Connect with us

Latest

Analysis

News

Germany will ‘fight’ for its interests in face of Trump’s ‘America First’ policy, says Economic Minister

America’s foreign policy is enacting an approach that sees the world as a global chess game

Published

on

2,414 Views

It’s no secret that Germany has many deep ties with America that seem to be completely unbreachable. But in the face of Trump’s ‘America first’ policy, those ties are feeling some strain. America first, by definition, means that America’s interests, across all sectors, get the top priority above those of all others, and even in spite of them, with heavy emphasis on the ‘spite’ part.

The manner in which Trump’s foreign policy has progressed during his tenure so far indubitably shows forth his loyalty to this program, which perceives that whatever America wants, it will get, regardless of how it impacts others, and everybody else is expected to just grin and bear it.

But that’s not how you treat your friends, and not how a partnership really works. America has a strong social and cultural policy with equality at its base in just about every human perspective and interaction, at least, insofar as the words go, but in action, it’s an ideal that is quickly losing ground on the value of actions, even at a time when equality is taking on a new emphasis in America’s cultural capital of Hollywood.

America’s foreign policy is enacting an approach that sees the world as a global chess game, and every other player is viewed as an opponent to be bested, a game where America wins at the loss of everyone else, the ‘better end of the deal’. It’s completely different from the party line that Washington has put forward for decades, where fairness, equality, and respect were put forward as motivating factors for international activities and agreements, even if, oftentimes, America still acted like it was purely out to advance its own interests. America still put on a nice face with nice words as a costume for their self interested global influence.

Today, American actions haven’t really changed all that much, in a way, but what has changed is the philosophy that it overtly advances. Now, under President Donald Trump, it brazenly tells the world that America will do and get what it wants, and everyone else must be good little boys and girls and play along, even if it means that they will lose. In Trump’s mind, it’s called ‘winning’, and in order to win, someone must lose.

Even America’s strongest allies have been reluctant to acknowledge America’s self interested global policies, because as long as they got something for it, they were okay with it. But lately, they’re not getting as much for it, if anything at all.

French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May were happy to go along with Trump’s strikes against Syria last month, as well as America’s sanctions regimen against Russia, even concocting their own reasons for taking a ‘defensive’ posture against Russia, all under the conduct of their friend and partner on the western side of the Atlantic.

Then the Iran nuclear deal came up to the chopping block. America has publicly declared that the Iran nuclear deal is not in their interests, and for that reason they will not participate, they won’t play, because it means that they won’t win, because in this deal, there are no losers.

This time, by following America’s lead, scrapping the Iran deal would not be in America’s European allies’s interests, its a game where the Europeans would be the ones on the losing end.

For that reason, Emmanuel Macron, British FM Boris Johnson, and German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, crossed the pond to plead their case and protect their interests, in hopes that Trump would respond amicably and respect them.

But once their cozy meetings were through, and they had returned home, Trump set out once again to win the game. He went full speed ahead and quit the Iran nuclear deal, regardless of, and in spite of, his European ‘partners’s interests and pleas to do otherwise.

Now, the interests of America’s European allies had not only gone up to the guillotine, without trial, but underwent the blade of ‘America first’. Now, playing the game with America, on the American side, can openly result in a European loss, and the Americans don’t care.

America here demonstrates to its allies and ‘partners’ that it has no intention of being a partner, or even a friend. There are only strategic interests, and America is behind Europe only when it suits those American strategic interests. America will be first. America will win, even if that means Europe must lose.

Europe, then, is coming to realise this new fact that the global order and global relationships are no longer based on multilateral cooperation to achieve a common goal, because between America and Europe, the goal is no longer a mutual one.

For America, the goal is America’s global hegemony at all costs. For Europe, it’s quite different. Whatever the talk about ‘shared values’ that might be coming out of lips of European leaders as they address America’s foreign posture, they are now coming to realise that the values of America and Europe are no longer congruent.

The American withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement, a multilateral agreement enjoying the commitment of each member of the United Nations Security Council, including Germany and the EU, isn’t the only divergence of perspective. America has been on a roll as of late doing things that America says are for its own interests, but which stand diametrically opposed to those of America’s European allies.

