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Trump to NATO: ‘We will no longer be your piggy bank’

The American president continues to poke holes in the established order, provoking some very honest questions within the NATO alliance

Seraphim Hanisch

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President Trump’s pledge to put America first has caused many ripples of disruption in the “established” order of geopolitics and with the global economy. On July 3rd, a further disturbance was promised, this time regarding NATO, according to this report from Reuters:

President Donald Trump will tell fellow NATO countries at next week’s summit that the United States cannot be “the world’s piggy bank,” White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said on Tuesday.

“What the president is going to do is go into these meetings with the mindset to protect the American people, stand with our partners and allies – but as he has said many times before America is thought so often to be the world’s piggy bank. And that’s gotta stop,” Gidley told reporters as Trump flew to West Virginia. Trump has pressured some NATO allies to significantly increase military expenditure.
While Reuters went no further in their reporting than what is above, other agencies offered some thoughts about this situations. Sputnik News had this to say [slightly edited due to poor English]:

Sputnik spoke to geopolitical analyst and author Nikola Mirkovic, to find out how Europe might respond to such straight talk.

Sputnik: So, we know now that President Trump plans on telling NATO countries next week that the US “cannot be the world’s piggy bank” – how do you expect NATO leaders to respond to that sentiment?

Nikola Mirkovic: I think that most of them would be hypocrites to say that this is something new.

Please bear in mind that former secretary of defence of Barack Obama and George W. Bush, Robert Gates, constantly kept asking NATO countries to respect the two percent engagement of GDP for the NATO budget. So, this is not something new.

I think now that a lot of NATO countries will act hypocritical because they don’t know in which direction Donald Trump is going. So, they’re afraid that this menace, of not meeting the two percent engagement of each NATO country, could be hiding something different which could be more in line with what Donald Trump said in his campaign promises, and that NATO was obsolete, that NATO had to be reviewed, …this is something that… could be scary for NATO countries today and this is why they are reacting this way now.

Sputnik: It is of course, certainly the ‘liberal consensus’, that president Trump is essentially tearing apart multilateral institutionalism, but of course [some] would argue that Trump has a point here, and that NATO members, and Europe more generally, need to start taking care of their own security and defence, a little more independently of the US – what do you think of that?

Nikola Mirkovic: I think this is true. And I think actually, the first question all of us should be asking ourselves, whether it be in Europe or in the US, is what is the purpose of NATO? NATO was invented right after World War Two against the so-called ‘Soviet threat’ against the west. Now that this Soviet threat does not exist anymore what is the purpose of NATO?

And if we look at what NATO has been used for, these past years: illegally bombing Serbia, intervening illegally in Afghanistan or bombing Libya, in all three of these regions the situation today is actually worse than it was before, it’s catastrophic.

So we can ask ourselves, what is the purpose of NATO? When NATO intervenes, the results are opposite to what they were supposed to be. It’s costing a lot of money and do we still need such an organization? Do European countries still need such an organization, which is manifestly directed, or driven, by Washington DC. Is this in the interests of the European countries?If Donald Trump asks if NATO is in our interests, I think the European countries should jump on that bandwagon and review their own strategy in terms of defence.

Sputnik: Do you think that, given the recent concerns in Brussels over the future of the transatlantic alliance, it’s possible that EU leaders may be more open to Mr Trump’s demands, more accommodating of them, in order to try and preserve the stability of the alliance?

Nikola Mirkovic: I don’t know. This is the tricky question, because now we see in the European Union that there is no more consensus, there really is no more consensus on different matters. Maybe we might start seeing some divergent opinions. Concerning NATO, this is something that is relatively new in the European discussion, the fact that maybe, some countries would like to get out of NATO.

None of the officials of any European country today has voiced that position, but I think that seeing the current situation, seeing what happened at the G7, seeing the current status of the European Union, which is very bad, some may want to do whatever is possible to try to save the Atlantic alliance.

