Europe and the new US president

by Karl Müller

The European mass media do not say much about what citizens are thinking about the new US president. Since the election result (for the president and large parts of the Congress) is out, mainly politicians, other “elites” and “intellectuals” and the journalists themselves are being heard. But from the commentaries published in connection with the articles we learn that there are citizens who are not following the mainstream.

Two examples from the “Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung” of 10 November. One reader is writing in view of many analyses of the election result, by politicians and media: “the stupid have voted for him, this is the result of such an analysis. But maybe [the reason] is also the impression of many citizens regarding the medias’ factitiousness and paternalism and the politicians who are following the published, not the public opinion.” Another reader is writing: “It seems like it is part of the German genome to feel superior towards others, be it in the form of being a member of the master race or as a do-gooder overwhelming himself. The US have voted, the result may seem unpleasant or uncomfortable – we have to accept it. Just like the new president will have to learn many things, German and European politicians will have to get used to the new administration. It is not a good omen that this process is being started with churlish verdicts e.g. from the head of the SPD, with Left or Green arrogance or with Merkel’s indoctrinations regarding common values.”

End of diplomatic moderation

In the past 25 years, the style of dealings in the international relations has changed. What has been a guideline according to international law and diplomatic conventions and thus conforming to the UN charter, the verbal moderation in public statements regarding the internal affairs of another sovereign state – definitely including elections – is, in the eyes of the majority of the European “elite”, a thing of the past. This has its reasons in foreign politics; in the case of the new US president the reasons are most likely more domestic. Headlines like “Trump is everywhere” (“Neue Zürcher Zeitung”, 12/13 November) show what it is about. The still dominant “elites”, also called “establishment”, want to keep their power and – correctly – feel challenged by an increasing number of citizens.

Buzzword “populist” could have been taken from George Orwell’s “1984”

There is a word in usage now which does not have a clear definition: Populist. Just like Donald Trump is said to be a “populist”, they say there are numerous such “populists” in Europe. Sometimes, like in the “Neue Zürcher Zeitung” of 10 November, they are called “demagogues” (from the Greek demagogos), and indeed the voters in Athens have been misled, by rhetorically adept orators, into agreeing to catastrophic war campaigns.
This usage, however, seems suspicious in face of the current situation. After all, today’s “populists” are not calling for war or preparing and leading wars. But the “establishment” is – and unfortunately it has to be added that it has been this “establishment”, mainly the one of the “western community of values”, who has led planet Earth into a catastrophic impasse: politically, economically, socially and culturally.

What should be our yardstick?

Thus it should be permitted to ask a question: Those who are measuring the current “establishment”, e.g. with the yardstick of natural law, human rights and international law, are they “populists” or “demagogues”? Or could there be a grain of truth in the thesis that the “establishment” has lost all sense for the cardinal virtues like justice, temperance, wisdom and fortitude and instead thinks and acts like a Machiavellian gambler? A gambler we call “a person taking incalculable risks, signing over his safety not to his own insight and ability but to a favourable fate. A gambler is neglecting a sober analysis and considerations of the consequences of his doings while recklessly risking his and other persons’ life and property.”

It is about time to consider the framework of European politics

Indeed, Donald Trump’s victory is an occasion for reflection, not for polemics against the winner and his voters. Reflection on how the European states want to form their future politics, which kind of economic and financial order they are striving for, how cultural life should look like. In short: How do we want to live together in future?
Such a reflection should include:

  • Returning to the fundamentals of international law in future international relations. International law has been massively violated, particularly through the participation of NATO states in the illegal wars against Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya and Syria. Peace between the peoples and states has to become top priority and war has to be outlawed again. In a world facing the necessity of  global cooperation in equality between sovereign states, the pushy demonisation of Russian politics and the propaganda against this country has to be abandoned.
  • Building an economic and financial order serving the common good of national economies and the global economy and paving the way from the striking social injustice within and even more between states. Certainly this includes examining the ideology of “free trade” and “globalisation”. Property and financial transactions have to be committed to the common good.
  • Strengthening democracy in a way enabling citizens to decide about political questions of their states on their own if they want to.
  • Supporting our families so that they can remain or become, in education and living together, the nuclei of a humane and just, free and democratic society and state.
  • llowing our schools and universities to work in such a manner that scientifically, Christian-humanistically and socially educated young persons can form the future of our societies and states with determination and optimism.

