John Chuckman


“As Merkel’s Star Fades, This Is What Is Really Happening Behind the Scenes”


Response to a comment which said: “A simple solution for the EU would be to not follow the US into illegal wars, support of terrorists and proxy wars then they wouldn’t be in this mess and for those politicians who were involved in destroying Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria…”

That really goes to the heart of the matter.

America today pushes aggressive and destructive policies everywhere.

Europe’s leaders just quietly go along, often joining in with varying degrees of token participation to buy American good-will. This really gives America the freedom to describe its aggression as multi-national in character, as the work either of NATO or of such ad hoc constructs as “the coalition of the willing,” rather than as what it truly is, just plain American imperialism.

Europe is left, so to speak, holding the bag, for all the ensuing consequences. This happened with so-called “international terror attacks,” which are just blow-back from America’s Neocon Wars. It has now also happened with floods of refugees nearly destabilizing the continent, the refugees being entirely a product of American bombing and support for rag-tag mercenaries like those operating in Syria.

America takes no responsibility for the consequences of its rampages, especially the huge, years-long one through the Middle East. Of course, the consequences of all that bombing and destruction include millions of desperate refugees. But officials in Washington just brutally ignore the problem.

America’s general public has been conditioned, by politicians and by the commercial press which always supports America’s ugly campaigns abroad, to treat the refugees with sarcasm and contempt. Desperate migrants are spoken of in the best tradition of Senator Joseph McCarthy and his phantom “communists,” a delusional concept which that closet-drunk used to destroy many innocent lives.

Donald Trump perfectly embodies attitudes of a fair part of the American public about refugees, and that fact provides the driving engine of his political support.

America, in fact, has never taken responsibility for the horrors it creates in its imperial wars. It left Vietnam literally as a hell on earth, giving it no help or aid after all those years of destruction – carpet bombing, napalm, Agent Orange, land mines, cluster bombs, and armies of night-crawling assassins. The plight of today’s refugees in the Middle East results directly from the same American national trait of not taking responsibility.

The refugees, which should bring tears to the eyes, are ignored, and they are even laughed at, as are those who do try to help them, such as Merkel, ignored, despite being the direct result of America’s horrific violence.

Merkel, seeing what America had created, was only trying to show some humanity with her now much-despised refugee policy. She may also have felt twinges of guilt about not having stood up to America’s savage policies in the first place.

There was also the consideration that Germany, being an advanced country, simply does not replace its own population anymore. This situation is true for all advanced countries. Economists refer to it as having passed through Demographic Transition.

Populations will inevitably decline in all such countries without migration. All advanced countries are destined to more resemble the early United States or Canada as countries of immigrants, rather than continuing as they are used to thinking of themselves, countries of long-fixed identity and language and culture. I’m sure Merkel understands this.

But an almost uncontrolled, sudden flow of migrants is not really welcomed anywhere. And, in this case, great differences in religion and appearance and customs only fueled resentments and prejudices and hatreds, the very stuff burning and smoldering in Trump’s United States.

So, while I think Merkel had humane and decent intentions – informed also by an understanding of Germany’s, and Western Europe’s, changing population-age structures – her policy was an unavoidable failure owing to the problem’s suddenness and huge size. And it now serves to help the political ambitions of Europe’s own right-wing extremists resembling Trump.

One can only hope that reflecting back on this experience may help Europe’s leaders to begin standing up to some of America’s irrational, unfair demands, such as isolating Iran for no good reason or trying to tell Europe where it should buy its natural gas. These are simply the demands of a bully, and the bully needs to be told.

You know, there was a very telling change, not widely publicized, in the official mission statement of the Pentagon recently. The central purpose of the US military went, with the stroke of a pen, from “deter war,” something with which anyone might agree, to “sustain American influence abroad,” something which reflects almost no other country’s interests.

Of course, that’s exactly what we’ve been experiencing anyway with all the American aggression across a dozen lands, but now it is a stated public purpose. No more pretense. It’s imperialism.

America’s establishment, recognizing its relative decline in the world’s economy since its fortunate glory days after WWII when all competitors and potential competitors were flattened, now is going to use its considerable remaining power simply to muscle its way to every possible future advantage. It’s a business model with which the mafia is long familiar: you give us a piece of the action, or we’ll burn your business down.

Trump’s bull-headed, shameless approach to relationships of every description – in trade, in treaties and agreements, in international organizations, in alliances – seems almost custom-designed to suit the establishment’s need, which is the reason I laugh at all the claims that he heroically fights the establishment, or “the swamp,” as he likes to put it in comic-book terms.

It is already rather late in the day, but Europe’s leaders must try standing up to this challenge. Europe is one of the few political entities in the world capable of resistance, along with China and Russia and, hopefully, India. If Europe is to have any future beyond being an American order-taker and a polite debating society, it must act, although it is now in such disarray – stemming from its past failure to resist American policies such as those creating the refugees – it is not clear whether it still has the capacity.

If it does still have the capacity, the difference will come from that essential, but often elusive, concept, leadership. We get no change without it.

We are entering a “brave new world,” a very dark one, quite different in its form to that Shakespeare’s phrase was intended to describe, a world in which a powerful pretender to high principles acts, in fact, with almost no principles.

Europe’s leaders need to wake up to the new reality. It’s too easy to drift on in old familiar terms about America, as though Jimmy Stewart’s sincerity and sentiments still represented it. They do not. Russia, as you can see in the statements of Putin and Lavrov, is keenly aware. China’s Xi very much is, too, as you can see in his recent proposal to Germany’s leader to combine efforts between Europe and China.

The brave new world we face is one where the bravery of America is on the level of Trump’s getting out of Vietnam service in 1968 with the pathetic excuse of “heel spurs,” an excuse which came from a man playing on the college basketball team, a man now ready to drop bombs or tear-up treaties anywhere. An American bomb now drops somewhere every twelve minutes.

Posted July 7, 2018 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,