"Who Needs Enemies?"

Authored by Raul Ilargi Meijer via The Automatic Earth blog,

Obviously, there are tensions between Europe and the US. Just as obviously, these tensions are blamed on, who else, Donald Trump. European Council President Donald Tusk recently said: “With friends like Trump, who needs enemies?” EU Commission chair Jean-Claude Juncker even proclaimed that “Europe must take America’s place as global leader”.

These European ‘leaders’ love the big words. They think they make them look good, strong. In reality, they are merely messenger boys for Berlin and Paris. Who have infinitely more say than Brussels. Problem is, Berlin and Paris are not united at all. Macron wants more Europe, especially in finance, but Merkel knows she can’t sell that at home.

So what are those big words worth when the whip comes down? It’s amusing to see how different people reach wholly different conclusions about that. Instructive and entertaining. First, Alex Gorka at The Strategic Culture Foundation, who likes the big words too: “..a landmark event that will go down in history as the day Europe united to openly defy the US.”and “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.

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

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.

[..] 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.

[..] 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.

[..] 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. [..] 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.

[..] 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.

As for placing new nukes in Europe, that will be a hard sell. But the US will probably find countries that say yes, provided they are compensated well. Just don’t try it in Holland, Germany or France. But also don’t forget the amount of nukes already on the continent: just call it an upgrade.

Nord Stream 2 is tricky, but mostly an economic issue: Trump wants to sell American gas to Europe, and uses the bad bad Putin narrative to make that happen. Still, the pipeline has been in the pipeline for a long time, and a lot of time and money has been spent on it. It’ll be hard for the US to cut it off at this late stage.

When it comes to claiming the EU will not review the Iran nuclear deal, isn’t that exactly what they are indeed doing? Reuters:

Europe, China, Russia Discussing New Deal For Iran

Under the 2015 deal, Iran agreed to curb its nuclear program in return for the lifting of most Western sanctions. One of the main complaints of the Trump administration was that the accord did not cover Iran’s missile program or its support for armed groups in the Middle East which the West considers terrorists.

Concluding a new agreement that would maintain the nuclear provisions and curb ballistic missile development efforts and Tehran’s activities in the region could help convince Trump to lift sanctions against Iran, the paper said. “We have to get away from the name ‘Vienna nuclear agreement’ and add in a few additional elements. Only that will convince President Trump to agree and lift sanctions again,” the paper quoted a senior EU diplomat as saying.

All in all, Mr. Gorka doesn’t convince me. Europe doesn’t speak with one voice, and we wouldn’t even know which voice speaks for it. Just that it isn’t Juncker or Tusk, they’re handpuppets. Moreover, Europe has so many internal issues to deal with that it has a hard time speaking at all. A landmark event in US-EU relations may happen one day, but May 17 wasn’t it.

What I find more interesting is the account of academic John Laughland, ‘a historian and specialist in international affairs’, at RT:

With Iran Sanctions Trump Made Europeans Look Like The Fools They Are

Donald Tusk may say “Europe must be united economically, politically and also militarily like never before … either we are together or we are not at all” but Europe is indeed not “together” at all. The Brussels commission is hounding Poland and Hungary on what are clearly internal political matters beyond the Commission’s remit; the EU is about to lose one of its most important member states; and a new government is going to take power in Rome whose economic policies (a flat tax at 15%) will blow the eurozone’s borrowing rules out of the water and perhaps cause Italy to leave the euro.

The Italian 5-Star/League government also wants an end to the EU sanctions against Russia; these are voted by a unanimity which, although fragile, has held until now but which, if the new power in Rome keeps its word, will shortly collapse. In other words, what Trump has done is to make the Europeans look like the fools they are. In circumstances in which the EU has placed all its eggs in one basket, a basket which Trump has now overturned, it will be impossible for it to come together. On the contrary, it is falling apart.

[..] the EU draws its entire legitimacy from the belief that by pooling sovereignty and by merging its states into one entity, it has advanced beyond the age when international relations were decided by force. It believes that it embodies instead a new international system based on rules and agreements, and that any other system leads to war. It is impossible to exaggerate the importance of this belief for European leaders; yet Donald Trump has just driven a coach and horses through it.

The angry statements by European leaders might lead one to think that we are on the cusp of a major reappraisal of trans-Atlantic relations. However, the reality is that the EU and its leaders have painted themselves into a corner from which it will be very difficult, perhaps impossible, to extricate themselves.

Like I said, completely different conclusions based on the exact same events. The EU risks what might turn into an existential crisis with Beppe Grillo effectively holding the reins of power in Rome. The new government may have dropped the demand for a €260 billion debt relief, but the basic income plan is still there, and so is dropping Russian sanctions.

The new guys can’t divert from their election promises much further, they need to maintain their credibility. But for a lot of their promises it is not at all clear how they could possible fit into the present EU structure. Try their demand for a mechanism to leave the EU.

