Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 07, 2015

A Europe-U.S. Divorce Over Ukraine

The German government finally wakes up, a little bit at least, and recognizes the obvious fact that U.S. neocons want to drag Europe into a war. It is now openly blaming certain circles within the U.S. government and NATO of sabotaging the Minsk ceasefire agreement. Especially offensive is the fantasy talk of U.S. and NATO commander General Breedlove::

For months, Breedlove has been commenting on Russian activities in eastern Ukraine, speaking of troop advances on the border, the amassing of munitions and alleged columns of Russian tanks. Over and over again, Breedlove's numbers have been significantly higher than those in the possession of America's NATO allies in Europe. As such, he is playing directly into the hands of the hardliners in the US Congress and in NATO.

The German government is alarmed. Are the Americans trying to thwart European efforts at mediation led by Chancellor Angela Merkel? Sources in the Chancellery have referred to Breedlove's comments as "dangerous propaganda." Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier even found it necessary recently to bring up Breedlove's comments with NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg.

But Breedlove hasn't been the only source of friction. Europeans have also begun to see others as hindrances in their search for a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine conflict. First and foremost among them is Victoria Nuland, head of European affairs at the US State Department. She and others would like to see Washington deliver arms to Ukraine and are supported by Congressional Republicans as well as many powerful Democrats.

Indeed, US President Barack Obama seems almost isolated. He has thrown his support behind Merkel's diplomatic efforts for the time being, but he has also done little to quiet those who would seek to increase tensions with Russia and deliver weapons to Ukraine. Sources in Washington say that Breedlove's bellicose comments are first cleared with the White House and the Pentagon. The general, they say, has the role of the "super hawk," whose role is that of increasing the pressure on America's more reserved trans-Atlantic partners.

The U.S., including Obama, wants to strengthen the U.S. run NATO and thereby its influence in Europe. And Europe, by losing business with Russia and risking war, is supposed to pay for it.

The German public, despite tons of transatlantic propaganda, has well understood the game and the government can not escape that fact. It has to come back to some decent course and if that means trouble with Washington so be it. The foreign ministers of Germany, France and the U.S. are currently meeting in Paris and Secretary of State Kerry will not like what he will hear:

In Berlin, top politicians have always considered a common position vis-a-vis Russia as a necessary prerequisite for success in peace efforts. For the time being, that common front is still holding, but the dispute is a fundamental one -- and hinges on the question of whether diplomacy can be successful without the threat of military action. Additionally, the trans-Atlantic partners also have differing goals. Whereas the aim of the Franco-German initiative is to stabilize the situation in Ukraine, it is Russia that concerns hawks within the US administration. They want to drive back Moscow's influence in the region and destabilize Putin's power. For them, the dream outcome would be regime change in Moscow.

Europe has no interest in regime change in Russia. The result would likely be a much worse government and leader then the largely liberal Putin.

The U.S., the empire of chaos, does not care what happens after a regime change. In the view of U.S. politicians trouble and unrest in the "rest of the world" can only better the (relative) position of the United States. If production capabilities in Europe get destroyed through war the U.S. could revive its export industries.

It seems that at least some European leaders now understand that they got played by Washington and they are pushing back. A Eurasian economic sphere is in Europe's interest. Will Obama accept their view and turn off the hawks or will he escalate and risk the alliance with Europe? A first sign looks positive. The U.S. called off, on short notice, a plan to train Ukrainian National Guard (i.e. Nazi) forces:

[O]n Friday, a spokesman for US forces in Europe, confirmed the delay in a statement and said: "The US government would like to see the Minsk agreement fulfilled."

"The training mission is currently on hold but Army Europe is prepared to carry out the mission if and when our government decides to move forward," the statement said.

Some Europeans, like the writers in the piece above, still see Obama as a reluctant warrior pushed to war by the hawks in his own government and the Republicans in Congress. But the surge in Afghanistan, the destruction of Libya, the war on Syria and the trouble in Ukraine have all been run by the same propaganda scheme: Obama does not want war, gets pushed and then reluctantly agrees to it. It is a false view. The buck stops at his desk and Nuland as well as General Breedlove and other official hawks concerned about their precious bodily fluids are under Obama's direct command. He can make them shut up or get them fired with a simple 30 second phone call. As he does not do so it is clear that he wants them to talk exactly as they do talk. Obama is the one driving the neocon lane.

The Europeans should finally get this and distance themselves from that destructive path.

Posted by b on March 7, 2015 at 01:09 PM | Permalink

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Great analysis b.
Loved this bit...

The general, they say, has the role of the "super hawk," whose role is that of increasing the pressure on America's more reserved trans-Atlantic partners.

It's rather insulting to the EU that the dumbass, gutless, Yankees would appoint a war-mongering chicken-hawk called Breedlove to lecture them about The Importance Of Being Ernest - about hating Putin.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 7, 2015 2:05:22 PM | 1

"the dispute is a fundamental one -- and hinges on the question of whether diplomacy can be successful without the threat of military action."

Insisting that the "threat of military action" always be present during the practice of international diplomacy is a fundamental repudiation of international law as proscribed by the United Nations at the end of WW2. In the current Orwellian situation, the foreign policy hawks (in particularly the Anglo 5 Eyes countries) articulate policy informed by this repudiation while on the other hand insisting that they are motivated by upholding mid-century international law. Here is John Boehner speaking for a bi-partisan Congressional committee quoted today in the Washington Times:

“It is even more than simply a component of a revisionist Russian strategy to redraw international borders and impose its will on its neighbors,it is a grotesque violation of international law, a challenge to the west and an assault on the international order established at such great cost in the wake of World War II.”

Posted by: jayc | Mar 7, 2015 2:47:21 PM | 2

When this crisis in Ukraine first broke out last year it made no sense at all for Obama to have let Nuland carry on as she was doing. He could have defused the whole thing simply by firing Nuland or I thought. However, his actions over the past year seem to show that this was his policy as b says here.

It is hard to understand why He and Kerry have pursued this policy. For sure, as was predictable one year ago it has turned their widely touted 'pivot to asia' into irrelevancy. It has directly forced China and Russia into a stronger alliance. Those are some big prices to pay for our provocations against Russia.

So why did we do it? I will guess. Putin's 2010 speech proposing a common economic union from Vladivostok to Lisbon must have been seen as a very serious threat by some powerful forces in the US. Fear of losing or at least lessening US hegemony over Europe was probably a major factor in deciding to 'pivot back to Europe'. Our influence there must have seemed much more important than Asia or even the ME. Ukraine provided an opportunity to drive a wedge between Russia and Europe or so US power brokers thought. As a secondary reason, at least one that brought the US military on board with the new policy, is that a new cold war with Russia provided an opportunity to reinvigorate NATO, that has always been a favorite play thing the army and airforce. After the collapse of the Soviet Union it was very difficult to justify NATO's existence.

It would be ironies of ironies if this crisis now forces Germany to declare its independence and work harder to rebuild relations with Russia and in the process become a major player in the Eurasian Union. This is what Pepe Escobar just suggested this last week is a possibility.

Posted by: ToivoS | Mar 7, 2015 2:59:09 PM | 3

Some Europeans, like the writers in the piece above, still see Obama as a reluctant warrior pushed to war by the hawks in his own government and the Republicans in Congress. But ...

You may be correct. But:

You haven't established that the evident appearance of `reluctance' is a "false view". In theory, "The buck stops at his desk". The obvious fact that it hasn't, however, is -- at best -- by no means creditable.

I can hardly wait 'til the `progressive' Twittercrats start calling for Obama to "go nuclear" with Putin. ...

Posted by: Laurence | Mar 7, 2015 3:04:18 PM | 4

#2, I guess he's taking his cues from Noodles, here's some highlights from her Match 4 address to Foreign Affairs Committee, lifted from Stephen Lendman

calledd murdered US-funded, Boris Nemtsov a “freedom fighter, Russian patriot and friend.”

...called Ukraine “central to our 25 year Transatlantic quest for a ‘Europe whole, free and at peace.’

Nuland called US planned and implements year ago Maidan violence using well-trained Nazi thugs “peaceful protest(s) by ordinary Ukrainians.”

“They braved frigid temperatures, brutal beatings and sniper bullets…Ukraine began to forge a new nation…holding free and fair election…and undertaking deep and comprehensive economic and political reforms.”

Claims-

“enhance(d) (Ukrainian) transparency in public procurement, reduce(d) government inefficiency and corruption, (laws) making the banking system more transparent, and measures to improve the climate for business"

"it’s “building a peaceful, democratic, independent” nation

... Crimea “under illegal occupation”

in Eastern Ukraine, Russia and its separatist puppets unleashed unspeakable violence and pillage.”

“MH17 was shot down. Hundreds of Russian heavy weapons and troops poured across the border, fueling the conflict.”

“Sixteen Russian uninspected ‘humanitarian convoys’ entered Ukraine in violation of agreements with the Ukrainian government, the ICRC and the international community.”

“Donetsk airport was obliterated…Debaltseve, a key rail hub beyond the ceasefire lines, fell to separatist and Russian forces six days after Minsk was signed…”

“This is a manufactured conflict controlled by the Kremlin, fueled by Russian tanks and heavy weapons; financed at Russian taxpayers’ expense and costing the lives of young Russians…”

Bizzaro world. Completely upside down from reality. And no I'm not trying to one up you #2! It's just crazy stuff coming out of the mouths of every politician and official and media whore, I've never seen anything like it.

Posted by: Colinjames | Mar 7, 2015 3:05:26 PM | 5

Good report, b especially including the fact that this is a bipartisan project led by the Liberal Democrats.

The European actions especially Germanys may be more or less than they appear to be. I doubt that Germany would or could stand in the way of US demands but they may be facilitating an escape path for the US to use to avoid a more dangerous confrontation with Russia.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Mar 7, 2015 3:07:24 PM | 6

thanks b.. some good points in your post which i strongly share, this one in particular - The U.S., the empire of chaos, does not care what happens after a regime change. In the view of U.S. politicians trouble and unrest in the "rest of the world" can only better the (relative) position of the United States.

when does this nightmare called us foreign policy die?

Posted by: james | Mar 7, 2015 3:25:46 PM | 7

"Europe has no interest in regime change in Russia. The result would likely be a much worse government and leader then the largely liberal Putin."

What is wrong with those two sentences? First, "Europe", a landmass in western Eurasia usually demarcated by the crests of Ural and Caucasus mountain chains and Ural river. The text refers mostly to the governments of France and Germany. Who are "NATO hawks"? Danes and Norwegians, latter day Varangians? Or Latvians and Estonians who would like to have a re-match of Battle on Ice? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_on_the_Ice_(Lake_Peipus)

Second, "The result …" This has to be a joke. "Europe" has many headaches with the governments of Greece and Hungary, but can they change them? Actually, in the case of Greece, this sentence could make sense, because in Greece they have a real opportunity of causing a government crisis and getting a more extreme government. But in the case of Russia, it is only a question of having a long-term gain in mutually assured economic destruction, or not.

