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    Senior Member Yumbo's Avatar
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    The European Union - Post-Brexit Alliances and Consequences (Part 1 of 2)

    The European Union - Post-Brexit Alliances and Consequences (Part 1 of 2)

    With the current political and trade upheavals between Washington and the Rest of The World, the European Union is struggling for an identity. An ongoing experiment of Washington's post-WWII European integration plan originally intended to fight the Cold War within the framework of NATO, the EU is showing major cracks as a result of member states coming to terms with a hostile Washington, a politically resurgent Russia and the economic clout of China's One Belt One Road initiative.

    The question that must be asked is the future of this political entity in the multi-polar world where the United States, Russia and China are seen as the triad of global players in their respective spheres of influence. It must be remembered that the EU is a political creation of Washington (clearly stated in the articles of the Lisbon Treaty) where the recent internal political and economic realities of its member states conflict with external policies dictated to reinforce Washington's hegemony on the continent. The likelihood of the Union surviving from these pressures (and in what possible form) is examined in the context of Washington's desire to escalate conflicts in the Middle East, Korea and the Ukraine.

    We have looked at the EU before and especially the economic makeup of its member states. The PIGS - Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain are in various states of debt distress and this has brought a stark realisation that the current economic format is not working. The political minefield of open-door policies by Brussels to unrestricted African migration serves as the main case for threats of secession - previously by Greece and now by Italy. The open rebellion of the Visegrad Four (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) against this policy has alienated the former Soviet Eastern Bloc. The United Kingdom has its on problems within the framework of Brexit.

    We shall pick up the narrative at the G7 meeting in Brussels, and the following is an article from RT [1]

    The sight of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker stumbling at the NATO summit in Brussels last month, when he had to be held up by others, is a powerful symbol of the EU’s status on the world stage. Donald Trump’s decision to activate sanctions against European companies that trade with Iran, and the EU’s response to it, demonstrate that the 28-nation bloc is little but a bumbling old fool in international politics.

    There is no doubt that EU leaders are furious with Trump for ripping up their beloved Iran deal. Their fury is only aggravated by their inner knowledge that there is nothing they can do about it. French leaders like Emmanuel Macron and his finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, may bewail the fact that Europe is not “sovereign,” using the EU’s impotence in the face of US unilateralism as an argument for more European integration. However, this is the very policy that they have been pursuing for a quarter of a century, and which has brought them to the impasse in which they now find themselves.

    In response to the Iran sanctions, the EU announced that it was activating a “Blocking Statute,” a legislative measure which has hardly ever been used before because it does not work. Even the Brussels panjandrums admit that it is useless: one of them was quoted as saying, “It is a political signal given by the EU. It is not a miracle cure.” In other words, this statute will not protect European firms against US sanctions. Hundreds of them are already making for the exit from Iran if they have not already done so. Included among these are some of the biggest industries in the world, the French oil giant Total, and Airbus, whose contracts worth billions have just gone up in smoke thanks to the US president.

    While EU institutions have been peddling the Democratic Party's line that Russia is the cause of all “doubt” and “division” within the bloc, the fact is that Donald Trump has single-handedly blown the European dream apart. That dream was indeed always just that – a fantasy not based in reality. The illusion consisted of believing that European unity would make its composite states collectively stronger. The reality is the European integration was, from the very beginning, a US-backed project designed to help the West fight the Cold War. EU integration was and is ideologically and institutionally inseparable from NATO, which is dominated by the US. In other words, EU integration is impossible without US patronage and, as a result, if it is withdrawn, as it has been under Trump, EU leaders are like little schoolboys caught with their trousers down.

    None of the benefits of a monetary union, which were heralded in Maastricht in 1991 and in the run-up to it, have been realized. It was said that the euro would favor growth, when in fact the US has hugely outperformed the eurozone since the single currency was introduced in 1999. It was said that it would protect Europe from external shocks, whereas the collapse in output was as great in Europe as a result of the financial crisis in 2008 as elsewhere. Above all, it was said that the euro would start to replace the dollar as an instrument of international commerce. Some 20 years later, and the dollar continues to be the almost unavoidable currency for trade, especially in oil.

    It was precisely because BNP Paribas, like all banks, used dollars for contracts with Iran and other blacklisted states that it was hit with a gigantic $9 billion fine by the US in 2015. Europe did nothing about this gross overreach of US jurisdiction under nice Mr Obama then, even though this was exactly the same sort of measure as Trump has now announced: the BNP Paribas fine was handed down in the immediate aftermath of the Ukraine crisis, when the EU, as usual, had run to its American nanny to hide in her skirt. The same EU is now reaping its harvest of sorrow now under nasty Mr Trump.

