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The West Is in Disarray, and It Will Only Get Worse

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Written by Federico Pieraccini; Originally appeared on strategic-culture.org

We are witnessing the withdrawal from Syria of the American military contingent, protests in France, the prospect of a British hard Brexit, the political decline of Angela Merkel in Germany, Netanyahu in crisis, and Mohammad bin Salman of Saudi Arabia suddenly becoming an international pariah. The contemporary crisis of leadership in Europe, the United States and among their main allies has thrown the West into chaos, leading it to one of its most critical junctures in recent decades. It is a situation brought on by the United States and its contradictory politics, which results in diminishing the sovereignty and decision-making power of Washington’s allies.

Well before the election of Donald Trump, European Union leaders Merkel, Cameron and Hollande were already faltering and evidencing signs of failure.

Hollande fell in the polls because of policies favoring the interests of the elites at the expense of the increasingly poor and indebted French population. Cameron, to stave off a Labour victory under Jeremy Corbyn, promised a vote on Brexit, a decision that would eventually end up costing him his political career. Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party, the undisputed master of the German political scene, suffered for the first time in fifteen years heavy electoral defeats stemming from recent migration policies. The Chancellor, harshly criticized for these results, resigned from the position of president of the party, leaving the CDU split into two factions. The situation worsened in the UK and France over the next twelve months, with Cameron resigning following the Brexit vote and Hollande forced to give up on the the idea of ​​running for reelection given his unpopularity.

Theresa May and Emmanuel Macron then replaced Cameron and Hollande. Macron immediately committed to revolutionizing French politics, promising a French renaissance. May (with a view to sabotaging it) promised to negotiate vigorously with the EU to obtain the best possible conditions for the UK’s Brexit, scheduled for March 2019. Both have acted contrary to their promises, sealing their political fates.

Meanwhile in the United States there has been strong jostling between the political-financial-war elites for the dominance of Trump’s foreign policy. The President, either out of inexperience, ineptitude or intentionally, soon succumbed to the foreign-policy establishment, with its usual offerings of neoliberalism and brutal imperialism. Trump’s weaponized use of the dollar thereby ended up in an unintended blue-on-blue attack, with Trump’s money bags, Saudi Arabia and Israel, receiving some friendly fire in addition to the intended targets, Iran, Russia and China. An understanding between Trump and the foreign-policy establishment has therefore been reached, sealed with the appointments of Bolton and Pompeo, establishing a modus vivendi between competing interests.

This dogma of neoliberalism and brutal imperialism espoused by the foreign-policy establishment is at the heart of the problems between the United States and the rest of the world, Europe especially, only serving to accelerate the transition to a multipolar world order, about which I wrote the day after Trump’s victory. Neoliberalism and American exceptionalism are now entrenched in an “America First” policy, combining the worst elements of US imperialism and the interests of the financier oligarchy.

Washington’s adoption of aggressive economic policies, aimed at draining resources from allies while simultaneously isolating its enemies, has further accentuated the differences between Europe and the US. The use of tariffs and customs duties, combined with sanctions against Moscow and Tehran, have ended up distancing Macron from Trump, placing the French president firmly in the liberal-globalist camp, standing shoulder to shoulder with Merkel. May is isolated, criticized by virtually everyone — Brussels, Trump, Merkel — and especially by Corbyn in Parliament.

May finds herself managing a situation beyond her, with a total failure of the British negotiating position with the EU. The closer we get to March 29, the more the British media like the BBC will holler about the catastrophe of a no-deal Brexit, the prospect of which is very likely given that May has done everything possible to sabotage the negotiation process with the EU. The aim is to convince the population that it is not only legitimate but above all else necessary to revoke the request for implementation of Article 50 of the EU in order to avoid the catastrophe of a hard Brexit. It is a perfect example of how the elite create a problem (intentionally failing the negotiations for Brexit) to justify acting in a certain direction, contrary to what the population has voted for.