Double-talk is bread and butter of diplomacy, but we simple folk can afford to express ourselves more directly. The real problem in arming Ukraine is that the government there is untrustworthy and it would probably use the aid to further neglect the economy and concentrate even more on futile military endeavor, and it could also commit some atrocities as it would be at it. Being "a little bit Nazi" is perfectly fine with Baltic governments and Croatia, plus USA and Canada, could be fine with Hungary but the leader there is constantly on the prowl for good deals and just now got one from Putin, and causes mixed feeling elsewhere.

So the trillion dollar question for most responsible European leaders is if US is more trustworthy than Poroshenko crew?


Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 7, 2015 4:47:47 PM | 8

I could not finish venting in one middle-length post. "largely liberal Putin". One could ask Putin if he is "largely liberal", but his personal style is to speak with utmost lack of clarity -- not that he cannot speak clearly when he has to. One could ask his advisors, and those either share the style of their boss or would be appalled by the groundless accusation.

Realistically, Russia has a complete set of democratic institutions but they do not function in a "fully democratic way". Hungary and Turkey are very comparable in that respect. In Russia, there is a competition of three models: money begetting power, "Yeltsin and his merry band of oligarchs", "power controlling money", Putin and his somewhat morose bad of oligarchs, and good old days were there was only power -- the Communist. "Western liberal values" in Russia means money begets power. The populations, lacking understanding of liberalism, mostly supports a person who can control the oligarchs.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 7, 2015 5:04:05 PM | 9

misspelling: "somewhat morose band of oligarchs"

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 7, 2015 5:04:55 PM | 10

Yes, good analysis. Especially the Empire of Chaos' goal of reimplementing the aftermath of WWII : everyone outside North America flat on their backs and the US the colossus by virtue of still standing. But ...

' Will Obama accept their view and turn off the hawks or will he escalate and risk the alliance with Europe? ... Obama is the one driving the neocon lane. '

Whether it's the neocon line or in the neocon lane, Obama's not driving. Never has been. He was hired to sit behind the wheel of the neoliberal, neocon drone of state, operated by 'pilots' from Langley, the Pentagon, Wall Street - seemingly by all three, via rapid context switch in pseudo-parallel.

The reason US policy seems to lurch ever more violently toward disaster is because none of the actors actually implementing it by turn are identified. The Nihilist Nobel Peace Prize Laureate gets dunked everytime, hauls himself out of the tank, climbs back up on the stool, makes faces and jeers at the crowd throwing balls at the trip target ... all absurdly trying to effect a change in policy.

It's just a job ... 2,236 days down, 686 days till payday.

Posted by: jfl | Mar 7, 2015 5:09:32 PM | 11

@8,9,10

Thanks for the analysis with Russia at the center rather than the USA. Catchy restatement of the difference between 'the chicken then the egg' vs 'the egg then the chicken'. I'm rooting for Russia, and Putin's been in charge there. Of course, I'm really rooting for my USA, but for my USA to survive the present oligarchy must be defeated : the Chicken's neck must be wrung and its carcasse flung into the stew pot.

Posted by: jfl | Mar 7, 2015 5:21:18 PM | 12

it is my opinion that the German government led by Mrs Merkel is a lot more involved in the crisis that is Ukraine than is being discussed in this forum. There was quite a lot of support for Tymoshenko from Merkel including her drive to boycott the Ukraine when Tymoshenko had been imprisoned for embezzlement.

she was also promoting Vitaly Klitschko for the longest time abruptly ending when Vickie Nuland let it be known that he was not accceptable as a leader of Ukraine.

The German government has been a very willing stooge of the US in causing or continuing the unrest in Ukraine. That many people in Germany have suffered due to this behavior from sanctions and embargoes on both the European side as well as the Russian side might be a consequence that the German elite decided they could live with rather than simply something forced upon them from the US.

As far as I can tell, the fecal matter hit the air moving device right after Yanukovich decided to maintain close economic ties with Russia rather than throw in with the EU. EU for all intents and purposes Germany.

just a thought. ymmv

Posted by: dan of steele | Mar 7, 2015 6:31:13 PM | 13

Obama may in theory have the legal power to call the shots, but he has never behaved as though he has that power in fact.

Posted by: lysias | Mar 7, 2015 6:33:24 PM | 14

weak Obama, strong general Jack D Ripper, washington awash in warmongers One party two right wings....now Eurotrash and americans wil wish they had a Putin leading them....but the power elites prefer weak leadership as easier to control

Posted by: brian | Mar 7, 2015 6:50:02 PM | 15

who is really in control in the US? is the presidency the highest office or is there a higher one?

Posted by: brian | Mar 7, 2015 6:52:08 PM | 16

cant agree Obama is driving the neocons or NATO as he is a newby in office..the neocons have been in office for nearly 20 years

Obama is still a finger puppet

Posted by: brian | Mar 7, 2015 7:11:51 PM | 17

It's not hard to see how it works. Any kind of deal with Russia and he's accused of appeasement. It's a kind of moral bullying.

Posted by: dh | Mar 7, 2015 7:13:42 PM | 18

"The U.S., the empire of chaos, does not care what happens after a regime change. In the view of U.S. politicians trouble and unrest in the "rest of the world" can only better the (relative) position of the United States."

And it does not appear that the US cares what happens to Europe, either. If sanctions on Iran hurt European business, meh. If sanctions on Russia push Europe back into recession...meh.

Maybe someday Europe will get a clue...

Posted by: JohnH | Mar 7, 2015 7:16:23 PM | 19

I felt like I was reading the lyin-ass New York Times. (How do these so-called journalists get ANY work done with all that CIA/StateDept/JSOC cock in their mouth? Inquiring minds want to know. Anyway…)

Germany is presented like an old grandma, wringing her hands and saying, "Oh, mercy me! Can't we all just get along?" … If it wasn't for that dang Gen. Breedlove…except, well, he's actually right, don't you know, except, OK, he exaggerates a bit. There's LOTS of Russia aggression, and we have proof we won't show you…but not as much as he says. I mean, credibility, and all, right?…And that Vicki Nuland, well, she's bitch we all agree, but she gets things done and sometimes you need to get tough, don't ya know. She "loves Russia" (yeah, I bet…like I love a nice rare steak….sliced sooooo thin.) So…come on, dial it back a little won't you guys over in Langley…?

This seemed to me like CIA drizzle from Der Spigot!
A few carefully breaded pieces of True served with a piquant sauce of Lies and a side of Dissembling and Disinformation. One of those articles that is structured like, "yeah, true…BUT!"

ToivoS @ | 3

Putin's 2010 speech proposing a common economic union from Vladivostok to Lisbon must have been seen as a very serious threat by some powerful forces in the US.

So says Mike Whitney in an important post re Nemtsov's assassination over at Counterpunch. I agree with you and him. I wonder what Uncle Ruslan thinks? He must have some ideas, having lived with Graham Fuller for all this those years.

Colinjames @ 5

Those excerpts really infuriated me. I have the most terrible desire to bitch slap Vicki Nudelman until she falls down and begs me to stop. I see her face and my hand itches. I need to stop watching Jess Franco movies.

Wayoutwest @ 6

The European actions especially Germanys may be more or less than they appear to be. I doubt that Germany would or could stand in the way of US demands but they may be facilitating an escape path for the US to use to avoid a more dangerous confrontation with Russia.

Ayuh. I agree, with you (see above) --and dan of steele's very excellent and needful post at 13. Germany's in this shit up to their eyeballs. I recall reading in "The Brothers" that after WW2 the CIA just basically took over (and presumably still owns) German intelligence. Took their Nazis in and kept all the spy lines and assets. Gladio was an outgrowth of that, I guess.

But I don't think the blood-thirsty vampires in the US can dial it back. They are all up in that snatch (to slightly paraphrase a vulgar version of the Petraeus bio's title that actually got shown on US news.)


Piotr Berman's delightful rants at 18 @ 19

What interesting ideas and insights you bring to the discussion. If you don't mind saying, are you German? If I was a German citizen I would be very upset and I have read that, like here in the States, this Ukraine shit combined with NSA spying combined with that book about how all the media are CIA assets has caused a crisis of confidence between reasonably-informed citizens and dissembling government, media, military, etc.


I agree with all the posters here saying that Obama has never had hold of the levers of power. A few, yes. But what with the "tunneling" of political appointees transformed into civil servants at the end of the Bush admin…yeah, no. And that's not the only reason…just one.

Posted by: Benu | Mar 7, 2015 8:02:30 PM | 20

@13

Certainly Germany is covetous of Russia/the Ukraine. And Merkel, like Obama, knows how to get along by going along with the ones who brung her. Used to be the Russians in East Germany, are now the Americans in West/Unified Germany.

Both are puppets, 'loyal' to the their puppeteers. The rest of the EU apparat are in the pocket of the US, and dance to the same tune piped to Obama.

Germany on its own is not capable of subduing Russia, yet hopes to be in position to reap the benefits of the US' destruction of same.

They're all losers, betting on making a killing, benefiting from their neighbors' collapse. Their neighbors have other ideas ... must have to survive. TIAA.

Posted by: jfl | Mar 7, 2015 8:11:20 PM | 21

jfl @ 21

Love your vampires and vultures scenario. Tolstoy's Vourdalak or the folkloric Russian
Волколак or Volkolak is what I've been thinking of late, because I am a Mario Bava kind of gal.

You know, Russia is one of the few countries NOT 110% indebted to German/London/Wall Street/Brussels banks. Seems to me that definitely has something to do with all this. They've got something to plunder. (Lotta gold. yum!) I bet there's some truth to the assertion that the flaming tire of blame for global economic collapse is being readied for Russia's neck...just in case. We're very close.

Posted by: Benu | Mar 7, 2015 8:33:21 PM | 22

@Benu #20:

Piotr Berman's delightful rants at 18 @ 19

What interesting ideas and insights you bring to the discussion. If you don't mind saying, are you German?

I believe he's Polish. If not Polish, some other kind of East European. Not German. (And yes, his comments are very insightful.)

I agree with b's take on this. The FRG was initially willing to go along with the US on the Ukraine, since it saw the Ukraine as a land to despoil, but now that things have developed to the point where there is the possibility of another European war, Germany is having second thoughts.

Posted by: Demian | Mar 7, 2015 8:37:45 PM | 23

Demian @ 23

WTF did Germany THINK was going to come of this?

But perhaps there is no one Germany. I can only suppose that it must be like it is here in the US...different factions with their own power bases pulling their own levers.