    Ever since 2015, all European banks run a mile if you say you do business with a rogue state like Russia, or even more so Iran, and so companies simply do not have the ability to trade with those countries. It’s as simple as that. As Volker Treier, deputy head of the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, has said: Even the companies that aren’t affected by US sanctions, for example from the medical field or those who don’t have a business with the US, can’t find a bank that would process the transactions with Iran.”

    The US has therefore seized control of the world economy by threatening to throttle the banking system.

    US dollar payments are closed at clearing houses for international transactions

    The existence of the euro has done nothing to stop this. For as long as the link persists between the dollar and oil, a link which is sustained by the massive military dominance the US wields in the world, this will not change. Militarily, European states outsource their defense to the US – so-called “European defense” is in fact assured by US-dominated NATO. As a result, the former great powers of world history like Britain, France and Germany are now pitifully reduced in military stature. When a nuclear power like France starts to boast about the fact it can conduct a successful military operation in the wastelands of a failed state like Mali, then you know that Europe counts for nothing any more.

    Trump's aggression against Iran comes at a moment when Europe has been, once again, totally absent as a force in world politics in the Middle East. In 2011, France and Britain took the lead to work for regime change in Syria, becoming the first countries to break off diplomatic relations with Damascus. The EU set up one of the biggest packages of sanctions in history against that country. Its policy is now in tatters as Damascus regains control, with Russian and Iranian support, of the whole of Syrian territory.

    It is difficult to imagine a more flagrant example of a foreign policy failure than this one. Even one of the most hardline Israeli figures, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, now
    accepts that Bashar Assad has won the Syrian war and that he is now a possible interlocutor for Israel. Europe's spectacular diplomatic failure is Russia's spectacular diplomatic (and military) success, because Russia is now the lynchpin of peace between Israel and Iran.

    Perhaps the greatest failure for the EU lies in the evident collapse of its ideology. Ever since its initial conception in the 1950s, the European construction has been based on the idea that it is possible to overcome power politics and to ascend to a higher form of international relations. This is much the same idea as that peddled by Soviet ideologues who claimed that the socialist bloc had advanced to a new form of international relations. Putin's Russia seemed to European leaders to represent a naked return to power politics: they disapproved of it but were happy to be able to rally around and draw some bogus cohesion from the common fight against the new bugbear.

    By contrast, the decision by Trump to abandon multilateralism so spectacularly undermines the very basis on which they have operated for decades, because suddenly the US is no longer the great protector but instead an enemy. European politicians have been intellectually lobotomized by their own infantile post-modern ideology and they have long forgotten how to do real politics. Lulled into a false sense of security by thinking they never had to think, the EU’s boring and mediocre leaders are nothing but (very bad) managers; they are now totally lost at sea in a suddenly uncertain world. It serves them right.

    This sums up the current political views on the EU. We now look at the possible political future of this entity.

    Europe as the Main Front of the Hybrid War [2][3]

    By Rostislav Ishchenko
    Translated by Ollie Richardson and Angelina Siard
    August 03, 2018

    Rostislav Ishchenko was born in Kiev, Ukraine and is a honours graduate of the Faculty of History at the Kiev State University. He was recruited by the Ukrainian Diplomatic Service (1992-1994) and worked in the Presidential Administration of Ukraine (1994-1998), advising the Deputy Prime Minister (2008-2010) in the capital.

    In 2009, he headed the Center for System Analysis and Forecasting. He subsequently took up Russian citizenship after the Ukronazi coup in Kiev and now lives in Russian Federation. He is probably the foremost expert on European and Ukrainian political thought and Russian current affairs.

    The fact of a global hybrid standoff between Russia and the US hasn’t been denied by anybody for a long time. Allies can change and come over to the other side, but the issue can be definitively resolved only by the defeat of one of these two powers. However, so far politicians and experts, proceeding from personal preferences or specialisation, highlight various private crises (that are, in fact, fronts of a global standoff) as the main one, calculating the options for victory or defeat depending on the succession of events in a concrete direction.