Italy is so large that Brussels cannot be too aggressive against it. The ECB cannot stop buying Italian bonds, as it did with Greek ones. And at some point the debt relief demand will return too.

But Laughland has a lot more cold water to pour on the alleged but toothless European revolt. In the shape of NATO. This is scary for every European:

[..] the links between the EU and the US are not only very long-standing, they are also set in stone. NATO and the EU are in reality Siamese twins, two bodies born at the same time which are joined at the hip. The first European community was created with overt and covert US support in 1950 in order to militarize Western Europe and to prepare it to fight a land war against the Soviet Union; NATO acquired its integrated command structure a few months later and its Supreme Commander is always an American.

Today the two organizations are legally inseparable because the consolidated Treaty on European Union, in the form adopted at Lisbon in 2009, states that EU foreign policy “shall respect” the obligations of NATO member states and that it shall “be compatible” with NATO policy. In other words, the constitutional charter of the EU subordinates it to NATO, which the USA dominates legally and structurally. In such circumstances, European states can only liberate themselves from US hegemony, as Donald Tusk said they should, by leaving the EU. It is obvious that they are not prepared to do that.

Anything else about those dreams of standing up to Trump? Have the past and present leaders in Brussels, and in Berlin and Paris and Rome, betrayed their own citizens? Sold them out? How far removed is this from treason? And does this perhaps indicate that it’s high time for a complete and utter overhaul of the European Union?

It sure sounds a lot more realistic than Europe replacing America as the global leader.

Who needs enemies? NATO does.

Comments

FireBrander Joe Trader Mon, 05/21/2018 - 09:27 Permalink

Candidate Trump (in so many words):

"End NATO"

"EU must defend itself or pay us"

He was savagely shot out of the sky and reversed his position at the "urging" of the MICain cabal of Devils.

But, here we are on 5/21/2018...and what is happening?

The direct route to Trumps goals was impossible; but it appears his detour route is working.

In reply to by Joe Trader

NidStyles tmosley Mon, 05/21/2018 - 09:45 Permalink

Not at all, I just remember that there was a bit of a disagreement about the status of that alliance and they even had a few conflicts over it, including one where a guy named Sherman burned Atlanta to the ground.

 

Pendantry isn’t something I do. I do mostly semantic games and logical layers of sophisticated quandaries, but pendantry is not something I ever touch. I am not a clown, in fact I don’t care for clowns, but if you’re interested I can introduce you to a few that would correct your latitude.

 

 Yes, I am actually that guy.

In reply to by tmosley

tmosley NidStyles Mon, 05/21/2018 - 09:50 Permalink

The United States is not a military alliance.

You can be cute all you like, but that won't change that fact.

> I am not a clown

I'm going to disagree with you there. I say that NATO needs to be disbanded because military alliances are for wartime, and that continuing them into peacetime just provokes more war. You say that that means that I must want to break up the United States. Only a fucking clown would make such a leap.

In reply to by NidStyles

NidStyles tmosley Mon, 05/21/2018 - 10:28 Permalink

Incorrect again. If the US is not a military alliance then what is it? All alliances are military in nature. There’s zero other reason for secular groups to hold themselves in a united fashion outside of military protection, which is just about the only thing the US does well these days. 

 

Well, that’s why you’re the clown. I didn’t make that leap, you assumed I did because I pointed out the logical connection between what you’re demanding and the reality we actually live in. The United States was always about a unified forced to keep European and the Indian population at bay. You’re not living in reality if you think otherwise. Even the Indians know this.

 

Half of the Civil War was the European powers trying to break us up so they could reconquer us afterward. Pick up a frigging book mate.

In reply to by tmosley

NidStyles tmosley Mon, 05/21/2018 - 11:47 Permalink

No. 

I think disbanding NATO is a step backwards. I think it needs reform and restructuring, not disbanding. Back when I saw the world as a sequence of individual independent actions rather than as coordinated systemic behavior, I thought the same as you.

 

More recent information has changed my perspective. I was supposed to kick a Jew in the nuts today. Focusing on your comments made me miss the chance.

 

I want to see Russia join NATO.

In reply to by tmosley

tmosley NidStyles Mon, 05/21/2018 - 12:34 Permalink

>I think disbanding NATO is a step backwards

Thank you for clarifying. 

>I want to see Russia join NATO.

We already have a UN, and it is already an ineffective clusterfuck. We don't need more.

A military alliance that everyone is a part of is the same as no alliance at all. Well, not exactly the same because the alliance drains the resources of the member nations. 

In reply to by NidStyles

NidStyles lester1 Mon, 05/21/2018 - 09:33 Permalink

Doesn’t warrant the obvious globalist position of anti-Euro-solidarity gaining political traction anywhere.

