The Unz Review • An Alternative Media Selection$
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 BlogviewEric Margolis Archive
Aux Armes, Citoyens! the Americans Attack
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information


Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • B
Show CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Thanks, LOL, or Troll 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 three times during any eight hour period.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

Citizens of France. To arms! Man the ramparts. The American barbarians are coming. They shall not pass!

Le Trump’s threat to France’s splendid wines and Roquefort cheese are the gravest menace France has faced since the Germans invaded this fair land in 1914. Burgundy wines and France’s 300 fromages form the very soul of la Belle France.

Trump does not know or care that France saved America from British mis-rule. He wants revenge because France – which taxes nearly everything – seeks to tax US IT firms like Google and Amazon. Trump considers this a personal affront. Besides, he dislikes wine and lives on desiccated burgers made with petrochemical cheese, washed down by acidic Diet Cokes.

On top of this outrage comes the squabble over NATO. Trump used to scoff at the Alliance, saying it was ‘obsolete’ as well as under-armed and short of money. The president and his backers really dislike France and all it stands for, including wine and cheese.

Even more important, Trump and his Bible Belt supporters want to keep ‘ungodly’ Europe under Washington’s thumb. NATO is the instrument of America’s domination over Europe. Confused president Trump fails to understand that the NATO members are supposed to devote up to 2% of their budgets to building their own military forces, not to paying off Washington for protection.

Most European nations have sharply reduced their military budgets since the end of the Cold War. In spite of warlike talk from some NATO leaders, most Europeans, aside from the Poles and Baltic states, see no threat from the old foe, Russia. Modern Russia’s armed forces have seriously shrunken. While impressive on paper, they must defend a vast territory from Poland to the Bering Strait. Worse, the drop in world oil prices has cut Russia’s military budgets.

Unlike 1980, Europeans have little fear that 40,000 Soviet tanks are about to crush all before them and race for the Channel ports. The most important European power, Germany, has grown militarily feeble. German tax-payers, like most other Europeans, see no need to spend billions of hard-earned euros against a non-existent threat from the East. The Poles are arming against Russia, and the Greeks against Turkey, but these local squabbles should not be NATO’s primary concern.

France’s President Emmanuel Macron called today’s NATO brain dead, invoking the ire of Trump. What Macron meant was that the alliance has no coherent strategy or world view. The US wants to use NATO as a Europe-based police force to support its imperial operations in the Mideast, Africa and, most lately, against China. Most Europeans say that these far-flung regions have nothing to do with European security and want no part of a growing conflict with China. It was bad enough the US forced NATO to get militarily involved in Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and Iraq. Trump wants his European Foreign Legion; Europeans say no.


Aside from France, which is deeply involved in a nasty, neo-colonial misadventure in West Africa, most Europeans have no interest in such ‘little wars.’ Their military industrial complexes do not drive government policies, as in the United States. Though, an interesting exception is Britain. It was just revealed that commandos of Britain’s Special Boat Service have been actively involved in Yemen’s bloody civil war to assist Saudi-backed forces.

As President Macron has been rightly saying, the European Union, a greater economic power than the United States, should have its own unified military forces. It’s absurd that the so-called European Union has neither armed forces nor centralized command. The United States is happy to fulfill this role because it preserves American domination of Europe that dates back to the 1940’s and assures a large market for US arms makers.

And, yes, many Europeans don’t want to pay the price for real military power. Who cares about squalid little wars in the Mideast, Africa and West Asia? There’s no way Europe will get into a military confrontation with China over two-by-nothing islets no one has ever even heard of.

(Republished from by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Donald Trump, France, NATO 
Hide 41 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
  1. Alistair says:

    Trump is right about the NATO members inadequate military spending; the US expects NATO members to spend 2% of their GDP on their own defence, the US however, does not require them to purchase American made weapons, they can produce their own weapons, like French do, or buy from each other like Germans — they just have to make their military up and ready in case of emergency, that’s not an unreasonable expectation.