That list includes the tariffs on Chinese aluminum and steel exports, the embassy move to Jerusalem which lethally stoked the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, extraterritorial sanctions on any company doing business with Iran, which stands to adversely impact the European economy, opposition to oil and gas cooperation between some European countries and Russia, verbally slamming Germany for its participation in the NATO defense budget balance, potentially opening up a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, among others.

Those shared values, that Europe and America are supposed to uphold together, along with economic and security cooperation, are what cement the friendship and partnership between Europe and America.

America, however, is disrupting each of these with its latest actions, between a shared vision of multilateralism, perceiving political, rather than military, means of resolving conflict and establishing cooperation and prosperity, to ensuring security against potential threats, to economic cooperation. America, not Syria, Iran, Russia, or Islamic extremists, right now is making itself the single biggest threat to each of these

Following his trip to Russia to secure economic cooperation and that of the shared value of economic access to the Iranian market, the Germany Economy Minister, Peter Altmaier, declares that Germany will respond to America’s narcissistic foreign policy by defending its own interests.

The statements do three things: they demonstrate that the shared value system between America and Europe’s economic powerhouse, Germany, are quickly eroding; they demonstrate that Germany is finding some shared interests with the Russians; and they demonstrate that Germany will stand up for its own strategic interests against the overt inimical effects of America’s foreign policy.

Deutsche Welle reports:

German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said Europe will defend its interests if the US prioritizes its own over others. He also accused Washington of wanting to block a Russia-Germany pipeline to boost its own exports.

Europe will respond firmly if the US places its own economic interests above those of others, Germany Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said on Friday.

“The US are our friends and partners, and we want to defend our common values,” Altmaier told ARD public service television.

“But if it’s America first, and they put their economic interest before others, then they have to expect Europe to define their own interests and fight for them,” he added.

Amid growing fears of a trade war, the USA under the Trump administration imposed tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum in March, but gave temporary tariff waivers to the EU and several other countries. The exemptions are due to expire June 1.

Shale gas

Earlier in the interview, Altmaier also defended the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which Washington, along with many eastern European countries, would like to block. They say that by sidelining Ukraine, it gives Russia too much leverage over countries reliant on its energy sources.

Altmaier, however, attributed US opposition to its desire to increase its own shale gas exports.

“They are looking for markets, which we can understand, and they can land it here easily,” Altmaier said. “But it is much more expensive than pipeline gas, so blocking Nord Stream 2 on its own won’t guarantee exports.”

Altmaier’s comments come as German Chancellor Angela Merkel is to hold talks with her Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, that are expected to cover not only the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and the war in Syria, but also energy issues and the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Shared interests and values between America and Europe are quickly diverging. America is finding that it can and will achieve its goals and strategic interests with or without its European friends, as it demonstrated last week, and even into this one.

The end goals to be accomplished, as envisioned by the Europeans and the Americans are increasingly digressing, and even opposing, whereas the number of shared interests between the Europeans and the Russians, on the other hand, are increasingly converging, whether it is a peaceful, political resolution to the conflicts going on in Syria or the Ukraine, to energy cooperation, to security interests meaning keeping a lid on nuclear proliferation and shared market accesses, to commonly battling the economic barriers that America is erecting. While Europe is discovering that it need to find its own path in the world, that path is leading farther away from America, and lining up a little closer with those on the other side of the Baltic.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Advertisement
2 Comments

2
Leave a Reply

avatar
2 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
2 Comment authors
Wayne BlowLinda Wren Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Wayne Blow
Guest
Wayne Blow

America “partner and friend” of EU and Europe ??? What kind of dumb-ass “dee-pees are you f-cking brain-dead idiots on East side of Atlantic? Don’t you know how Trump and his populace refer to you stupid “dee-pees ? They openly laugh and ridicule you for being such suckers, don’t take my word for it , why not just ask Trump the liar ????

Linda Wren
Guest
Linda Wren

Sorry Merkel but you are a liar. In fact nearly all of EU are hypocrites. You go to Moscow to ask for talks with Russia then lump more sanctions onto them for Crimea? Well I hope Putin returns with same by return

Latest

Understanding the Holodomor and why Russia says nothing

A descendant of Holodomor victims takes the rest of us to school as to whether or not Russia needs to shoulder the blame.

