When it comes down to major dollars and cents, Europe is not so willing to toe the US line. From Finian Cunningham at strategic-culture.org:
Material need usually wins out against ideological creed. Necessity over dogma. Twice this week, the European Union demonstrated that maxim in practice when it rebuffed Washington over the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline with Russia; and then again over a major investment pact with China.
Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas pointedly stated this week that the European bloc was going ahead with completion of the Nord Stream 2 project in partnership with Russia. Construction of the pipeline under the Baltic Sea had been temporarily halted by U.S. sanctions. But now Germany is saying it won’t be deterred from finishing the project.
Maas said that while the EU looks forward to having better relations with the United States under a new Biden administration, the bloc was asserting its prerogative to trade with Russia for increasing natural gas supply as a matter of sovereignty.
“We do not need to talk about European sovereignty if it means that, in the future, we will only do everything Washington wants,” Maas is quoted as saying. “The [German] federal government will not change its position on Nord Stream 2,” he added.
Given that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline will double the flow of relatively affordable Russian gas to the EU this is also a vital matter of helping to boost European economies.
European and American elites are motivated by a common impulse: centralization and control and the plebs be damned. From Alastair Crooke at strategic-culture.org:
It is still too early to say, but perhaps the U.S. election is the beginning of a new ‘Turning’ (in the sense of the ‘Fourth Turning’). Of course, what happens in the U.S. is most people’s primary focus now; but even as that plays out over the coming year – perhaps chaotically – the seeds sown on 3 November, and in its aftermath, take us to a pivot: Does the centralising project of progressive ‘wokedom’ in Blue America, and in Merkel’s Europe, have the ‘grit’ to persevere – or will its leaders fold in the face of the approaching crises – and concomitant public anger?
The Project has three main pivots: the centralisation of Big Tech and MSM; the concentration of banking and financial tech, within centralised Central Banking; and Merkel’s centralisation of politics in Europe, at the head of an empire claiming to occupy the ‘moral high-ground’.
What is so significant about the U.S. election; what is so significant about the last four topsy-turvy years in Washington, has been the casting aside of all illusion of democracy, and the blunt demonstration that real power is exercised by a clique of billionaires. Europeans with little by way of independent news may be the last to notice. But for sure, China, Russia, Latin America – and the Middle East, which has suffered the most from America’s and Europe’s ‘moral’ sieges and wars – have taken due note. They will not further put up with European or American moral hectoring.
One of these days NATO members are going to reconsider if unremitting hostility at the behest of the US is really in their own interest. From the Saker at unz.com:
I lived most of my life in Europe and even though by the time I moved to the US (2002) Europe was already in a very bad shape, what I see happening there now never ceases to amaze me. In fact, it makes me wonder if the Europeans or, more accurately, the European leaders have gone completely insane. Either that, or maybe they have some kind of death wish?
The first thing which absolutely amazes me is the fact that the EU leaders are acting as if this was still the 1980s when Europe still mattered and when the European continent was relatively prosperous. And even when EU leaders acknowledge the problems facing Europe today (crime, immigration, lockdowns, civil unrest, tensions with Russia, self-defeating sanctions under US pressure, etc.), they systematically deal with them (so to speak) by minimizing their actual and potential impact and consequences. And if nothing else matters, they use the riot police forces to “solve” the issue.
Then there is NATO which now seems to believe that mantric incantations and some really dumb military “for show” activities along the borders of Russia will terrify the Kremlin and turn Russians into Poles. Apparently, the entire analytical apparatus of NATO has never opened a history book. Either that, or they have decided to ignore the lessons of history, because “this time around” the Russians will definitely surrender.
To be fair, all the military operations along the Russian border bother the Russians only because they show that the “collective West” still hates and fears Russia. But in purely military terms, they are a joke.
Government and media propaganda has firmly convinced most of the citizenry of the West that Russia invaded Crimea, and the truth has dissolved in the swirling miasma that the anti-Russia movement has dubbed as history.
In March 2014 the ethnically Russian province of Crimea declared itself to be separate from Ukraine. There was a referendum on sovereignty by its 2.4 million inhabitants, and there was not a single case of bloodshed in the entire process. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) was asked by the government of Crimea to send representatives to monitor the referendum but refused to do so, and the development was strongly condemned by the United States. 90 percent of the inhabitants of Crimea are Russian-speaking, Russian-cultured and Russian-educated, and they voted to “dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another” in order to rejoin Russia. It would be strange if they did wish accession to a country that not only welcomes their kinship, empathy and loyalty but is economically benevolent concerning their future.