Posted by: Benu | Mar 7, 2015 8:48:57 PM | 24

@24 I think the plan was for a rapid victory in Ukraine and Putin just stomping his feet. Keeping Crimea, the uprisings, and the general thuggery/incompetence in Kiev weren't in the plans. The Chinese didn't defend Russia against accusations about flight #mh17, the Chinese openly scoffed at the West not even giving fools like Kerry the time of day.

German firms were supposed to win contracts replacing Russian firms not see the SCO grow and face losses from self-imposed sanctions. Merkel and people in her sphere overdid the rhetoric. Voters won't forget a major propaganda change, and Merkel and her ilk know this but can't see how to get out of the mess especially with Kiev in need of European cash.

Posted by: NotTimothyGeithner | Mar 7, 2015 9:02:57 PM | 25

NotTimmeh @ 25

So, you seem to be saying that this is rather like what WoW maintains...an offering of an exit ramp to the US...because Germany really, really wants off this highway to hell.

Hideous to think they were all for it when it looked like easy rapings and little to no consequences.

International finance needs to be dismantled. That's what's behind all this shit. Bankster's wars.

Posted by: Benu | Mar 7, 2015 9:19:53 PM | 26

The practices of Ms. Nuland (taking cookies out to support the demonstrators during the "Maidan" actions) echoed exactly those of Amb. Robert Ford in Syria. In both cases it was a strange perversion and repudiation of traditional standards of diplomatic practice. It was not just a Nuland aberration.

And we've seen the outcome, a few years later, in both these war-ravaged countries. God help the people of both countries.

Posted by: Helena Cobban | Mar 7, 2015 9:31:25 PM | 27

@3 ToivoS

Interesting points you make. I believe what we have here IS the pivot to Asia, — through the backdoor. The US is haunted by the inevitable rise of Eurasia as a superpower. And, the fact is, the "pivot" was unrealistic and a rather silly strategy. China's New Silk Road Economic Belt, both rail and maritime — stretching from Beijing through Russia and across Europe to Madrid (with spurs to India, Iran, the ME and down the African continent) — was a preemptive strike that neutered US aspirations. Even worse, it's already funded.

Picture the US on the globe: Isolated and alone, separated from the lively Eastern Hemisphere by two vast oceans. Adrift, stewing in its own juices, in desperate need of a world war to elevate it once again out of its economic doom and into super-stardom.

This is further evidenced by the US desperation over the TPP and TTIF. It has reached a fever pitch, with endless negotiations inside the super-secret US "cone of silence." For the US, these corporate-ruled trade agreements are their last hope for hegemony over global trade, especially now that the Petrodollar is dead. (Another consequence of the Ukraine stupidity.) But, both trade treaties seem to be failing badly (there are anti-TTIF demonstrations throughout Germany today). In any event, China rendered them both irrelevant with APEC and the New Silk Road, which popped into existence the very instant that the US stepped into the Ukraine tar pit. For China, they are done deals. Even Australia and New Zealand have come to their senses and seem to be climbing on board.

Surely, Europe already knows this. They've seen many empires decline. I suppose its only prudent to string the US along and contain the chaos....

Posted by: Pluto | Mar 7, 2015 9:52:56 PM | 28

@Helena Cobban #27:

God help the people of both countries.

Well, no one knows whether either one of them will continue to exist, do they? The Kremlin's intention is clearly to keep Ukraine's territory as it is (sans Crimea; that question is closed), but Ukraine is increasingly entering into full-spectrum social collapse, so wha the outcome will be is unpredictable, especially since the Ukraine was an artificial country to begin with, patched together from the territories of other countries.

As for Syria, I am all for secular states in the Islamic world, like Syria and Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya before the US destroyed them. Our fan of the Islamic State Wayoutwest can say much more about this than I can, but it is possible that states created by Sykes-Picot will disappear, to be replaced by a caliphate. In the larger scheme of things, that would be a good thing because (1) even though the caliphate would initially have a regressive form of Islam, once Arabs are in control of their own destiny, they will not fear engaging in reforms; (2) a caliphate would create one more pole for the emerging multipolar world.

Posted by: Demian | Mar 7, 2015 9:58:02 PM | 29

@26 They are giving Obama an out and blame can be heaped on Nuland and Breedlove. Rasmussen didn't make the Der Spiegel article, and he is completely deranged as anyone outside of GOP politics.

IMHO Obama only responds to extreme embarrassment. Offering him an out won't work without tying Obama and Nuland at the hip.

It's overlooked, but in 2012 when Obama came out for gay marriage, he cloaked his support in nonsense about state rights but only after his campaign machine had worked against an effort in North Carolina to defeat anti-gay/woman/child referendum. There were political reasons, but there was a growing anger. Biden saw this and just randomly announced Obama's pro gay marriage views. It took three days, but Obama got around to tepidly endorsing a form of gay marriage. Obama only acted because Biden forced his hand. It took almost two weeks after everyone in the U.S. knew Shinseki from the Veteran Affairs Department for Obama to dismiss him when Shinseki should have been fired right away, but Obama only acts when faced with total embarrassment.

Posted by: NotTimothyGeithner | Mar 7, 2015 10:13:03 PM | 30

Obama is a puppet. Cheney, Kissinger, Negroponte, GHWBush and friends, CIA, Brzezinski, Rockefeller, etc. Deep State pulls his strings. Obama was himself a CIA protege at BIC. There are no pesky principles to contend with.

And he is not allowed to fire Nuland or any other neocon warmonger.

Did you see what they did to JFK for stepping out of line?

Posted by: fast freddy | Mar 7, 2015 10:14:08 PM | 31

Spare everyone the Obama is secretly good drivel. You fell for a Lieberman acolyte. Obama is and always has been a pig despite his bland platitudes hailed as oratory by a country amused by the Kardashians.

Posted by: NotTimothyGeithner | Mar 7, 2015 10:37:21 PM | 32

Pluto at 28. Huh. Looks like Obama's pivot got tangled in its shoelaces and fell down.

Posted by: Benu | Mar 7, 2015 10:40:49 PM | 33


@ jfl | 11

But exactly!

Obama's not driving. Never has been. He was hired to sit behind the wheel of the neoliberal, neocon drone of state, operated by 'pilots' from Langley, the Pentagon, Wall Street - seemingly by all three, via rapid context switch in pseudo-parallel.

The reason US policy seems to lurch ever more violently toward disaster is because none of the actors actually implementing it by turn are identified.

Although it seems there are two schools of thought about that around here, this has been my assumption from the beginning.


@3 ToivoS

Forgot to mention,: You spoke of consequences. That is of particular interest, I believe, and speaks to the destiny of the US as it stumbles about on the world stage, without future awareness.

It is hard to understand why He and Kerry have pursued this policy. For sure, as was predictable one year ago it has turned their widely touted 'pivot to asia' into irrelevancy. It has directly forced China and Russia into a stronger alliance. Those are some big prices to pay for our provocations against Russia.


There are more than a few significant unintended consequences that have come in short order as a result of the Ukraine blunder. For example:


— Certainly killing the Petrodollar is a big one, which was the natural result of pushing China and Russia into the biggest oil/gas deal in world history, specifically written to bypass the dollar.

— Compelling Gazprom to divert the destination of the South Stream pipeline under the Black Sea from Bulgaria to Turkey, with the distribution hub ending in Greece. So now Turkey and Greece control the fuel coming into West and South Europe. That's quite the geopolitical accomplishment.

— Pushing Iran into the BRICS. Russian allies are pulling together in many interesting ways these days. US sanctions have become toothless.

— The oil pricing scheme backfiring on the US economy. I'm of the school that oil overproduction was a direct attack on Russia and the usual suspects: Syria, Iran, and Venezuela. I'm also of the opinion that the US has lost control of OPEC.

The US is paying a mighty high price for its neocon folly.

Posted by: Pluto | Mar 7, 2015 10:45:33 PM | 34

In response to questions, I used my real name, I am Polish citizen living in USA.

European elite, including Germany and France, are almost instinctively aligning themselves with American elite, but they take exception to a favorite American trick: penciling a grandiose plan to be paid by EU. Russian counter-sanctions fall on Europeans, and it is pointless to quibble if "dollar is dead" -- it is not, but USA will not pay to integrate Turkey and Ukraine with EU, to cite some of the grandiose ideas. German conservatives in particular are notorious bean counters, they generously paid to integrate Eastern Germany, but are much less enthusiastic to have foreign beneficiaries. (In Poland, the consensus is that it is OK to help Ukrainians, provided that it will not cost anything. There is also a minority that hates Ukrainians more than Russians, and younger folks seem not to care at all.)

As it is, EU duly enacted sanctions on Iran, Syria and Russia, and Merkel is resolute at sending mixed signals, so to some extend there is no "divorce". If anything, they are on the same wavelength as Obama. Recall how Europe resisted joining Bush jr. war in Iraq. "New Europe", including Poland, provided a bunch of little contingents, and that proved to be quite unpopular domestically. Even so, regime change in Libya was accomplished mostly by Europeans, and this is perhaps one of the unique successes in history that has a dearth of claimants. On the heals of that feat, even ever supine Brits rebelled when they had a chance to repeat the success in Syria. The belief that "Americans surely know what they are doing" is eroding even as we scribble. But so far, there is hardly any "European alternative".

I guess Putin will graciously lift sanctions on Hungarian and Greek produce, Ukraine will get some weapons and training, but not a hell lot -- seriously, what scale of military aid would truly make a difference?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 7, 2015 10:55:20 PM | 35

Harper has given citizenship to Yatsenyuk in case 'something goes wrong'. Fcuk. http://www.pravda.ru/news/world/formerussr/ukraine/06-03-2015/1251452-yacenyk-0/

Posted by: TikTok | Mar 7, 2015 11:42:48 PM | 36

@35 piotr.. thanks for pointing out euro's role in libya and how nothing is going to change, as i personally believe just like the usa is bought and paid for, so is germany and france.. to suggest there will be much of a fracture is to suggest the international banker mafia don't have these politicians on the same page. i think they do.. whether they get elected again, or the required politicians to do the job of the bankers do - i think they do..

as for obama being anything other then a rubber stamp - i agree with @31 fast freddy.. step out of line and look what you will get.. it is hard not to be cynical..

@36 tiktok.. what a pathetic pos we have for a leader here in canada, but like i say about most of these western leaders and to which i include harper - they are all beholden to the same narrow interests that have nothing to do with the common people's interest.. they continue to think we are stupid or worse..

Posted by: james | Mar 8, 2015 12:02:59 AM | 37

@Piotr Berman #35:

so far, there is hardly any "European alternative".