Seraphim Hanisch

Published

on

One of the charges that nationalist Ukrainians often lodge against their Russian neighbors is that the Russian government has never acknowledged or formally apologized to Ukraine for the “Holodomor” that took place in Ukraine in 1932-1933. This was a man-made famine that killed an estimated seven to 10 million Ukrainians , though higher estimates claim 12.5 million and lower ones now claim 3.3 million.

No matter what the total was, it amounts to a lot of people that starved to death. The charge that modern-day Russia ought to apologize for this event is usually met with silence, which further enrages those Ukrainians that believe that this issue must be resolved by the Russian acknowledgement of responsibility for it. Indeed, the prime charge of these Ukrainians is that the Russians committed a genocide against the Ukrainian people. This is a claim Russia denies.

To the outside observer who does not know this history of Russia and Ukraine’s relationship, and who does not know or understand the characteristics of the Soviet Union, this charge seems as simple and laid out as that of the Native Americans or the blacks demanding some sort of recompense or restitution for the damages inflicted on these societies through conquest and / or slavery. But we discovered someone who had family connections involved in the Holodomor, and who offers her own perspective, which is instructive in why perhaps the Russian Federation does not say anything about this situation.

Scene in Kharkiv with dead from the famine 1932-33 lying along the street.

The speaker is Anna Vinogradova, a Russian Israeli-American, who answered the question through Quora of “Why doesn’t Russia recognize the Holodomor as a genocide?” She openly admits that she speaks only for herself, but her answer is still instructive. We offer it here, with some corrections for the sake of smooth and understandable English:

I can’t speak for Russia and what it does and doesn’t recognize. I can speak for myself.

I am a great-granddaughter of a “Kulak” (кулак), or well-to-do peasant, who lived close to the Russia/Ukraine border.

The word “кулак” means “fist” in Russian, and it wasn’t a good thing for a person to be called by this label. A кулак was an exploiter of peasants and a class enemy of the new state of workers and poor peasants. In other words, while under Communism, to be called a кулак was to bring a death sentence upon yourself.

At some point, every rural class enemy, every peasant who wasn’t a member of a collective farm was eliminated one way or another.

Because Ukraine has very fertile land and the Ukrainian style of agriculture often favors individual farms as opposed to villages, there is no question that many, many Ukrainian peasants were considered class enemies like my great grandfather, and eliminated in class warfare.

I have no doubt that class warfare included starvation, among other things.

The catch? My great grandfather was an ethnic Russian living in Russia. What nationality were the communists who persecuted and eventually shot him? They were of every nationality there was (in the Soviet Union), and they were led by a Ukrainian, who was taking orders from a Georgian.

Now, tell me, why I, a descendant of an unjustly killed Russian peasant, need to apologize to the descendants of the Ukrainians who killed him on the orders of a Georgian?

What about the Russian, Kazakh golodomor (Russian rendering of the same famine)? What about the butchers, who came from all ethnicities? Can someone explain why it’s only okay to talk about Ukrainian victims and Russian persecutors? Why do we need to rewrite history decades later to convert that brutal class war into an ethnic war that it wasn’t?

Ethnic warfare did not start in Russia until after WWII, when some ethnicities were accused of collaboration with the Nazis and brutal group punishments were implemented. It was all based on class up to that time.

The communists of those years were fanatically internationalist. “Working people of all countries, unite!” was their slogan and they were fanatical about it.

As for the crimes of Communism, Russia has been healing this wound for decades, and Russia’s government has made its anticommunist position very clear.

This testimony is most instructive. First, it points out information that the charge of the Holodomor as “genocide!” neatly leaves out. In identifying the internationalist aspects of the Soviet Union, Ukraine further was not a country identified as somehow worthy of genocidal actions. Such a thought makes no sense, especially given the great importance of Ukraine as the “breadbasket” of the Soviet Union, which it was.

Secondly, it shows a very western-style of “divide to conquer” with a conveniently incendiary single-word propaganda tool that is no doubt able to excite any Ukrainian who may be neutral to slightly disaffected about Russia, and then after that, all Ukrainians are now victims of the mighty evil overlords in Moscow.