Macron, in addition to a repeated series of internal political disasters, further demonstrated his abiding fidelity to the financier globalist elites by conceiving a new tax on petrol in the interests of greater environmental sustainability, a heedless provocation to the French people, already weighed down by taxes and an incommensurate lack of government services. This move was enough to unleash major protests in France, the biggest in over twenty years, which will not stop until the resignation of the puppet Macron.

In Germany, Angela Merkel’s migrant policies over the last few years have ended up consuming her credit in terms of popularity. She was recently replaced by her protégé, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, as head of the CDU. Merkel has already affirmed that she will withdraw from political life at the end of her term as chancellor. With Merkel as with May and Macron, dancing to the tune of the globalist elites ends up being politically costly.

What has fueled the erosion of the political consensus amongst European leaders has much to do with their countries bearing the costs of being mere executors of US interests. The ripping up of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran created significant frictions between Washington and EU countries. The sanctions on Russia, the tariffs on the European countries and the trade war with Beijing have done the rest, pushing Macron, and even May, to positions directly in opposition to Donald Trump, the latter increasingly attempting a rapprochement with Angela Merkel as her position progressively worsens. May, Macron and Merkel are hanging on by a thinning thread. The attempt to divert attention to other countries like Russia, in the case of the British (the Skripal affair), or Syria, in the case of the French (bombing the country), only widens the rift between Europeans and the likes of Russia and Iran, hurting EU companies and workers in the process.

The risk is that the precarious situation in which European leaders find themselves could lead them into an open provocation against Iran or Russia in Syria (a false-flag chemical attack in Idlib?) or in Ukraine (a false-flag attack in Mariupol?). This is a very real danger. The elites in Kiev seem to be willing to offer their country as a staging area from which to launch a final provocation against Moscow. Yet neither Merkel, May nor Macron seem to be particularly attracted to the prospect of turning Europe into a pile of rubble just to please the Euro-American financial and military elites. Besides, none of them (fortunately) has the political capital that would allow them to engage in such demented moves.

In this generalized chaos characterizing the West, Trump has perhaps made the first sensible move of his presidency in announcing the withdrawal of American troops from Syria, in the face of howls of protests from the globalist imperialists. Washington is being ushered out of the Middle East as a result of its repeated failures. Moscow is the new destination for all negotiations concerning the Middle East and beyond. Saudi Arabia, Israel, Qatar and Turkey seem to have already got the message, with various levels of negotiations launched directly or indirectly with Moscow to salvage the little influence still held in Syria by Doha, Tel Aviv and Riyadh. The case is a little different with Ankara, which, through Idlib, still maintains some influence in Syria.

Meanwhile, the US Congress has voted to condemn Saudi actions in Yemen and withdraw US support for Riyadh’s war effort. This is motivated less by a concern for the plight of Yemeni civilians, suffering under the onslaught of American-supplied bombs, than it is by the desire by the deep state to further lay into Trump by undermining his ally Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), who has been pronounced anathema by the Euro-American political and financial elites.

In Israel, Netanyahu finds himself in tricky situation, with his wife being investigated for corruption and his majority in government becoming increasingly precarious. Israel’s recent capitulation in Gaza, that precipitated the resignation of Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, together with the recent incident with the Russians in Syria as well as the unrealistic prospect of a war with Hezbollah, has reduced Bibi to a joke within Israel. His time is almost up.

As if the situation for Western leaders were not compromised enough, their few joint actions are decided in Washington and aimed at antagonizing China, Russia and Iran. After 24 months of the Trump presidency, European countries have ended up giving up even whatever little semblance of autonomy and sovereignty they retained. Trump demands absolute loyalty, without giving anything in return.

Blind obedience to a neoliberal globalist ideology, combined with Trump’s damage to friends and enemies alike, has led to European leaders and Middle Eastern allies finding themselves in a precarious situation that risks throwing Europe into chaos in the coming years or even months, with a financial debt crisis also looming more than ever.

Macron, May, Merkel, Netanyahu and MBS will continue to offer resistance and try to hang on; but the writing is evidently on the wall.

We close, ironically by throwing back at the Western imperialists, like a boomerang, the mantra that they frequently levelled at the likes of Bashar al Assad: May, Merkel, Macron, MBS and Netanyahu must go!

