Brussels Rises In Revolt Against Washington: A Turning Point In US-European Relations

Authored by Alex Gorka via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

The May 16-17 EU-Western Balkans summit did address the problems of integration, but it was eclipsed by another issue. The meeting turned out to be a landmark event that will go down in history as the day Europe united to openly defy the US. The EU will neither review the Iran nuclear deal (JPCOA) nor join the sanctions against Tehran that have been reintroduced and even intensified by America. Washington’s unilateral withdrawal from the JPCOA was the last straw, forcing the collapse of Western unity. The Europeans found themselves up against a wall. There is no point in discussing further integration or any other matter if the EU cannot protect its own members. But now it can.

President Trump has his own reasons to shred the Iran deal, but he needs Europe to strong-arm Tehran into signing a “better” agreement. Were it to do so, the US administration would make it look like a big victory. Washington does not shy away from threatening its allies with punitive measures but the EU is standing tall, deepening the rift. As European Council President Donald Tusk put it, “With friends like Trump, who needs enemies?” According to him, the US president has “rid Europe of all illusions.” Mr. Tusk wants Europe to “stick to our guns” against new US policies. Jean-Claude Juncker, the head of the EU Commission, believes that “Europe must take America's place as global leader” because Washington has turned its back on its allies. Washington “no longer wants to cooperate.” It is turning away from friendly relations “with ferocity.” Mr. Juncker thinks the time is ripe for Europe “to replace the United States, which as an international actor has lost vigor.” It would have been unthinkable not long ago for a top EU official to say such things and challenge the US global leadership. Now the unthinkable has become reality.

The process of shifting away from America does not boil down to just words of indignation and open defiance. Plans are underway to take practical steps. For instance, the EU is to ditch the use of the US currency in its payments for Iranian oil. It can be done. Russia and Iran have already launched an oil-for-goods exchange program in order to leave the greenback behind. The bloc plans to activate a 1996 law (the blocking statute), which bans European businesses from compliance with US sanctions on Iran. The legislation protects "against the effects of the extra-territorial application of legislation adopted by a third country."

The EU-Iran discussions have already been held. And it is America’s closest ally who is to deal the first powerful blow against US global dominance. This is a demonstration of the “no retreat, no surrender” spirit before the not-yet-unleased war is in full swing.

True, this applies to only a relatively small sector of business activities, and Iran’s $400-billion market can’t be compared to the $18-trillion US market, but the important factor here is the show of political will to stand up to America’s challenge. This rift is taking place amid a looming trade war over aluminum and steel, the US withdrawal from the Paris climate accords, the relocation of the embassy to Jerusalem with no regard for the allies’ opinion, and the controversy over Europe’s NATO spending.

On May 15, the EU defense heads gathered at a meeting of the European Union Military Committee to discuss deeper integration and an independent defense policy, which envisages greater efficiency to reduce expenditures, given the US demands to increase those outlays under the auspices of NATO. The PESCO agreement is the backbone of the EU defense policy and it’s purely European.

Sandra Oudkirk, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Energy, has just threatened to sanction the Europeans if they continue with the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project to bring gas in from Russia across the Baltic Sea. That country is also seen by the US as an adversary and its approach is by and large the same – to issue orders for Europe to adopt a confrontational policy, doing as it is told without asking too many questions.

Iran and Nord Stream 2 unite Moscow and Brussels in their opposition to this diktat. On May 17, Iran signed a provisional free-trade-zone agreement with a Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) that seeks to increase the current levels of trade valued at $2.7 billion. The deal lowers or abolishes customs duties. It also establishes a three-year process for reaching a permanent trade agreement. If Iran becomes a member of the group, it would expand its economic horizons beyond the Middle Eastern region. So, Europe and Russia are in the same boat, both holding talks with Iran on economic cooperation.

President Donald Trump has just instructed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to prepare a list of new sanctions against the Russian Federation for its alleged violations of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. This is the agreement the US has so egregiously and openly breached. But nobody in Europe has announced that they want US nuclear-tipped intermediate- range weapons on their territory that will be a target for a potential retaliatory strike by Russia. It’s an example of yet another European problem with having the decision-making process located in Washington.