    Some crises, like, for example, Middle Eastern ones (which is the most pronounced in the Syrian civil war), are indeed a key to the defeat of one of the parties. A victory for the Americans in Syria would guarantee them control over the Big Middle East and unimpeded penetration into the Caucasus and Central Asia. In turn, it would ensure the blocking of Russia-China transit routes and would nullify the trans-Eurasian political-economic project, which, in fact, is indeed the main competitor to the Anglo-Saxon oceanic one. After this any particular successes in any other directions wouldn’t mean anything.

    The victory of Russia and allies – which in the military sphere has already been gained, but it still has to be cemented diplomatically (and this is a no less complex challenge) – guarantees to Russia and China reliable (even superfluous) control over trans-Eurasian trade routes. From this point of view the US has suffered a defeat. Their efforts in the Far East and in Ukraine can change nothing. Even a hot war with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the sinking of Ukraine into fully-fledged Makhnovshchina can’t tear up all transport arteries.

    Ukraine is being quietly bypassed in several directions at once. And the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea even more so lies at a distance from the strategic transport routes connecting the West and the East of Eurasia. Nevertheless, the involvement of Washington in the designated crises (the Korean and Ukrainian ones) doesn’t weaken. It only acquires new forms. If Obama’s administration worked for the creation of stable, hostile to Russia structures, then Trump’s administration, on the contrary, destabilises and chaotisizes the situation on the borders of Russia and China.

    Such chaotization when the Syrian crisis hadn’t yet been solved could’ve played an essential role in the distraction of the forces of Moscow and Beijing in secondary directions and giving a free hand to the US in a strategically important point — in the Middle East. But, as was said above, in the military-political plan the destiny of the Syrian crisis has already been decided. As for the diplomatic settlement, these crises, even in their worst variant, won’t be able to significantly affect the position of Moscow and Beijing at the negotiating table any more.

    Therefore, supporting the processes of chaotization on the Russian and Chinese borders, the US tries to achieve another new (other) objective. This objective is obvious. In both cases of the US hopes that Europe, being integrated into NATO, will have to support America’s actions in one way or another. A new period of deterioration in Russian-European relations and deep cooling between the EU and China will become the consequence of this. Or so it seems to Washington.
    What does it give to America?

    The entire project of Big Eurasia is based on three components:

    • European technologies and market;
    • Chinese commodity production;
    • Russian transit, resource base, and military-political umbrella.

    The US didn’t succeed to tear the Russian-Chinese union apart. Similarly, Washington wasn’t able to block trans-Eurasian trade routes. However, if to force the European link out from the project, then it will sag.

    Theoretically, Russia, after a while, will be able to replace Europe as the technological base of the project. However, there is nothing to replace the capacious and solvent half-billion European market. If Chinese goods aren’t purchased in Europe, then there is no need to transport them there. This calls into question the program of the development of transit corridors. Moreover, then the US will remain the main buyer of Chinese goods, which gives them the chance to significantly influence the policy of Beijing and to even try to change it in their own favor.

    It is clear that China won’t opt for a confrontation with Russia. But its neutrality and economic dependence on the US is enough to radically change the direction of the flow of goods and to push Russia out to the roadside of global trade. With this move the ambitious modernisation projects of Moscow will be immediately called into question and its global influence will decrease. Controlling the Middle East as the intersection of global trade routes is one thing. But it is another matter if these routes are laid across the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, and the Middle East remains nothing more than a zone of permanent instability.

    In fact, this global conflict is over the EU. And the slogan “We need Berlin!”, which Ura-patriots from the era of the Russian spring in Ukraine like to laugh at, not only didn’t lose its relevance, but on the contrary, after victory in Syria it finally comes to the forefront. Obtaining control over trade routes and, as a result, learning that at the end of these routes no trade partner is to be found, will be more than regrettable.

    However, the actions of the US in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Ukraine, and the Middle East – where they provoked another episode in the Muslim-Israeli conflict, and not Arab-Israeli conflict, (the main operators of which become the not at all Arabian Turkey and Iran), are rather transparent. Meanwhile Europe resists these actions by calling on the US to act more moderately in the dispute with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, condemning the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and having practically stopped its active participation in the Ukrainian crisis.

    Theoretically Washington can put more pressure on the EU, but there is no guarantee that its resistance will be broken. It’s possible that Europe may not involve itself in a confrontation against Russia and China, having kept its neutrality, which is formally favorable for the US, but in practice disrupts the scheme of Washington.

