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Trump to Europe: You’re Vassals and I Don’t Care

The subordinate European governments have also dutifully facilitated American militarism by affording a multilateral pseudo legal cover for Washington’s imperialist wars.

Strategic Culture Foundation

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Via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


“I don’t care about Europe,” declared US President Donald Trump this week during his White House cabinet’s first meeting of the new year.

The American president probably revealed more about the true nature of US-European relations than he intended.

Trump was speaking in the context of American military involvement with Europe, as well as trade and other issues. He was reiterating the tedious mantra that the US is allegedly being “taken advantage of” by European allies by not spending more on their military budgets.

It was the usual rambling, barely articulate fallacy from Trump who portrays the inherent military profligacy of American corporate capitalism not as a destructive vice, but as a supposed virtuous cause of “protection” for allies and the rest of the world. In short, delusional American exceptionalism.

But it was Trump’s bluntly stated contempt for European allies that was notable. In a quip to a question about his reported unpopularity in Europe, the president said he didn’t care what Europeans think. A few seconds later, in a betrayal of his arrant egotistical state of mind, Trump turned around and claimed that he would be popular if he stood in an election in Europe!

Ironically, though, perhaps we should be grateful to Trump for his brash outspokenness. By dissing Europe with such contemptuous disregard, he lays bare the true face of Washington’s relations with the old continent.

Past American presidents have been adept at presenting the transatlantic connection as a putative “strategic partnership” – as most clearly manifested by the US-led NATO military alliance. Trump’s former Defense Secretary James Mattis, who resigned in protest over policies, was of this conventional transatlantic mould. Mattis repeatedly talked up the importance of maintaining strong bonds with allies.

However, decades of transatlantic rhetoric has often served to conceal the real relationship between Washington and Europe. The reality is the Europeans are not partners. They are vassals.

Successive European governments and the European Union have continually permitted their countries to serve as bases for American military forces, including in the past, nuclear weapons pointed at Russia. Those missiles may return to European soil, if the US walks away from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty as it threatens to do under Trump.

The subordinate European governments have also dutifully facilitated American militarism by affording a multilateral pseudo legal cover for Washington’s imperialist wars. For example, European nations sent troops to augment US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq thereby giving criminal genocidal ventures a veneer of legitimacy.

Ironically, in his remarks to his cabinet this week Trump scoffed at European nations for sending “only 100 troops” to Afghanistan and Iraq. He also mentioned Syria, illustrating how rampantly arrogant US criminality is.

So, Trump is berating Europeans for not devoting more of their economic resources to match the American pathological addiction to militarism; for not paying more for US military occupation of European countries; and for not sending more troops to join in American overseas criminal aggressions.

Previous American presidents would be a little more circumspect in disguising Washington’s tyrannical relationship with Europe. But Trump is too self-centered and boorishly transactional in his view. The whole self-indulgent pretense of American chivalry and protection is shredded, albeit unwittingly.

Trump told Europe this week he does not care a jot about the continent and supposed US allies. With such contempt, European nations need to wake up to the reality of charting their own independence from Washington, and in particular pursuing a genuine continental partnership with Russia.

Washington’s arrogance is perhaps most starkly expressed by the Trump administration threatening European states with sanctions if they continue building the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia. Russia is a natural strategic partner for Europe, especially in terms of economical supply of gas and oil fuel.

The issue of energy supply and demand epitomizes so much else about the relation between Europe and Russia, and the US. The latter is something of an imposter and is foisting its selfish interests on others, whether in energy trade or in military affairs. We have also seen this with regard to Trump tearing up the Iran nuclear deal and punishing Europe for upholding that international treaty.

Trump could not have stated the reality of American disregard for European interests any more brazenly. He doesn’t give a fig.

At the end of last year, the European Union voted to renew economic sanctions on Russia for another six months. Those sanctions are based largely on anti-Russian ideological claims made by Washington and its NATO partners over a host of spurious issues, including conflict in Ukraine and the preposterous fantasy of Russia interfering in elections. Again, the vassal position of Europe is revealed by the fact that it is European economies, not the American economy, that have incurred self-defeating damage from the sanctions on Russia.

European governments need to adopt something of Trump’s “America First” policy and begin putting the interests of their people first. Europe must repudiate Washington’s antagonism and militarism towards Russia. Many of the incumbent European governments seem incapable of finding the necessary political will to be independent from Washington. That is partly why there is such a phenomenal rise in popular discontent with the European Union and establishment politicians. The powers-that-be are unresponsive and unrepresentative of popular interests and needs, creating further backlash to the establishment institutions.

