Is another world war to be manipulated forth?

A historical view of the importance of EU and NATO as well as of the First World War

by Wolfgang Effenberger*

On 24 June 2016, no more than 24 hours after the British voted on their country’s leaving the EU, Paul Craig Roberts asked on the website of the “Institute for Political Economy”, which he had set up himself: “The Brexit Vote - What does it Mean?” and in his explosive article he gave an unambiguous answer: “Hopefully it means a break-up of the EU and NATO and thus the avoidance of the Third World War”1.
For this former high official in the Ronald Reagan government Treasury, the EU and NATO are “evil institutions”, created by the US “to destroy the sovereignty of the European peoples. NATO and the EU enable Washington to control the Western world. It is under this camouflage that Washington’s aggression becomes possible. Without the EU and NATO, Washington cannot force Europe and the United Kingdom into a conflict with Russia. Without the EU and NATO, Washington could not have destroyed seven Muslim countries in the past 15 years, without being hated and isolated as war criminals. No US government official could have travelled abroad without being arrested and brought to justice.”2
Paul Craig Roberts’ crushing analysis is worth to be placed within its historical context:
The French President Charles de Gaulle had already learned at an early stage that US and British were concerned primarily with the connection of the Western European countries to the transatlantic pillars NATO and EU (then EEC). In the first months of 1947, the US had already kept two command centres out of the remnants of their Second World War command structures: the Pacific military command PACCOM in the east of Eurasia and the European military command EUCOM in the west of Eurasia. On 4 April 1949, NATO was founded with the aim of “keeping the Russians out, the Americans in and the Germans down”3, as said the first NATO Secretary General, Lord Ismay. And as early as in December of the same year, NATO introduced its Dropshot war plan, which was about an attack on the Soviet Union in 1957.4 These imperial ambitions made de Gaulle very angry. He saw Europe as stretching from the “Atlantic Ocean to the Ural Mountains”.
Europe was also to be divided economically. On 9 May 1950, which is today celebrated as “Europe Day,” the French Foreign Minister Schuman announced the creation of a “European Coal and Steel Community” (ECSC ), to the surprise of the Western Europeans (Adenauer is said to have been informed about all this just a few hours earlier).

John Foster Dulles as the chief power broker

Behind this plan was a whole network of politicians, military officers, bankers, industrialists and speculators. John Foster Dulles was to evolve into one of the shadow strategists. The ECSC was largely due to the French entrepreneur and diplomat Jean Monnet (1888–1979). Since the Versailles negotiations (1918/19), Jean Monnet had been keeping up a lifelong political and personal friendship with John Foster Dulles, then a consultant under Bernhard Baruch, the former senior representative of the US Reparation Commission, and a member of the “War Trade Board” (Central Office for Planning and Statistics). Under Baruch’s instructions, Dulles formulated the German war guilt (“War guilt clause”) in Article 231 of the Versailles Treaty. This article was the main reason why the first German delegation under Count Brockdorff-Rantzau refused their signature.5
In order to force the Germans to agree to sign a peace treaty, the effective sea blockade was continued after the armistice of 11 November 1918. When the German Minister of Foreign Affairs Hermann Müller (SPD) and Transport Minister Johannes Bell (Centre) had placed their signature under the Peace Treaty of Versailles on 28 June 1919, the blockade was lifted on 12 July 1919.6
In 1921, Dulles was a co-founder of the Council on Foreign Relations; he became a member of the “Rockefeller Foundation” and also took part in the compilation of the “Dawes-” and “Young Plan”, which were intended to regulate German reparation payments.7
After 1919, companies such as the International Nickel Company or the Overseas Security Cooperation, and also banks such as J. P. Morgan were amongst Dulles’ main customers. He advised them on credit transactions and partly also headed them. John Foster Dulles and his brother Allen represented US-American as well as German and European companies as part of their activity at the Sullivan & Cromwell Economic Chancery. These included Chase Bank, Ford, ITT, SKF, the I.G.Farben Group and the Belgian National Bank. However, they represented these companies not only legally, but also as hidden placeholders for company shares and as political lobbyists.
During the Second World War, Dulles also worked for the Bank for International Settlements.8
In 1945, Dulles advised Arthur H. Vandenberg at the United Nations Founding Conference in San Francisco, where he worked on the preamble of the UN Charter. Dulles later became a member of the General Assembly at the conferences from 1947 to 1949. At the same time, he kick-started the establishment of NATO and later that of its South Asian counterpart, the SEATO. As a supporter of the Korean War, he sharply opposed President Truman’s containment policy, advocating a more aggressive variant, a policy of massive deterrence.
As Director of the CIA, respectively US Secretary of State, the brothers Allen and John Foster Dulles continued their previous activities unabated.9

Abolition of the historical nations of Europe

With the establishment of the ECSC, the first step towards the abolition of the historical nations of Europe was taken. Thus the Schuman plan is not the beginning of the construction of Europe, but the beginning of the destruction of the individual European nations by supranational institutions.
At the same time, de Gaulle saw a danger in the special relations between Great Britain and the United States, and this caused him to try to prevent their joining the European Economic Community. The distance he kept to the Anglo-American geo-strategy and his trustworthy relationship with German post-war Chancellor Konrad Adenauer kept him from repeating the policy of Georges Clémenceau, who had poisoned the already difficult relationship between France and Germany after the First World War.