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1691

… plus the deep state sponsors.

Barba_Papa

>>Cameron, to stave off a Labour victory under Jeremy Corbyn, promised a
vote on Brexit, a decision that would eventually end up costing him his
political career.<<

Actually Cameron had crushed Labour in the elections and won, not even needing the Liberals any more to govern. The Brexit vote was not to placate the British electorate, but the Eurosceptic minority in his own Conservative party. While he had won a majority, it was not a huge majority like Tony Blair used to have. Which was so big, in the hundreds, not even the Labour rebels over the Iraq war could deny him his majority vote. Cameron knew what had happened to John Major in the 90's. Major started well with a similar small majority of only a few dozen MP's, but got increasingly held ransom by his own Eurosceptic rebels in parliament. They weren't that many but enough to deny him his small majority and as a result Major's turn in Downing Street got wrecked with infighting to such a degree that the British electorate became sick to death of the Conservatives and voted in Tony Blair in 1997. Three times Blair won the elections, and three times the Conservatives tried to present themselves as responsible and presentable again, to show that they had cleaned up their Eurosceptic act. In vain. The 4th time Labour finally lost, but the Conservatives didn't won either, causing a hung parliament. When Cameron finally won an election it was again with a small majority, and again the Eurosceptic minority reared its ugly head again. In order to shut them up once and for all Cameron called for the Brexit referendum, hoping that he would win and once and for all finally shut the Eurosceptics up. The joke however was on him and the No vote won. May took over and tried to increase her majority in parliament so she was no longer dependent on the support of Eurosceptic MP's, and the joke was on her again. She lost her majority and had to enter into coalition government again.

The whole Brexit debate and referendum and handling was solely driven by internal Conservative party dynamics and politics. It had nothing to do with Corbyn or Labour.

verner

lately we’ve witnessed two seriously democratic situations in the true meaning of the word – both in england and both by cameron. the first was to allow the scottish to vote for independence from great britain and the second was the british people’s vote on staying or leaving a rather dysfunctional european union. whatever the reason behind camerons political moves they stand out as shining examples of democracy at work and around europe (and the moronic state) they should be ashamed that they (the eu and the remainers and others in the wings) so frenetically tries to scuttle the proceedings. when things have settled down and brexit is soundly and safely landed, the authorities in england should start to see who an be brought to court on charges of high treason or ditto charges.

the most amazing thing is that the european union could not honour the decision by the british people, rather the contrary. they’ve tried to sabotage the divorce every inch of the way and used every trick in the book and has been helped by the remainers in parliament (and soild war criminals like blair) also sabotaging the divorce proceeding. this has been very shameful and evidences what little respect there is for democratic decisions when they go the ‘wrong’ way.

think the netherlands and two referendas.

Barba_Papa

I remember the Scottish referendum and I also remember that Cameron wasn’t that enthusiastic about that either. You think if the Scottish referendum had gone yes he would have offered the Scots a generous goodbye deal or that he would have turned on the screws to make it as hard as possible. Because as the PM of the UK it is not his job to facilitate the breakup of the UK on the one hand and on the other to come up with the best possible deal for what would have remained of the UK, not Scotland.

The Brits whining about how the EU is trying to sabotage Brexit are forgetting it is like a divorce, and in a divorce lawyers of both sides are obligated to reach the best possible deal for their client, not the other side. It is in the best interest of the EU to screw the UK over in these divorce proceedings and gain the best possible deal for the EU. If that deal is unfair to you, in the UK, as I assume you are, maybe you should look to your own negotiators as not having done their part of the process. Just like the spouse who gets screwed over in a divorce should take a good look at their own lawyer.