There does not need to be any European alternative. And the EU is dominated by Germany, the intelligence services of which, as someone here observed recently, are infiltrated by the CIA (although there was a report that Germany is now setting up a branch of its intelligence service independent of USG). The alternative is Russia. It is too late for Europeans to come up with alternatives. (They did that first with Hegel and then with Marx, but neither attempt held.) Europeans just need to realize that since the world is becoming multipolar, they belong in the Eurasian pole, not a contrived Atlanticist one.

Russia has grave flaws, an Europeans can help Russians fix those, if Europeans make a break with the predatory and anti-human Anglosphere.

Posted by: Demian | Mar 8, 2015 12:04:56 AM | 38

03/07/2015-22:19

Russian Spring

The head of Donetsk Republic, Aleksandr Zakharchenko accused Kiyev with failure to confirm to the first part of the Minsk agreements. “We did pull off all heavy weapons of caliber larger than 100 mm. Unfortunately, Ukraine has not done same. We submitted all places of installation to OSCE observers. Shelling of Donetsk continues”, he said.


03/07/2015-16:05

Russian Spring

To conform to the Minsk agreements, the conflict participants made commitment to withdraw heavy weapons by March 7.

In addition, today, as an initiative, the combatants would be removing 120 mm mortars (not required by the agreements) from three areas – Donetsk, Gorlovka, Tel`manovo.

“The OSCE mission would attend all this sites. The mission would escort the columns to the places of new stationing, where it could see heavy weapons withdrawn earlier, photograph and count them”, commented Eduard Basurin, the deputy of Commander in Chief of Donetsk Republic Defense.


03/07/2015-17:40

Russian Spring

Heavy clashes continue under Mariupol`. Settlement Shirokino remains a frontier where combatants defend positions againt irregulars of the punitive regiment “Azov” and troops of Ukrainian occupant forces. Snipers, APCs, tanks, mortars and other types of weapons are involved.

The last storm of the combatants’ positions lasted an hour and half. As result, the Ukrainian occupants lost large count of infantry, some hardware. After that, they retreated.

Regretfully, as result of shelling and attacks, the army of Donetsk Republic suffered casualties.

Posted by: Fete | Mar 8, 2015 12:08:55 AM | 39

The push back is far too late. The gorgon Nuland and Dr Strangelove himself Zed Breszinski testifying before the mouth breathers of the foreign affairs committee this week continued to ratchet up the rhetoric:

“I wonder how many people in this room or this very important senatorial committee really anticipated that one day Putin would land military personnel in Crimea and seize it. I think if anybody said that’s what he is going to do, he or she would be labeled as a warmonger. He did it. And he got away with it. I think he’s also drawing lessons from that. And I’ll tell you what my horror, night-dream, is: that one day, I literally mean one day, he just seizes Riga, and Talinn. Latvia and Estonia. It would literally take him one day. There is no way they could resist. And then we will say, how horrible, how shocking, how outrageous, but of course we can’t do anything about it. It’s happened. We aren’t going to assemble a fleet in the Baltic, and then engage in amphibious landings, and then storm ashore, like in Normandy, to take it back. We have to respond in some larger fashion perhaps, but then there will be voices that this will plunge us into a nuclear war

I'll tell you what Brezinski's real horror night dream is- dying before the US attempts a full on takeover of Russia. Whether Germany likes it or not they'll continue to be a pawn in the dark lords 8 dimensional chess game. It's a little late to be thinking twice now that the breadbasket of Europe is a basket case. The hope is that the whooping that's coming to the USSA shakes out the aristocracy that brought it about and sends them fleeing with nothing but their assholes.

Posted by: Nana2007 | Mar 8, 2015 12:16:52 AM | 40

Regarding Russians' attitude towards Poland. Up until recently, I was prone to make Polish jokes here. I believe I have mentioned my four favorite ones at MoA. (Two of the jokes were of American provenance; the other two were Russian.) Yet now I feel inhibited from making Polish jokes. How I read that is that Russia is now sufficiently confident that it feels that it can peel not just Germany, but also Poland, off the US empire.

Posted by: Demian | Mar 8, 2015 1:52:09 AM | 41

OT, here's the playlist for my favorite Saturday Rock Show;

Monster, Steppinwolf

Savoy Brown

Santana

Traffic

Hot Tuna

Ten Years after

The Who

Bling Faith

Chambers Brothers

This is just a sample of the bands, at their peak, we had in !969 and we had Richard Nixon too.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Mar 8, 2015 3:08:10 AM | 42

Oddly, Brzezinski himself not too long ago recommended the "Finlandization" of Ukraine. The neo-cons and armaments industry have adopted a cartoonish version of his theories -- which, in any case, hark back to the Geographical Pivot theory dating to 1904! It's become a crude dogma that doesn't even rise to the level of ideology.

Posted by: Harold | Mar 8, 2015 3:48:14 AM | 43

Decent analysis but misses two important points:
1) "Special British-US relationship" - US has been a British colony for at lest last 100 years, ie. a muscle-man for the Rothschildes-Jewish-Zionist cabal with its HQ in the City of London, Israel plays a "mad dog" role for them, Canada, Australia, and many other in the Commonwealth have their parts to play too. Because Obama since the evening of his reelection turned against the Crow Corporation, they have been forced to increasingly rely on themselves and other subjects - notice rapidly intensifying British military presence in the Central (Poland, which is situated at the very heart of the continent) and Eastern Europe (Baltic republics), as well as in the ME - Bahrain, police force now on the Turkish-Syrian border. Also British lying propaganda has been very intense, by far the worst in the EU. The neocons, McCain, Soros et al respond to the Rothschildes, always have. The British have been leading the charge recently and you will see more and more of this soon.
2) Obama's team has been under the threats form the global criminal cabal many times itself. Security breaches at the White House, warnings of assassination, "third force" trying to start a civil war in the US by abusing the police powers and killing the police officers, fake social movements menacing the White House with "marches" like the one of Jewish Adam Kokesh...

Summing up - it's been the City of London pulling the strings all along and Obama have been in danger of a violent overthrow already for some time.

Posted by: Prosperous Peace | Mar 8, 2015 5:20:41 AM | 44

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 7, 2015 10:55:20 PM | 35

You are right about the issue of paying for grandiose plans.

Seems though that Europeans are really pissed off.

Jean Claude Juncker calls for European Army with headquarters in Brussels

Key sentence

Juncker wies zugleich auf die organisatorischen und finanziellen Vorteile des Vorhabens hin. So würde es zu einer intensiven Zusammenarbeit bei Entwicklung und Kauf von militärischem Gerät führen und erhebliche Einsparungen bringen.

Brief translation: Juncker highlighted the organizatorial and financial advantages. Cooperation in the development and procurement of military equipment could be shared and save considerable amounts.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 8, 2015 5:40:49 AM | 45

German official says Saudi Arabia top ‘terror exporter’ in Mideast


[Vice President of the German Parliament (Bundestag) Claudia] Roth called Riyadh “the top terror exporter in the Middle East,” adding that “a large portion” of extremist militants in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq hail from Saudi Arabia.

Germany’s guidelines on weapons exports make it “crystal clear that deliveries cannot be made to such countries,” she stressed.

“Besides the weapons deals, Germany is also discussing other trade ties with Saudi Arabia,” she said. “Pressure could certainly be brought to bear using these.”

The results of a recent survey conducted for German daily Bild have shown that 78 percent of Germans believe Berlin should stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia, while a further 60 percent favor breaking off trade relations all together with the Persian Gulf monarchy due to its human rights violations.


Great place for the crack to open up/spread from/to Ukraine.

Posted by: jfl | Mar 8, 2015 8:13:07 AM | 46

the absence of discussion her of the attempt on Mozgovoi shows how one-dimensional the approach to Ukraine is around here, on both sides (because there do in fact seem to be only two sides here)

Posted by: Cu Chulainn | Mar 8, 2015 10:16:38 AM | 47

The result would likely be a much worse government and leader then the largely liberal Putin.

So is Charles Manson. And?

Thanks for the laugh and opiate release. That one really did make me laugh out loud. A free high — what's not to like?

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Mar 8, 2015 10:24:41 AM | 48

I would note that Merkel working with Timoshenko was more likely a tactical move - one in which Germany would get some leverage vs. Russia regarding natural gas moving through Ukraine as well as benefits within Ukraine.
This is very different than the American tactic of exaggerating ethnic tensions on order to create a failed state a la Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, ad nauseam. American doesn't necessarily intend to create a failed state - the correct view is that the goal is a puppet regime, but a failed state in someone else's backyard is almost as good...or good enough.
I'd also note that this is different than the British Empire tactic - the British would also arm "their" rebels, but they would put skin in the game (soldiers on the ground) in order to ensure that they wound up with the correct puppet regime.
It is still unclear to me whether the American abridgement of Byzantine/Ottoman/British Empire tactics is an evolution or a devolution.

Posted by: ǝn⇂ɔ | Mar 8, 2015 10:42:49 AM | 49

@49 I think America has always attempteded to maintain the 'good guy' facade. Since 911 it's been more like 'no more Mr. Niceguy'.

Posted by: dh | Mar 8, 2015 11:02:42 AM | 50

If the EU and Russia can edge the United States out of the situation, it is a win/win for everyone except the US, who will have seen $5B and an old Cold War dream go up in smoke.

If the US can be ejected, it will be the EU and especially the Germans who have gained the most mightily by the Maidan. The partition of Ukraine - getting rid of those parts that did vote more heavily for the Party of Regions and the Communists, leaves the EU with a "Orange", oligarchical Ukraine forever. A Ukrainian horse that the EU can hitch their currently broken cart to, a huge area for Germany to dominate in the heart of Europe - (one of Germany's oldest dreams). It's not something I'd personally wish on the Ukrainian population, but Ukraine becoming a proper EU member would require the suppression of the Nazis who, if they are not, would at least be loud, violent, internal opposition allied with the trouble-making USA, or at worst would try and wage a disruptive terrorist war over Crimea and the East.

Would this situation be acceptable to Russia? Wins there would be the retention of Crimea with no question as to its return to the rump Ukraine, plus the advantage of having the US out of the Ukraine completely and having caused an EU/US fissure. The status of the East would have to be determined, but it would seem that independence or becoming part of Russia would be the best bets there now that they'd no longer be able to offset the vote of the far west.

Anyway, that's all details. The real good thing here - for people all over the globe - would be that the war-making US elite would have been ejected from another region where they've been making trouble.

Posted by: guest77 | Mar 8, 2015 11:05:10 AM | 51

Ah, the utopian dreams of the unwashable internet junky. Germany will never reject the US. You heard it hear first. LOL

Posted by: chalo | Mar 8, 2015 11:26:00 AM | 52

So far when it comes to any "divide" all I've seen is rhetoric and posturing. Considering the Fourth Reich and it's vassals are owned and controlled by the same puppet-masters I don't see any actual schism happening. Small European countries that actively resist will find a "color" revolution brewing. Large nations who actually push back will be hit with economic warfare. The courage to stand up for their people and stop the lunatics in D.C. doesn't exist in the currant political actors in Europe. I truly hope I'm wrong, but until we see DEEDS instead of mere WORDS...the steady slide toward war will continue.

