Tag Archives: Europe

Will We Allow the Coronapocalypse to Bail Out the Failure of Socialism? by Tom Luongo

The true socialist is never daunted by failure, and simply moves on to the next one. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:

The fear over COVID-19 has gone ballistic. We have moved from rational precaution to mass insanity in a matter of days. The speed with which those seeking power are moving is astounding.

With each passing day another person is jumping up, Alexander Haig like, to assume powers they do not have to demand control over the population they legally govern.

And it always seems to be in places with a particular type of government. They are the ones with the most advanced social safety nets, most outwardly compassionate policies and the ones with the most corrupt and failing infrastructures.

They are the ones that have squandered the hard-earned wealth of generations while trumpeting their own wisdom and foresight. And now that they are facing threats they cannot possibly manage, they expect to arrogate even more power to obfuscate the fact that they have failed to provide even the most basic services for the trillions wasted.

You might think I’m talking about California or New York, and in some ways I am. But, in reality, I’m talking about Europe.

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Europe’s ‘Open Borders’ System Faces Collapse Amid Covid-19 Outbreak, by Tyler Durden

Europe’s open borders are being shut to fight Covid-19. They might not be reopened for a good long time. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Update (0200ET): Leaders of the 26 European countries that are part of what is normally a free-movement zone also agreed Tuesday to shut their external borders to most nonresidents for the first time.

“We are faced with a serious crisis, an exceptional one in terms of magnitude and nature,” European Council President Charles Michel said late Tuesday.

“We want to push back this threat. We want to slow down the spread of this virus.”

Other leaders phrased it in martial terms: “We are at war,” French President Emmanuel Macron said Monday.

Until last week, citizens of the E.U. could move across the continent with ease, even as the virus slowly spread across its population. Just as a resident of Maryland can easily pack bags and head to Virginia, so, too, could a Pole cross into Germany.

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European Union: Closing the Borders? by Judith Bergman

With the coronavirus some are questioning Europe’s open borders, but don’t expect Europe’s powers that be to abandon their commitment to a policy that’s undoubtedly spreading the malady. From Judith Bergman at gatestoneinstitute.org:

  • Even Germany is unwilling to take any of the migrants shuttled by Erdogan to the Greek-Turkish border.
  • “I thank Greece for being our European ‘aspida’ [the Greek word for shield].” — European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, March 3, 2020.
  • The “solidarity” with Greece expressed by leading EU representatives seems to have come from having no alternatives other than relying on Greece to struggle with the situation.
  • Even if the EU manages to resolve its issues with Erdogan, which is doubtful and bound to be only temporary, Europe’s fundamental problem will remain: As long as migrants think that a better future awaits them in Europe, the welfare states, which have shown themselves extremely accommodating in receiving migrants and granting them all sorts of social rights, can continue expecting migrants to try breaching Europe’s borders.
Since February 27, Turkish officials have sent busloads of migrants — predominantly young men from Afghanistan and Iran, according to several reports — to Turkey’s border with Greece. Pictured: Masked migrants throw rocks at Greek border guards along the fence at Pazarkulke border crossing in Edirne, Turkey, on March 7, 2020. (Photo by Burak Kara/Getty Images)

On February 27, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made good on his many threats to send millions of migrants and refugees to Europe, despite a 2016 deal between Europe and Turkey to hold them. Apparently seeking to make Europe experience the full force of his intentions, Turkish officials sent busloads of migrants — predominantly young men from Afghanistan and Iran, according to several reports — to Turkey’s border with Greece.

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Most Americans Unaware of Largest US War Game in Europe in 25 Years, by Col. Ann Wright (ret.)

Most Americans don’t understand Russian “paranoia,” perhaps because they have no idea what the US military does in Europe and on Russia’s borders. From Col. Ann Wright (ret.) at antiwar.com:

99.9 percent of citizens of the United States have no clue that the new “Cold War” against Russia is manifesting in the largest U.S. military war practice in Europe than in more than 25 years.

They have not heard that the US military is sending 20,000 soldiers from the US to Europe to join 9,000 US troops already in Europe and 8,000 soldiers from ten European countries to practice waging a war against Russia. 37,000 military from the US and Europe will be a part of the war maneuvers named Defender 2020.

The US political environment is so confused that many in the US will question why the US is having provocative actions against Russia such as these big war games on the border of Russia when US President Donald Trump seems to be such a good friend with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

It’s a valid question that brings into the focus of the need of the US bureaucracy to have an enemy in order to justify its huge $680 billion military budget. With war games against North Korea suspended in South Korea over the past year and reduced military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria, confrontation in Europe is the next best location for attempting to keep the military-industrial complex, with all of its major election donors, in business during the 2020 US Presidential election year.

In an effort to generate US national support and publicity for the revival of the Cold War, US military units will come from 15 US states, including important electoral states of Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Nevada, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Virginia.

In an effort to spend all the money allocated to the US military, over $680 billion for 2020, 20,000 pieces of equipment will be sent to Europe for the division-size mobilization. The equipment will depart from seaports in politically important electoral states of South Carolina, Georgia, and Texas.