Also I find it strange that such an important decision as leaving the EU, which involves a fundamental change in your governmental system, gets left to a referendum of the general public and to a simple majority. In this case just 52%, which is hardly decisive. In most countries such radical changes to the governmental system are only carried out by a 2/3rd majority, or even 3/4rs majority. These are safeguards built into the system to prevent demagogues with a simple majority to fundamentally change the system in their favor. As is happening in Turkey. Maybe if 66% of the British voters had voted to leave that would have sent a strong signal to Brussels, and dashed the hopes of the Remainers. Now neither has happened, but showcasing what a divided nation the UK has become. Which is hardly any good for your negotiation position. If anything this whole Brexit disaster shows how bad direct democracy is and why its had such a bad reputation ever since Classical Athens.

verner

switzerland is the best example of direct democracy and it is probably the most successful country in europe today and it’s not part of the eu (and neither is norway, also a successful country outside the eu) and the reason for its success is actually the direct democracy since the central government can’t and won’t take decisions that can and will be challenged. the dd therefore serves as a temperance on otherwise far too power tripped central governments that are unlikely to refer issues to the great unwashed and uninformed public (which in this day and time, what with internet and 24 hours telly coverage, is a view that is faulty to a degree)

uk joined the eec on heath’s say so, without a referendum (albeit followed by one a couple of years later, by which time it was a done deal) so the decision to allow the brits to vote about leaving in a referendum, simple majority, was a qualitative improvement whichever way you look at it. to complain about percentages after the fact is just plain whining and a sore loser’s attitude.

in fact, european countries would be better off with more direct democracy but it is not likely to happen since the central governments are far too happy with the power today’s diluted democracy offer them. and as is well known, the eu abhors referendums and have solved this dislike with immediate second referendums which has allowed brussels to throw more money onto the eu-side of the issue.

it is about time that a thorough evaluation of the union’s say 50 last years and whether or not it has been beneficial for the public, since it is more and more obvious that brussels has a life of its own which may not be in the best interest of its members. cameron saw this and tried to change the balance of power primarily vis a vis uk, but the eu would have nothing of the sort, which would indicate that brussels is happy with the powers given to them or taken by them and it will not yield one inch. and that is why the union should be evaluated before it’s too late.

another reason why cameron did what he did is that he saw how germany became the primary force in the union (with france tagging along like an obedient schoolboy) and that did not suit cameron’s view that uk shouldn’t be second fiddle in any kind of circumstance and thus it suited him to put the matter to the public and there you are – with a group of people and the union trying to sabotage the will of the people any way they can. how does that rhyme with the concept of democracy? nah treason charges should be next after the completed exit in march 2019!

uk will be better off without the self-centered interests of brussels!

Barba_Papa

>>switzerland is the best example of direct democracy and it is probably the most successful country in europe today and it’s not part of the eu (and neither is norway, also a successful country outside the eu) and the reason for its success is actually the direct democracy since the central government can’t and won’t take decisions that can and will be challenged. the dd therefore serves as a temperance on otherwise far too power tripped central governments that are unlikely to refer issues to the great unwashed and uninformed public (which in this day and time, what with internet and 24 hours telly coverage, is a view that is faulty to a degree)<> uk joined the eec on heath’s say so, without a referendum (albeit followed by one a couple of years later, by which time it was a done deal) so the decision to allow the brits to vote about leaving in a referendum, simple majority, was a qualitative improvement whichever way you look at it. to complain about percentages after the fact is just plain whining and a sore loser’s attitude.<>in fact, european countries would be better off with more direct democracy but it is not likely to happen since the central governments are far too happy with the power today’s diluted democracy offer them. and as is well known, the eu abhors referendums and have solved this dislike with immediate second referendums which has allowed brussels to throw more money onto the eu-side of the issue.<>it is about time that a thorough evaluation of the union’s say 50 last years and whether or not it has been beneficial for the public, since it is more and more obvious that brussels has a life of its own which may not be in the best interest of its members. cameron saw this and tried to change the balance of power primarily vis a vis uk, but the eu would have nothing of the sort, which would indicate that brussels is happy with the powers given to them or taken by them and it will not yield one inch. and that is why the union should be evaluated before it’s too late.<>another reason why cameron did what he did is that he saw how germany became the primary force in the union (with france tagging along like an obedient schoolboy) and that did not suit cameron’s view that uk shouldn’t be second fiddle in any kind of circumstance and thus it suited him to put the matter to the public and there you are – with a group of people and the union trying to sabotage the will of the people any way they can. how does that rhyme with the concept of democracy?
nah treason charges should be next after the completed exit in march 2019!<>uk will be better off without the self-centered interests of brussels!<<

