The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 BlogviewEric Margolis Archive
Le Bull in la French China Shop
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
AgreeDisagreeLOLTroll
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

Asked if President Donald Trump’s highly critical tweets about French president Emmanuel Macron were unpleasant and inelegant, Macron elegantly replied, `you summed up everything.’

Yes, they were unpleasant and inelegant, to put it mildly. Worse, Trump’s tweet barrage came on the same day France was commemorating the murder of 130 Parisians by gunmen in 2015. A senior French press official claimed Trump ‘lacked common decency.’ Making matters worse, Trump refused to show up at a graveside memorial for American GI’s killed in the bloody, 1918 Belleau Wood battle. He went the following day to another memorial closer to Paris.

A major faux pas, Monsieur le President Trump. You need some foreign policy pros instead of the amateur ideologues who have made a huge mess of the nation’s affairs and image.

This row arose after Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel addressed the European Parliament in Strasbourg and called for a common European army to ‘complement’ NATO.

Earlier, Chancellor Merkel stated that Europe could no longer depend on the US for its protection.

Merkel’s frank talk was clearly a slap in the face to the prickly Trump, whose aggressive policies have put the US in confrontation with Russia, China, Iran, Turkey, Venezuela, Cuba and much of the Muslim world.

In effect, Germany and France, Europe’s two big powers, were declaring independence from US hegemony seven decades after the end of World War II. Many Europeans – and certainly Germans – consider their nations still militarily and politically occupied by the American Imperium. How else could the US National Security spy agency (NSA) get away with tapping Angela Merkel’s cell phone with nary a German protest?

Given Russia’s military and financial feebleness (a defense budget less than one tenth of the US), what reason is there for a major US military presence from Spain to the Baltic and Black Sea? There are still US military bases in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany (34 bases), Belgium, Holland, Britain, Turkey, Denmark, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Romania, Kosovo, Greece and soon Poland.

Large parts of Europe are still militarily occupied by the US. Amazingly, the European Union, the world’s most important economic power, has very little self-defense capability. Instead, the US-runs and finances the lion’s share of NATO. Just as during the old Cold War, the Warsaw Pact was run from Moscow, so NATO is directed by Washington, and is a major component of US global power.

Nations that do not have their own military forces have very little sovereignty. Costa Rica is one charming exception. Great powers like France, Britain and Germany must command a good portion of their own military forces or join them in a common armed force. This is what Merkel and Macron were proposing, to Trump’s fury.

ORDER IT NOW

During the 1950’s, Europeans agreed to NATO as much in fear of a recurrence of the horrors of two European wars as fear of Soviet invasion, though the latter was very real at the time. Even the Swiss built fortifications designed to stop an invasion by the Soviet Red Army, and France began work to up-gun and reinforce the Maginot Line defenses.

The angry Trump fired back by reminding France that it was rescued in two world wars by the United States, had major economic problems, and could not trust the Germans. This is a favorite theme of French-hating, know-nothing conservatives and neocons. I suspect their hatred of France comes from being mistreated as tourists by rude waiters in Paris restaurants and sneered at by snooty French as uncultured boors and rustics. Trump’s core supporters – Evangelical
Christians – mostly regard French and other Europeans as degenerate, godless, Christian-haters.

They conveniently forget, or don’t know, that French soldiers and sailors delivered decisive victories over British forces during the American Revolution. A key cause of the French Revolution was national bankruptcy caused by King Louis’ heavy spending on military help to the US war of independence.

When I’m in Metz, France, I always go to salute the statue of the Marquis de Lafayette who led French forces helping the American Revolution. Without French help, Americans might be today caught up in the ghastly Brexit mess.

NATO provides huge geopolitical influence to Washington and enormous amounts of military sales. Small wonder the US rages when any mention of an independent European military is voiced. The idea assails America’s domination of Europe and the use of NATO to impose its will on the Mideast, Africa and western Asia.

Ironically, Trump’s evident hatred for Europe and calls by his neocon Praetorian Guard for the US to dominate the entire globe have made Europe turn away from its old subservience to Washington and talk about real independence. But building true Euro-armed forces will be frightfully expensive and politically fraught. Watching EU squabbles over farm laws and other economic issues hardly inspires confidence. But the EU must have its own defense capabilities if it is to escape permanent thralldom to the United States.

(Republished from EricMargolis.com by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Military, Donald Trump, EU, France 
Hide 9 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
    []
  1. I also favor the dissolution of NATO, withdrawal of American forces from Europe and establishment of a European defense force. I just wonder if Trump secretely has the same objective and is stoking European resentment in an effort to get the Europeans to tell the United States to go home.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  2. In effect, Germany and France, Europe’s two big powers, were declaring independence from US hegemony seven decades after the end of World War II.

    Ah, I see Eric reads my blog. No, declaring “independence” and being truly independent are two entirely different things. France has no resources, human, economic, moral to sustain future European “Army” because, well, France is financially and militarily feeble. She, together with UK, ran out of stand-off high precision munitions in three days during midget Sarkozy’s “payback” to Qaddafi, and begged the US to interfere. So, if this is a sign of the “big power”, I don’t know what the definition of a small one is.

    I suspect their hatred of France comes from being mistreated as tourists by rude waiters in Paris restaurants and sneered at by snooty French as uncultured boors and rustics. Trump’s core supporters – Evangelical Christians – mostly regard French and other Europeans as degenerate, godless, Christian-haters.

