quinta-feira, 8 de julho de 2004

90 anos depois

SARAJEVO REVISITED, by Srdja Trifkovic, chroniclesmagazine, July 2, 2004

"It was 90 years ago this week that a young Serb nationalist, Gavrilo Princip, assassinated Austrian-Hungarian heir to the throne, Archduke Francis Ferdinand, and his morganatic wife Sophie, during their state visit to Sarajevo. This event triggered off a diplomatic chain reaction known as the July Crisis that culminated in the outbreak of the Great War, the most tragic event in the history of mankind.

That war destroyed an imperfect but on the whole decent and well-ordered world, and opened the floodgates of hell. Bolshevism, Fascism, Nazism, the second round of 1939-1945, the Holocaust, and the ruins of civilization we now live in, are all the fruits of the summer of 1914.


Four awful years later President Wilson’s Fourteen Points—the device that was allegedly meant to end the war—espoused the principle of self-determination. It threw a revolutionary doctrine thrown at an already exhausted Europe, a doctrine almost on par with Bolshevism in its destabilizing effect. It unleashed competing aspirations among the smaller nations of Central Europe and the Balkans that not only hastened the collapse of transnational empires, but also gave rise to a host of intractable ethnic conflicts and territorial disputes that remain unresolved to this day. Wilson’s notions of an “enlarging democracy” and “collective security” signaled the birth of a view of America’s role in world affairs which has created—and is still creating—endless problems for both America and the world. It is Wilson speaking through President George W. Bush who declared that America not only “created the conditions in which new democracies could flourish” but “also provided inspiration for oppressed peoples.”

Two decades after Wilson, burdened by Clemenceau’s untenable revenge of Versailles, Europe staggered into a belated Round Two of self-destruction. After 1918 it was badly wounded; after 1945 mortally so. The result is a civilization that is aborting and birth-controlling itself to death, that is morally bankrupt, culturally spent, and spiritually comatose. We are living—if life it is—with the consequences, and in the ruins, of Somme and Verdun. To have a hint of the human cost it is essential to visit the hecatombs of northern France and the Dolomites. To understand its cultural cost it is only necessary to look around us. As an Islamic deluge threatens to replace rapidly dying Europeans within a century, as America continues its futile quest for dominance abroad and its cultural self-destruction at home, the causes and meaning of the civilizational suicide of 1914 are more relevant to our present and to our future than at any time since Sarajevo.

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