Europe needs to stop being a lackey of Washington. After Trump’s blatant contempt this week, Europe has no excuse or justification to continue debasing itself as an American vassal.

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JPHBob ValdezPatricia DolanTheCelotajsRick Oliver Recent comment authors
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Isabella
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Isabella

Europe these days lacks anything in the way of true leadership, true adulthood and true courage. They’ve been vassals of America since the end of WWII [with the honourable exception of de Gaulle’s France], and like a child spoilt, catered to but having to give up everything that makes it a grown up. On realising they are a pawn to Mummy or Daddy, they decide to accept their miserable status to retain the emotional and material goodies they get less and less of. They’re like those in a group who can see something needs doing, but are equally spineless: “you… Read more »

Bob Valdez
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Bob Valdez

Well said, Isabella.

Rick Oliver
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Rick Oliver

Once the Americans are ousted from any connections to Vote Counting in European Elections , is when we might see the political scene become more serious all over Europe !! Then maybe Europe can get back to how things should be , working in cohesion, not against each other .

TheCelotajs
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TheCelotajs

This is because Trump does not run the White House Foreign Policy any longer. Trump’s two War Warmongers and Dogs of War National Security Advisor John R. Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo now do and they call all the shots now especially since they both National Security Advisor John R. Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who hates all Russians and Russian People and all Arabs and just loves to see them all dead. President Trump lost control of the White House and anything to do with Foreign Policy last April 2017 when he first bomb the… Read more »

Bob Valdez
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Bob Valdez

Try $84,000,000.

Patricia Dolan
Guest

Your bias is repugnant.

JPH
Guest
JPH

And finally some of those vassals are running into internal opposition too:
https://international.sp.nl/nieuws/2018/12/state-secrets-have-just-become-less-secret
The Dutch were supplying Non-Lethal-Aid up to Euro 25 million (pickup trucks, uniforms, communication equipment) and financing those White Helmets for 12 million since 2011. The government acting surprised to cover up it most probably knew quite well what it was up to.
Can’t wait till those ‘secret’ Dutch JIT/MH17 documents are disclosed….

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Putin’s State of the Nation Part III – Raising Russians

President Putin’s State of the Nation talk began with the most important element of any society – the family.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Parts I and II of this series outline much of Russia’s “face towards the world” in terms of both economic / trade and military matters. Part III actually comprises the great majority of what President Putin addressed in the Russian State of the Nation Address on Wednesday, 20 February. As he pledged upon his re-election to his fourth presidential term, the 66-year old leader focused primarily on domestic affairs within the Russian Federation.

The whole speech is available at Kremlin.ru, and by following this hyperlink.

We have selected excerpts along the reasoning of illuminating those parts of domestic policy in Russia that reveal why the globalist and secularist elíte in the West are so determined to block Russia’s success as a nation, even to isolate it and destroy it if possible. We will emphasize and comment on various points from the speech.

One of the biggest differences in Russia from the US is the centrality of traditional families, with children. Children are wanted and needed in the Russian Federation, and President Putin started his speech by addressing the matter of raising new Russians:

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Members of the Federation Council, State Duma deputies, citizens of Russia,

Today’s Address is primarily devoted to matters of domestic social and economic development. I would like to focus on the objectives set forth in the May 2018 Executive Order and detailed in the national projects. Their content and the targets they set are a reflection of the demands and expectations of Russia’s citizens. People are at the core of the national projects, which are designed to bring about a new quality of life for all generations. This can only be achieved by generating momentum in Russia’s development…

Therefore, the work of the executive branch at all levels should be coordinated, meaningful and energetic. The Government of Russia must set the tone.

At the same time, I would like to emphasise and repeat: our development projects are not federal and even less so agency-based. They are national. Their results must be visible in each region of the Federation, in every municipality. It is here, on the ground, that the majority of specific tasks is implemented.

Here, President Putin seems to be alluding to the importance of nation. While Russia has a much more openly socialist style government than the US does, it is nonetheless also much more efficient in its work in many ways. Communism failed, but it did teach some lessons about how to do a lot of work with few resources. There is a reason the largest nation on earth does not have to go into huge debt year after year.

Let me now share some specifics on our objectives. I will begin with the key objective of , which means providing all-around support to families.