Posted by: Scott | Mar 8, 2015 11:42:29 AM | 53

Wayout at 42 -- I'm always an OT enabler when it comes to music. Some very exciting acts; if you're gonna do it, you gotta give us at least a few cuts.

I happened to have Mason/Traffic in heavy rotation last night. Here's Winwood and Garcia doing Dear Mr. Fantasy; highly recommended. This was in the Dead's arsenal of covers, so it's not a one-off for Garcia. Tagged the mature Winwood and Clapton doing it for later, as well as this Blind Faith masterpiece - "And I ain't done nothing wrong/But I can't find my way home." A song for our times.

Lest I be accused of living in the past (like the rest of you oldheads) here's a hot alt-rock video by Big Data, Dangerous. "They've been watching all my windows."

To get back on topic, Russia Insider considers the broader question of the regime's attitudes; the open fascism of the junta is I think at root of much of European unease. Kiev's Drive to Dehumanize East Ukrainians is certainly a key component of that mentality.

Posted by: rufus magister | Mar 8, 2015 11:43:22 AM | 54

All the European leaders are compromised in some way, the NSA probably has everything they have written, said, or done in a database. Merkel looks to have been involved in some shady activities in East Germany if you look closely enough. Don't expect Europe to break from Pax Americana.

Posted by: purple | Mar 8, 2015 11:59:18 AM | 55

RM@54

I think that the unease in Europe about the rise of open fascism is superficial and more a PR concern than true opposition at least among the Ruling Class. So long as fascism serve their purposes and feeds their true agendas but remains obscured it is supported and protected.

OT again, many of us Oldies experienced music somewhat differently than today where albums or sides of albums were how we enjoyed the performances. Even radio DJs were judged by the way they programmed their shows and we were always in search of the perfect segway.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Mar 8, 2015 12:24:05 PM | 56

Divorce? Hardly

EU want an EU army
http://rt.com/news/238797-eu-joint-army-threat/

Another US puppet idea.

Posted by: Anonymous | Mar 8, 2015 12:40:07 PM | 57

OT at 56 -- I miss cover art, and mining the liner notes for personnel and equipment. CD's came with that, and often more (photos, graphics, etc.). But not so with the mp3 or wav file. And they enable my worst cherry-picking instincts. Like you suggest, you were in for the whole side. Dropping in and out, bad for the vinyl. In a sense, we're back to the pre-album days of the 45 rpm single.

You're right to decry the lack of originality on much radio. "Back in the day" the your local DJ actually picked the tunes, not some market-segment driven corporate playlist. But then as now, you hear the greatest stuff late at night.

On topic -- the fascism by itself is not too great a worry. That they're incompetent and it will cost someone lots of money to fix things more so. Events may not break up "the Allies" now, but with the proper moves and missteps by the varied parties involved.... Someone's planning a few moves ahead, and I don't think it's DC. Sadly, we can't overlook the power of short-sighted deviousness.

Posted by: rufus magister | Mar 8, 2015 12:53:42 PM | 58

Hey, right on cue, short-sighted deviousness! Thanks to Anon. at 57. It will go complement well with their united foreign and economic policies.

Posted by: rufus magister | Mar 8, 2015 12:58:08 PM | 59

It looks to me as if the differences between Obama and Merkel on Ukraine are tactical not strategic, viz:

Merkel doesn't have to deal with the infamous American "bottom line" every 90 days, and this gives her leisure to actually think about what she is doing.

German voters have a mind of their own and are not compliant stooges like American voters, who only require a few weeks of cheap propaganda to go along with the most crackpot of schemes. The saying "the burned child fears the fire" does not apply in their case.

The goal from Merkels point of view must be the neoliberal exploitation of Russia - not bringing Ukraine into NATO, which is only useful in an aggressive war against Russia; or for use as a provocation resulting in the removal of Putin.

Therefore Merkel has no qualms about putting the Western project against Russia on hold until a more opportune time.

Posted by: diogenes | Mar 8, 2015 1:20:48 PM | 60

Hm, excellent article b, as always, though my first thoughts were, 'overly optimistic' ...

However, upon some reflection and reconsideration, there does seem to be a confluence/pattern of events occurring recently, which may signal that a real 'Newer Great Game' may be afoot, in our currently Unipolar, sole superpower, Empire dominated world.

The Minsk agreement was done without US involvement, in fact explicitly excluded US involvement, and the subsequent events of the EU players give every indication of having continued in that vein ... ie. Germany and France clearly acting independent of the Empire ... Poroschenko exposed as a powerless puppet, purely a pawn, a mere agent of influence of the US.

Now there are firm calls for no new sanctions by the EU, 'give Minsk a chance' ...

The reports re Breedlove/NATO and German governments new 'perspective' re Ukraine/Russia in this thread ... effectively denouncing the Empires warmongering, baseless propaganda, and willingness to have the EU 'go fuck itself' re Russia/Ukraine for no-ones benefit except the US. History, and US geopolitical strategy repeats ...

Now the EU (President Junckers) calling for the creation of an EU Integrated Army ... with only the UK and France so far having expressed concerns. France has always had a firm view to an independent military, regardless of NATO. UK view is irrelevant as they are merely viewed as the US suborned 'spoiler' in the EU, so again no surprise and no leverage/clout. Reports are Germany support the EU/Junckers proposal ... claims an integrated EU army would be far more effective and significantly less costly, as well as utilizing EU resources for the EU's benefit, not that of the US. Which would be quite true if micro and macro duplication at all levels was reduced by allocating specific functions and roles to relevant EU nations militaries within such a 'truly integrated' force ... for example, German Armored Corps, French Naval/Marine forces, Spanish Airborne/Airmobile, Italian Air Defence, a smaller member state to speciliaze as MPs, etc. The very proposal implicitly and explicitly would result in the dissolution of NATO, which has only ever been a US political-military agency within Europe serving exclusively the US interest. Such a proposal is NOT for the Empires benefit and very far from a trivial event. The Empire appears to have completely missed this coming ...

Reports the German government has created a new 'independent' offshoot of the BND, ie. a true German Intelligence service (or the seeds of ?) actually serving German National interests, as opposed to the US created and ever since suborned BND since the end of WWII ... is this also happening 'under the radar' in other EU states ?

Escalation of explicit diplomatic rhetoric calling out the prime US ally and Empire linchpin in the ME, Saudi Arabia, as the major source of terrorism, in the War on Terra ...

The extensive Snowden revelations, and fallout (latest blatant example - GEMALTO sims), re AUSCANUKUSNZ (Five-Eyes), could probably have led to the actual realization that there is the US and its four priveledged 'Vassals', Australia, Canada, United Kingdom and New Zealand, first and foremost actually comprising the 'West' as far as the Empire is concerned, and only then so called 'third tier' pseudo allies, such as Germany, France, etc (which are treated as actual 'potential hostiles' by the five eyes), and then lastly all the rest of the 'Barbarians' in the world ... all the Empires sweet words and false comforts/assurances over the years may have finally come home to roost.

China and Russia, are clearly progressively entering ever closer into an integrated Political/economic/defence anti Empire bloc at multiple levels ... significant overtures between Egypt and Russia, Russia and Iran ... the BRICS economic and South American economic 'exit' from the domination of the Empires Petrodollar and previous economic/political exploitation/dominance.

Perhaps the Empire and the five eyes have been so busy attempting to 'collect it all' and endlessly pivot from here to there and back again, whilst playing divide and rule from one nation state to the other, filled to the brim with their own exceptionalism, that they have missed the bigger picture, missed seeing the new 'forest' emerging, having paid far to close attention to their brushfires and all those individual trees ...

OTOH, however, there would appear to be enough concurrent events occurring quickly enough to envisage the ground moving from under the feet of the Empire and the five eyes ... and in plain view ...

Peace. Salaam. Shalom.

Posted by: Outraged | Mar 8, 2015 1:25:48 PM | 61

Wow, Outraged, I think you've 'overly optimistic'ed b.

Posted by: okie farmer | Mar 8, 2015 1:52:55 PM | 62

.. it is my opinion that the German government led by Mrs Merkel is a lot more involved in the crisis that is Ukraine than is being discussed in this forum. -- dan of steele at 13.

You bet. Merkel is an unexamined mover in these stories. (Germany has paid penance and is so cool…not.) Recall the break-up of Yugoslavia, under the radar Germany was the no 1 champion and mover, with the US.

Merkel has been meddling in Ukraine since forever, due to for a large part to up EU expansionism (Germany is the only country that benefits from the Eurozone, not in an evil or illegit way, all the other countries agreed..), to stretch out again, for more territory, cheap labor, factories run at low labor costs, the well-off in ‘satellite’ countries and elsewhere buying German products, finance ad loans, and so on. See Poland.

German expansionism! (Not that France is any better but they have less clout so are wimpy followers.) The Eurozone works like that: lend, give, money to poor ‘southern’ countries so that they buy your goods, when they stop buying or believing, you cut them off, and look for new markets. Or downscale etc.

Re. Ukraine, the fantasy was it could join the EU (not considered realistic by any reasoned analysts or actors unless talking about 20 years down the road without war) and Merkel pushed that.

Cuddled up to the US who had other aims, to make it short, provoke Russia, the whole thing was to be wrapped up with a lot of love-handshakes, as the Coup-Kiev Gvmt. was expected to maintain it’s hold on a ‘unitary’ country which would be, it goes without stating, open to new ‘industrialism’, ‘farming’, ‘reforms’ (open up for foreign capital to make huge profits), and/or from the Nuland-type side, attack Russia by cutting ties, banning trade with Russia (see sanctions), forbidding Russian influence, media, commerce, and pushing for war, etc.

Donbass ppl objected, rose up, and it turned out that the Ukr. Gvmt could not deliver, - no army that could perform, no will, incompetence, also thieves...

These completely contradictory aims, of the EU and the US, are now public.

- one pov there are many others

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 8, 2015 2:13:07 PM | 63

@ Okie Farmer

Many 'perhaps's and certainly not clear yet what the EU Army proposal truly indicates yet, but Germany is clearly behind and for it ... Ultimately the EU is Germany-France and there are many new possibilities emerging.

The geopolitical consequences of the reality of the Snowden revelations re the five-eyes conduct/actions/objectives and falsity of supposed alliances for 'mutual' as opposed to exclusive benefit of the Empire at every level may well have triggered recalculations amongst the 'pseudo allies' governments, this may well be the case with Germany, at least.

Usually very pessimistic, in this instance 'overly optimistic', or momentarily envisioning an alternate possible ?