So, we may start seeing some hawks going in any direction to try to save the alliance. Some countries may also start voicing their own interests and maybe a different view on Europe and on the relationship that Europe should be having with the United States.

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normski1Valgeir HenriksenGuyJNDillardtom Recent comment authors
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normski1
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normski1

President Trump – here’s a thought, if you don’t like how much NATO costs – dissolve NATO and get your troops out of Europe!, that’ll save you a few $million!.

Valgeir Henriksen
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Valgeir Henriksen

Eh- its just Trumps way of begging for money. Who uses and direct NATO wars? US, and they want all the others to pay.
Everyone else should note the way US loses their wars and are completely helpless in stopping nongovernmental rogue armies like IS.
Any state are better off alone, but if we could create a Nato without sicko aggressors US and UK, we would be successful. We should use the anti-trump wave to get cooled down relations with US.

Guy
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Guy

Let NATO disappear into the sunset .Its reason for being is no longer there as the world is now a different place from what it was when NATO was formed. And don’t let the door hit you in the a$$ on your way out. Nato has become the instrument of the deep state / MIC .

JNDillard
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JNDillard

The EU is not only being forced to recognize that Washington is unreliable, but that it can be an out-and-out enemy, as the current tariff war is indicating. This is forcing the EU to grow up and stop being Washington’s poodle and develop an independent foreign policy. The current batch of leaders- really all of them since WWII with the exception of perhaps DeGaulle, were quite content with the arrangement: Washington puts up with EU tariffs without reciprocation and the EU supports US troops and foreign policies. Trump has now challenged that equation on both economic and military grounds. Like… Read more »

Vince Dhimos
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Vince Dhimos

Demanding that they comply, given the current Zeitgeist in Europe, will push European governments into Russia’s and China’s arms. And that is a good thing. Recall that Trump said in his campaign that NATO was outdated. Maybe this is his way of dissolving it while appearing patriotic.

tom
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tom

Mr Trump has matters backwards.

Let us abolish NATO altogether, immediately – and see who shrieks loudest.

John Vu
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John Vu

NATO: We no longer support the dollar

lynettechaplin@virgilio.it
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The new Italian government before being elected, expressed the desire to reconsider membership of NATO., although this desire has not been pursued since being elected. Of course Trump himself questioned whether NATO was necessry before he was elected.

Daisy Adler
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Daisy Adler

Trump: ‘We will no longer be your piggy bank’

Just stop trying to be Europe’s sugar daddy and get the hell out!
No one needs US to bomb European countries, like they did in Bosnia and Serbia.

andyoldlabour
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andyoldlabour

The US has around 800 bases in 70 countries around the World, how can this ever make financial sense to the American people or be morally just?
The worst examples of this US expansionism is in Eastern Europe, where NATO (US mainly) forces are literally hundreds of metres away from the Russian border.
How is this not regarded as aggressive by any right minded person?

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New York Times hit piece on Trump and NATO exposes alliance as outdated and obsolete (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 61.

Alex Christoforou

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RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou take a quick look at the New York Times hit piece citing anonymous sources, with information that the U.S. President dared to question NATO’s viability.

Propaganda rag, the NYT, launched its latest presidential smear aimed at discrediting Trump and provoking the establishment, warmonger left into more impeachment – Twenty-fifth Amendment talking points.

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Via The American Conservative


The New York Times scored a serious scoop when it revealed on Monday that President Trump had questioned in governmental conversations—on more than one occasion, apparently—America’s membership in NATO. Unfortunately the paper then slipped into its typical mode of nostrum journalism. My Webster’s New World Dictionary defines “nostrum” as “quack medicine” entailing “exaggerated claims.” Here we had quack journalism executed in behalf of quack diplomacy.

The central exaggerated claim is contained in the first sentence, in which it is averred that NATO had “deterred Soviet and Russian aggression for 70 years.” This is wrong, as can be seen through just a spare amount of history.

