What do they think they’re doing?

What do they think they’re doing?

Old and new attempts of justification for the US-EU hegemony

by Karl Müller

In the book (“The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalisation”) published in 1999 by Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times US publicist and columnist, there is a chapter entitled “The Geopolitics of Globalisation”. There we can read about “the global importance of the USA in this era of globalisation”. The “largest part of the world” had “understood that the world would be much less stable without a strong United States”. A “sustainable globalization” required a “stable power structure,” and no country played “a more important role than the United States. This “stability” is also based “on the power of the United States and its willingness to use it against those who threaten the globalized system – from Iraq to North Korea”: “The invisible fist that makes Silicon Valley’s technology flourish consists of the United States Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines”. And: “Without an active US foreign and defence policy, the globalized system cannot be sustained.”

From Friedman, via Snowden’s horror …

The 2016 film by Oliver Stone about Edward Snowden has a telling scene. Snowden was invited to a meeting with senior US intelligence officials. He asks one of these intelligence men why millions and millions of people all over the world are being spied on and why all this is being done undercover. He receives the answer that all this is to serve only one purpose: to make the world safer and to prevent wars. For this the world needs the USA and its secret services.

… to Robert Kagan

Robert Kagan, neoconservative US ideologist, husband of Victoria Nuland (co-responsible for the coup d’état in Ukraine in 2014) and member of the Council on Foreign Relations, released an article on Germany, EU-Europe and the USA in the April 2019 issue of the magazine Foreign Affairs, published by the Council. The title: “The New German Question. What Happens When Europe Comes Apart? The line of argument is as follows: The founding of the German Reich in 1871 created an excessively powerful trouble spot in the centre of Europe, which plunged Europe and the world into two world wars. After 1945, it was indeed possible to calm this trouble spot – thanks to the US-American security guarantee for Europe and the US-American European policy, thanks to the US-led international free trade system, thanks to a wave of democracy in Europe emanating from the USA and not least thanks to the fight against European nationalism by the USA, the EU and its predecessor organisations. But all this is no longer guaranteed today and gives cause to great concern – also regarding the future of Germany.

Attempts of justification for the US hegemony...

Many more examples can be added to these three attempts in the past 20 years to justify US hegemony in the world and the expansion of power of the EU and its predecessor organisations in Europe. What these attempts all have in common is that they do not stand up to scrutiny – even if they are upheld to this day.

… and for the EU

From 23 to 26 May, the members of the European Parliament will be elected for the next five years in the member states of the European Union. The election campaign has started. Obviously, the arguments for these elections, for the activities of this EU institution – in fact it is not a parliament because essential prerequisites are missing - and also for the EU as a whole are very thin. Election campaigners are thus fleeing into horror scenarios and historical misrepresentations. The “allies” from the USA, who since 1945 have a tangible interest in the weakening of sovereign European nation states, trying to force what they euphemistically call “globalization”, have joined the fight. They do not fear “nationalism” – which is also staged and instrumentalized when it appears “useful” in other cases – but the liberal, democratic, constitutional and social constitutional foundations of sovereign states – and a “Europe of the Fatherlands”. A top-down ruling EU seems to be the better vassal to them.

“Notre-Dame” is the latest hype …

The latest hype in this absurd election campaign is the abuse of the fire and reconstruction of the cathedral “Notre-Dame” in Paris. “The dominant theme in today’s comment columns is the fire at Paris cathedral Notre-Dame.” This was the summary of the Deutschlandfunk’s press review on 17 April. It quoted the following newspapers.
The “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” said: “The blaze from 15 April 2019 in Paris will go down in history books. The fire hit the landmark of a torn, divided country. Since last November the Yellow Vest movement provoked the state leadership with its partly violent protests. In a sudden turn of events, the catastrophic fire just before Easter allowed France to pause. For a while, the horror of the cathedral Notre-Dame in flames brought about the cohesion that has been so lacking in recent months”.
The “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung” wrote: “In common horror many people have rediscovered their unifying basic understanding of ideal value, cohesion, yes, beauty. Now the catastrophic fire in Paris is releasing unimagined energies. All of a sudden, non-material values are dominating even the seemingly all-dominant market. The billionaire families Pinault and Arnault alone want to donate three hundred million euros for the reconstruction of Notre-Dame. Money bows to culture. This is not the slightest message that comes from this misfortune. More important than all the money is the fact that Europe has found a common task in reconstruction. This unites anew.”
The “Stuttgarter Zeitung” stated: “‘We will rebuild them together’, President Macron announced. There is no doubt that Notre-Dame will one day shine again in new splendour. What succeeded in Reims and Rouen, where cathedrals destroyed in the war were wonderfully restored, will also succeed in Paris. But Macron’s words are pointing beyond the financial and constructional. They express the hope that this shock may be a healing one, that the nation may move closer together again”.

… for a US “European sense of togetherness”

The words of the “Reutlinger General-Anzeiger” were: “Perhaps the terrible fire has made some people aware that there is something like a European consciousness and feeling of togetherness beyond national egoisms. If many help together, the reconstruction can actually succeed. Notre-Dame will never be the same again, but it could instead become a symbol of European solidarity.
Finally, the “Westfälische Nachrichten” is quoted: “Because Notre-Dame is a common European heritage, reconstruction – as was once the case with the Frauenkirche in Dresden – is a task for all Europeans. It would be a ray of hope in this catastrophe if the pain experienced together led to a French and European sense of togetherness”.
If the same direction is taken in such a focussed way, then there can be two reasons for this: Either everyone hits the same right point – or it is something completely different, for example a politically motivated campaign, brought into line by the media.•

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