Is it really in the EU interests to take a hit for the Empires benefit re Cold War 2.0 or the possibility of WW3 or move towards a less Atlanticist future ?

Posted by: Outraged | Mar 8, 2015 2:40:02 PM | 64

@dh #50
With the single exception of the Romans - because they literally ruled everything - every other empire always tries very hard to present the best front.
The British had their "White Man's Burden", the US had the "American Dream" but which has since been switched with the "War on Terror".
No doubt because only the least informed believe that old lie anymore.

Posted by: ǝn⇂ɔ | Mar 8, 2015 3:21:11 PM | 65

Anonymous #57

An European Army would be the final act of the divorce from US, since it would be a de facto ending of NATO. No wonder why both US and their major "European" puppet UK radically oppose the idea. NATO's purpose was not only to counter Soviet military, but also to make sure Germany would never "rise again". That purpose is still biding and Germans know it. But under NATO umbrella, there's not much they can do to restore even a glimpse of the military power they had in the past. They "voluntarily" abdicate from developing nuclear weapons and most of their military spending is restricted to defensive air/ground capabilities, instead of means of projecting power such as naval vessels and long-range missiles. However, in an European unified defense system most of these restrictions should be lifted so to allow Germany to fulfill its obligations to the European allies. Most of American military bases would be rendered futile, and it's almost certain that NATO's nuclear silos stationed in Europe would have to be redeployed elsewhere, since an European defense agreement would demand full control of all military assets in European territory. Finally, Eastern Europe would turn to Germany and France instead of US when dealing with Russia, thus bringing more political stability to the region (violent "Maidans" would be less likely in the presence of foreign troops who, unlike Americans, have to answer for their actions when they come back home).

Needless to say, all these events would be catastrophic for US global domination strategy, since they would lose not only military control over strategic assets in Western Europe, but also major influence in the only part of the European Union they are actually welcome today. But one should remember none of this is new: since its creation European Union was conceived to have its own unified defense system, but this part of the European pact was sabotaged by British and Americans from the beginning. Even French nationalist leader De Gaulle became fond of the idea, but his efforts would be futile while Germany was not reunified and European Union was still a project. And one should notice an unified Europe is still a project today. Eurozone is crumbling, resentment among the periphery is running high and both Germans and French know it. One of the necessary solutions for preserving European Union is a unified defense system, for it would lift the minor associates defense spending burden while allowing the major ones to exert much more effective political influence among them, so to prevent that every economic crisis in those countries become a threat to the stability of the entire bloc itself.

Noirette #63

Undoubtedly Germany played a role in Maidan and there's enough evidence of that, but I don't think their objective was to produce a violent divorce between Ukraine and Russia. As far as I know German ambassadors were the major force in bringing to the negotiating table both President Yanukovitch and the opposition groups, who then signed the 21st of February agreement for Constitutional reform and anticipated elections. This agreement was also supported by Russia, and since Germany is the natural interlocutor for Moscow in "European" affairs, I assume the whole thing was arranged by Berlin. Problem is, no one really expected what happened the day after - except of course the Americans who had already decided to sabotage the deal and take it all for themselves, bypassing both Europe and Ukrainian "moderates" (like Yulia Timoshenko) through bribing the major oligarchs and former members of Yanukovitch's cabinet and the use of Right Sector thugs to attack Government buildings and seize power at once.

Germany won absolutely nothing with this outcome. Sure, Ukraine turned to West, but at what price? Now it's a devastated and bankrupted country with no control over a large portion of its own territory. And guess who will have to pay for their reconstruction? Yes, Germany. Merkel is anything but stupid. She knew from the beginning how Russia would react if threatened in her most sensitive interests. Georgia is not a far off memory for them. So yes, Germans would sure act to topple Yanukovicth if they had the chance, but only in a way "negotiated" with Russia. And that's exactly what they thought they had achieved in February 21st, 2014. Yanukovicth would be turned into a powerless President; there was to be new elections and Merkel's favorite Timoshenko would certainly win; Ukraine would join EU soon; and Russia would have to be satisfied with her Crimea's bases, and nothing more than that. The German plan was going too well, until Vic Nuland decided to f.. the EU once again. And here we are now.

Posted by: Ed Lozano | Mar 8, 2015 3:25:29 PM | 66

Outraged

Did you miss that the EU mentioned Russia as the reason why EU wanted a EU army? Again, nothing but a US puppet proposal.

Posted by: Anonymous | Mar 8, 2015 3:26:40 PM | 67

@63,64

It seems obvious to me that the EU - Germany - is much better off with Russia, the junior partner, than it is with the USA, the dominant partner.

Ok... but that's the way Germany sees itself vis a vis Russia and the way the US sees itself vis a vis Germany.

I guess the only question is on the downside of the switch ... how much pain can the US inflict on Germany thereafter?

And that's relative to how much pain the US' vicious, one-sided schemes can elicit for Germany (the EU) from the Russians. And that seems, everyday in every way, to be increasing.

I imagine that if the US does get a real war going with Russia they will have tipped the balance ... everything will then get unfrozen and move really quickly.

The reality will be apparent before news of it reaches our ears. Supersonically.

Posted by: jfl | Mar 8, 2015 4:20:37 PM | 68

@ Anonymous

If the intent is to replace NATO would you declare it or justify it 'falsely' by using the Empires propaganda justifications as a false cover ?

Again with the US puppet proposal crap, and why would the US want to create such a force when it would undermine nay invalidate NATOs very reason for existence for the last 60 plus years. NATO has been a political-military Trojan within Europe effectively controlled and literally commanded by the US, serving US interests for all that time.

Respectively, and reluctantly your 'point' suggests you are either naive, a fool or trollish, perhaps. Ed Lozano #66 touches on some relevant history and context if you are not aware of it ...

Ultimately nations only have and act on thier 'interests'.

Posted by: Outraged | Mar 8, 2015 4:25:08 PM | 69

Too much optimism in this thread. Heads of NATO, both European and US, have been urging NATO countries to "spend more on defense" - also many US politicians. There is a faction in Germany that have 'dreams' of their own MIC. Ukraine offers the chance to fulfill those dreams, they're pushing hard while they see the chance.

All but two of NATO members are headed by neoliberal scumbags, Greece and Hungary are the exceptions. France and Germany lead the way. Merkel has always been a neoliberal, Hollande has come to it only slightly reluctantly.

Neoliberalism is what US and EU have most in common - politically/economically. Very important. I don't think Germany has given up on buying up and privatizing as much of Ukraine as they can; and certainly the US based multinational corps are already buying Ukraine's assets - probably those corps in Europe too.

Perhaps the Spiegel article is a kind of false flag - or not; nonetheless it airs out what I see as a false resistance meme. Merkel, like Thatcher before her, is a committed neoliberal. THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE!

Posted by: okie farmer | Mar 8, 2015 4:53:54 PM | 70

Outraged

Thats the issue, no one talking about replacement more than you, its not a replacement.
Apparently I have to repeat myself, the EU army cause was Russia. Do you get it? What divorce? Get out of here.

Posted by: Anonymous | Mar 8, 2015 4:54:35 PM | 71

It's about time that the Europeans are recognizing that european interests don't align with US interests, when it comes to the US agenda regarding the Ukraine & Russia.

Posted by: Willy2 | Mar 8, 2015 5:10:59 PM | 72

@Anonymous #71

The fact that the main "cause" for EU Army is the need containing Russia changes nothing on the discussion about EU-US "divorce". Containing Russia has always been the issue of any Western alliance. Problem is, US and EU have major divergences about how to do it. US favors a far more provocative and offensive approach, by positioning military bases, missile shields and naval fleets around Russian border, and encouraging Russia's neighbors to cut their ties with Moscow and join Western partnerships. Europe on the other hand advocate a strictly defensive pact, that respects Russia's interests and influence over its near abroad.

The main reason for this divergence is quite easy to understand. European leaders know that in the event of war with Russia, the battlefield will be in their own lands. US on the other hand has nothing to risk and much to gain with a conflict between Russia and Europe, unless of course Russia decides to end the World (but for some odd reason that possibility never comes into account for neocons). But again, the divorce between US and EU is quite clear in this case. And I believe it's needless to say Russia would strongly support an European Army proposal, even if it's main purpose was to counter Russian military. For threats should be perceived not by one's alleged purposes, but by the means one employs to achieve those purposes.

Posted by: Ed Lozano | Mar 8, 2015 5:15:02 PM | 73

Yes, the powers that be did that to JFK when he stepped out of line. But they must know that, if they did the same thing to Obama, there would be riots all over the country. So Obama has power that JFK never had, but he's too cowardly or opportunistic to use that power.

Posted by: lysias | Mar 8, 2015 5:16:45 PM | 74

@ jfl

Agreed, though the US has always been cowardly, has always avoided risking open conflict with first world countries. It far prefers to have others fight it out between or amongst themselves and benefit from picking up the spoils at little cost afterwards. Everyone else is weaker thier economies damaged and the US relevant power enhanced.

See the Iran-Iraq war, see the US conduct in WWI, profiting handsomely throughout and only entering the conflict at the last moment once Germany was already on her knees and France and UK were crippled. Rinse and repeat in WwII letting the Nazis and Japanese Empire do their worst and handsomely profiting from all sides until they were dragged in on Dec 07 41. The cost exacted from 'helping' the UK was a takeover of their former empire and relegation to junior poodle vassal status. The UK was required to pay every single last dollar owed including interest accrued for Lend Lease during WWII and they only cleared the debt a few years ago.

The US doesn't want actual war with Russia, however, ongoing conflict both economic and low-medium military in Europe weakens all the europeans at no cost to and for the further benefit of the Five-eyes.

Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) works, unless miscalculations happen ...

It would seem the economic cost to Germany and to a lesser extent the rest of the EU regarding Russia is more than acceptable to the US, which ultimately has little skin in the game, for the US its a win-win, though apparently Germany and the EU? may be developing an entire different perspective, again all comes back to national 'interests'. And there appears to be no upside for Europe's interests re 'fuck the EU' ... even the somewhat rabid Poles are questioning the economic cost of Russia baiting re sanctions which are only hurting Russia and EU, US cost/pain=nil.

Posted by: Outraged | Mar 8, 2015 5:23:09 PM | 75

okie farmer

You are right, too much naive folks here suddenly. When people say that the EU army will somehow be "defensive" and will go against America's policies its just get too much to even comment further.

Posted by: Anonymous | Mar 8, 2015 5:28:06 PM | 76

Anonymous I would say "hopeful" instead of 'naïve'. b himself is ALWAYS an optimist (well MOSTLY), it's one of the things I like about this blog, without hope we're doomed.

