You can’t really blame Trump for treating European leaders with contempt. Frankly, it’s because they deserve it, and Trump knows it.
This week, the American president joins European allies at the NATO summit in Brussels, and the gathering is expected to be a bruising one. The Europeans are fearing a drubbing from Trump over financial commitments.
The US-led NATO military alliance earlier this month committed to a major escalation in force buildup on Russia’s western flank. The development underscores Russia’s long-held concern that the 29-member alliance is inevitably moving dangerously on a war footing.
This week sees a flurry of diplomatic efforts by Iran, China, Russia and the European Union to salvage the international nuclear accord following US President Trump’s violation of the UN-backed treaty.
This time of year Mediterranean beaches are the destinations of choice for many European holidaymakers; it’s also the beginning of the busiest time of year for the people smugglers based in Libya and elsewhere along the North African coast. July to October is their peak season — during this time in 2016 around 103,000 refugees were crammed into unsafe boats, often in the dead of night, and cast off into the Mediterranean Sea.
When US President Donald Trump addressed the opening of the NATO summit last week, it was an embarrassing display of American bullying. As Trump lectured the other leaders of the military alliance about laggardly financial commitments, there was much shuffling of feet and grimacing of faces. There were also contemptuous smirks as the president spoke.
War has indeed become perpetual and peace no longer even a fleeting wish nor a distant memory. We have become habituated to the rumblings of war and the steady drum beat of propaganda about war’s necessity and the noble motives that inspire it. We will close hospitals. We will close schools. We will close libraries and museums. We will sell off our parklands and water supply. People will sleep on the streets and go hungry. The war machine will go on.
This being the age of public relations, the genteel term “public-private partnership” is used instead of corporate plunder. A “partnership” such deals may be, but it isn’t the public who gets the benefits.
On this week’s episode of On Contact, Chris Hedges discusses the damage done to Europe by neoliberal policies with Philipp Ther, author of “Europe Since 1989: A History”. RT Correspondent Anya Parampil looks at the current rise of the far right in Europe spawned by neoliberalism.
Indifference is an American-European story. As French chansonnier Serge Gainsbourg sang of his love for Brigitte Bardot: “What does the weather matter, what matters the wind? Better your absence than your indifference.” Or Gilbert Bécaud: “Indifference kills with small blows.” The indifference of one person to the other in a dwindling love affair is emblematic of the terrible impact of indifference in any field at all.
It is frightening to see how the Swedish government, which, I suppose, considers itself more open than the center-right government we had before 2014, nevertheless seems to be the vassals of the U.S. The ever-increasing realization in Europe that the Western Empire poses a threat to life all over the world has apparently escaped the Swedes. One after the other EU countries are now seeing that it is not Russia that is a threat to a possible future world peace. This possibility has now been torpedoed by Washington’s aggressive stance towards Russia and Putin.
Corporate control on both sides of the Atlantic will be solidified should the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership be passed. Any doubt about that was removed when Greenpeace Netherlands released 13 chapters of the TTIP text, although the secrecy of the text and that only corporate representatives have regular access to negotiators had already made intentions clear.