Nevertheless, the surge of propaganda continues, and the most recent waves have been created by an intriguing policy paper titledNATO 2030; United for a New Era, which makes it clear that the U.S.-Nato military alliance is now intent on “Strengthening NATO’s political role and relevant instruments to address current and future threats and challenges to Alliance security emanating from all strategic directions.”
This wide-ranging objective opens the gates for Nato to meddle even more deeply in the affairs of nations that have nothing to do with the North Atlantic and continue its confrontation of Russia by intensifying the military build-up around its borders and escalating provocative operations by land, sea and air.
Trump got enough Americans thinking the US’s relationship with Europe has been a one way street that a prospective Biden administration not going to be able to take things back to what the Europeans regard as “the good old days.” From Peter Skurkiss at americanthinker.com:
The European ruling class is salivating over the prospects of a Harris/Biden presidency. The bureaucrats who run the European Union and the globalists behind them are cocksure that with Donald Trump gone, things will return to the comfortable pre-Trump days. Daddy Yankee will again uncomplainingly throw a protective blanket of security over Europe and in his benevolence turn a blind eye to the unfair trade arrangements that benefit Europe so.
There are two problems with this view. First, it’s far from certain that Joe Biden will be sworn in as president in January. As more and more evidence mounts of Democrat election fraud and vote-stealing, that prospect dims. The mere possibility that Donald Trump will continue as president is not even considered in Europe. The “ever so smart” European elite believe all they’ve been told by their fellow American globalists and from their consumption of the New York Times, the Washington Post, and CNN. Accordingly, they are clueless.
Secondly, even should Biden become president, he will not be able to restore to good old days that Europe longs for…and needs. Take the matter of defense. As president, Trump made it acceptable not just to issue objections to Europe about its freeloading, but to actually start doing something about it, something none of his predecessors had the moxie to do. Adding fuel to American anger toward Europe has been the E.U.’s propensity to anoint itself as the moral leader of the West and try to shape U.S. foreign policy from that vantage point. The unstated but clear European message to America was “you do the work, and we’ll sit back and tell you what to do and how to do it.”
Increasingly draconian lockdown measures, economic destitution, and sweeping police powers are evaporating public trust and eroding public patience.
As the alleged “second wave” of the Coronavirus “pandemic” is reported to be sweeping across Europe in recent weeks, many governments have enthusiastically embraced their totalitarian side and granted themselves sweeping new “emergency powers” alongside new lockdown measures.
The public has been markedly less co-operative this time around. Rebelling against the seemingly arbitrary limitations which are not supported by either science or common sense. Protests have taken place all across the continent.
Thousands of people gathered in Berlin over the last few days, protesting the Merkel government passing a new lockdown law. Police turned water cannons on the crowds, and nearly 200 people were arrested.
According to reliable sources, elements of Antifa rushed to the scene of the Anti-New Normal Totalitarianism protest in Berlin today, hoping to hold the “Corona Deniers” down, so that the cops could hose them real good, but they were just a little too late. pic.twitter.com/RdQ67qYjnN
The mainstream reported “hundreds” of protesters, but as pictures plainly show it was more like tens of thousands:
“Thanks for the picture Majd Abboud, not hundreds, not thousand, but ten’s of thousands protested in Berlin today and it’s only the beginning of something big…” Sonja Van Ende#Covid_19pic.twitter.com/hLxNaTEqYv
Outlaw encryption and you’ve handed the keys to government for all communications. From Eric Striker at national-justice.com:
The European Union is moving to ban end-to-end encrypted communication.
An EU council of ministers resolution spearheaded by French Prime Minister Emmanuel Macron and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz of the conservative Austrian People’s Party would mandate that apps such as Telegram, Signal, and WhatsApp provide European intelligence services with backdoor access in order to allow them to better monitor the conversations of their citizens.
Encryption is an important tool used by dissidents, journalists and privacy conscious citizens around the world in an age of mass surveillance and strict social media censorship. Millions have started embracing the technology in the West as the rulers of the Anglosphere and Europe continue to lose public confidence and become more repressive.
The excuse being given for this effort is a spate of recent terrorist attacks in France and Austria committed by Islamic extremists. Rather than contend with the complex cultural, ethnic and immigration issues that lead to such violence, Macron, Kurz and the interests they represent see an opportunity to expand their eavesdropping power over their increasingly frightened population.