    I think that the US surely understands the unsteadiness of placing a stake on the voluntary involvement of the EU in a crisis that isn’t just unprofitable for it, but is also economically deadly. Brussels, Berlin, and Paris already showed that they are able to politically support and thus bureaucratically sink the most elaborated American projects (for example, the Transatlantic trade and investment partnership (TTIP), which didn’t happen because of the EU’s sabotage). Since the battle for transit routes was lost by the US, the only option that doesn’t allow the creation of Big Eurasia is to yank Europe out of the scheme at any cost, as the weakest link of the developing chain.

    If Europe doesn’t desire to voluntary close its doors to the Russian-Chinese project, and it is also impossible to force it to do so, then all that remains is the option for the disappearance of Europe. Of course, not the physical disappearance of European States from the political map, but of peoples from history. Just the disappearance of Europe as an economic partner. For this purpose ensuring the chaotization of Europe is enough.

    The task becomes simpler by the fact that Europe is far from being united, and the EU is experiencing serious economic difficulties. The problem of diluting the European identity via the liberal-globalist ideology of permanent tolerance and rejecting traditional values is superimposed on top of this. Besides this, the EU is the traditional economic partner and military-political ally of the US, and it is a younger partner and younger ally too. I.e., Washington has considerable-enough freedom of hands to influence the development of both the policies of certain European states and general European policies. Finally, the liberal elites that are still in power feel the breath on their necks of conservative nationalists, which are scoring more and more points both in national and in general European elections. Without having the possibility to prevent their political opponents from coming to power in the near future at the expense of an internal resource, the liberal elites are obliged to lean on the US, sacrificing the interests of their States and the European Union in general in favor of personal and party interests.

    Thus, it is possible to expect that if the declared policy of the EU aimed at gradually exiting the sanctions regime and normalising relations with Russia doesn’t change, then the US – leaning on strong positions inside the European Union – will start active work for the disintegration and chaotization of Europe. In the soft option this must destroy the united economic structure and plunge EU countries into a deep economic crisis that will depreciate them as economic partners. In the hard option there can be talk of a series of political and military conflicts on the European continent. The result will be the same, but the economy will be destroyed more reliably, and the purchasing power of the population will collapse no less than Ukraine’s did.

    The US has two directions for active actions:

    • Following the line of contradictions between the rich North and the poor South: the PIGS group countries, which are up to their ears in debt, and the countries adjoining them, which for a long time haven’t been enthusiastic about the German policy of austerity and control over the deficiencies of national budgets. However, in order to throw them against Germany, they need to offer to them the equivalent financing. I will remind that Alexis Tsipras, since becoming the Prime Minister of Greece using slogans of resistance to the German dictatorship, immediately went to Russia to ask for money. As soon as it became clear that Russia doesn’t plan to finance the Greek deficiency, Tsipras gave up and accepted all of Germany’s demands documented as the requirements of the EU. It is unlikely that Washington, feeling a need for available funds, will want to finance a very expensive mutiny of the European South against the North.

    • Following the line of contradictions between the West and the East (or Old Europe and New Europe). Eastern European countries entered the EU as clients of Washington and repeatedly entered into conflicts with the leaders of the EU, supporting the position of the US. And now their elites, who built their political career on the back of Russophobia, categorically oppose normalising relations with Russia. Rare exceptions (like the president of the Czech Republic and the Prime Ministers of Slovakia and Hungary, who are also situational allies and not completely free in their actions) don’t play a role.

    The fact that Washington chose precisely the Eastern option and placed a stake on Eastern European limitrophes, strengthening America’s military presence in these States, testifies to this. Moreover, a considerable part of these troops (except the division that was additionally transferred from America) simply change their location, leaving garrisons in Western Europe and moving to Eastern ones.

    Stories about this being done in the name of defending the small, but proud Eastern Europeans from a Russia that dreams of occupying them don’t invoke trust. Not only because Russia has no reason to attack NATO if it seeks to set an economic partnership with the EU in motion, but also because NATO Generals themselves don’t hide the fact that even if the created groups are increased threefold in size, they won’t be able to prevent an almost instant occupation at least of the Baltics (and then all of Eastern Europe) by Russia if the latter suddenly has the desire to attack. Moreover, in both the US and in Old Europe politicians almost openly say that they won’t risk a global nuclear conflict because of Riga, Warsaw, or Bucharest.

    Thus, the American troops don’t increase the stability of the Eastern European regimes in relation to Russia. On the contrary, they create a nervous situation inside the country, reducing the support of voters for Russophobic parties. The population is simply afraid that some badly though over provocation can indeed result in a military conflict.