If Europe is resolved to fend off US attempts to dictate its policy on Iran, why should it reconcile itself to the pressure to keep the sanctions against Russia intact? May 17 marked a turning point in the US-European relationship. Europeans joined ranks to resist a policy that encroaches on their right to decide their own fate. It’s Europe, not the US, who is negatively affected by the punitive measures, creating deep divisions within the EU at a time when that group is faced with many problems. The time is ripe for Brussels to stop this sanctions-counter-sanctions mayhem and stake out its own independent policies on Russia, Iran, defense, and other issues, that will protect European, not US, national interests. May 17 is the day the revolt started and there is no going back. Europe has said goodbye to trans-Atlantic unity. It looks like it has had enough.

Comments

bob_dole skbull44 Sun, 05/20/2018 - 08:21 Permalink

Call me naive but I think the world is preparing for America to leave large parts of asia/eu/me and instead of going to war to fight over territory everything is being done as peacefully as possible in SPITE of Israel and its disgusting actions. It really feels like EU and parts of the ME and SE Asia are being divided up and there is lots of big mean talk to mask whats really going on.

 

@yogapants I often wonder the same thing. It is common knowledge that the jews control the EU so the only thing I can think of is massive blackmail going on behind the scenes. Events that would have been dead and gone under Hillary have been exposed under Trump and guns are being held to pedos heads. If there are 3way deals going on between Russia China and the US I think one day in the future there will be an audit on Fort Knox and magically all that gold will be there, if Trump is slowly pulling out hes gonna want a slice of the gold pie to save or safely reset the US economy.

In reply to by skbull44

Precious Hawk gmrpeabody Sun, 05/20/2018 - 09:11 Permalink

Why is nobody stating that this is proof that the entire USA meddling in the ME has been about energy?  Hidden in the middle of this article is the fact that it's the Russian gas pipeline that is the root cause.

Now start thinking back to the lies about the Heads of State that the USA/UK/EU have decapitated.  Forget about humanitarian causes - it is control and ownership of the carbon-based energy that was the reason for the illegal entry of foreign forces into sovereign territory.

In reply to by gmrpeabody

macholatte Precious Hawk Sun, 05/20/2018 - 09:20 Permalink

Basic Questions: Is it a good thing for Iran to have nukes and ICBM’s ?

Let the wealthy EU parasites go their own way after NATO is dismembered and watch them make an alliance with Russia so they will feel “protected”. All the blood and treasure the USA has wasted for the benefit of the EU Parasites is massive and the USA gets nothing in return. It needs to end.

 

In reply to by Precious Hawk

veritas semper… Four Star Sun, 05/20/2018 - 13:09 Permalink

The unemployment in US is at least 25% . 50 Mil people on food stamps. 100 Mil not working and not counted in the work force. More than 51% on some form of government help. 70 % on some form of medication. fat and stupid people.

And on top of this you have this:(from C1A site):

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2…

so ,what do you think? Who is better?

In reply to by Four Star

Baron von Bud Usura Sun, 05/20/2018 - 10:23 Permalink

The break point for Europe is the US demand that they buy US LNG at a premium of 25% over Russian gas. This is a huge tax on Europe that goes directly to DC and from the pocket of every EU citizen. So Brussels must decide if the tax is fair payment for the US defense of Europe. If not, then they'll have to pay for their own defense.

In reply to by Usura

giovanni_f sheikurbootie Sun, 05/20/2018 - 09:39 Permalink

C'mon all you hobby geostrategists here, it is not that difficult: 

"nato" is a dominance tool by, for, from the us. therefore us - and nobody else - has put up the cost for the tool "nato". if tool "nato" had been for the protection of europe, us would have never EVER put up the cost. As "nato" is not for the protection of europe but for the protection of the us' ownership of the asset "europe" us never EVER seriously has complained about a unfair share.

us can not "leave" nato, it could discard which it will never EVER do voluntarily as it would mean to surrender its most powerful tool of dominance

Assclown Trump is trying hard to bullshit europe into believing that the cost burden for nato is distributed unfairly - and that the vasall europe should pay to have his masters occupation forces on its own soil.

Europe just has to ignore US on this issue - and absolutely nothing will happen. 

In reply to by sheikurbootie

curbjob giovanni_f Sun, 05/20/2018 - 10:14 Permalink

True that.