    Among the NATO members however, Canada’s case is unique; due to its closeness and joint high command (NORAD) with the US — and direct threat from Russian claim on the Canadian Arctic, Canada needs and must increase its military spending significantly, Canada should purchase modern Air force fleet, Advanced Surveillance equipment, Warships and Submarines for the defence of the Arctic; F-35, F-22, AH-64 Apache, Nuclear powered Icebreaker and Submarines etc. because all these equipment will we be partially built in Canada which bring many high tech jobs and economic growth to the Canadian communities.

    Trump is right, NATO and Canada should spend much more on their own defence, and buying American advanced weapons is the best strategic choice for the Canadians forces, there shouldn’t be any doubt about that.

  2. Jmaie says:

    LOL to the first comment, Russia is *zero* threat to Canada**. Russia is zero threat to the US or Europe either. NATO has long outlived its purpose and needs to die.

    ** I suppose Russia could claim the north pole, and threaten to hold Santa hostage.

    • Replies: @Alistair
    , @Joe Stalin
  3. Alistair says:

    Russian annexation of Crimea was a blatant assault on the International Law, yet it went off without serious consequences to Russia — it’s not a secret that Russia has claims on Canadian Arctic seabed, Russia has already planted its flag on the Arctic seabed; here is a Link that you should want to see:

  4. joe2.5 says:

    Alistair @ 3

    I’d really be interested to understand how on earth the reintegration, by overwhelming majority in a plebiscite acknowledged by all sides as free and unconstrained, of Crimea, a Russian province for 300+ years, and a majority-Russian area for quite a long time, is “a blatant assault on the International Law”.

    The “International Law” you quote must be a newcomer.

  5. voicum says:

    Are you insane ? This is where your money and my money should be spent ?

  6. likbez says:


    “I’d really be interested to understand how on earth…”

    It is very easy to understand. As Upton Sinclair observed “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

    Alistair repeats typical neocon viewpoint. Nothing original here. Neocons make their living off threat inflation and this isn’t cheap cynicism. It is simply a fact.

    Fiona Hill is a shining recent example here — this intellectual prostitute of MIC is a member of Brookings Institution, Atlantic Council and other MIC lobbing organization that promote Cold War 2 and neoliberal globalization.

    The real question is “Why we should believe any of these chickenhawks?” They has been proven liars so many times that they deserve the rotten tomatoes to be thrown at them on any of their public appearances or, which is sadly impossible, at their Internet posts 😉

    But again money do not smell: unless neocons start facing very real and very personal consequences, nothing will change. And like with any sect there is small number of intellectually deficient people who still believe them.

    See Stephen M. Walt

    3. Restrainers Want Realistic Foreign Policy Goals. Instead of engaging in costly and futile efforts to remake the world in our image, restrainers want U.S. foreign policy to pursue more feasible objectives. The U.S. military must be strong enough to deter attacks on the U.S. homeland, a task that is relatively easy to accomplish. When necessary, the United States can also help other states uphold the balance of power and deter war in a few key strategic areas outside the Western Hemisphere. America’s economic clout will also give Washington considerable influence over the institutions that manage trade, investment and other beneficial forms of international cooperation, and it should use that influence to ensure these institutions are working properly. But the United States has neither the need, the capacity, nor the wisdom to conduct massive social engineering projects (“nation-building”) in deeply divided and conflict prone societies, and it should cease trying.

    4. Restrainers Want Credible Foreign Commitments. The United States keeps taking on new security obligations in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, but it rarely debates their wisdom or value. Americans are now formally committed to defending more countries around the world than at any time in U.S. history, even though some of these states are hard to defend, have little strategic importance for the United States, and sometimes act in ways that damage U.S. interests. Washington is also engaged in less visible military activities in dozens of other countries, some of them shrouded in secrecy. Yet anytime U.S. leaders contemplate trimming these obligations, alarmists warn that the slightest reduction in America’s global presence will undermine U.S. credibility, embolden rivals, and lead to catastrophe. Having allowed itself to become overextended, the United States ends up fighting endless wars in places with no strategic value in order to convince allies and adversaries that it will still fight in places of greater importance.