Posted by: okie farmer | Mar 8, 2015 6:08:20 PM | 77

@ Okie Farmer

The Military Commander of NATO (Supreme Allied Commander Europe - *barf*) is always a US General Officer and says publicly exactly what he is instructed to say by DC (ie. Breedlove), his counterpart the NATO Secretary-General supposedly speaks for all NATO members however due to the US largely rigging the appointments has most often been little more than a rabid Atlanticist warmonger also receiving his talking points from DC, former Anders Fogh Rasmussen having been one of the worst, and the current Jens Stoltenberg is no better (he's a champion for NATO getting its very own Nukes, yay), hence there isn't much room for other individual members of NATO to even get airtime re issues relative NATO.

Yes, the US Commander of NATO and the effectively US appointed Secretary-General sockpuppet and lots of US politicians want the Europeans to spend a lot more of their Euros on an expanded NATO military that the US commands, especially if its US armaments, and even more so if that caused the Russians to have to waste more money to further counter/offset a NATO expansion, for the benefit of US interests. Cost/pain to US=nil.

However, there has been little discernable success because of sustained resistance to this call for some time now by NATO member countries, regardless of the over-the-top US propaganda re Russia and Ukraine, as NATO members have better things to do with those Euros given the state of the EU economy (austerity - public antipathy to military expenditure) since the GFC and the only beneficiary would be the US including indirectly by further weakening the EU economy to further US economic advantage globally. The indications are that even the UK poodle intends to further cutback, not expand, its military budget after the upcoming election.

The selling points of this possible EU Army apparently being put forward by Junckers/Germany are an EU Commander (ie. Not a US officer, rotating national appointment ?), under EU command serving EU interests, supposedly greater effectiveness/efficiency/reduced duplication, and therefore purportedly costing less Euros overall re current military expenditure (compared to US controlled NATO ?).

Nah, can't for the life of me see why the UK and US would be adamantly opposed ... *cough*

Posted by: Outraged | Mar 8, 2015 7:21:58 PM | 78

okie farmer @ 70,

I nodded my head in agreement all the way through. (Well, I'm not really sure Hollande came to neoliberalism reluctantly.)

Posted by: ee | Mar 8, 2015 9:17:32 PM | 79

I would separate German policies in the rest of the EU/world with German policies within their own borders.
A strong proxy for the presence of neoliberal economic policies is property prices. Nations which undergo a property bubble - are almost always neoliberal. Germany in this respect had pretty much the lowest property price growth of any EU nation.

Posted by: ǝn⇂ɔ | Mar 8, 2015 10:07:10 PM | 80

If amerikan foreign policy can engineer a war based around the Ukraine where european troops fight russian troops at the same time as a major schism develops in europe between the 'new europeans' of the baltic states, poland and the czech republic and the old europeans of france germany italy and spain, the amerikan empire will have killed two birds with one stone.

I reckon the european schism won't be splintering along such neat and tidy fault lines if it splinters at all, however.
While the old skool euro politicians may be reluctant to go to war, I am unsure their military leadership shares that view.

For too long Nato command structures have been trained with an amerikan ethos and a value set likely to see war as being 'a good thing'. The alacrity with which Nato tossed its european defense goal aside to jump into Afghanistan and then encouraged Nato members to deploy to then, despite both deployments being at odds with the wishes of their fellow citizens, ably illustrates the fault line between political and military leadership which successive euro pols have desperately tried to conceal from their voters

In the immediate post war period the euro governments had little say in the matter but with the occasional exception of france the bulk of european pols have been content to let amerika pick up the training tab for staff officers. With the short term goal orientation typical of elected leaders, most euro pols chose to believe they were getting 'free' training for their military commanders, rather than the truth - that europe was paying vast sums for a military whose commanders would dance the washington jig.

The short-sightedness of europe's pols has them choking their Greek brothers and sisters while the euro continues to decline yet the US$ arcs ever upwards, and never asking themselves "why are we working so hard to help amerika at the expense of fellow europeans?"

I have no doubt however much Merkel and co claim to oppose a full on war with Ukraine; instigated at least in part by their own military leaders whose patriotism must be open to question, that in the end they will acquiese to Nuland's strategy.

Not to do so would rquire vision and personal courage both of these in short supply among euro neo-liberals.
Especially for Merkel there is an easy out. All she needs to do is to tap into the just below the surface and rarely enunciated beliefs of a substantial number of her fellow citizens - that Germany has the 'right' to expand its influence further east.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Mar 8, 2015 10:08:00 PM | 81

"An European Army would be the final act of the divorce from US, since it would be a de facto ending of NATO."

Now we can rewrite the lyrics of John Lennon's "Imagine". Imagine that valiant plucky Georgia would get real help from legions of enthusiastic, well-trained and well-armed Europeans during her attempt of regaining territorial integrity. Then

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And Europe will live as one

What else European Army could do? Restore territorial integrity of Ukraine, prevent territorial integrity of Serbia, how about Cyprus? Thwarting secessionist rebellions in Flanders, Scotland and Catalonia? I say, go back to Lennon's lyrics.

What would truly impress me if Europeans refused to use SWIFT as an American economic weapon. Say, "if Congress is not rational enough to allow USA to enter a meaningful treaty with Iran, we will do it ourself and lift ALL European sanctions once we are satisfied. One could spin other ideas along those lines, including Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 8, 2015 11:24:37 PM | 82

03/08/2015-22:19

The combatants acknowledge that opponent’s artillery ceased working, but the Ukrainian army keeps striking systematically by tanks, 120 mm mortars, automatic grenade launchers, let alone small arms. We have wounded almost every day.

Posted by: Fete | Mar 8, 2015 11:34:19 PM | 83

@Outraged 78

What a relief to see finally somebody who gets it. Bravo!

(Some hasbara trolls here pretend not to, in order to spread fear and disnfo).

Posted by: Prosperous Peace | Mar 9, 2015 2:25:19 AM | 84

I think you give Obongo way too much credit.

He is "President" yes, but is he really? Or is he just a token face for the McCain´s and the other white House plantation owners to hold up for the 99%, a mere House n*gger?

Everytime the man open his mouth accompanied as always by his Telepromter or advisors, even then puerile stupidities ansd ridicolous threats comes out. I think he is doing a better characterization of himself than the North Koreans possibly could imagine...

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-12-27/north-korea-trolls-obama-compares-us-president-monkey-tropical-jungle

Posted by: whack | Mar 9, 2015 5:15:16 AM | 85

@ Debs is Dead

The whole purpose of NATO from inception was to undermine and suborn the military command of the NATO members military forces to US control for the benefit of the Empire. To have leverage of those militaries and direct command influence outside of their 'sovereign' governments. To keep Germany 'down'. Many Non-US-UK NATO officers are very aware indeed of what NATO really is, US provided 'training' or not. De Gaulle was well aware of the threat and gave NATO 'the finger' many times.

Five-eyes military officers are routinely utilized by their intelligence agencies to actively and aggressively cultivate and suborn any military officer who is not Five-eyes. The same process is aggressively pursued by the intelligence agencies against their counterparts amongst their tier three and four pseudo-allies such as Germany, France, Italy, etc. This has been going on for many decades.

The Chinese learnt this lesson during WWII and under no circumstances allow any officer with Operational/Line command in the PLA to have direct contact with US military counterparts except under very strict circumstances. The PLA has a dedicated corps of officers to conduct such interaction and liasion who will never be given PLA Operational/Line commands in their career as a result. To say the least, this really pisses the US off no end. A PR/Liaison officer in the PLA is of no use as an agent or future agent of influence given such policies, bummer.

These 'harmless' military-military and intelligence-intelligence interactions have been the very basis/foundation stone of the vast majority of the coups and destabilization operations the US has conducted on every continent since WWII.

There is the Five-eyes and then every other country on the planet, who are merely given different ratings of 'hostile' or 'enemy' and treated accordingly, regardless of any public utterings re so called 'alliances' and 'partnerships'.

'Old Europe' has dragged its feet and more many times despite dictats from the US. Latin America provides many examples of where the US polices/actions are ultimately counter-productive, compare its current state to the 60's-70's-80's absolute US dominance.

Regardless of US Neoliberal politics/virus the serving militaries of NATO as a whole would be bound more tightly to their own communities and individual national interests, should push come to shove, me thinks, given histories lessons.

IF the EU is to get out from under US domination/control/influence which is more and more counter to its own and europes interests (and many of its individual nations interests), it has to create separation of its intelligence services from the Five-eyes and take back control of its own military commands and agencies. A very big IF indeed ...

Posted by: Outraged | Mar 9, 2015 5:38:28 AM | 86

More proof for the naive folks here:
http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/03/09/400990/Russia-MP-calls-EU-army-idea-provocative

Posted by: Anonymous | Mar 9, 2015 6:17:16 AM | 87

@Ed Lozano 66


"bypassing both Europe and Ukrainian "moderates" (like Yulia Timoshenko)"

Tymosheno a moderate, I dont think so. Among other things her political party formed the Batkivshchyna Battalion.

http://www2.tymoshenko.ua/en/resistance-movement/

Posted by: notlurking | Mar 9, 2015 11:02:37 AM | 88

Piotr Berman #82

Georgia is not Europe.

I guess I didn't make myself clear in the previous post. An European Army's role would have nothing to do with secessionist movements. If Scottish and Catalonians want to secede, that's UK and Spain problems, not EU. Obviously there should be some rule in the agreement saying that only countries with no border conflicts would be allowed in the Army, same as NATO. So if for some reason Spain, Italy and other countries could not keep their territorial integrity, they should be ousted of the agreement, simple. And maybe rejoin later when the secession was completed.

The same way EU threatened to expel Scotland if they voted yes for independence. In fact UK examples would be pointless in this case, since UK would never, ever, join an European Army. So Scottish can really do whatever they want - including rejoin EU after independence and even adopting Euro if they like.

The purpose of an European Army in the peripheral states is not to prevent secessionist movements, but just to lift them from the burden of military spending, at the price of abdicating from their sovereignty. Maybe they are not ready to give up their weapons to a foreign Army, but then again, they gave up everything else to join EU.

I never been an enthusiast of the European Union project, I'm just stating what I believe is a fact: without an unified Army, Euro is no more than a project. And I might say, a crumbling one.

Anonymous #87

With all due respect, this "proof" means very little. We're talking about a MP opinion, not a senior officer from the Russian government. And he clearly believes the European Army would be an addendum to NATO. If that was the case, I would certainly agree with him - it's just another threat to Russia and so it should be condemned by Russians.

But I guess he's not seeing the big picture. No matter how Russia might feel threatened by an European Army, the threat posed by this project to NATO would be far more greater. For it would be a threat to NATO's existence itself. What's the point of joining an alliance led by a warmongering nation whose reckless strategies could bring you to the verge of a war with Russia, if you can join a defensive pact with Germany and France, that will assure you all the protection you need with a restrained, strictly defensive approach?