True, NATO saved Europe from the menace of Russian Bolshevism. But it did so not over 70 years but over 40 years—from 1949 to 1989. That’s when the Soviet Union had 1.3 million Soviet and client-state troops poised on Western Europe’s doorstep, positioned for an invasion of Europe through the lowlands of Germany’s Fulda Gap.

How was this possible? It was possible because Joseph Stalin had pushed his armies farther and farther into the West as the German Wehrmacht collapsed at the end of World War II. In doing so, and in the process capturing nearly all of Eastern Europe, he ensured that the Soviets had no Western enemies within a thousand miles of Leningrad or within 1,200 miles of Moscow. This vast territory represented not only security for the Russian motherland (which enjoys no natural geographical barriers to deter invasion from the West) but also a potent staging area for an invasion of Western Europe.

The first deterrent against such an invasion, which Stalin would have promulgated had he thought he could get away with it, was America’s nuclear monopoly. By the time that was lost, NATO had emerged as a powerful and very necessary deterrent. The Soviets, concluding that the cost of an invasion was too high, defaulted to a strategy of undermining Western interests anywhere around the world where that was possible. The result was global tensions stirred up at various global trouble spots, most notably Korea and Vietnam.

But Europe was saved, and NATO was the key. It deserves our respect and even reverence for its profound success as a military alliance during a time of serious threat to the West.

But then the threat went away. Gone were the 1.3 million Soviet and client-state troops. Gone was Soviet domination of Eastern Europe. Indeed, gone, by 1991, was the Soviet Union itself, an artificial regime of brutal ideology superimposed upon the cultural entity of Mother Russia. It was a time for celebration.

But it was also a time to contemplate the precise nature of the change that had washed over the world and to ponder what that might mean for old institutions—including NATO, a defensive military alliance created to deter aggression from a menacing enemy to the east. Here’s where Western thinking went awry. Rather than accepting as a great benefit the favorable developments enhancing Western security—the Soviet military retreat, the territorial reversal, the Soviet demise—the West turned NATO into a territorial aggressor of its own, absorbing nations that had been part of the Soviet sphere of control and pushing right up to the Russian border. Now Leningrad (renamed St. Petersburg after the obliteration of the menace of Soviet communism) resides within a hundred miles of NATO military forces, while Moscow is merely 200 miles from Western troops.

Since the end of the Cold War, NATO has absorbed 13 nations, some on the Russian border, others bordering lands that had been part of Russia’s sphere of interest for centuries. This constitutes a policy of encirclement, which no nation can accept without protest or pushback. And if NATO were to absorb those lands of traditional Russian influence—particularly Ukraine and Georgia—that would constitute a major threat to Russian security, as Russian President Vladimir Putin has sought to emphasize to Western leaders for years.

So, no, NATO has not deterred Russian aggression for 70 years. It did so for 40 and has maintained a destabilizing posture toward Russia ever since. The problem here is the West’s inability to perceive how changed geopolitical circumstances might require a changed geopolitical strategy. The encirclement strategy has had plenty of critics—George Kennan before he died; academics John Mearsheimer, Stephen Walt, and Robert David English; former diplomat Jack Matlock; the editors of The Nation. But their voices have tended to get drowned out by the nostrum diplomacy and the nostrum journalism that supports it at every turn.

You can’t drown out Donald Trump because he’s president of the United States. And so he has to be traduced, ridiculed, dismissed, and marginalized. That’s what the Times story, by Julian Barnes and Helene Cooper, sought to do. Consider the lead, designed to emphasize just how outlandish Trump’s musings are before the reader even has a chance to absorb what he may have been thinking: “There are few things that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia desires more than the weakening of NATO, the military alliance among the United States, Europe and Canada that has deterred Soviet and Russian aggression for 70 years.” Translation: “Take that, Mr. President! You’re an idiot.”