NATO, the World Bank and the UN Security Council are US dominated institutions  and  you don't have to be a geostrategist to figure it out; go to your closest Wal-Mart and understand that fat and stupid only exist because of US global hegemony ... it will end, and not well.

In reply to by giovanni_f

SDShack giovanni_f Sun, 05/20/2018 - 14:10 Permalink

Yep, the USSA Security State is the ONLY thing that matters and is calling the shots world wide. They MUST protect the Petro$ at all costs, and will do ANYTHING and sacrifice ANYONE to support this. USSA "allies" understand this and also understand how they will be "persuaded" to act in the USSA interest if anyone else tries to entice them otherwise. How many military bases does the USSA have in Germany and Italy? Nothing changes until that changes.

In reply to by giovanni_f

veritas semper… sheikurbootie Sun, 05/20/2018 - 13:14 Permalink

NATO is US .

Lord Hastings Lionel Ismay was NATO’s first Secretary General, a position he was initially reluctant to accept. By the end of his tenure however, Ismay had become the biggest advocate for the organization he famously said was created to “keep the Soviet Union out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.”

NATO  is always lead by a US general. Always .

If US leaves NATO , this means that Europe is free .

Have you asked yourself why is US in Germany and Italy and all other European countries 70 years after the war ended? Read again the above quote from the first NATO leader.

In reply to by sheikurbootie

Mementoil Precious Hawk Sun, 05/20/2018 - 09:25 Permalink

Once you have realized that the EU's immigration policy is sheer suicide, and that Europe is due to become Islamic within 20 years or so, it is no surprise that EU leaders will side with the Muslims on each and every issue from now on. What the Eurocrats seem to have missed is the Iran is Shia, While majority of Muslims immigrating to the EU are Sunny Muslims, who consider the Shia to be heretics and in constant conflict with them.

Wait until they discover they have imported this centuries old conflict to their back yard, the poor dears...

 

   

In reply to by Precious Hawk

BidnessMan Mementoil Sun, 05/20/2018 - 11:07 Permalink

"Constant conflict" sounds so benign.  Actually they slaughter each other in huge numbers like they did in Iraq.  If a few million Europeans get caught in the middle, oh well.  Except for Hungary, EU politicians in their protected little Brussels ivory tower are remarkably naive.  

Watching the death of hundreds of years of European civilization in slo mo.  

In reply to by Mementoil

Maghreb gmrpeabody Sun, 05/20/2018 - 09:35 Permalink

Iran is a major shareholder in the Thyssen Krupp industrial conglomerate. They still probably have no balls but money still talks.

http://www.dw.com/en/iran-to-profit-from-israels-submarine-deal-with-th…

There is also a French plan for wars in West Africa to prop up the CFA so they don't want their hands full with the Middle East. 

The European Union is also pissed at the Americans and English over Brexit. EU also has its own intelligence service now so perhaps they aren't buying the Iran threat bullshit.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Union_Intelligence_and_Situation…

In reply to by gmrpeabody

veritas semper… Maghreb Sun, 05/20/2018 - 13:30 Permalink

This is very simple to understand: EU does not want to commit Hara Kiri with the Iranian deal ( which took 12 years and a lot of diplomacy to happen ) because US is a rogue nation.

 EU will not commit hara Kiri with the Nord Stream II because US is a rogue nation.

Economic interests Trump any alliance that EU might have had with US ( or better said any vassal position it had). This is the chance for Europe to free itself.

 US is a broke state. The international pie is shrinking and US can not compete , it can only hope to maintain its monopoly by force.

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2…

See where EU is on that list and where US is.

Iran has one of the biggest oil and gas reserves. Iran ,Qatar (which changed sides) and Russia own the gas market. US does not want that Iran becomes a strong economy ; it tried to prevent it since 1979 ,with sanctions, color revolution attempts, etc.

It is also the Saudi Arabia interest as they lose the monopoly on oil( and their fields are depleated ). And we all know that SA is the base of the petro-f*cking -dollar ,which represents the US power over the world. and ,of course ,Israhell is afraid for the same reason: it can not compete with Iran ,a wealthy country ,with young ,intelligent,educated people.

This is not about nuclear weapons. It never was. It is about natural resources ,oil and gas .

And we all know that oil and especially gas  are the engine of an economy.

QED.

 

In reply to by Maghreb