Not to mention the advantage that an European Army would, for obvious reasons, be restricted to Europe. So you wouldn't have to worry to declare war on Russia every time some reckless ally like Georgia decide to attack their Russian minorities. And I also believe the presence of foreign troops would prevent for instance Baltic States to engage an ethnic cleansing war like Ukraine did. For this Army's mandate would be restricted to protecting the borders, and it's presence would greatly diminish the need for a local National Army for obvious reasons.

So if Russian minorities there decided for some reason to secede (which I believe is still very unlikely), the local government would have no authority to send the European soldiers to repress them - in fact, they would likely be withdrawn or redeployed as peacekeepers. Either case, there would be no punitive crusade against the rebels, which would buy them enough time to engage a political solution.

Posted by: Ed Lozano | Mar 9, 2015 11:57:58 AM | 89

Ed

Hes a first deputy, I am amazed that I even have to put forward proof like this at all to make this point.

And for the 3rd time its NOT against Nato, its an idea BY the NATO country Germany!

Posted by: Anonymous | Mar 9, 2015 12:37:06 PM | 90

Anonymous #90

The fact that the idea comes from a NATO country means little - all major European economies belong to NATO and an European Army would mean nothing without them. The question is: will the European Army be a threat to NATO? US and UK strong opposition to the project should be regarded as an evidence of this hypothesis, since this opposition has nothing to do with unnecessary costs or the dispersion of efforts but solely with the absence of the Americans.

NATO is allegedly the hugest, longest, most successful alliance in recent History. Why should their members oppose a parallel project that have no intention nor capacity to match their military power, and as you say was never meant to be against the Atlantic alliance? Still, they do. Can you explain that?

PS #89

No one can tell for sure what would happen if there was an European Army in Ukraine, but I find it unlikely there would be a bloody Maidan for starters. Also, EU members must choose their representatives in the European Parliament by democratic elections, so it's very likely that an "European Union" Ukraine would have Eastern Ukrainians in the Euro Parliament, with all the prerogatives to denounce any offense against their people and ask for support within the European community. Finally, I find it hard to believe European leaders would allow a member of the union to engage punitive wars against separatists, not to mention the bad propaganda of Europe supporting Nazis.

But again, I have no guarantees such thing would not happen in the presence of European troops. I just believe it would be unlikely. Problem is we never actually saw these troops on action - the closest scenario I can recall was the Balkans in the 1990's, and they weren't of much use back then.

Posted by: Ed Lozano | Mar 9, 2015 2:09:12 PM | 91

In response to Outraged @ 61.

In a sense, an European army exists already, the principle is enshrined in the Treaty of Lisbon, the Common Security and Defense Policy, part of Common Foreign Policy. Well that doesn’t stretch far, more theory or BS hopes than action on the ground, as NATO has more weight, with the EU as vassal.

SAFE (synchonised armed forces europe) already exists (lame wiki, 1), it was proposed (afaik) by Germany, France, Belgium and Luxemburg. (lame wiki 2, 2003.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synchronised_Armed_Forces_Europe

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_of_the_European_Union

see also one MSM article, Telegraph, from 2009

http://tinyurl.com/bckzc3

as does a European Defense Agency (idk what they do exactly, coordinate arms production looks like?)

http://www.eda.europa.eu

Talk of a European Army is long-standing, discourse from the - surprise - liberal atlanticists. Sarkozy was particularly vociferous, gung-ho (see Lybia for ex.) Merkel, too, no time for looking up quotes right now.

European Army is code for more military spending, more intervention, increased EU integration / coordination, as well as the sacrosanct innovation — i.e. having Germany and France twist the arms of weaker members, and the EU generally getting their lame, weak, pathetic, act together. Btw afaik the official and only language of SAFE is English, and of course EU alphabet-soup bodies are supposed to refer to, draw on, NATO expertise, that is stressed in ANY, for the public, text one reads. (See also okie at 70.)

All that - recent history, superficial, I am no expert, etc. - does not preclude some kind of change of direction (in line with b’s post, say), diplomatic twists and turns, with half-hearted attempts at gaining leeway for independent action, implementing opposition to the Hegemon. …We will see…

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 9, 2015 2:18:25 PM | 92

Ed

They dont oppose it - thats the whole thing about this debate, only you here have claimed that.
UK is anti-EU to begin with so their alleged rejection is obvious.

Posted by: Anonymous | Mar 9, 2015 2:41:14 PM | 93

what a great thread! really nice to see our old friend outraged posting again and then Debs is dead comes out of the shadows. even the trolls seem to be in awe.

thanks to all for some great reading.

Posted by: dan of steele | Mar 9, 2015 3:31:32 PM | 94

Anonymous #93

Yes they do and have made that quite clear over the years. I might be the only one here claiming it, but sure wasn't the first one outside this forum.

US impressions on the creation of Rapid Reaction Force:

"http://www.cps.org.uk/files/reports/original/111220130807-Niceandafteroct2001BrianHindley.pdf"

Analysts saying why the US should (and ultimately will) oppose an independent EU defense system:

"http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2009/02/the-us-and-uk-must-oppose-french-plans-to-weaken-nato"

"http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/nilegardiner/100180784/eu-proposals-for-a-european-army-would-destroy-nato-and-threaten-the-transatlantic-alliance/"

Basically this is how things goes: US leaders will always publicly speak in favor of an European Army because they know there will never be such Army while UK remains part of the European Union and NATO obligations continue to dominate the European countries military budget. Same as Germans will always say Georgia and Ukraine may join NATO any time, but they will veto accession of any country which has border conflicts - in other words, Germany will never allow Ukraine and Georgia in.

But if you wanna believe their words and not these facts, that's your choice. Saakashvili also believed Merkel was serious about Georgia joining NATO and thus went to reclaim "full sovereignty" over Georgian territory by attacking South Ossetia. We all know how that ended.

Posted by: Ed Lozano | Mar 9, 2015 3:54:29 PM | 95

Ed Lazano

Again the EU army is not anti-nato (how many times have I said it now?), this is what you are missing in your analysis.
If you believe EU would even propose an army without US confirmation is terribly naive.

Posted by: Anonymous | Mar 9, 2015 4:07:10 PM | 96

#96

Again the EU army is not anti-nato (how many times have I said it now?), this is what you are missing in your analysis.

Anonymous, I guess we have a problem with semantics here. I NEVER said European Army was against NATO and I honestly have no idea where did you get that from. Surely it was not from my analysis, for I pointed from the beginning that both organizations would have to deal with the same issue, that is Russia. I never said they were designed to fight each other, which would be simply stupid.

What I did say, and backed with evidence, is that an European Army would be a threat to NATO even if it was not meant to be that way. For it's not a matter of ultimate objectives, but of dispersion of limited resources and contradiction between radically different doctrines and strategies.

It's not hard to see that difference. European Union was and still is a threat to national sovereignty in Europe, though is was never "meant" to be that way. So it's stupid to say EU is "against" the European countries independence, but it's even stupider to claim that independence is not at risk with the strengthening of the bloc's institutions.

I hope to make this difference clear now so I don't have to explain myself again.

If you believe EU would even propose an army without US confirmation is terribly naive.

EU didn't propose anything, Germany did. And UK already slammed it. Actually you're being naive for believing European officials only make proposals previously concerted with all the countries of the bloc. In fact they are often "experimenting" by starting public debates and launching ideas that further may be (or not) endorsed by the other members.

Almost all of European major institutions such as the common currency, the unified Parliament and the European Rapid Reaction Force (which could be considered the embryo of an EU Army) emerged this way: one of the members proposed it, there was a public debate that went on for years (or even decades) and only after unanimity was achieved that idea became reality.

So there's no big deal if Germans are proposing an EuroArmy now. Italians did the same some years ago, and French advocate the idea since the 1950's. And none of them asked for previous US "confirmation", for this would be simply stupid - they already know US position, which is the same since the creation of NATO. And the very fact they know US opposition to an independent European defense system but still continue to bring this project to public debate should suggest they are not happy with the way US is leading NATO.

Also, has it ever occurred to you that German proposal might not win the support of other European countries? And if that's the case, then how could that proposal be "confirmed" by US? If Americans have such leverage over Europe as you believe, there should not be any doubt that every European proposal is in fact an American one. So how come there is still disagreement in the bloc? How come they failed to impose the same sanctions US did on Russia? And why Americans would waste their time criticizing Minsk II talks if they knew Europeans would never sign anything they wouldn't approve?

With all due respect, your opinion on American domination over Europe is naive to the core, not to mention is not backed by public evidence.

Posted by: Ed Lozano | Mar 9, 2015 4:58:01 PM | 97

Regardless of whose interest an EU army would serve or harm, or whether it will ever be allowed to come to pass, my first reaction on hearing this news was, "Ooh, Germans arming Greeks and Spaniards--they better watch out what they ask for! This could get interesting..."

Posted by: Vintage Red | Mar 9, 2015 5:10:14 PM | 98

Ed Lozano


I NEVER said European Army was against NATO and I honestly have no idea where did you get that from.

I got it from here:

Ed Lozano

An European Army would be the final act of the divorce from US, since it would be a de facto ending of NATO.

EU army is not against nato, is not against US,
so > it cannot be any divorce > it cannot be against nato.


EU didn't propose anything, Germany did. And UK already slammed it. Actually you're being naive for believing European officials only make proposals previously concerted with all the countries of the bloc. In fact they are often "experimenting" by starting public debates and launching ideas that further may be (or not) endorsed by the other members.

The idea isnt new and if you google around it wasnt something that was popped up just suddenly in Germany, many states support it, and have, for years now.


So how come there is still disagreement in the bloc?

Again there is no disagreements more than the the obvious anti-EU UK.

not to mention is not backed by public evidence.

I love optimistic people but you are 100% naive.

Posted by: Anonymous | Mar 9, 2015 5:31:19 PM | 99

#99

This is not about optimism, but facts. I'm a 100% sure the European Army project will never prosper, but I'm also 100% sure that if it did it would be a major threat to NATO (no wonder why it cannot prosper). There's no contradiction on that statement. There's no moral judgment either, just plain facts and reason.

In fact you're the one who contradicted yourself more than once. First you claim the idea of an unified Army in Europe is old, and later you say there's no disagreement between their members. If both assumptions are true then why the European Army was never created?

I rest my case.

Finally, I don't pretend to know all the truth but I insist on an honest debate. I presented an analysis based on facts and logic, whether you agree with it or not. You could refute my "naive and optimistic" view by presenting other perspective, but instead you prefer to childishly distort my words.

I really don't have time for this. If you really believe divorces happen because husband and wife are "against" each other, I cannot engage an intelligent discussion with you for you're not an adult person. Goodbye.

Posted by: Ed Lozano | Mar 9, 2015 7:15:04 PM | 100

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