  7. The sooner the EU & Europe generally either discard NATO or create its own defence force in parallel
    with NATO, the better.
    Europe MUST take control of its own destiny. It can not have an external nation, the US, with different, if not opposing interests, dictating European policy & action.
    The “Russia” situation is a perfect example of this divergence of interests. Europe’s future clearly lies with greater Eurasian integration. Energy, primary products, & mercantile trade all lie to the East, through Russia to China, Vietnam etc. Notably, some countries such as Italy are already pulling away from official EU policy & turning East.
    Unfortunately, The US has bribed & threatened (many) EU leaders, leaders who couldn’t even imagine a change to the status quo. Thankfully, though, it seems that many average Europeans are sick to their back-teeth with the status quo & Europe’s “evermore” subservience to US imperialism.

  8. USA should leave NATO.

    • Agree: Ilyana_Rozumova
  9. @Joe Stalin

    First of all, if Russia invades Canada, they end up with Canada.

    Second, a Russian invasion would interfere with the Chinese and Asian invasions already in progress.

    • Replies: @davidgmillsatty
  10. German tax-payers, like most other Europeans, see no need to spend billions of hard-earned euros against a non-existent threat from the East.

    They don’t even want to spend their money turning back the actual threats spilling across their borders, but climate change is way up there on the agenda. De-industrialised Europe chock-full of third-world denizens is going to be heaven on earth.

  11. Alistair says:
    @Joe Stalin

    Your video is misleading and frankly stupid; Russia only wants the Canadian Arctic, not the whole Canada; as such they can easily assert themselves in the North – given the state of Arctic defence, occupying the Canadian Arctic isn’t such out of reach mission for the Russian forces !!!

    • Replies: @davidgmillsatty
    , @WHAT
  12. @joe2.5

    The referendum was not legit. When it is held under the guns of an occupying power, and that occupying power imports thousands of colonists prior to the vote, you get a farce. That plebiscite is simply a Putinist lie you’ve swallowed whole.

    • Replies: @Ilyana_Rozumova
    , @Realist
  13. Jimmy1969 says:

    France lost every war it ever fought in.

  14. Anonymous[425] • Disclaimer says:

    As President Macron has been rightly saying, the European Union, a greater economic power than the United States, should have its own unified military forces.

    Macron invites massive African invasion of Europe, but he wants a European military force? For what?

    • Replies: @Kratoklastes
  15. @Alistair

    because all these equipment will we be partially built in Canada which bring many high tech jobs and economic growth to the Canadian communities

    Military Keynesianism is the dumbest policy framework imaginable.

    Any Canadian who would willingly foist it on their fellow Canadians should be taken up to Nunavut and left on the ice.

    • Replies: @Alistair
  16. @Alistair

    Russian annexation of Crimea was a blatant assault on the International Law

    Guess who has no standing to lecture the Assembled Various about international law?
    • citizens of countries whose governments participated in the wars of aggression in Iraq and Afghanistan (and now Yemen);
    • individuals who are OK with the ongoing behaviour of Eurotrash invaders of Palestine.

    That’s tu quoque, I realise – but the alternative grates worse than hearing a Catholic priest voice his concern about rampant paedophilia among the Amish[2].

    Western governments know that they face a quandary if they argue that the reincorporation of Crimea into the Russian Federation is a violation of international law (which is arguable, even though most of the arguments I’ve read are entirely self-serving[3]) – because all Western governments have possessions that were obtained under much more clearly egregious circumstances.

    As to the Crimea generally –

    The Crimean UDI did not necessarily violate international law (per the ICJ Advisory Opinion on the Kosovo UDI, Unilateral Declarations of Independence do not per se violate international law)

    And since the Russian Federation is in the P5 in the UNSC, it can veto any US attempt to tweak its nose at the UNSC – which obviously infuriates the US despite the US being very liberal in the use of its veto to prevent adoption of UNSC resolutions regarding Palestine.

