In my opinion, the questionable consequences of the invasion on Iraq, which violate the right of the peoples, have made the former supporters of the war to think about them. Obviously, I hope that a beginning of a liberal regime is being established, but the positive points are not enough at the moment. If we put aside the right of the people, then we should at least have moral scruples as intellectuals and ask ourselves if the case of Iraq could be used as a legal background. Why Iraq and not Uzbekistan?, a country that, on the contrary, is part of the Coalition?
There is no country in the European Union in which the majority of the people has supported that war at any time. Since 1945, we witnessed major demonstrations with no effect on democracies. The disagreements among the leaders, not among European nations, have cooled down, but have left Europe under a hangover atmosphere. I believe that the behavior of the government of Berlin regarding China and Russia may be described as an economic opportunism. The left-wing liberals in Germany and in Poland criticize that policy. It would be good that the debate is focused on the same issues for all members of the Union.
Europe is today in a miserable status. The fact that Rumsfeld may speak of an "old" and "new" Europe has made us become aware that all of us capture the political present through the limited and sometimes distorted perspective from our experiences and national historical traumas. The myths are a safety network in case of fear and loss of judgment.
It is not about getting to know whether it is European patriotism, but to foster confidence among the members of a community. For some, NATO is more worthy of credits than the EU. For others, the European Welfare State is worthier of confidence than the hegemonic liberalism that provides the market and free elections, or in case it is needed, through the use of force.
It is difficult for the Europeans to have a vision of common history. Every nation has to face its own history, so that after an exchange of view, the European history is defined. In this context, the expulsions and forced migrations, the Armenian genocide, the bombings of civilians in German cities, all these historical developments for which The Hague Criminal Court is competent, should be reviewed.
The Catholic Church made peace with «liberalism» after the Vatican II. That is the reason why when it comes to «pre-political basics of democracy» there is no big difference between Ratzinger and myself. However, the Union has the duty to be neutral regarding the growing number of secular and non-Christian citizens. The impartiality principle for religious communities has not yet imposed a secular clerical policy, even the one that is criticized in France. Today, according to the neoliberal dogma, the political nature is withdrawn from vital sectors such as education, energy, culture, and leaves the losers of modernization adrift. That tendency to eliminate all rules of moral sensitivity, submitting all areas of life to economic imperatives, also changes the political constellation between The Lights and religion. It is possible that Christianization of Europe keeps on at the same pace, but there are sociological explanations conventional to them, regardless of the new Pope. The reference to Saint Benedict associated to the option of the name Benedict II may lead to the belief that this Pope thinks now that the Christians will be the minority and wants to prepare the Church to face up this situation.

Die Welt (Germany)

" Europa ist heute in einem miserablen Zustand ", by Jürgen Habermas, Die Welt, May 4, 2005.
Text adapted from an interview.