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How the proposed European Army is causing the EU to fracture

The proposal for the new European army is being strongly resisted by the anti-Russian states of the EU – Poland and the Baltic States – because they distrust the EU to pursue the same anti-Russian foreign policy in the future.

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Much has been discussed about the internal identity crisis within the European Union. It is indeed a question that precedes the original concepts of ‘Europeanism’.

In Revolutionary France, firebrands in Paris struggled to unite peasants behind the new state as many, in spite of their poverty, identified with regional localities not with the French state (whether the Kingdom of France or the French Republic).

Today, when individuals are more globally inter-connected than ever, thanks not to governments but to technology, an identity crisis persists in Europe.

Can one identify with a nation state and with the EU simultaneously?  In Britain at least, the recent Brexit vote answered this question in the negative. 

But an even more interesting matter is the EU’s external identity crisis: how does the EU define its position in the world? 

Is the EU’s destiny as a global bloc what it has been in the last 8 years or so: a political arm of NATO/Atlanticist  policy, which sanctions whomever the US sanctions, condemns whomever the US condemns, and can even be used to give cover to US policies that even the US itself is ashamed of – think of France’s leading role in Hillary Clinton’s war on Libya, a war Obama now regrets?

Or is the external identity of the EU that of a bloc which is friendly to the Anglo-American consensus, but which ultimately is independent of and distinct from it.

This approach has also been attempted, most famously under the Commission of Jacques Delors, whose Social Chapter softened the neoliberalism of the bloc, if only a bit.

Such a possibility dates back to the bloc’s inception, where in spite of the aid the then European Economic Community was receiving from the US, France’s Charles de Gaulle was keen to block what he saw as the spread of Anglo-Saxon influences in the bloc. 

It was for this reason de Gaulle twice vetoed British membership of the European Economic Community.  Inversely, it was also the reason why the US wanted a sceptical British ally inside the bloc, so that the UK could promote Atlanticist policies inside it.

Yet in the early 2000s, the leading founders of the EU, France and Germany, led at that time by President Chirac and Chancellor Schröder, opposed the US’s war on Iraq, and led most of western Europe into opposition with them.

However, the year following the declaration of war on Iraq, the so-called A8 countries were all admitted to the EU.

Many of these countries have stridently anti-Russian foreign policies, and over the years these countries have influenced the EU in the following two ways: (1) They have made it easier for countries like Britain (until now) to push for a less economically and politically integrated EU; and (2) They have made it easier to achieve an anti-Russian consensus within the EU.

This consensus however may be showing signs of unravelling. Here’s why:

The two immediate causes are the increasing unlikelihood that TTIP will come into place.

Opposition to TTIP from both the left and right in the European nation states and the toothless but occasionally influential EU Parliament has contributed to this.

Additionally, opposition in the US from the increasingly powerful anti-TTIP alliance of Ron Paul style libertarians, Trump style neo-protectionists, and anti-globalist commentators like Alex Jones, has pushed TTIP on to the back burner.

Secondly Angela Merkel’s policy of welcoming the world’s refugees whilst enacting policies which create refugees in Donbass looks set to end the long political career of this coldly calculating opportunist, defenestrating Europe’s most powerful leader.

However, a third and more important issue has arisen, which threatens to unravel even further the present, uneasy consensus in Europe.

What is at stake is the creation of a unified EU army, something which Jean Claude Junker says will prevent future wars between European states.

Clearly the names Charles V, Napoleon Bonaparte and Adolf Hitler are not familiar to the nominal leader of the EU.

Whilst the full proposals for an EU Army will be laid out in December, there is already opposition to its creation, and it is coming from some unexpected quarters.

Some of the most stridently anti-Russian member states of the EU have come out in opposition to an EU Army, including the Baltic states and Poland, countries which if they had nuclear weapons, might well have a collective Hillary Clinton style spasm, and fall atop the little red button if Vladimir Putin so much as stamps his foot energetically whilst putting on a pair of shoes.

The fact that these countries have energetically welcomed NATO troops to occupy their territory with arms and men, means that they are not exactly ready to climb aboard the peace train. What it means is that they find the US dominated NATO to be a reliable partner in their anti-Russian crusade, but are sceptical that a would-be EU Army would share such zeal.