    The question that people ought to think hard about: China abstained from the US-authored March 2014 UNSC vote, despite the fact that it has no interest in supporting UDIs given its position on Taiwan (and increasingly, the risk of a Hong Kong UDI).

    Interestingly: under the legal theory espoused in the US text, the US War of Independence would have been illegal.

    That tells you literally everything you need to know about the US government’s current relationship to its founding principles.

    [1] I am anti-death-penalty when it is applied by a state to its citizens, but I am very very pro death penalty when it comes to the political class. Any breach of public trust – even those that happen involuntarily – should result in execution.

    [2] As far as I know, there is no rampant paedophilia among the Amish – which fits in nicely with your straw man about the ‘annexation’ of Crimea.

    [3] A good précis of the law and the reality on the ground from both sides of the argument can be found in the remarks by Simon Chesterman and Peter Olson in the section “Is International Law Effective? The Case of Russia and Ukraine” in Proceedings of the Annual Meeting (American Society of International Law) Vol. 108, The Effectiveness of International Law 2014 pp 37-42.

    Peter Olson was a legal advisor to the NATO SecGen who spent the vast bulk of his career at the US State Department – so his are largely “corn-pone” opinions (the Samuel Clemens taxonomy is better than Upton Sinclair’s). While we’re at it, let’s ask Gina Haspel if what she oversaw at black sites was ‘torture’.

    Simon Chesterman is Dean of the Law faculty at the National University of Singapore, and his PhD thesis (which later became a very readable book[4]) lays out a very cogent argument against ‘humanitarian intervention’ and therefore the ‘responsibility to protect’ [R2P] shibboleth.

    [4] Chesterman, S (2000) Just War or Just Peace? Humanitarian Intervention and International Law Oxford Monographs in International Law, OUP

  17. @Anonymous

    Macron invites massive African invasion of Europe, but he wants a European military force? For what?

    For what? For the opportunity for the people who funded his political career, to transfer vast amounts of tax funds into their personal fortune.

    Do you seriously think that militaries exist to defend territory?

    If my 4 year old niece espoused a view of the world that naïve, it would be additional evidence for my hypothesis that she is mildly retarded.

  18. ” It’s absurd that the so-called European Union has neither armed forces nor centralized command.”

    It is clownish statements like this that illustrates why the the common, sane people have the hatred they do for the corrupt globalist corporate filth and their media whores and why it is increasingly finding voice.

    That the European Economic Community should metastasize into a centralized military Empire is not acceptable to the vast majority of those living in Europe.

  19. @Joe Stalin

    If Russia invaded Canada, why would it become “Red Canada”?

    Russia has far fewer communists than, for example, California.

    • Replies: @LoutishAngloQuebecker
  20. @Bill Jones

    “Leftist” takes on a whole new dimension in North America. Transgender, Homosexual, Pedophile, Satanist, anti-working class… just about any person of any ideology in the rest of the world retches when they come into contact with the white, western, “leftist”. Especially when “she” is obese and tatted up.

  21. @The Alarmist

    And if Russia has a shortage of anything at all, and of which it desperately needs more, it has to be frozen tundra.

  22. @Alistair

    They don’t have enough frozen arctic, they need way more.

  23. @Quartermaster

    Putin invited West to observe the elections in Crimea. Wes refused. Why can you tell me?

    • Agree: WHAT
  24. @Alistair

    The best strategic choice is submarines and nuclear weapons. Without nukes, the rest of your military is just for show and for democracy-spreading in the third world.

    Something to keep in mind whenever you demand that Europe (or Canada) should pay for its own “defense.”

