Europe Must Rethink Harder
Biden Administration wanted Europe to wag its tail for Washington
The United States appears to be in the throes of putrid politico-extremist stagnation as never before. The Joe Biden Administration is trying its level best to blame Donald Trump for the attack on Capitol Hill and "debar" him from contesting the 2024 presidential elections, in which they are unlikely to succeed since the House of Representatives is now with the Republicans. Elon Musk says he has evidence that can land Hillary Clinton in prison. Would he follow through with revealing the evidence or get 'persuaded' to remain mum?
Donald Trump has already announced his candidacy for the 2024 elections. He continues to meet white supremacists, and says that the Constitution of America should be abolished because 'there was gross rigging' in the last presidential election held in November 2020. Some Americans are raising alarm over Nick Fuentes (white nationalist and Holocaust denier), and Kanye West (outspoken anti-Semite who publicly adored Hitler) dining with Donald Trump at Trump's Florida estate.
Heidi Beirich, co-founder of the 'Global Project Against Hate and Extremism', says, "Fuentes is about as extremist as it gets. Can you imagine if Bush had sat down to dinner with Klansman? It's the same thing." But Beirich should know that for decades the US has waged war around the globe "using" terrorist organisations and has been behind rise of terrorist organisations like the Mujahideen, Al Qaeda, ISIS, Jamat al-Nusra and Muslim Brotherhood. In addition are the mercenary organisations within the country. So, extremism has to find its way back home.
It may be recalled that during her official visit to Pakistan as Secretary of State in December 2011, Hilary Clinton said at a joint press conference with Pakistan foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, "It's like that old story - you can't keep snakes in your backyard and expect them only to bite your neighbours. Eventually those snakes are going to turn on whoever has them in the backyard."
But if Trump is being viewed as white supremacist-cum-extremist, what about Joe Biden's Anglo Saxon extremist front, replete with mercenaries, terrorists and neo-Nazis, using Ukraine as the proxy to attack the Donbas-Crimea region and fighting the Russians? Biden keeps parroting the script given to him by America's 'Deep State' and blabbering out of context when the teleprompter malfunctions, not to mention the dim physical gestures due to dementia. He is fully responsible for handing over Afghanistan to the Taliban – can't blame Trump for the deal which could have been reversed or its execution delayed.
Britain has traditionally wagged its tail for Washington. But one aim of the Biden Administration to force Russian special operations in Ukraine was to expand its kennel – get the whole of Europe to wag their tails for Washington, that too while undermining their economies and industries. It is well known that the Biden Administration is responsible for global energy and food shortages, disruption of supply chains, and inflation.
The US-inspired capping of Russian oil by the G7 has come because Saudi Arabia and OPEC snubbed Biden during his visit to Saudi Arabia, requesting an increase in oil output. But if the US though capping of Russian oil would lighten the energy crisis, the OPEC+ has responded by announcing further reduction in oil production. This is another slap on Biden's face. Europe's energy crisis, therefore, will continue while the US sells them gas at exorbitant prices.
Britain is facing a number of strikes by workers, in addition to money-making scandals by government officials and politicians cropping up every now and then – latest one relating to corruption in masks sold during the pandemic. But the US, which was so critical about the handling of the farmers' agitation in India, has passed a law to stop the impending strike by railway workers demanding better wages; exposing how undemocratic the country is. Besides, the bogey of "Rule Based Order" is to benefit the US alone, not even Europe leave aside an ally like Japan.
Biden's arbitrary "green subsidies" and taxes have hit trade hard in Europe, which will destroy European industries; either forcing them to shut shop or move out of Europe. The US naturally would want these industries to shift to the US to boost its own economy and industrial output. Some EU officials have begun to criticize policies of the Biden Administration. Dutch Trade Minister Liesje Schreinemacher has said, "The Inflation Reduction Act is very worrying. The potential impact on the European economy is very big."
Despite all this, the US is hell bent on dealing with China akin to what it is doing to Russia though making conciliatory statements. But European leaders have begun to realise that the US is taking them for a ride – the realisation is more for their political survival because public anger is rising because of high prices, shortages and inflation. It is for these reasons that German Chancellor Olof Scholz had led a trade delegation to Beijing. At the recent G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia, even Australia indicated it wants to open dialogue with China.
EU President Charles Michel visited China on behalf of Member States of European Union (EU) on December 1, 2022 at a time when the US-China relations were at its lowest. During his three-day state visit to the US, French President Emmanuel Macron did mention that America's green subsidies and taxes could split Europe. But on his return to Paris, Macron spoke to French channel 'TF 1' in an interview and while talking of peace negotiations in the Ukraine War, said that the EU must think how it needs to protect its allies and provide Russia with guarantees for its own security.
The visits of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and EU President Charles Michel to Beijing in November and December respectively indicate that Europe does not want to be party to the US policy of confrontation with China; they would prefer to follow a policy of cooperation in the interest of their economies and manufacturing.
Macron would also not like to partner the US in confronting China. However, heading a nuclear armed country, he needs to have greater clarity of thought or elucidate how would Russia be provided guarantees for its own security – as suggested by him?
The fact of the matter is that the US-NATO have gone back on the assurance given to President Mikhail Gorbachev at the time of breakup of the Soviet Union that NATO will not expand further. Not only has NATO expanded considerably since then, the expansion has included Baltic States. Now NATO membership has been offered to Sweden and Finland also, and Ukraine will probably be the next. What guarantees can be offered to Russia then – America to embrace communism?
It is time for Europe to think harder and act before it gets sucked into the Machiavellian plans of America's deep state at the expense of the European public, industry and economy; unless they want to continue tail wagging to Washington and keep filling coffers of the US.
Lt General Prakash Katoch is an Indian Army veteran. Views expressed are personal.