Is Belgium Breaking Up?

All politics are local, said "Tip" O`Neill.

Not so. It is more true to say that

all politics


For the 1991 prediction
of Arthur
Schlesinger—"Ethnic and racial conflict, it now seems
evident, will soon replace the conflict of ideologies as
the explosive issue of our time"
—has proven

As Schlesinger was writing, the

Soviet Union,
a prison house of nations held
together by the ideology of Marxism-Leninism, the Red
Army, the

and the

Communist Party
, was disintegrating. Out of its
carcass came 15 nations. Causes of secession: ethnicity
and culture.

At the same time,

Yugoslavia crumbled.
Slovenes and Croats broke free
of Belgrade, and Bosnia was beset by a civil-sectarian
war of Croats, Serbs and Muslims. Macedonia seceded,
then Montenegro. Now Kosovo,

of the Orthodox Serb people, but 90 percent

Albanian and Muslim,

moving toward secession.

Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union came
apart, after becoming free, confirming what my late

Sam Francis said
: Multiracial, multiethnic,
multilingual countries are held together either by an
authoritarian regime or an ethnocultural core—as the
English have held the United Kingdom together—or they
come apart.

Today we see agitation for secession by

Scottish nationalists
who wish to follow the
Irish nationalists
of the early 20th century out of
the United Kingdom. Which brings us to the point of this

Belgium, created by the European powers in 1831, is the
likely next nation in Europe to break up—into a
Dutch-speaking Flanders in the north,

tied to Holland
by language and culture, and a
Francophone south, Wallonia, tied to France by language
and culture.

What puts the breakup of Belgium on the front burner is
that this nation of 10 million has been without a
government for three months. In June, Yves Leterme, the
leader of the Flemish Christian Democrats, won the
general election, but was blocked from forming a
government by Wallonia, which fears Leterme is a closet
nationalist bent on secession.

Belgium is also divided economically and politically.
Flanders is wealthy, conservative, capitalist. Wallonia
is poor, socialist, statist. As the Flemish 60 percent
of the population generates 70 percent of GDP and 80
percent of all exports, it is weary of seeing its
taxes—the top rate is 50 percent—going to sustain a
socialist Wallonia where unemployment is 15 percent. By
one poll, 43 percent of Flemish wish to quit Belgium and
go their own way.

What enables Wallonia to block formation of a government
is a parliamentary system where Flanders and Wallonia
must each assent to any government. Which means that
half of the Walloons, 20 percent of Belgium`s
population, holds veto power over a national government.

Not only is the parliamentary situation becoming
intolerable to Flanders, there is rage over the recent
socialist government`s having brought in French-speaking
North Africans to give Walloons control of Brussels,
which, though in Flanders, has a French-speaking

Heightening the tensions, on Sept. 11, a demonstration
was held in Brussels to protest "the Islamization of
featuring a moment of silence for the
victims of 9-11. There, as Washington Times

Diana West
describes the

, "we see black-clad Belgian policemen
brutalizing a man in a light-colored suit and tie. His
hands are cuffed behind his back, his right elbow is
clasped in what is known as an arm-bar hold, and he is
being subjected to a genital hold—a vicious grip that, a
retired cop friend of mine tells me, would get any
American policeman thrown off the force."
and 9/11,
September 14, 2007]

The victim of this police brutality was Frank Vanhecke,
president of the Flemish secessionist party Vlams Belang
and a member of the European Parliament. Also arrested
and beaten was Filip Dewinter, the leading politician of
Vlams Belang, which is Belgium`s largest opposition
party. This is

like having Mitch McConnell beaten up and arrested at a
on the Washington Mall to protest illegal

Seemingly condoning what was done to the Vlams Belang
leaders, Terry Davis, the secretary general of the
Council of Europe, issued a statement declaring, "The
freedom of expression and freedom of assembly are indeed
preconditions for democracy, but they should not be
regarded as a license to offend."
of Communication – Europe is threatened by bigots –
not by Islam
, September 11, 2007]

Are offensive ideas and speech now verboten in
the European Union?

While European and U.S. leftists regard Dewinter,
Vanhecke and Vlams Belang as crypto-fascist, as West
writes, it was the police conduct that might better be
described as

"The New Face of Fascism"
in Europe. Moreover,

West and I have met both men
, and neither was
wearing jackboots. What they seek is what many

Americans seek:
the preservation of their country
and their

unique national identity.

If a

party of small-government immigration reformers
defenders of Europe`s unique culture, heritage and
identity can be subjected to such treatment by Belgian
police and Europe`s elite, we have to ask: Just how

is this new European Union, when its own

ideology of multiculturalism
is challenged by the
people in whose name it presumes to speak?

Has the

European Union
become an enemy of the people it



Patrick J. Buchanan

no introduction
readers; his book

State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and
Conquest of America

can be ordered from