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Crisis in the West: American Leadership and the Global by Lionel Gelber

By Lionel Gelber

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Example text

The French, for example, bury outworn enmities when they second the idea of reunion between the two Germanys. Yet all projects for that semi-continental unity of which Franco-German partnership is the core must take a divided Germany as their premise. In their European policies, moreover, English-speaking allies have also been ambiguous. Proposing that the German status quo be altered, the United States and Britain have likewise had a paramount interest in its preservation. To re*This essay was first published as an article, 'East, West and the German Status Quo', in Christianity and Crisis (New York, 22 Feb 1960).

But when she is outspoken about the West and circumspect about the East, this differential treatment gives the show away. For she dare not admit that which must haunt her most and, with shadows looming from the Rzsk and Paradox 39 north, still refuse to take sides. Another paradox ensues. Many European neutrals have no illusions about the ideological phase of the cold war; neutralism in Asia is governed by one. Neutralism is a policy which a country chooses for itself. Neutralization is a status which others choose for it.

The answer may be this: that for fifty years after Vienna a greater, unified Germany had not yet been fashioned out of the various Germanic States. For what finally unbalanced Europe's distribution of power was the impact of a greater, expansionist Germany striving ruthlessly and inexorably towards an overweening hegemony. And when the era of Versailles allowed this greater Germany to hang on to territorial, strategic, and industrial resources out of which are forged the tools of domination it wrote its own obituary.

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