    Please, I am an atheist, with Russian Orthodox background, not Trump’s supporter, and while I do not hate France, I, as very many people do, see her for what she is–a secondary military and economic power (and even that primarily because of France’s limited nuclear deterrent) which still pretends that she matters–in a larger scheme of things she does not and will do what the US will tell it to do, this even more applies to Germany which is de facto an occupied country (see today Shroeder’s interview, as an example). In general, it is a good idea to stop using this as an argument:

    a defense budget less than one tenth of the US

    Because it is a false equivalency which has been proven false very many times, including very recently and has practically zero relevance to actual capabilities. And that is why European Army is a utopia–there is simply no wherewithal in Europe to deal with this issue and by armed forces I am not talking couple of divisions (mostly for parades) and “unification” of other forces for the consumption of European housewives. In the end, this is done today within precisely NATO’s command and control structures.

  3. Trump’s core supporters – Evangelical
    Christians – mostly regard French and other Europeans as degenerate, godless, Christian-haters.

    Your age is showing.

    Trump’s hardest core supporters are nationalists who understand that France and most of Europe suffers from a similar flood of immigration that we do.

    We were cheering for Marine Le Pen. Of course since you worship Mohammedans that might make us even worse for you than the dreaded Evangelicals who still believe in God.

    As for Macron’s remark, he is right. The US domination of Europe has been devastating for the continent.

    But as Martyanov explained, he won’t do anything about it.

    If the Europeans had a spine they would’ve shown it over Trump’s Iran policy. They’d pass Russian-style laws prohibiting Europeans from complying with American secondary sanctions and financially compensate affected firms.

    Instead they’ve simply said the situation is “unfortunate”.

    • Agree: YetAnotherAnon
  4. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:
    @Diversity Heretic

    I had the same wishful thought when Mr. Margolis’s “Ironically” jumped out to poke me in the eye:

    “Ironically, Trump’s evident hatred for Europe and calls by his neocon Praetorian Guard for the US to dominate the entire globe have made Europe turn away from its old subservience to Washington and talk about real independence.”

    The author also seems to struggle in this essay when failing to note that building all those bases, tapping Mrs. Merkel’s phone, etc., preceded the inauguration of President Trump. The barking may have become louder, but the big dog has been running the neighborhood for a long time.

    #EndTheEmpire

  5. anon[370] • Disclaimer says:

    Your snide remark at the low IQ evangelical herd of buffalo and buffon is apt and illuminating . These bastards will support any war against anyone and sanitize with bible. These morons used to call Soviet as godless in 80s Now they side with the same outfit ( CIA Pentagon State Dept Media and Corporation ) that use the elected government to advance the exploitative oppressive dominating agenda. Agenda of the top tier . But now they quietly support the stupid Anerican allegations and propaganda that Russia is pro life,pro religion,pro God country .

    Only the filthy stupid can fall for this.

    On another vein, the Muslim invasion of EU by common Muslim folks is welcome. EU deserve it. It’s called comeuppance . It’s called blowback. It is called Chicken coming home to roost.

    Those vapid charlatan who don’t want to see Muslim invading same way Australia or US should go out on the street and protest against slow march to war against Iran, should learn that sanction is war and hurts common folks . The common folks are not going to abide by the rule of the law or some international treaty that they couldn’t enter the invading country while invading country can.

  6. Avrier says:

    @ Margolis
    The marquis de Rochambeau, not Lafayette, was the one who lead the 7,000 or so French
    contingent during the War and comte de Grasse was leading the French navy at the battle of
    the Chesapeake
    Lafayette was just a free electron expert in communications,

  7. Stogumber says:

    France as a neighbour nation would have been accepted by the Germans, if only the German leftists had not stuffed France down every throat as a the role model of democracy (because of its radical anti-Catholic policy, not in spite of it) – a propaganda which damaged the image of France as well as the image of democracy.
    This only changed after WWII, when the Germans found another role model: the United States, where democracy was not equated with leftist policy. In fact, Germans (except the radical right and the radical left) have had rather friendly feelings towards the United States ever after.

  8. “reminding France that it was rescued in two world wars by the United States, had major economic problems, and could not trust the Germans”

    That’s generally true and a lot more relevant than what Lafayette got up to two centuries ago.

    The one quibble is that even the Germans can’t trust the Germans these days – because there is a gulf between Euro elites (like Merkel and Macron) and the nations of Europe (like native Germans and French) much wider than the English Channel – more like the Atlantic.

  9. Alistair says:

    After collapse of Soviet Union and dissolution of the Warsaw Pact in 1991, NATO should have been dissolved or at least reformed; because there was no longer a credible threat against American interests in Europe, but NATO continued to expand into Eastern Europe, and today, it remains the single source of contention between the US and Russia.

    Without a reform, NATO is becoming an ever irrelevant institution to the Europeans who have no global ambitions like invading Afghanistan or Iraq; they do not want NATO to serve as an instrument of American foreign policy in the Middle East or elsewhere.

Current Commenter
says:

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone


 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments become the property of The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Eric Margolis Comments via RSS
Personal Classics
Bin Laden is dead, but his strategy still bleeds the United States.
Egyptians revolted against American rule as well as Mubarak’s.
“America’s strategic and economic interests in the Mideast and Muslim world are being threatened by the agony in...
A menace grows from Bush’s Korean blind spot.
Far from being a model for a “liberated” Iraq, Afghanistan shows how the U.S. can get bogged down Soviet-style.