In recent years, laws passed by liberal governments under the guise of combating foreign Islamic terrorism have been utilized against citizens espousing nationalist, populist and dissident ideas, as well as adversarial political factions.
In the United States, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was founded after 9/11 to combat Al Qaeda operations domestically, but its unconstitutional powers today are largely focused on going after right-wing white men. The FBI’s CIA-like power granted to them in the name of counter-terrorism lowered the bar for surveillance via the secret FISA court and was used by permanent bureaucrats to entrap and spy on members of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016.
Russia doesn’t need either Europe or the US in any fundamental way. From Patrick Armstrong at strategic-culture.org:
I have argued that Russia is not a “European country”; my argument stands on the fact that Russia and Europe had quite different histories and little contact until the Emperor Peter became a major player in European history by knocking Sweden out of the running. I have argued that, whatever they may have wished in the past, an increasing number of Russians today don’t want to be “Europeans”: they view Europe – the West – with increasing distaste and bewilderment. “Europe” is, of course, a word with many meanings: here I mean a culture/civilisation/society that, over the past half millennium, has spread around the world and now is commonly called “the West”. These days, the capital power of the West is the USA but the USA, Canada, Australia, much of South America and many of the other outposts of European settlement are children of the original European civilisation.
Russia’s relationships with the West have gone through many ups and downs – ally, for example, with Britain in 1812, 1914 and 1941, enemy in 1853, 1918, opponent during the so-called Great Game and the Cold War. Russians often see the relationship as one of ungrateful rejection: take, for example, the long-forgotten important service Russia did for the Union in 1863. In my mind this feeling stems from Russia’s unusual history as a predator fish which remembers its long time as a prey fish – its neighbours remember the first, itself the second – the prey fish feeling was, of course, strongly reinforced by the death struggle of 1941-45.
The Europeans put up with lockdown in Covid-19 Round One, but they’re much less inclined to go along with Round Two. From Alastair Crooke at strategic-culture.org:
All eyes remain on the U.S. election, and on fathoming its consequences. But in the shadow of ‘The Election’, there are other ‘moving parts’: Germany just offered Washington ‘a sweetheart deal’ in which, Europe – with Germany leading – accepts to leverage America’s full-spectrum strategy of isolating and weakening Russia and China. And in return it is asking the U.S. to acquiesce to German leadership of a ‘power-political’, European entity that is raised to paritywith the U.S. That, bluntly, is to say, Germany is angling for ‘superpower’ status, atop an EU ‘empire’ for the new era. Putin recognised such a possibility (Germany aspiring to be a superpower) during his recent speech to Valdai.
But the other ‘moving parts’ to this bid are very much in motion, too: Firstly, Germany’s ploy is contingent on their hopes for a Biden win, which may, or may not, occur. And then, too, President Macron seeks for himself, and for France, the leadership of Europe – with this latter – to an extent – being contingent on a ‘no deal’ Brexit taking place at the end of the year, that would further weaken a dis-animated and fading Merkel. France rather, plots the ‘Great Reset’ of Europe: A regulatory and values enforced ‘space’, underpinned by a common fiscal and debt regime that would rebuild France’s economic infrastructure.
All this raises many questions: Should Trump win, he can be expected to puncture any German (or French) aspiration to drain away some of America’s power, however nicely the German FM wraps it, as the U.S. not so much losing power, but as gaining “a strong partner on equal terms”. Huh!
Russia is turning away from the west and towards Asia, particularly China. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:
Russia is done with the European Union. At last week’s Valdai Discussion Forum Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made this quite clear with this statement.
Those people in the West who are responsible for foreign policy and do not understand the necessity of mutually respectable conversation–well, we must simply stop for a while communicate with them. Especially since Ursula von der Leyen states that geopolitical partnership with current Russia’s leadership is impossible. If this is the way they want it, so be it. (H/T Andrei Martyanov)
Lavrov’s statements echo a number of statements made in recent months by Russian leadership that there is no opportunity for diplomacy possible with the United States.
We can now add the European Union to that list. Pepe Escobar’s latest piece goes over Lavrov’s comments about the European Union and they are devastating, as devastating as when he and Putin described the U.S. as “Not Agreement Capable” a few years ago.
Lavrov reiterated this with the following comments at Valdai last week.
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