Their underlying fear is that a future Schröder, Chirac or de Gaulle might do with Europe what Trump seeks to do to the US: put local interests first. This would exclude wasting European time and money antagonising Russia economically (not that that has worked), and would certainly imply no interest in further military provocations of Russia.

Britain is also opposed to the creation of such an EU Army for the same reason it has opposed many integrationist policies.

Publicly Britain articulates the fears of Poland and the Baltic states in stating that an EU Army is unnecessary, as it would more or less duplicate what NATO does.

In reality Britain would never join an EU Army, even if Brexit had been soundly rejected.

And then comes the question of NATO itself.

Donald Trump wants to shift NATO’s focus from being an anti-Russian bloc to being an anti-ISIS bloc, something that might well upset countries who bankrupt their small treasuries buying weapons to fight an imaginary Russian attack, and countries which unlike Germany, France, America and Britain, have never been the victims of Islamic terror attack.

Many of these countries are in fact totally unfamiliar with the terrorism that swept western and central Europe in the latter half of the 20th century. There was no Baader-Meinhof Gang in Poland, no IRA in Latvia, and no Symbionese Liberation Army in Estonia.

Much therefore depends on forthcoming events. What is certain is that the fate of the EU looks to be uncertain at best, and this is because the consensus it was supposed to consolidate, is instead unravelling.

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EU leaders dictate Brexit terms to Theresa May (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 115.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss how EU leaders have agreed on a plan to delay the the Article 50 process which effectively postpones Brexit beyond the 29 March deadline.

The UK will now be offered a delay until the 22nd of May, only if MPs approve Theresa May’s withdrawal deal next week. If MPs do not approve May’s negotiated deal, then the EU will support a short delay until the 12th of April, allowing the UK extra time to get the deal passed or to “indicate a way forward”.

UK PM Theresa May said there was now a “clear choice” facing MPs, who could vote for a third time on her deal next week.

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Theresa May outlines four Brexit options, via Politico

In a letter to MPs, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May set out the four options she believes the country has in light of Thursday’s decision by EU leaders to extend the Brexit deadline beyond next Friday.

The U.K. is faced with a four-way choice, May wrote late Friday.

The government could revoke Article 50 — which May called a betrayal of the Brexit vote; leave without a deal on April 12; pass her deal in a vote next week; or, “if it appears that there is not sufficient support” for a vote on her deal in parliament next week or if it is rejected for a third time, she could ask for an extension beyond April 12.

But this would require for the U.K. taking part in European elections in May, which the prime minister said “would be wrong.”

May wrote that she’s hoping for the deal to pass, allowing the U.K. to leave the EU “in an orderly way,” adding “I still believe there is a majority in the House for that course of action.”

“I hope we can all agree that we are now at the moment of decision,” she wrote.

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US media suffers panic attack after Mueller fails to deliver on much-anticipated Trump indictment

Internet mogul Kim Dotcom said it all: “Mueller – The name that ended all mainstream media credibility.”

RT

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Important pundits and news networks have served up an impressive display of denials, evasions and on-air strokes after learning that Robert Mueller has ended his probe without issuing a single collusion-related indictment.

The Special Counsel delivered his final report to Attorney General William Barr for review on Friday, with the Justice Department confirming that there will be no further indictments related to the probe. The news dealt a devastating blow to the sensational prophesies of journalists, analysts and entire news networks, who for nearly two years reported ad nauseam that President Donald Trump and his inner circle were just days away from being carted off to prison for conspiring with the Kremlin to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

Showing true integrity, journalists and television anchors took to Twitter and the airwaves on Friday night to acknowledge that the media severely misreported Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, as well as what Mueller’s probe was likely to find. They are, after all, true professionals.

“How could they let Trump off the hook?” an inconsolable Chris Matthews asked NBC reporter Ken Dilanian during a segment on CNN’s ‘Hardball’.

Dilanian tried to comfort the CNN host with some of his signature NBC punditry.

“My only conclusion is that the president transmitted to Mueller that he would take the Fifth. He would never talk to him and therefore, Mueller decided it wasn’t worth the subpoena fight,” he expertly mused.