From the spirit of discord to the mushroom cloud

As Paul Craig Roberts’ statements about the motives which led to the founding of the EU and NATO are not to be disproved, he is not alone with his fear of a Third World War. On the same day, the Canadian journalist, author and human rights defender Murray Dobbin published his article “Do We Really Want a War With Russia?” in the US monthly magazine Counterpunch.10 The former board member of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives says that NATO has been steadily expanding by absorbing many former Soviet republics, such as Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Romania. It is hardly surprising that Russia sees this expansion as a gross violation of its confidence in the West and as a military threat, especially as NATO was officially established as a bulwark against Soviet communism. So, NATO would consequently have had to be dissolved in 1990. Dobbin also sees Poland as the key in this dangerous charade. Does he mean the similar situation of Poland as in 1938/39, when the war began with tensions on the Polish western frontier? In the course of the year 2016, NATO carried out extensive manoeuvres – Dobbin refers to Operation Anaconda with 30,000 Western military men, the largest military deployment on Russia’s borders since the German invasion of Russia in June 1941.

Poland’s President: “We are preparing for an attack”

This goes together with the threatening gesture of Polish President Andrzej Duda, who said: “The goal of the exercise is clear. We are preparing for an attack.”11
On 25 June, an article with an identical title and commenting on Dobbin’s observations was published on the platform of Ron Paul’s Peace Institute. This was written by the internationally acclaimed US journalist Eric Margolis.12 He graduated at the prestigious School of Foreign Service (SFS), which is part of Georgetown University in Washington D.C., the oldest Roman Catholic and led by Jesuits university in the USA. This school was founded in 1919 by the Jesuit Father Edmund A. Walsh, who taught political geography at the same time as Karl Haushofer. Today, Madame Albright also belongs to its teaching body.13
She is also a member of the board of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Aspen Institute and the Center for American Progress. As head of a NATO expert group, she presented a new strategic concept in 2010.
Margolis exhorts all today’s politicians to read Christopher Clark’s masterpiece “The Sleepwalkers” again and again. For Margolis Clark describes “how the small intrigues (small cabals) of anti-German officials  in France, England and Russia manipulated forth the First World War, a conflict that was unnecessary, idiotic and illogical […]; today we see the same process at work. The war parties in Washington, supported by the military-industrial complex, the tame media and the neocons, they are all agitating hard for war […]. Ever since the times of Frederick the Great wise European heads of state and government have learnt not to fight against Russia […]. One shudders at the thought of seeing Hillary Clinton as commander-in-chief in the future […]. All that is needed now is a terrorist attack like in Sarajevo to spark a great war between the two nuclear powers.”14

What cannot be read in the writings of Christopher Clark

What would Margolis have written if he had been aware of other connections which are not to be found in Clark’s book? So, for instance, Clark withholds the activities of the naval department in the Committee of Imperial Defense: the long-term preparation (against international law!) of a naval blockade against Germany, which was to hit the German economy in a sustained manner. Two members of the CID naval division testified clearly to this effect: Maurice Hankey in “The Supreme Command”15 and A.C. Bell in “A History of the Blockade of Germany”16. Such plans had been developed in the naval department since 1908, and the First Sea Lord Churchill was very pleased with them.
According to British naval historian, naval strategist and official historian of the Royal Navy Sir Julian Corbett, the First World War was planned by Lord Hankey and his co-workers within the British government with “an orderly completeness in every detail, that has no parallel in our history”17.
Significantly, you look in vain for the authors Hankey, Bell and Corbett in the index of Christopher Clark’s “Sleepwalker”. But neither do they appear in the German publications of Winkler, Münkler, Friedrich, or Leonhard.

Leon Trotsky’s analysis about the First World War

There is another important contemporary witness whose historical analysis is not flattering for Great Britain: Leon Trotsky.
“… It is English democracy that has led to the imperialist war, not only in the sense of the general responsibility of all capitalist states for war – no, in the sense of the direct and immediate responsibility of the English diplomacy, which consciously and in a cold and calculating manner drove Europe into the War. If the English ‘democracy’ had openly declared that it would enter the war on the side of the Entente, Germany and Austria-Hungary would probably have beaten the retreat. If England had declared her neutrality, France and Russia would probably have retreated. But the British government acted differently. It secretly promised the Entente its support, and so misled Germany and Austria-Hungary by allowing them to reckon on the possibility of neutrality. Thus the English ‘democracy’ provoked the war […].”18