Family, childbirth, procreation and respect for the elderly have always served as a powerful moral framework for Russia and its multi-ethnic people. We have been doing everything in our power to strengthen family values and are committed to doing so in the future. In fact, our future is at stake. This is a task shared by the state, civil society, religious organisations, political parties and the media.

This, while states in the US are trying to pass radical abortion laws to even be able to kill babies who survive abortions.

Russia has entered an extremely challenging period in terms of demographics. As you know, the birth rate is declining…

We succeeded in overcoming the negative demographic trends in the early 2000s, when our country faced extreme challenges. This seemed to be an impossible challenge at the time. Nevertheless, we succeeded, and I strongly believe that we can do it again by returning to natural population growth by late 2023 – early 2024.

Today, I wanted to talk about a new package of measures that has already been prepared to support families.

First: It is important that having children and bringing them up do not put families at the risk of poverty or undermine their wellbeing. As you know, we have already provided for the payment of subsidies for the first two children until they reach 18 months…

Starting January 1, 2020, I propose raising the bar to two subsistence wages per family member. This is what people have requested and these requests come directly into the Executive Office. This measure will increase the number of families entitled to additional benefits by almost 50 percent. Some 70 percent of families with one or two children will be able to benefit from help from the Government.

Second: At present, carers looking after children with disabilities and people disabled since childhood receive an allowance of only 5,500 rubles. I suggest increasing this to 10,000 rubles, starting July 1. Of course, I understand that it is still a small amount. However, it will be an additional measure of support for families with a child who needs special care.

Third: The income of Russian families must, of course, increase. This is a serious task that requires a comprehensive solution. I will speak about this in greater detail later. But we need direct measures. First of all, the tax burden on families needs to be relieved. The approach should be very simple: the more children there are, the lower the tax. I propose increasing federal tax relief on real estate for families with many children. I also propose lifting taxes on 5 square metres in a flat and 7 square metres in a house per each child…

Fourth: The Government and the Central Bank need to consistently maintain the policy to lower mortgage rates to 9 percent, and then to 8 percent or below, as stipulated in the May 2018 Executive Order. At the same time, special measures of support should be provided for families with children, of course… A family making a decision to buy housing certainly makes plans for a long or at least medium term, a lasting investment. But with this [present] programm, they take out a loan, start paying the installments, and the grace period ends. The interest is actually subsidized only for the first 3 or 5 years. I propose extending the benefit for the entire term of the mortgage loan.

Yes, of course, it will require additional funding, and the cost will be rather high: 7.6 billion rubles in 2019, 21.7 billion rubles in 2020, and 30.6 billion rubles in 2021. But the programme is estimated to reach as many as 600,000 families. We certainly need to find the money. We know where to get it. We have it, and we just need to use it in the areas that are of major importance to us.

And one more direct action solution. Considering the sustainability and stability of the macroeconomic situation in the country and the growth of the state’s revenues, I consider it possible to introduce another measure of support for families having a third and subsequent children. I suggest paying 450,000 rubles directly from the federal budget to cover this sum from their mortgage. Importantly, I propose backdating this payment starting January 1, 2019, recalculating it and allocating relevant sums in this year’s budget.

Let us see what we have. If we add this sum to the maternity capital, which can also be used for mortgage payments, we will get over 900,000 rubles. In many regions, this is a substantial part of the cost of a flat. I would like to draw the attention of the Government and the State Duma to this issue. If need be, the budget will have to be adjusted accordingly. An additional 26.2 billion rubles will be required for this in 2019. The relevant figures for 2020 and 2021 are 28.6 billion rubles and 30.1 billion rubles, respectively. These are huge funds but they should be allocated and used in what I have already described as a very important area.

There is a great deal more detail on the notion of various tax breaks for families with children. It is worth a read, and it is also worth noting the very clear language set forth here. It appears rather refreshing to hear these ideas laid out in such a blunt fashion.

 

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Pressure mounts on Theresa May to agree to 3 month Brexit extension (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 181.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a look at how the EU, in coordination with forces inside the British Parliament, are pushing for Theresa May to agree to a three month “Brexit day” extension.

According to a Bloomberg, Theresa May must resign as British prime minister and Conservative leader later this year after delivering Brexit, according to politicians at the highest levels of her own government.  May has promised her party she will stand down before the next general election, slated for 2022, but she’s likely to face pressure to go within the next three months. Once the U.K. is out of the European Union, and local district elections on May 2 are over, the premier will have no reason to stay in office, one senior minister said, speaking privately. Britain is scheduled to leave the bloc on March 29.