  25. Rebel0007 says:

    It would appear that you are not in support of the free flow of information to the French citizens, since any tax on corporations are ALWAYS passed on to the consumer! Sad but true! Do you really think that Wall Street’s investors would ever stand for anything else? Do you seriously expect Wall Street investors to forfeit their self-perceived right to the surplus of labor? These happen to be the same people that imploded the World Trade towers, or in the very least, were willing participants in the fraudulent cover-up and \$21 trillion heist from the Pentagon, and the bombing of the Pentagon, who is evidently helpless, defenseless, and asleep at the switch.

    Better watch out for the military might of the USA Vampires that can’t do a damn thing to stop the blood letting!

  26. Alistair says:

    ….. “Delusional Idealism”…..

  27. WHAT says:

    >modern Air force fleet
    >F-35, F-22, AH-64 Apache

    Real nice joke lol.

    >Nuclear powered Icebreaker

    Should they purchase it in Russia then? Because guess who actually makes those in metal, instead of producing only steam.

  28. WHAT says:

    >Russia wants the Canadian Arctic

    Citation needed.

    • Replies: @Alistair
  29. It might be correct, “there is no way Europeans will get into a military confrontation with China over two-by-nothing islets no one has ever even heard of.” But they may not be able to avoid the consequences. World wars start locally.

  30. Alistair says:

    See the link to The Guardian Article that I already posted !!!

  31. Realist says:

    Where have you been…your bullshit was always funny.

  32. @Jimmy1969

    Absolutely untrue.

    They pushed their border east for some 200 miles in about 200 years and laid waste to large parts of southern Germany in the process.

    Conveniently forgotten these days, because German militarism looky a lot more rational if several centuries of french military aggression are taken into account.

  33. Alistair says:

    …… Except that under Napoleon Bonaparte, the First French Empire had defeated most of the European states – ruled over 3/4 of the Europe; from Poland to Spain, North and Central Africa, Egypt and so forth …… Please check your facts !!!

  34. Jimmy1969 says:

    Eric Margolis has spent a lot of time in Canada and knows the media business there better than anyone. He should write an article about the history of the Asper family newspaper chain and the current Post Media conglomerate and who actually owns and controls all of Post Media and the implications for never finding a single article in their dozens of major papers that are critical of Israel….or how they delete anything that is critical of Israel …and how they are a haven for left wing zealots but smeared the only one moderate right wing candidate Max Bernier…who was ruined by a smear campaign which Post Media will not address.

  35. s President Macron has been rightly saying, the European Union, a greater economic power than the United States, should have its own unified military forces. It’s absurd that the so-called European Union has neither armed forces nor centralized command.

    LOL. Okay m’Lord emperor. That should work out well. No wonder the British want OUT of that Franco-German Beast, itself an uneconomic, awkward union.

  36. Stan says:

    Nato, as Israel Shamir has noted, will not be disbanded, nor will the US be allowed to withdraw from Nato by the current ruling class of the US. Ziocons in the US are opposed to a US withdrawal from Nato. They view Nato as vital to the security of Israel.

  37. Anonymous[145] • Disclaimer says:

    Is this the same Alistair that in the past wrote:

    “One of the core objectives of the NATO is to provide an exclusive market for the US weapon manufacturers”

    “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.”

    “The reality is that the US economy is heavily dependent on the Military Industrial Complex; America needs to have Military Adversaries, so, it can grow its economy”
    “the expansion of NATO to Eastern Europe, the invasion of Iraq, Libya, Syria, US interference in Georgia and Ukraine”

    • Replies: @Alistair
  38. Anonymous[145] • Disclaimer says:

    Is this the same Alistair that in the past wrote:

    “the expansion of NATO to Eastern Europe, the invasion of Iraq, Libya, Syria, US interference in Georgia and Ukraine”

    What was a blatant assault on international law was the US interference in the Ukraine that led to the overthrow of its elected government:

