “New Jerusalem" and not a concrete defensive Empire of the European people, that would be born out of the genuine historical traditions of the subcontinent and simultaneously the legitimate, syncretic, Continental and Insular (Britain, Ireland, Sicily, Crete, Cyprus, etc.) heir of the Roman Empire and of the medieval Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. The very idea of incarnating a “New Jerusalem" leads to despise the “non chosen", even if they are akin people having importantly contributed to the ethno-genesis of the English or American nation (Dutch, Flemings, Northern Germans as Hanovrian or Low Saxons, Danes and Norwegians). Kevin Phillips, former Republican strategist in the United States and political commentator in leading American papers, in his fascinating book “American Theocracy The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century", criticizes the new political theology induced by the several Bush’s Administrations between 2000 and 2008, that have bereft the Republicans from the last remnants of traditional diplomacy, leading to what he calls an “Erring Republican Majority". Indeed each chosen people’s theology introduced in the events of the international chessboard destroys all the traditional ways of practising diplomacy, as surely as French Sans-Culottes’ Republicanism or Bolshevism did or Islam Fundamentalism does. Europe, as a continent that has a long memory, cannot admit a scheme that rejects vehemently all the heritages of the past to replace them by mere artificial myths, that were moreover imported from the Near East in Roman times and have received a still faker interpretation in the decades just after Reformation.

2) The second main fact of history to keep in mind in order to understand the complex Euro-American relationship is the effect the Monroe Doctrine had on the international chessboard from the second quarter of the 19th Century onwards. In principle the Monroe Doctrine aimed at preventing European interventions in the New World or the Western Hemisphere as the Spanish “creole" countries had rebelled against Madrid and gained their independence and as the British had burnt Washington in 1812, after having invaded the States from Canada, and the Russians were still formally in California and Alaska. Monroe feared a general intervention of the “Pentarchy" powers everywhere in the new World that would have prevented the former Thirteen Colonies to develop and would synchronously have choked any attempt to rise as a Northern American continental and bi-oceanic power. Indeed the young Northern American Republic faced at that time a huge Eurasian block that seemed definitively indomitable, with British room projections in India and Southern Africa. The American historian Dexter Perkins in his book “Hands off: A History of the Monroe Doctrine" (1955) explains us that President Monroe got the audacity to challenge the European/Eurasian block at a time when the United States couldn’t actually assert any well-grounded power on the international chessboard. Monroe’s bold affirmation created US power in the world, simply because a pure will, expressed in plain words, can really anticipate actual power, be the very first step towards it. It is not a simple matter of chance that Carl Schmitt stressed the uttermost importance of the Monroe Doctrine in the genesis of the geopolitical shape of present-day world. Jordis von Lohausen says in his book “Mut zur Macht" that if Monroe wanted to preserve the New World from any European intervention, he wanted simultaneously to keep this New World for the USA themselves as sole hegemonic power. But if the New World is united under the leadership of Washington, it must control the other banks of the Oceans in a way or another to prevent any concentration of power able to disturb US hegemony or to regain authority in Latin America, be it directly political (like during the attempt of Maximilian of Hapsburg to create a European-dominated Empire in Mexico in 1866-67 with the support of France, Belgium, Spain and Austria) or indirectly by trade and economical means (as Germany did just before the two World Wars). So in the end effect, the Monroe Doctrine implies that the United States have to control the shores of Western Europe and of Morocco and the ones of Japan, China, Indochina and the Philippines in order to survive a the main superpower in the world.

The critical attitude we always have developed in front of the US American fact derives from these two core ideas. We cannot accept a Biblical ideology refusing to take into account our real roots and reducing all the institutions generated by our history to worthless rubbish. We can neither accept an affirmation of power that denies us the right to be ourselves a power on political, military and cultural levels. Would America get rid of the former British dissident ideology and adopt the principles of continental autarky, as Lawrence Dennis taught to do, there wouldn’t be any problem anymore. It would even be of great benefit for the US American population itself.

Thank you very much, Mr. Steuckers.