Actually, there were several Serious Journalists who used their unsurpassed analytical abilities to conjure up a reason why Mueller didn’t throw the book at Trump, even though the president is clearly a Putin puppet.

“It’s certainly possible that Trump may emerge from this better than many anticipated. However! Consensus has been that Mueller would follow DOJ rules and not indict a sitting president. I.e. it’s also possible his report could be very bad for Trump, despite ‘no more indictments,'” concluded Mark Follman, national affairs editor at Mother Jones, who presumably, and very sadly, was not being facetious.

Revered news organs were quick to artfully modify their expectations regarding Mueller’s findings.

“What is collusion and why is Robert Mueller unlikely to mention it in his report on Trump and Russia?” a Newsweek headline asked following Friday’s tragic announcement.

Three months earlier, Newsweek had meticulously documented all the terrible “collusion” committed by Donald Trump and his inner circle.

But perhaps the most sobering reactions to the no-indictment news came from those who seemed completely unfazed by the fact that Mueller’s investigation, aimed at uncovering a criminal conspiracy between Trump and the Kremlin, ended without digging up a single case of “collusion.”

The denials, evasions and bizarre hot takes are made even more poignant by the fact that just days ago, there was still serious talk about Trump’s entire family being hauled off to prison.

“You can’t blame MSNBC viewers for being confused. They largely kept dissenters from their Trump/Russia spy tale off the air for 2 years. As recently as 2 weeks ago, they had @JohnBrennan strongly suggesting Mueller would indict Trump family members on collusion as his last act,” journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted.

While the Mueller report has yet to be released to the public, the lack of indictments makes it clear that whatever was found, nothing came close to the vast criminal conspiracy alleged by virtually the entire American media establishment.

“You have been lied to for 2 years by the MSM. No Russian collusion by Trump or anyone else. Who lied? Head of the CIA, NSA,FBI,DOJ, every pundit every anchor. All lies,” wrote conservative activist Chuck Woolery.

Internet mogul Kim Dotcom was more blunt, but said it all: “Mueller – The name that ended all mainstream media credibility.”

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Canadian Lawmaker Accuses Trudeau Of Being A “Fake Feminist” (Video)

Rempel segued to Trudeau’s push to quash an investigation into allegations that he once groped a young journalist early in his political career

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Via Zerohedge

Canada’s feminist-in-chief Justin Trudeau wants to support and empower women…but his support stops at the point where said women start creating problems for his political agenda.

That was the criticism levied against the prime minister on Friday by a conservative lawmaker, who took the PM to task for “muzzling strong, principled women” during a debate in the House of Commons.

“He asked for strong women, and this is what they look like!” said conservative MP Michelle Rempel, referring to the former justice minister and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould, who has accused Trudeau and his cronies of pushing her out of the cabinet after she refused to grant a deferred prosecution agreement to a Quebec-based engineering firm.

She then accused Trudeau of being a “fake feminist”.

“That’s not what a feminist looks like…Every day that he refuses to allow the attorney general to testify and tell her story is another day he’s a fake feminist!”

Trudeau was so taken aback by Rempel’s tirade, that he apparently forgot which language he should respond in.

But Rempel wasn’t finished. She then segued to Trudeau’s push to quash an investigation into allegations that he once groped a young journalist early in his political career. This from a man who once objected to the continued use of the word “mankind” (suggesting we use “peoplekind” instead).

The conservative opposition then tried to summon Wilson-Raybould to appear before the Commons for another hearing (during her last appearance, she shared her account of how the PM and employees in the PM’s office and privy council barraged her with demands that she quash the government’s pursuit of SNC-Lavalin over charges that the firm bribed Libyan government officials). Wilson-Raybould left the Trudeau cabinet after she was abruptly moved to a different ministerial post – a move that was widely seen as a demotion.

Trudeau has acknowledged that he put in a good word on the firm’s behalf with Wilson-Raybould, but insists that he always maintained the final decision on the case was hers and hers alone.

Fortunately for Canadians who agree with Rempel, it’s very possible that Trudeau – who has so far resisted calls to resign – won’t be in power much longer, as the scandal has cost Trudeau’s liberals the lead in the polls for the October election.

 

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