How convenient is this when the evil overlords in Kyiv don’t want their citizens to know what they are doing?

We saw this on Saturday – taken to a very high peak when President Petro Poroshenko announced the new leading “Hierarch” of the “Ukrainian National Church” and said not one single word about Christ, but only:

“This day will go down in history as the day of the creation of an autocephalous Orthodox church in Ukraine… This is the day of the creation of the church as an independent structure… What is this church? It is a church without Putin. It is a church without Kirill, without prayer for the Russian authorities and the Russian army.”

But as long as Russia is made the “problem”, millions of scandalized Ukrainians will not care what this new Church actually does or teaches, which means it is likely to teach just about anything.

Russia had its own Holodomor. The history of the event shows that this was a result of several factors – imposed socialist economics on a deeply individualized form of agrarian capitalism (bad for morale and worse for food production), really inane centralized planning of cropland use, and a governmental structure that really did not exist to serve the governed, but to impose an ideology on people who really were not all that interested in it.

Personal blame might well lay with Stalin, a Georgian, but the biggest source of the famine lay in the structures imposed under communism as a way of economic strategy. This is not Russia’s fault. It is the economic model that failed.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Latest

Mueller Finally Releases Heavily Redacted Key Flynn Memo On Eve Of Sentencing

Alex Christoforou

Published

on

Via Zerohedge


Having initially snubbed Judge Emmet Sullivan’s order to release the original 302 report from the Michael Flynn interrogation in January 2017, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has finally produced the heavily redacted document, just hours before sentencing is due to be handed down.

The memo  – in full below – details then-national security adviser Michael Flynn’s interview with FBI agents Peter Strzok and Joe Pientka, and shows Flynn was repeatedly asked about his contacts with former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and in each instance, Flynn denied (or did not recall) any such conversations.

The agents had transcripts of Flynn’s phone calls to Russian Ambassador Kislyak, thus showing Flynn to be lying.

Flynn pleaded guilty guilty last December to lying to the FBI agents about those conversations with Kislyak.

The redactions in the document seem oddly placed but otherwise, there is nothing remarkable about the content…

Aside from perhaps Flynn’s incredulity at the media attention…

Flynn is set to be sentenced in that federal court on Tuesday.

Of course, as Christina Laila notes, the real crime is that Flynn was unmasked during his phone calls to Kislyak and his calls were illegally leaked by a senior Obama official to the Washington Post.

*  *  *

Full document below…

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Latest

Don’t Laugh : It’s Giving Putin What He Wants

The fact of the matter is that humorous lampooning of western establishment Russia narratives writes itself.

Caitlin Johnstone

Published

on

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone:


The BBC has published an article titled “How Putin’s Russia turned humour into a weapon” about the Kremlin’s latest addition to its horrifying deadly hybrid warfare arsenal: comedy.

The article is authored by Olga Robinson, whom the BBC, unhindered by any trace of self-awareness, has titled “Senior Journalist (Disinformation)”. Robinson demonstrates the qualifications and acumen which earned her that title by warning the BBC’s audience that the Kremlin has been using humor to dismiss and ridicule accusations that have been leveled against it by western governments, a “form of trolling” that she reports is designed to “deliberately lower the level of discussion”.

“Russia’s move towards using humour to influence its campaigns is a relatively recent phenomenon,” Robinson explains, without speculating as to why Russians might have suddenly begun laughing at their western accusers. She gives no consideration to the possibility that the tightly knit alliance of western nations who suddenly began hysterically shrieking about Russia two years ago have simply gotten much more ridiculous and easier to make fun of during that time.

Couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the emergence of a demented media environment wherein everything around the world from French protests to American culture wars to British discontent with the European Union gets blamed on Russia without any facts or evidence. Wherein BBC reporters now correct guests and caution them against voicing skepticism of anti-Russia narratives because the UK is in “an information war” with that nation. Wherein the same cable news Russiagate pundit can claim that both Rex Tillerson’s hiring and his later firing were the result of a Russian conspiracy to benefit the Kremlin. Wherein mainstream outlets can circulate blatantly false information about Julian Assange and unnamed “Russians” and then blame the falseness of that reporting on Russian disinformation. Wherein Pokemon Go, cutesy Facebook memes and $4,700 in Google ads are sincerely cited as methods by which Hillary Clinton’s $1.2 billion presidential campaign was outdone. Wherein conspiracy theories that Putin has infiltrated the highest levels of the US government have been blaring on mainstream headline news for two years with absolutely nothing to show for it to this day.

Nope, the only possibility is that the Kremlin suddenly figured out that humor is a thing.

The fact of the matter is that humorous lampooning of western establishment Russia narratives writes itself. The hypocrisy is so cartoonish, the emotions are so breathlessly over-the-top, the stories so riddled with plot holes and the agendas underlying them so glaringly obvious that they translate very easily into laughs. I myself recently authored a satire piece that a lot of people loved and which got picked up by numerous alternative media outlets, and all I did was write down all the various escalations this administration has made against Russia as though they were commands being given to Trump by Putin. It was extremely easy to write, and it was pretty damn funny if I do say so myself. And it didn’t take any Kremlin rubles or dezinformatsiya from St Petersburg to figure out how to write it.

“Ben Nimmo, an Atlantic Council researcher on Russian disinformation, told the BBC that attempts to create funny memes were part of the strategy as ‘disinformation for the information age’,” the article warns. Nimmo, ironically, is himself intimately involved with the British domestic disinformation firm Integrity Initiative, whose shady government-sponsored psyops against the Labour Party have sparked a national scandal that is likely far from reaching peak intensity.

“Most comedy programmes on Russian state television these days are anodyne affairs which either do not touch on political topics, or direct humour at the Kremlin’s perceived enemies abroad,” Robinson writes, which I found funny since I’d just recently read an excellent essay by Michael Tracey titled “Why has late night swapped laughs for lusting after Mueller?”

“If the late night ‘comedy’ of the Trump era has something resembling a ‘message,’ it’s that large segments of the nation’s liberal TV viewership are nervously tracking every Russia development with a passion that cannot be conducive to mental health – or for that matter, political efficacy,” Tracey writes, documenting numerous examples of the ways late night comedy now has audiences cheering for a US intelligence insider and Bush appointee instead of challenging power-serving media orthodoxies as programs like The Daily Show once did.

If you wanted the opposite of “anodyne affairs”, it would be comedians ridiculing the way all the establishment talking heads are manipulating their audiences into supporting the US intelligence community and FBI insiders. It would be excoriating the media environment in which unfathomably powerful world-dominating government agencies are subject to less scrutiny and criticism than a man trapped in an embassy who published inconvenient facts about those agencies. It certainly wouldn’t be the cast of Saturday Night Live singing “All I Want for Christmas Is You” to a framed portrait if Robert Mueller wearing a Santa hat. It doesn’t get much more anodyne than that.

Russia makes fun of western establishment narratives about it because those narratives are so incredibly easy to make fun of that they are essentially asking for it, and the nerdy way empire loyalists are suddenly crying victim about it is itself more comedy. When Guardian writer Carole Cadwalladr began insinuating that RT covering standard newsworthy people like Julian Assange and Nigel Farage was a conspiracy to “boost” those people for the advancement of Russian agendas instead of a news outlet doing the thing that news reporting is, RT rightly made fun of her for it. Cadwalladr reacted to RT’s mockery with a claim that she was a victim of “attacks”, instead of the recipient of perfectly justified ridicule for circulating an intensely moronic conspiracy theory.

Ah well. People are nuts and we’re hurtling toward a direct confrontation with a nuclear superpower. Sometimes there’s nothing else to do but laugh. As Wavy Gravy said, “Keep your sense of humor, my friend; if you don’t have a sense of humor it just isn’t funny anymore.”

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

JOIN OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL

Your donations make all the difference. Together we can expose fake news lies and deliver truth.

Amount to donate in USD$:

5 100

Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Advertisement

Advertisement

Quick Donate

The Duran
EURO
DONATE
Donate a quick 10 spot!
Advertisement
Advertisement

Advertisement

The Duran Newsletter

Trending