A person familiar with another minister’s views agreed with the timescale, arguing that the prime minister should leave in the summer, so a new leader can be in place in time for the party’s annual conference in October. A third senior member of May’s administration pointed out that Tories had no way of formally seeking to remove May before December under the party’s internal leadership rules. May will never voluntarily resign, despite her previous pledge, the person said.

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Via Zerohedge

Theresa May once again failed to extract concessions from the EU27 on Wednesday after yet another meeting with Juncker (surprise, surprise) as the Continent refuses to budge on May’s demands for “legally binding changes” to the deal – specifically to the troublesome Irish backstop, which many Brexiteers fear could result in the UK being reduced to a “vassal state” of the EU by becoming interminably trapped in the customs union, with zero say over its rules. Talks between Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay and EU27 chief negotiator Michel Barnier on Thursday were similarly inconclusive.

And with only 36 days left until “Brexit Day”, it’s becoming increasingly clear that May will need to ask her EU colleagues for an extension to the two-year negotiating period, something that would cut against her commitment to take the UK out of the EU “as scheduled”, though she has never explicitly ruled it out. According to Bloombergthe EU expects May to request a 3-month “technical extension,” which would be the first, and hopefully only, delay, (because anything further would ratchet up the pressure for the UK to participate in the upcoming European Parliament elections…an unnecessary complication).

Still, without meaningful concessions on the backstop, it’s difficult to see a way forward. Rebellious Tories and the “Independent Group” have so far focused their efforts on securing a legally-binding commitment to take a “no-deal” exit off the table. And with the deadline unlikely to be extended past this point, if a deal isn’t reached during the March 21-22 UK-EU summit, he way forward will appear impossibly vague.

But with dozens of Tories reportedly ready to rebel unless the PM offers concrete reassurances that ‘no deal’ isn’t an option, and that rebellion will likely take the form of support for an amendment tabled by former minister Sir Oliver Letwin and Labour’s Yvette Cooper to give Parliament the power to delay Brexit Day if no deal is reached by mid-March.

Meanwhile, thanks to the latest round of defections, the “Independent Group” has become the fourth-largest party in Parliament.

But all of these threats likely won’t take on real significance until the March summit with the EU, thanks to the Continent’s reputation for holding out until the last minute. Meanwhile, MPs have told the media that a vote on May’s Brexit “Plan B” deal – which had been set for next week – is unlikely.

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Trump’s Syria military pullout, not under John Bolton’s watch (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 89.

Alex Christoforou

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RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou take a quick look at the announcement from the Trump White House that the United States has decided to station a ‘peacekeeping group’ of roughly 200 US soldiers in Syria for a ‘period of time’ after the much hyped withdrawal.

Once again we see that once the US enters a country for a regime change mission, it becomes nearly impossible to fully disengage, ultimately leaving America in the role of invader and occupier, for an indefinite amount of time.

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Via RT…

Despite President Donald Trump’s promises to withdraw American troops out of Syria, the US intends to maintain presence on the ground with a “small peacekeeping group” for an unspecified “period” of time, the White House said.

“A small peacekeeping group of about 200 will remain in Syria for a period of time,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement without elaborating.

Trump took the world by surprise back in December, when he announced the US withdrawal from Syria without specifying a timetable. The initiative was not well received in the Pentagon, even forcing Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to resign after clashing with Trump, as both the generals and politicians have been claiming that US presence in Syria is vital and that Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorist group would inevitably reemerge if all of some 2,000 Americans leave.

The US withdrawal is being stalled by concerns about potential Turkish incursion into the territories currently controlled by the US-backed Syrian Kurds. On Thursday, Trump had another phone call with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the issue. Washington wants Turkey to agree to a buffer ‘safe zone’ in northeastern Syria and is also contemplating arming the Syrian Kurds, despite Ankara’s strong opposition.

While the US continues its diplomatic maneuvering, some noted the irony, wondering if the White House was using the term ‘peacekeeping’ correctly or was even aware of what it actually means. Others questioned the logic and the motive of maintaining such a contingent on the ground, noting that 200 troops could serve as a human shield, but is unlikely to really sway the outcome of the conflict.

Traditionally, the term peacekeeping has been used to describe the UN Blue Helmets whose missions are strictly mandated by the Security Council. American troops, however, hardly have any legal basis to remain in Syria, as they had never been invited by the official government in Damascus.

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