A hard Brexit might be in both Macron’s and Johnson’s interests. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:
Something odd is happening with Brexit. It looks like Prime Minister Boris Johnson is pushing for a hard Brexit much to my surprise.
Johnson’s strong showing in the recent election which secured the Tories its biggest majority since the days of Margaret Thatcher should have set the stage for the great Brexit bait and switch.
This has been my argument for months since Johnson became the front-runner to replace Theresa May. All Johnson had to do was manipulate events to get a majority which marginalizes the hard Brexiteers of the European Research Group (ERG).
Then he could undermine Brexit by giving back all the concessions during his subsequent negotiations with the EU over a trade deal.
This analysis should have been the correct one given the staunch opposition by the political elite in the U.K. to Brexit.
But something has changed.
Posted in Business, Geopolitics, Governments, Insurrection, Law, Politics, Trade
Tagged Boris Johnson, Brexit, Emmanuel Macron, EU, Germany
If Turkey leaves NATO then it will want the US to abandon its important airbase at Incerlik. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:
After what can only be termed a terrible NATO Not Summit two weeks ago it was clear the alliance has serious fissures forming in its facade.
It opened with French President Emmanuel Macron’s refusal to back down on how ‘brain dead’ NATO’s current mission is. And it ended with an embarrassing hot mic moment with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau which led to President Trump leaving early.
It was Macron’s statements about Turkey reinvigorating ISIS with its invasion of Northern Syria which revealed the depths of European brain death in foreign affairs.
This is a talking point straight out of neocon central to appease the U.S. MIC and Israelis while he asserts the need to decouple European foreign policy from the U.S. and reorient NATO to combat terrorism, which it isn’t designed to do.
But what truly borders on farce today is the U.S. Congress threatening to sanction Turkey over buying Russian S-400 missile defense systems while its President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is actually threatening NATO member Greece, ignoring the idea that Crete even exists and making territorial claims to the eastern Mediterranean that would make Ataturk himself blush.
NATO no longer protects Europe from the Soviet Union, now defunct and replaced by Russia, which doesn’t currently pose a threat. Rather, it now provides diplomatic cover and operational support for US interventionism in places far removed from Europe. From Eric S. Margolis at lewrockwell.com:
Citizens of France. To arms! Man the ramparts. The American barbarians are coming. They shall not pass!
Le Trump’s threat to France’s splendid wines and Roquefort cheese are the gravest menace France has faced since the Germans invaded this fair land in 1914. Burgundy wines and France’s 300 fromages form the very soul of la Belle France.
Trump does not know or care that France saved America from British mis-rule. He wants revenge because France – which taxes nearly everything – seeks to tax US IT firms like Google and Amazon. Trump considers this a personal affront. Besides, he dislikes wine and lives on desiccated burgers made with petrochemical cheese, washed down by acidic Diet Cokes.
On top of this outrage comes the squabble over NATO. Trump used to scoff at the Alliance, saying it was ‘obsolete’ as well as under-armed and short of money. The president and his backers really dislike France and all it stands for, including wine and cheese.
It is no longer in Europe’s interest to maintain an adversarial stance against Russia. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:
Last week I went through just some of the highlights as to why Russia is becoming a destination for global capital.
For years it’s been a little lonely out here banging on about how well the Russian state headed by Vladimir Putin has navigated an immense campaign by the West to marginalize and/or isolate Russia from the world economy.
But that is changing rapidly. And 2020 will likely be the year the New Cold War begins to end. And it starts with Europe. In recent weeks there have been a number of moves made on both sides to end the economic isolation of Russia by Europe.
As always, however, it begins politically. French President Emmanuel Macron speaking at a press conference before 70th Anniversary NATO Summit in London no less, made it clear that he no longer wants the EU positioning itself as an adversary of Russia or China.
The plug should have been pulled on NATO when the Soviet Union dissolved. From Patrick J. Buchanan at buchanan.org:
A week from now, the 29 member states of “the most successful alliance in history” will meet to celebrate its 70th anniversary. Yet all is not well within NATO.
Instead of a “summit,” the gathering, on the outskirts of London, has been cut to two days. Why the shortened agenda?
Among the reasons, apprehension that President Donald Trump might use the occasion to disrupt alliance comity by again berating the Europeans for freeloading on the U.S. defense budget.
French President Emanuel Macron, on the 100th anniversary of the World War I Armistice, described NATO as having suffered “brain death.” Macron now openly questions the U.S. commitment to fight for Europe and is talking about a “true European Army” with France’s nuclear deterrent able to “defend Europe alone.”
Posted in Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Military, Politics
Tagged Angela Markel, Eastern Europe, Emmanuel Macron, NATO, President Trump, Russia
One year on the French yellow vests are still protesting. They have a lot to protest. From Fraser Myers at spiked-online.com:
One year ago, 288,000 protesters took to the streets in over 2,000 locations across France. Dressed in their unmistakable hi-vis jackets, the gilets jaunes (yellow vests) blockaded highways and petrol stations, occupied roundabouts and toll booths, and marched through town centres. The protests were initially sparked by a hike in fuel tax but they quickly came to embody a wider resentment towards the status quo. This weekend will be the yellow vests’ acte 53 – the 53rd consecutive week of protest to mark the anniversary of the movement.
Just a year-and-a-half after the election of President Macron, which was hailed by liberals across the West as a turning point against the populist wave of 2016, the yellow-vest movement staged what would become the most significant revolt in France since les événements of May 1968. The French working classes, who had for so long been marginalised economically, politically and culturally, were finally making their voices heard.
EU devotees are doubling up on a bad bet. From Martin Jay at strategic-culture.org:
France’s Macron has burst into tears again and has used the British press to hold court and whimper about how he and his EU vision aren’t working out.
Oh to be Emmanuel Macron. The French president appears to be on the edge of some kind of meltdown, following his fatuous comment about NATO being “brain dead”. And glancing at the slow growth in the EU – which is hitting Germany for the first time, as well as of course France – you can see how Macron is starting to panic.
He recently warned in an interview with the Economist that America was turning its back on Europe and that he had no confidence in NATO anymore. Was this a dig at Trump or more specifically a vitriolic outburst at Trump’s policy towards Iran, which in a matter of weeks will turn to the EU for cash hand outs and support, as it pulls out all together from the infamous JCPOA, otherwise known as the Iran Deal?