Henry Kissinger had something interesting to say about Trump in a recent interview with the Financial Times. “I think Trump may be one of those figures in history,” said the former secretary of state, “who appears from time to time to mark the end of an era and to force it to give up its old pretenses.” One Western pretense about Russia, so ardently enforced by the likes of Julian Barnes and Helene Cooper (who, it may be safe to say, know less about world affairs and their history than Henry Kissinger), is that nothing really changed with the Soviet collapse and NATO had to turn aggressive in order to keep that menacing nation in its place.

Trump clearly doesn’t buy that pretense. He said during the campaign that NATO was obsolete. Then he backtracked, saying he only wanted other NATO members to pay their fair share of the cost of deterrence. He even confessed, after Hillary Clinton identified NATO as “the strongest military alliance in the history of the world,” that he only said NATO was obsolete because he didn’t know much about it. But he was learning—enough, it appears, to support as president Montenegro’s entry into NATO in 2017. Is Montenegro, with 5,332 square miles and some 620,000 citizens, really a crucial element in Europe’s desperate project to protect itself against Putin’s Russia?

We all know that Trump is a crude figure—not just in his disgusting discourse but in his fumbling efforts to execute political decisions. As a politician, he often seems like a doctor attempting to perform open-heart surgery while wearing mittens. His idle musings about leaving NATO are a case in point—an example of a politician who lacks the skill and finesse to nudge the country in necessary new directions.

But Kissinger has a point about the man. America and the world have changed, while the old ways of thinking have not kept pace. The pretenses of the old have blinded the status quo defenders into thinking nothing has changed. Trump, almost alone among contemporary American politicians, is asking questions to which the world needs new answers. NATO, in its current configuration and outlook, is a danger to peace, not a guarantor of it.


Robert W. Merry, longtime Washington journalist and publishing executive, is the author most recently of President McKinley: Architect of the American Century

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Nigel Farage To Back Another “Vote Leave” Campaign If UK Holds Second Brexit Referendum

Nigel Farage said Friday that he would be willing to wage another “Vote Leave” campaign, even if he needed to use another party as the “vehicle” for his opposition.

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Via Zerohedge


Pro-European MPs from various political parties are pushing back against claims made by Prime Minister Theresa May’s government that a second Brexit referendum – which supporters have branded as a “People’s Vote” on May’s deal – would take roughly 14 months to organize, according to RT.

But while support for a second vote grows, one of the most notorious proponents of the original “Vote Leave” campaign is hinting at a possible return to politics to try and fight the effort.

After abandoning UKIP, the party he helped create, late last year, Nigel Farage said Friday that he would be willing to wage another “Vote Leave” campaign, even if he needed to use another party as the “vehicle” for his opposition. Farage also pointed out that a delay of Brexit Day would likely put it after the European Parliament elections in May.

“I think, I fear that the House of Commons is going to effectively overturn that Brexit. To me, the most likely outcome of all of this is an extension of Article 50. There could be another referendum,” he told Sky News.

According to official government guidance shown to lawmakers on Wednesday, which was subsequently leaked to the Telegraph, as May tries to head off a push by ministers who see a second referendum as the best viable alternative to May’s deal – a position that’s becoming increasingly popular with Labour Party MPs.

“In order to inform the discussions, a very short paper set out in factual detail the number of months that would be required, this was illustrative only and our position of course is that there will be no second referendum,,” May said. The statement comes as May has been meeting with ministers and leaders from all parties to try to find a consensus deal that could potentially pass in the House of Commons.

The 14 month estimate is how long May and her government expect it would take to pass the primary legislation calling for the referendum (seven months), conduct the question testing with the election committee (12 weeks), pass secondary legislation (six weeks) and conduct the campaigns (16 weeks).