An independent Europe – but not as a surrogate for the US

After the US elections, several European politicians stated that now Europe would have to become more independent. But what they really meant was that the sinister sides of the previous US policy should be transferred to Europe, for example with massive military build-up programmes and claims for a status as a superpower. Especially German government representatives are distinguishing themselves with such considerations, cloaking it with the stereotype that we had to take over more “global responsibility”. This is not the kind of “reflection” Europe needs. Already some years back, just after Angela Merkel came into office, it became obvious that there are powerful Western circles envisaging the decline of the US-American empire who are looking for new states and politicians able to follow in the footsteps of the US power politics and are putting their stakes on Germany. It seems likely that the parting US President Obama’s visit in Berlin can be seen in this context.
It is a good thing if Europe emancipates from the US, but only on the right basis. Not against the US and not against any other people or state. But both for the good of our own country and for the good of the world as a whole.    •
(Translation Current Concerns)

Donald Trump appoints Michael Flynn as National Security Advisor

km. On 18 November 2016, a number of German media reported that Donald Trump had appointed the former head of the US military secret service (Defense Intelligence Agency, DIA), General Michael Flynn, as National Security Adviser of the future US government. General Flynn had been dismissed by US President Obama after two years heading the DIA (2012–2014). In the German mainstream media Trump’s nomination of Michael Flynn has been sharply criticised.
On the other hand Willy Wimmer wrote about Michael Flynn on 16 November 2016:
“Just a year ago, I found myself in the Moscow ‘New Manège’ at the table of the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, with the just retired American four-star General Flynn. The festive dinner was just announced. Shortly before General Flynn ret. had toured through the global news, with his statements about who was actually the creator of the IS, and had blunty left Washington out in the cold.”
In Daniele Ganser’s new book “Illegale Kriege. Wie die Nato-Länder die Uno sabotieren. Eine Chronik von Kuba bis Syrien“ (Illegal Wars. How NATO countries sabotage the UN. A chronicle from Cuba to Syria), we read on pages 297f. about a document by the DIA:
“‘The contents of the said secret document is prone to leave readers speechless’, commented Jürgen Todenhöfer, when the DIA-document became public in 2015. For it revealed that the NATO countries are cooperating with the Jihadists in order to bring down Assad. The relevant passage must be read twice before you can believe it: ‘the Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI (Al- Qaeda in Iraq, which became ISIS) are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria’, says the document clearly [...]. ‘It reveals a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate to actually be an instigator of terror and shows how the West sides with international terrorists’, Todenhöfer criticised. But the NATO media let the document be drowned in the turmoil of war. [...]
The director of the American Defense Intelligence Agency, DIA, General Michael Flynn, confirmed the authenticity of the report against journalist Mehdi Hasan. ‘Yes, I’ve seen this DIA document from August 2012,’ Flynn said. Journalist Mehdi Hasan wanted to know why the US is working with radical Jihadists. ‘Well, a wilful decision to do what they’re doing’ Flynn replies. ‘You have to really ask the president, what is it that he actually is doin, with the policy that is in place, because it is very, very confusing.’ General Flynn hit the nail right on the head.”
In the following section Daniele Ganser adds: “General Michael Flynn and other high-ranking officers in the US do not want Assad to be replaced by fundamentalists. They believe it is wrong that NATO countries support radical Islamic groups such as IS and Al-Nusra. ‘If the American public saw the intelligence we were producing daily, at the most sensitive level, they would go ballistic,’ Flynn told investigator journalist Seymour Hersh. ‘We understood IS’ long-term strategy and its campaign plans, and we also discussed the fact that Turkey was looking the other way when it came to the growth of the Islamic State inside Syria.’ The corresponding DIA reports, however, were enormously opposed by the Obama administration. ‘I felt that they did not want to hear the truth,’ Flynn said who had to step down. Colonel Patrick Lang, who had worked for the DIA for ten years, explained that ‘Flynn incurred the wrath of the White House by insisting on telling the truth about Syria ... they shoved him out. He wouldn’t shut up.’”

To free the US from its own imperialism

“Rather than thinking about how we might profit from the Trump administration, we should be asking ourselves how we can help him to succeed in liberating his country from its own imperialism, in order to put an end to a unipolar world […] – or how we can replace cooperation with confrontation.
We should also take into account General Michael T. Flynn who, although he is a democrat, was Trump’s main advisor on foreign policy and defence during the campaign. A Commander of Military Intelligence, from the first Geneva Conference to the conquest of Iraq by Daesh, he has never stopped opposing President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton, Generals David Petraeus and John Allen, and Jeffrey Feltman, concerning the use of jihadists and terrorism in order to maintain US imperialism.”

Source: Thierry Meyssan in ‚Voltairent’ from 15 November 2016 (translation Pete Kimberley and Current Concerns)