    But the American garrisons sharply increase the stability of Eastern Europe in discussion with Western Europe. Limitrophes act as priority allies of the US in the defence of the “free world”, and they demand the preservation of and even an increase in financial support from general European funds, because they supposedly are “frontline States”.

    At the same time, Germany seriously intends to completely stop giving this support by 2020. France supports Germany in this, and even the “poor South” isn’t at all against believing that it will be able to lay claim to for the saved money or, at worst, to avoid the sequestration of the general European payments in its advantage.

    Meanwhile, many rounds of negotiations and consultations showed that the parties aren’t inclined to a compromise, taking hard lines instead. Paris and Berlin are already ready to switch from talking about “a Europe of different speeds” to the implementation of the project “of two Europes”. It assumes that rich EU countries with stable economies will unite around Paris and Berlin into a certain federal European State, and the others, having formally remained members of the EU, but dropping out of the circle of further integration, in essence will turn for Old Europe into a colonial periphery approximately under the same conditions that the EU imposed on the countries of the Eastern Partnership in agreements on association.

    And what’s more, Eastern Europe can resist such a succession of events only by leaning on the US and destroying the EU. Moreover, not discussing, like Britain did, the Brexit points of order, but solving problems on the spur of the moment. The American military-political umbrella will allow them to ignore the European rules and the discontent of partners.

    But the chaotic destruction of the European Union will inevitably entail the destruction of an economy that wasn’t re-constructed in time (usually reforms in the EU last for years) and the crash of the Euro system. At worst there will be separatist movements (when a country votes for an exit from the EU, but some regions are against it), and also border conflicts. These conflicts can easily develop into military ones, and American bases won’t be able to prevent them (even if Washington wants to, the US won’t want to).

    If the fragile structure of the EU starts to crumble – it is already experiencing considerable strain – and it isn’t known what new hair will break the camel’s back, then it will be almost impossible to stabilise the situation and to reverse the already begun process. It will mean an economic and political disaster for Europe.

    In such a succession of events, the US practically wins nothing, destroying its last serious ally and losing its European bridgehead. But they don’t allow Russia to win either. Should Europe drop out, the project of Big Eurasia with a high share of probability will break up into two projects. China will start recreating the “sphere of co-prosperity” that was left unfinished by the Japanese in the first half of the 20th century in Southeast Asia and in the Asia-Pacific region. Russia will try to rally Central Asia and the Middle East around itself, and also to manoeuvre in the shattered Europe. The interests of these two systems will meet in Africa and India. But the Americans will try to return to the doctrine of “America for Americans” and force out China and Russia from the bridgeheads occupied by them in Latin America.

    In general, the world will become multipolar, but more confrontational, and Washington will have the possibility to play on the contradictions between the former allies in the Eurasian project.

    The battle for Europe promises to become the heaviest and unpredictable battle of the 4th world hybrid war (the 3rd one being a cold war). Thus, Russia and China need only a victory, but for the US a draw will be enough. A draw will also give them a neutral result in the geopolitical standoff, as well as the opportunity to be reconstructed and start everything anew.

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    Last edited by Yumbo; August 10, 2018 at 1:44 PM.
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  2. #2

    Re: The European Union - Post-Brexit Alliances and Consequences (Part 1 of 2)

    Have read over some of the current news and half way gave thought to posting about it, but it looks like the Brits have not made it here yet. Lot of issues tied up in this that should be talked about.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Yumbo's Avatar
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    Re: The European Union - Post-Brexit Alliances and Consequences (Part 1 of 2)

    Quote Originally Posted by 743 Roadmaster View Post
    Have read over some of the current news and half way gave thought to posting about it, but it looks like the Brits have not made it here yet. Lot of issues tied up in this that should be talked about.
    Will be most interested to read your updates.
    Knowledge Bequeaths Power over Destiny. Use it Wisely.

  4. #4

    Re: The European Union - Post-Brexit Alliances and Consequences (Part 1 of 2)

    Think for politics we are going to have to use the other site. People here do not seem to want to talk about the issues of the day. So if you would post it there and I will catch up on my reading. I am sure others like Foust and Ned will show up sooner or later.

    odd, first time in a hell of a long time able to log into the other place.

  5. #5
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    Re: The European Union - Post-Brexit Alliances and Consequences (Part 1 of 2)

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