“Merchants of death” and the lessons of the World War

So we see that it was not the “small cabals” that led to the war in 1914 but larger ones. Ultimately, it was a small circle of British politicians who acted behind the backs of their unsuspecting colleagues: Edward Gray, Richard Haldane, Herbert H. Asquith, and not least Winston Churchill. They surprised Cabinet and Parliament, while Lord Milner pulled the strings in the background. In 1934, under the chairmanship of Senator Gerald Nye, the Senate Munitions Investigating Committee began to investigate the influence of American banks and arms manufacturers on the entry into the War in 1917. The committee found that, in addition to price agreements before and during the war, the arms industry had influenced US foreign policy strongly. Because of the immense loans to the Entente, the Morgan banks would have had to file for insolvency in the event of a defeat of the Entente. After two years (93 hearings and 200 witnesses, including JP Morgan), the Committee came to the conclusion that the US had been “tricked” into the War by the Merchants of death, i.e. bankers and armaments industrials.19
Does this scenario not seem somehow familiar to us? The interests of an unleashed greed for returns and resources have become visible behind the global unrest and conflicts at least since 2008. Today like then conflicts are being fuelled or even provoked, in order to break up economies and make countries dependent. Imperialism was by no means buried after the Second World War.
Looking at recent history we see that most of today’s global upheavals have their roots in the imperial politics at the beginning of the 20th century. It was about ruthless exploitation and disregard for other cultures. With the peace of Versailles, injuries were manifested which cannot be permanently suppressed. Therefore the 100th anniversary of Versailles might be regarded as the occasion for all those concerned to recognise the bar in their own eyes and to initiate a process of healing – so that President Wilson’s famous 14 points could finally be realised.
However, this requires the dissolution of the present-day imperial Western structures. With the withdrawal of Great Britain from the NATO-dominated EU, the restructuring process could be launched towards a genuine European Community, a European community that involves Russia.     •

1    Craig Roberts, Paul. The Brexit Vote – What Does it Mean? Friday June 24, 2016 www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/06/24/the-brexit-vote-paul-craig-roberts/
2    ibid.
3    Gebauer, Matthias; Neukirch, Ralf; Repinski, Gordon; Schult, Christoph. “VERTEIDIGUNG: Fortschritt im Schneckentempo” (Defence: Progress at a Snail’s Pace) in “Der Spiegel” 9/2013 http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/print/d-91203385.html
4    cf. Effenberger, Wolfgang. Das amerikanische Jahrhundert Teil 1 “Die verborgenen Seiten des Kalten Krieges. (The American Century part 1 “The hidden sides of the Cold War)”. Norderstedt 2011
5    Der Unfriede von Versailles. (The Discord of Versailles) In: “Der Spiegel” No. 28, 2009 (online).
6    Osborne, Eric. Britains Economic Blockade of Germany 1914–1919, p. 189
    cf. Vincent, C. Paul. The Politics of Hunger: The Allied Blockade of Germany, 1915–1919. Ohio University Press, Athens, Ohio 1985
7    In 1929, the Young Plan superceded the Dawes Plan of 1923. Now repairs of 121 billion reichsmarks were to be paid in the course of 59 years (i.e. until 1988). As a result of the global economic crisis, transfer payments were significantly hampered and temporarily postponed under the Hoover moratorium in 1931. In 1932, the Young Plan was finalised at the Lausanne conference.
8    The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) was established on 17 May 1930 in the framework for a new arrangement for the German reparation commitments. It is the world’s oldest international financial organization. See ­“Schweiz: Hitlers beflissene Helfer” (“Switzerland: Hitler’s Assiduous Fences”) In: “Der Spiegel” of 17 March 1997 (Der Spiegel 12/1997 online) (access on 12 September 2015).
9    cf. Rügemer, Werner. Die Berater. (The Advisors) Bielefeld 2004
10    Dobbin, Murray. “Do We Really Want a War With Russia?” http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/06/24/do-we-really-want-a-war-with-russia
11    ibid.
12    Margolis, Eric. “Do we really want war with Russia?” http://ronpaulinstitute.org of 25 June 2016
13    In addition, Dr Albright was active in the management of the “Council on Foreign Relations”, in the “Aspen Institute” and the “Center for American Progress”. In 2009, Mrs Albright took over the presidency of an expert group to work out a new NATO strategy concept.
14     Margolis, Eric. “Do we really want war with Russia?” http://ronpaulinstitute.org from 25 June 2016
15    Hankey, Maurice. The Supreme Command 1914–1918. George Allen & Unwin, London 1961
16     Bell, A. C. A history of the blockade of Germany and of the countries associated with her in the great war, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and Turkey, 1914–1918. London 1937
17    Corbett, Julian. Official History. Naval Operations. London 1921, Vol. 1, p.18
18    Trotski, Leon. Wohin treibt England? Europa und Amerika. (Where is Britain going?) Reprint Berlin 1972, p. 54
19    Effenberger, Wolfgang/Wimmer, Willy. Wiederkehr der Hasardeure – Schattenstrategen, Kriegstreiber, stille Profiteure 1914 und heute. (Return of the gamblers – under cover strategists, war-mongers, on the quiet profiteers in 1914 and today) Höhr-Grenzhausen 2014, p. 438

(Translation Current Concerns)