In relationships between people, as well as nations, humiliation can lead to senseless acts, inextinguishable wars.
It is therefore essential not to humiliate others, to respect them; and if humiliation has taken place, if contact has been broken, to reestablish it, at least as long as the one humiliated is still accessible to dialogue and has not become a bitter enemy, that force alone can hold in check.
For example, in 1919 the humiliation of Germany by the imbecile Treaty of Versailles, led to the victory of Nazism, that had to be combated. Likewise, in 1995 the humiliation of Turkey by denying its entry into the European Union have it today run and jump right up into the arms of a Islamism that is still moderate for the time being, and can turn them into enemies one day. Similarly, after the Second Gulf War, the dismantling of Saddam Hussein’s army led thousands of soldiers and officers from a wholly secular and perfectly trained army, to constitute a few months ago cadres of a so-called Islamic caliphate, claiming today to gather all the humiliated Muslims of the world, in mortal combat against the West. In the same way, maintaining a brutal and humiliating balance of power between Israel and Palestine, keeps some in the illusion of winning the war and others in feeding their desire to destroy the Jewish state.
Finally today, the humiliation of Russia, by claiming to isolate them from the rest of the world under the pretext that they did not accept that the Russian-speaking in Ukraine be treated as second class citizens, can turn them into enemies that will have to be fought against one day. It is especially stupid for the Poles to do everything to isolate Russia, as was the case for France who did everything to isolate Germany in the 1920s.
A third world war would be the natural consequence of the continuation of this geopolitics of humiliation. Some voices in Washington and Moscow, are already expressing the worst nationalist, conspiracy and warmonger views, that will lead to the worst, simply by the vicious circle of foolishness and resentment.
Many people here and there, would indeed welcome an international tension becoming so strong that it would put the brakes on the terrible financial-crisis downturns, provide work for defense industries and despoil savers in the process, through taxes or a rescheduling of public debts, in the name of the so-called needs of defense of the homeland in danger.
In particular, the United States, geographically distant from future battlefields, and who have almost no need of energy sources from the Middle East or Central Asia, play dangerously with such a strategy, which can help them overcome their financial crisis, when this would be suicidal for Europeans, who though are letting themselves stupidly be swayed in that direction.
For all this not to degenerate, it is urgent for the West to adopt with the Arabs, the Turks and the Russians, the same attitude taken with Germany in 1945: Give them consideration, not break any contact with them, keep them in the circles of power, propose them to take part in joint projects. And especially with the Russians, interrupt a boycott which does damage to Europe only; and involve them in the war effort against radical Islam that they face daily in the Caucasus.
France could, should, dare to propose such a change of doctrine. To arrive at this end it must ultimately have the courage to break with the follow-my-leader attitude of other Europeans, as it has done on other occasions, and lead the way in this geopolitics of respect, though it means temporary loneliness.