Europe’s ECSC: A Potential Model for a Southwest Asia Peace Conference

An Israeli-Palestinian settlement will not bring peace to the region unless there is also a peace agreement with Syria, where Israel still occupies the Golan Heights, and Lebanon. In addition, a rapprochement between the United States and Iran is required. A Southwest Asia peace conference would then be in order. Not one modeled on the abortive 1992 Madrid Peace conference, but on the principles laid out in Lyndon LaRouche’s Oasis Plan in April 1994.

Because of the extreme bitterness between the Israelis and Palestinians, LaRouche asserted, “Before we could have a political solution, we had to have an economic self-interest by both parties in a political solution.” That was not putting the cart before the horse, as claimed by those who insist on negotiating a political solution before dealing with the economic question. “In this case”, LaRouche stressed, “I propose we drop the sociological or often-accepted sociological view of negotiations and grand politics. I propose that not only the material but the psychological effect of development upon the state of the individual mind is the key to peaceful development of this planet in the coming period.”

There are modern historic examples to support this principle: the conferences and negotiations that led to the European Coal and Steel Community Treaty, also known as the Treaty of Paris, signed in 1951. While considered the foundation of what has become the European Union, that treaty was a vital necessity for the reconstruction of the European economies which were still in a shambles, a few years after the end of World War II. Germany, which had been the motor of the European industrial economies, was divided and remained under an occupation that shackled its potential for rapid recovery and for resuming a central role in the European economy. The bitterness of France towards Germany had not yet subsided, as it sought to annex Germany’s coal-rich industrial region of the Saarland.

Some European statesmen had a better idea: to bring together the coal and steel producing nations to create an organization of sovereign states to manage access to the resources necessary for the revival, expansion and development of the European steel industry, for the common good of all signatories (Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and West Germany). In consideration of bringing the European economy into the nuclear age, a sister organization, the European Atomic Energy Community, was created. The preamble of the Treaty of Paris is worth quoting.

“Considering that world peace can be safeguarded only by creative efforts commensurate with the dangers that threaten it,

“Convinced that the contribution which an organized and vital Europe can make to civilization is indispensable to the maintenance of peaceful relations,

“Recognizing that Europe can be built only through practical achievements which will first of all create real solidarity, and through the establishment of common bases for economic development,

“Anxious to help, by expanding their basic production, to raise the standard of living and further the works of peace,

“Resolved to substitute for age-old rivalries the merging of their essential interests; to create, by establishing an economic community, the basis for a broader and deeper community among peoples long divided by bloody conflicts; and to lay the foundations for institutions which will give direction to a destiny hence forward shared,

“Have decided to create a European Coal and Steel Community…”

The principle of peace through development clearly emerges from this declaration. Note that the treaty in no way infringed upon or questioned the sovereignty of the member states, since it was founded on the sovereign decision of each state. The institutions it created, such as a commission, an assembly, and a court, were only tasked with implementation of the obligations under this treaty.

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