Of course, have fun now being directly at the mercy of Washington and Big Capital. Have fun becoming the 51’st State.

verner

dream on, trump is taking the moronic state back to a state of isolationism (if he’s allowed to live) and the world will live in eternal bliss thereafter. but I suppose you won’t go for that so ‘lets agree to disagree’ as boris the animal so succinctly puts it.

and finally, as switzerland is such a success, it should serve as a beacon for all other european nations and not be sidelined as a minor inconvenience since it’s only about half of london’s population. and your view on the average state of uk’s population is too pessimistic. you should try the population of the moronic states and you will have your fill of where dumb is the new praise.

Barba_Papa

You can’t go for the amical opt out by saying lets agree to disagree and then still proceed to hurl insults. That kind of defeats the whole amical thing.

We don’t know where Trump will take the US, as nobody seems to know what he wants, not even he himself. If there is a master plan to lessen America’s military interventions in the world it seems to be offset by the increased use of economic intervention. Which I reckon as a businessman seems to be Trump’s preferred weapon of choice anyway.

As for Switzerland, two things, Europe should become a nation of bankers who made a fortune by facilitating the wealth transfer of cruel dictators from their oppressed population to their Swiss bank accounts? And having bankrolled and facilitating every evil empire that made it to Switzerland’s borders? And secondly, what may have worked for the Swiss may not work as well for others.

I like the EU. I like that I can hop across the border with no border checks and that I don’t have to enrich a bank by having to change currency. Since the Euro came the times that I still had to change currency I could probably count on the fingers of one hand. Loving that! I love that the EU as a whole is less vulnerable to economic instabilities and the trade practices of the US and China. I doubt that the Netherlands would get as good a trade deal of either on its own as the EU can for the whole. There is strength in numbers and while you celebrate the nation state, remember that there was once a time when people only thought locally, and viewed nation states with the same suspicion as they do the EU now. Most of the history of modern nation states was spent trying to do the exact same thing as the EU does now, from competing cities with selfgoverning rules and feudal entities. The Netherlands may have existed as a state since the late 16th century, it wasn’t until the French took over and combined the lose federation into an actual centralized state that the Dutch started to think of themselves as Dutch, and not as people from the separate provinces.

I LOVE the EU. But I do agree with you that its not what I want it to be and that the bureaucracy and institutions have become rotten with globalists and lobbyists. I disagree however on the solution. And there I agree to disagree. So have a happy new year and may 2019 bring to you what you need.

FlorianGeyer

This is a well written and perceptive article.

“It is a perfect example of how the elite create a problem (intentionally failing the negotiations for Brexit) to justify acting in a certain direction, contrary to what the population has voted for.”

A question I would ask is ‘ What is the payoff for Theresa May if she thwarts the most democratic vote in UK history ?’
Are there questions to be answered about May and Merkel with them being childhood and young adult intimate friends as seen in photos of them during the 70’s ?

SG

History is a cycle:

comment image

comment image

SG
Feudalism Victory

Tis the winter before the spring…

Tommy Jensen

Come on. Same chaos has been here all the time since year 2000 and even before.
What is new is the planned financial recession upon us, leading the globe into complete slavery called “world peace”.

Carol Davidek-Waller

Don’t confuse disarray with push back and progress.
Getting out of Syria and Afghanistan is what Americans voted for. They don’t want an empire. They want healthcare, education and hope for the future. Netanyahu is a crook and a charlatan. The courts closing in a positive thing. Slow walking Brexit has cost May her career; a good thing.
The EU is an undemocratic organization the needs to be revamped. Any pressure to do so is a positive thing.
Scotland should assert itself. It’s a different culture than Britain. It has always been unhappy under the British thumb.

badgery

” The President, either out of inexperience, ineptitude or intentionally, soon succumbed to the foreign-policy establishment…”

If it’s possible, I choose d) all of the above

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