While Europeans will know of these military events because US soldiers will disrupt civilian transportation routes across the 4,000 kilometers of convoy routes as they travel by bus throughout Europe, most Americans will have little knowledge of the massive, provocative military preparations for a war with Russia.

Ann Wright served 29 years in the US Army/Army Reserves and retired as a Colonel. She was a US diplomat for 16 years and served in US Embassies in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone, Micronesia, Afghanistan and Mongolia. She resigned from the U.S. diplomatic corps in March 2003 in opposition to President Bush’s war on Iraq. She is a board member of the International Peace Bureau and a member of Veterans for Peace. She is the co-author of Dissent: Voices of Conscience.

“Political Anarchy” Is How the West Got Rich, by Ryan McMaken

One of the main and generally unattributed factors behind the West’s rise since the Middle Ages was the lack of political centralization. From Ryan McMaken at mises.org:

It is not uncommon to encounter political theorists and pundits who insist that political centralization is a boon to economic growth.  In both cases, it is claimed the presence of a unifying central regime—whether in Brussels or in Washington, DC, for example—is essential in ensuring the efficient and free flow of goods throughout a large jurisdiction. This, we are told, will greatly accelerate economic growth.

In many ways, the model is the United States, inside of which there are virtually no barriers to trade or migration at all between member states. In the EU, barriers have been falling rapidly in recent decades.

The historical evidence, however, suggests that political unity is not actually a catalyst to economic growth or innovation over the long term. In fact, the European experience suggests that the opposite is true.

Why Did Europe Surpass China in Wealth and Growth?

A thousand years ago, a visitor from another planet might have easily overlooked European civilization as a poor backwater. Instead, China and the Islamic world may have looked far more likely to be the world leaders in wealth and innovation indefinitely.

Why is it, then, that Europe became the wealthiest and most technologically advanced civilization in the world?

Indeed, the fact that Europe had grown to surpass other civilizations that were once more scientifically and technologically advanced had become apparent by the nineteenth century. Historians have debated the question of the origins of this “European miracle” ever since.

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A World No Longer Shaped by Atlantic Powers, by M. K. Bhadrakumar

The headline is somewhat inaccurate. The world has been shaped by one Atlantic power—the US—and the Atlantic countries of Europe have had to go along. Now their willingness to do so recedes as Russia and China rise and pull together the middle of the world in the Belt and Road Initiative. From M. K. Bhadrakumar at counterpunch.org:

53rd Munich Security Conference 2017 – Public Domain

The annual Munich Security Conference that took place February 14-16 this year turned out to be an iconic event, drawing comparison with the one held in the same Bavarian city on February 10, 2007, where in a prophetic speech Russian President Vladimir Putin had criticized the world order characterized by the United States’ global hegemony and its “almost uncontained hyper use of force—military force—in international relations.”

If Putin’s 2007 Munich speech was prescient about an incoming new Cold War and the surge of tensions in Russia’s relations with the West, 13 years later, at the event this year, we witnessed that the transatlantic ties that evolved through the two world wars in the last century and blossomed into a full-fledged alliance system have reached a crossroads.

Deep cracks have appeared in the transatlantic relationship. In an extraordinary opening address, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, an éminence grise in European diplomacy, accused Washington of rejecting “the very concept of an international community.”

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Erdogan’s Attempts to Blackmail Europe are Doomed to Fail, by Con Coughlin

The rest of Europe is fed up with Turkish president Erdogan’s delusions of grandeur and rebuilding the Ottoman empire. From Con Coughlin at gatestoneinstitute.org:

  • If the current crisis facing Turkey is entirely of Mr Erdogan’s own making, that has not prevented the Turkish president from trying to deflect attention away from his own mishandling of the conflict by seeking to provoke a new migrant crisis in Europe.
  • When Turkey took the controversial decision last year to purchase Russia’s state-of-the-art S-400 anti-aircraft missile system, Mr Erdogan calculated that it would herald new era of friendly cooperation with Ankara’s long-standing rival in Moscow even if, by pressing ahead with the deal, the Turks risked jeopardising their relationship with NATO, which bitterly opposed the deal.
  • Russians now find themselves in a direct confrontation with Turkish forces in Idlib province, where the Turks are trying to protect a number of Islamist militias committed to overthrowing the Assad regime… [A]s the recent escalation in fighting has demonstrated, the Russians’ main priority is to support the Assad regime.
  • Mr Erdogan is also about to discover that there has been a hardening of attitudes among European leaders about dealing with unwanted migrants since the Turkish leader last used his blackmail tactics five years ago…. These days, senior politicians in Mrs Merkel’s centre-right Christian Democrats take a more hard-nosed approach to the migrant issue, with one senior party member warning the migrants this week, “There is no point coming to Germany. We cannot take you in.”
If Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan believes he can bully European leaders by provoking a fresh migrant crisis in southern Europe, then he would be well-advised to think again. (Photo by Adem Altan/AFP via Getty Images)

If Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan believes he can bully European leaders by provoking a fresh migrant crisis in southern Europe, then he would be well-advised to think again.

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