    Feb 04, 2014 – A leaked call between US Assistant Secretary of State and US Ambassador to the Ukraine reveals them deciding who to put into power in Ukraine: “Yats is the guy”.
    Feb 20, 2014 – Unidentified snipers on roofs near Maidan square open fire, resulting in nearly 80 people being killed, including many police.
    Feb 21, 2014 – The elected but embattled Yanukovych signs a European-brokered deal in which he accepts reduced powers and an early election so that he can be voted out.
    Feb 22, 2014 – The violent US-backed coup in the Ukraine overthrows the democratically-elected government (that had just the day before agreed to early elections within weeks.)
    Feb 27, 2014 – Instead of allowing those elections, the US immediately recognizes the coup regime’s government on the day it is formed, headed by their chosen “Yats is the guy” Yatsenyuk.

    Mar 16, 2014 – The elected government of Crimea organizes a referendum, and the Crimean people vote to leave the post-coup neo-Nazi-controlled Ukraine and to rejoin Russia.

  39. Alistair says:

    Yes, he is the same, and thank you for reading my comments.
    The reality is that, the west went through a full circle with Russia and China; these regimes have been reverting to their core totalitarian nature.

    Yet, my comment is rather concerning Canada’s status within the NATO; Canada needs the US for the defence of the Arctic; in the face of ever assertive China and Russian claim on the Canadian Arctic Seabed; Canada must remain in a tight strategic alliance with the US; such alliance however, need not to include other NATO members, some of whom moved too far away from the core objectives of the NATO which were relevant in 1950’s — e.g. Germany, Turkey or even the US itself, and so forth — Turkey’s recent rapprochement with Russia makes Turkey no longer a viable NATO member – but a bi-lateral strategic alliance between Canada and the US must be kept at all cost for the defence of the Arctic.

    Canada needs to modernize its military hardware for its own defence but independent of the NATO — i.e. without getting caught into NATO commitments or America’s military adventures in the Middle East, Afghanistan or Africa — But regardless of the NATO, the US and Canada must remain and even expend their bi-lateral military alliance.

  40. Thanks for your reply Alistair. I had not bothered to log in to post those comments. I thought I remembered having a generally positive impression from past comments of yours, so your comments in this thread surprised me and made me wonder whether someone else might have posted them under the same handle.

    Most recent 2019 map of competing claims I could find:

    According to that National Geographic map, the Russian claim seems to go only a little past the North Pole, the Canadian claim goes a lot past the North Pole, and Denmark somehow thinks it can claim the whole Lomonosov Ridge past the North Pole, even though “all three countries’ scientists take the view that it is the same continental shelf all the way around the ocean, because North America used to be part of the same continent as Eurasia.” (Denmark apparently even used samples or data that the Russians had collected.)

    Notice that the descendents of the Vikings are greedily laying claim to far more of Canada’s Arctic claim than Russia is. The Danes a greater threat to our claims than the Russians.

    This article from only a few weeks ago suggests that Russia has a good case, based on its scientific/geological research, including additional research done this summer:

    November 28, 2019

    I would rather see Canadian taxpayer money go into scientific research, icebreakers, and developing infrastructure than get wasted enriching the military-industrial complex through US-led NATO belligerence and might-makes-right violation of international law.

    The Russian approach of scientific research, ice-breakers, cooperation, and data-backed negotiation within international law is the better approach. On the positive side:

    “Canada, Denmark, and Russia have all agreed to abide by the results of the UNCLOS negotiations.”

    “This is a really exciting story about science being used to resolve issues that otherwise might cause tensions between different states.”

    June 07, 2019

    (Of course if Uncle Sam – which has not even signed that UN treaty – steps in, for example by buying Denmark off and somehow getting Greenland, then all bets are off and it sadly turns into yet another might-makes-right story.)

Current Commenter

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 have been licensed to The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Commenting Disabled While in Translation Mode
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Eric Margolis Comments via RSS
Personal Classics
“America’s strategic and economic interests in the Mideast and Muslim world are being threatened by the agony in...
Bin Laden is dead, but his strategy still bleeds the United States.
Egyptians revolted against American rule as well as Mubarak’s.
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.