 

I prefer Euro-solidarity and would even love to have Russia join to unify all European people. 

 

Did you you know there is a ruthless cabal of tribesmen that operates under the pretense that they are the ultimate authority on everyone’s future and that all you need to do is reclaim your title to shut them up?

I learned this from firsthand experience. While the British families were giving away their rights to wear the crown, I kicked a Jew in the nuts and reclaimed my right to wear it. 

In reply to by lester1

NoDebt Mon, 05/21/2018 - 09:27 Permalink

"Europe must take America’s place as global leader"

Response #1:  Please do.  We're pretty fucking tired of it, to be honest.

Response #2:  Good luck with that.

Response #3:  BWAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

 

Bobbyrib NoDebt Mon, 05/21/2018 - 20:55 Permalink

Sixteen people currently do not understand the US' current agenda. Trump wants to act unilaterally. He wants to call the shots. He didn't bring Bolton into the White House because 'We're pretty fucking tired of being the global leader,' he brought him because he wants the US to get a larger slice of the pie.

The EU should start to withdraw from NATO. They should then start to trade oil in Euros..and look at that the dollar is worth even less than the Federal Reserve could ever have hoped to devalue our currency.

In reply to by NoDebt

gaoptimize Mon, 05/21/2018 - 09:31 Permalink

Western Europe is demographically doomed to be ruled by and for savages.  The sooner the USA recognizes that and establishes relations compatible with that, the better. 

Salsa Verde Mon, 05/21/2018 - 09:31 Permalink

Its all yours buddy!

 

Since Europe is in charge now, they won't be needing our troops, equipment, or bases over in their backyard anymore.  Good thing too, that shit's expensive to maintain.  Have fun facing down the world with that non-army of yours.

Chief Joesph Mon, 05/21/2018 - 09:34 Permalink

China really has more to offer to Europe than the U.S.,.  I can see the U.S. in the NATO alliance being easily replaced with China. And as bipolar as the U.S. is, who needs them for a partner anyway?

Scaliger Chief Joesph Mon, 05/21/2018 - 09:51 Permalink

1. China strategically depends on 5 provisions:
1.1 US, European & Japanese manufacturing technology.
1.2 US High-Tech.
1.3 US & Japanese Private Investments' Capital.
1.4 US Markets.
1.5 US de-facto dominated Petroleum markets.

2. China's "enemies" are:
2.1 Open markets  - none in China.
2.2 Robotics - replacing its workforce.

In reply to by Chief Joesph

Scaliger Mon, 05/21/2018 - 09:38 Permalink

The Entire Muslim world + NK definitely need alleged enemies
in order to excuse their countries being liabilities.

So does the Islamo==Fascist==Feudal EU,
incorporated in Langley West Virginia - the world's capitol of trafficing of all kinds.

Bemused Observer Mon, 05/21/2018 - 09:38 Permalink

Oh I'm sure NATO has plenty of enemies. The problem isn't lack of enemies, it is that the 'enemies' have a lack of the power needed to act on it.

Take me, for example. I guess you could call me an 'enemy' of NATO. This outdated, sclerotic agency should have been disbanded shortly after the fall of the Soviet Union, and the now-Russians brought into the fold. They should be our ALLIES right now!

So, you can bet that if I had the power, I'd bitch-slap the whole bunch, and smash all their 'stuff'. And if I had that power, I'd also do the same to the 'Boris and Natasha' versions of that crew over there in Mother Russia. Because it isn't nationality creating the problems, it is a small but loud and powerful group of wanna-be warrior-kings who are keeping everyone stick in this mess, and that group needs to be euthanized wherever they are found.

You know, so everybody else can move on already. It's time.

Rocco May Mon, 05/21/2018 - 09:52 Permalink

Do the Americans want communists as friends?

We can export Merkel and a thousand others

idiots, no problem.

“Europe must take America’s place as global leader”. -

It is known that Juncker is a very sick man, he is an alcoholic.

 

johnjkiii Mon, 05/21/2018 - 09:52 Permalink

The EU will be the first rolled over if Russia decides to attack yet they whine that we dominate them by protecting them. Let them carve out a few Billion Euros from their already bloated budgets to pay for their own protection. The US taxpayer has been the donkey carrying that load since WWII and it is long past it's sell by date. We have sacrificed blood & money to save these sniveling morons for the past 100 years, now they want to instruct us? 

Expat johnjkiii Mon, 05/21/2018 - 10:52 Permalink

You, sir, are an ignorant fuckwit.  Try leaving your trailer park and crossing the Atlantic.   Try reading some history not written by an ignorant, right-wing politician in the US.  Try entering the human race.

or just fuck off.  Either way is fine with us.  But being a dickhead who interferes and then moans about it is just depressing and annoying.

In reply to by johnjkiii