May has repeatedly insisted that a second referendum wouldn’t be feasible because it would require a lengthy delay of Brexit Day, and because it would set a dangerous precedent that wouldn’t offer any more clarity (if some MPs are unhappy with the outcome, couldn’t they just push for a third referendum?). A spokesperson for No. 10 Downing Street said the guidance was produced purely for the purpose of “illustrative discussion” and that the government continued to oppose another vote.

Meanwhile, a vote on May’s “Plan B”, expected to include a few minor alterations from the deal’s previous iteration, has been called for Jan. 29, prompting some MPs to accuse May of trying to run out the clock. May is expected to present the new deal on Monday.

Former Tory Attorney General and pro-remainer MP Dominic Grieve blasted May’s timetable as wrong and said that the government “must be aware of it themselves,” while former Justice Minister Dr Phillip Lee, who resigned his cabinet seat in June over May’s Brexit policy, denounced her warning as “nonsense.”

As May pieces together her revised deal, more MPs are urging her to drop her infamous “red lines” (Labour in particular would like to see the UK remain part of the Customs Union), but with no clear alternative to May’s plan emerging, a delay of Brexit Day is looking like a virtual certainty.

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The National Security Agency Is A Criminal Organization

The National Security Agency values being able to blackmail citizens and members of government at home and abroad more than preventing terrorist attacks.

Paul Craig Roberts

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Via Paul Craig Roberts…


Years before Edward Snowden provided documented proof that the National Security Agency was really a national insecurity agency as it was violating law and the US Constitution and spying indiscriminately on American citizens, William Binney, who designed and developed the NSA spy program revealed the illegal and unconstitutional spying. Binney turned whistleblower, because NSA was using the program to spy on Americans. As Binney was well known to the US Congress, he did not think he needed any NSA document to make his case. But what he found out was “Congress would never hear me because then they’d lose plausible deniability. That was really their key. They needed to have plausible deniability so they can continue this massive spying program because it gave them power over everybody in the world. Even the members of Congress had power against others [in Congress]; they had power on judges on the Supreme Court, the federal judges, all of them. That’s why they’re so afraid. Everybody’s afraid because all this data that’s about them, the central agencies — the intelligence agencies — they have it. And that’s why Senator Schumer warned President Trump earlier, a few months ago, that he shouldn’t attack the intelligence community because they’ve got six ways to Sunday to come at you. That’s because it’s like J. Edgar Hoover on super steroids. . . . it’s leverage against every member of parliament and every government in the world.”

To prevent whistle-blowing, NSA has “a program now called ‘see something, say something’ about your fellow workers. That’s what the Stasi did. That’s why I call [NSA] the new New Stasi Agency. They’re picking up all the techniques from the Stasi and the KGB and the Gestapo and the SS. They just aren’t getting violent yet that we know of — internally in the US, outside is another story.”

As Binney had no documents to give to the media, blowing the whistle had no consequence for NSA. This is the reason that Snowden released the documents that proved NSA to be violating both law and the Constitution, but the corrupt US media focused blame on Snowden as a “traitor” and not on NSA for its violations.

Whistleblowers are protected by federal law. Regardless, the corrupt US government tried to prosecute Binney for speaking out, but as he had taken no classified document, a case could not be fabricated against him.

Binney blames the NSA’s law-breaking on Dick “Darth” Cheney. He says NSA’s violations of law and Constitution are so extreme that they would have to have been cleared at the top of the government.

Binney describes the spy network, explains that it was supposed to operate only against foreign enemies, and that using it for universal spying so overloads the system with data that the system fails to discover many terrorist activities. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50932.htm

Apparently, the National Security Agency values being able to blackmail citizens and members of government at home and abroad more than preventing terrorist attacks.

Unfortunately for Americans, there are many Americans who blindly trust the government and provide the means, the misuse of which is used to enslave us. A large percentage of the work in science and technology serves not to free people but to enslave them. By now there is no excuse for scientists and engineers not to know this. Yet they persist in their construction of the means to destroy liberty.

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