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Will Trump's America First policies topple the Empire?

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Peace and Reconciliation in a Multipolar World
Peace and Reconciliation in a Multipolar World
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A stunning March 23 article in Foreign Affairs states flatly that US plans for global domination are now unrealistic. When such an admission appears in the journal of the Council on Foreign Relations, it cannot be ignored. Evidence supporting this claim is found in the recent Washington Post entitled 'Biden tells the world 'America is Back.' The world isn't so sure." That article detailed the concerns of European leaders who do not trust American leadership on foreign policy despite the change of regime in Washington. NATO being the linchpin of the US global alliance, peace activists now have reason to hope that we may be at the threshold of a fundamental realignment of power relationships that could lead to a multipolar world.

While Biden has always been a staunch champion of American imperialism, EU officials are concerned that the deep divisions in the American polity could result in a Trump reelection or the election of one of his acolytes in 2024. As Republican politicians remain fearful of alienating his base by challenging any of his positions, this is a very realistic concern. Trumpism remains ascendant in the party, and if GOP plans to gut voter rights succeed (with the help of a Supreme Court that has ruled the Voting Rights Act unnecessary), Biden could become a one-term President. That means there is no guarantee that Europe can safely predict what will happen if they continue to blindly obey Washington's dictates.

Just as with EU leaders, the liberal community in the US was horrified at Trump's clumsy attempts at managing foreign policy, Seemingly clueless about America's long-standing policies and their rationales, he naively pursued an "America First policy" that threatened US relationships with NATO powers. To their horror, during the 2016 campaign and at least as late as the summer of 2018, he questioned the need for NATO's continued existence. Although largely unmentioned in the hysterical reporting, when he first brought up the issue, he correctly pointed out that since NATO was created as a counter to the Soviet Union, which had ceased to exist 25 years earlier, it has no legitimate purpose today.

Since there was no debate about his argument in the US media, the point was ignored or dismissed by the few who noticed it. That reflects how thoroughly Western media have conditioned Americans to believe that its imperialist foreign policy is normal and necessary. Common sense questions such as why we need NATO when the US is the world's lone superpower are considered bizarre and outlandish, not meriting a moment's thought. After all, liberals reason, if the New York Times doesn't think this is something worth discussing, then it's clearly not. Everyone knows that America's "paper of record" presents all the news and opinion that's fit to print, even if it often confuses the two.

Those in the antiwar movement who follow international politics have always known that NATO is controlled by the US and that the government, in turn, does the bidding of the corporate war profiteers who dictate foreign policy to whatever party is in power. NATO nations that go along with US actions benefiting the patrons of both wings of the War Party are considered allies in good standing. The US has traditionally taken care of its allies as long as their interests don't conflict with the designs of the architects of the evolving New World Order, whose ultimate aim is to create a global system of corporate governance that transcends quaint notions of national sovereignty. When the interests of nations in the imperial alliance do conflict with the plans of these global elites, their will of the ruling class prevails. Allied leaders may grumble privately but until now haven't expressed much opposition to policies that run counter to the interests of their own citizens.

During the Obama administration the EU was hit hard by sanctions against Russia that were damaging to the trade balances of member nations, especially Germany. Despite pressure from German producers of trade goods, Merkel backed the sanctions. The US has also been pressuring Germany and other EU countries to buy its fracked LNG instead of far cheaper and less environmentally destructive Russian gas. The US attempts to justify this under the laughable pretext that Russia might cut off supplies to its primary customer in the middle of winter for the nefarious purpose of "restoring its empire," with no explanation of how this would advance that goal.

Although the situations are not remotely comparable, we are supposed to believe this nonsense is plausible because Russia cut off gas to the deadbeat government of Ukraine in 2015. Of course, few Americans realized that this was after that profoundly Russian-hating government refused to make payments on a $4.5 billion debt for gas it had already received at favorable prices. Also unmentioned when this scare tactic is invoked is that despite Ukarine's hostile actions toward Russia and its own ethnic Russian citizens, Russia had been trying to negotiate a deal with the Poroshenko government that offered generous terms that included maintaining the previous below-market rate. Instead of accepting this lifeline, the coup government arrogantly demanded a steeper discount. In the end, it simply repudiated the debt with the help of the IMF, who decided that its policy of denying loans to countries with unpaid debts does not apply if that debt is owed to Russia. The IMF then lent billions more to Ukraine, sinking that nation even deeper into debt slavery.

It's important to realize that this dispute took place only seven months after the violent, US-backed coup by Russian-hating neofascists in Ukraine. Portrayed in Western media propaganda as a spontaneous uprising by freedom-loving Ukrainians, it's hardly surprising that few Americans understand the true significance of the events in Maidan. While they were told that the protests were driven by President Yanukovych having turned down an EU rescue package, it was never mentioned that it was far less generous than that of Russia, which had long been subsidizing critical gas sales to Ukraine and was prepared to continue to do so. The crowds who were naively protesting that their government turned down an opportunity to make them as rich as Western Europeans by accepting the EU's offer had no idea that the deal they were demanding would only bring them more economic pain.

The true nature of the coup would have been obvious to Americans if the media had simply provided context for the "F*** the EU" comment by then-US Undersecretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland on an intercepted phone call at that time. As the Right Sector stormed the Ukrainian parliament to beat and drive out supporters of the elected government of Viktor Yanukovych, she was explaining to a worried aide that the $5 billion the US had invested in the coup gave it the sole right to dictate who would lead the new government. Instead, Americans were told that Nuland had become "impatient" with EU bureaucracy, which was on the verge of missing the opportunity to "rescue" Ukraine from the clutches of the evil Russians.

There was some truth to the idea that Russian gas to Western Europe could be shut off, but that would happen only if Ukraine were to do it by stealing gas from Russian pipelines transiting the country. To avoid Ukraine stealing gas meant for Europe, Russia's state-owned Gazprom began work on Nordstream II, a second pipeline that bypassed Ukraine. Determined to force Europe to buy its gas, the US responded by pressuring the EU into taking the position that since Gazprom would own both the gas and the pipeline it would be able to extort Europe. In particular, the US threatened painful sanctions on Bulgaria to refuse transit. When Russia found a way to build the pipeline anyway, the US responded in 2020 by threatening to impose sanctions on any nation that assisted in the construction,

So to recap, here's what the EU has gotten in return for its blind obedience to those maniacally working to complete their mission of world dominance before the Empire inevitably collapses; sanctions that arguably hurt the EU more than Russia, an economically and politically unstable neighbor undergoing civil war on its border, the risk of having its essential access to natural gas interrupted because the US wants to force them to buy fracked LNG at exorbitant cost, increased demands to contribute to NATO "defense" spending, and an unreliable partner whose confused citizens may very well re-elect a former reality show host as President of the most powerful nation in history. What a deal!

This brief exploration of the effects of US imperial policies on the EU just scratches the surface, but makes clear why European leaders are questioning whether it is time to go their own way, putting their own national interests above those advanced by the US. If it weren't for the fact that they clearly have an enormous tolerance for abuse, a betting man might just wager that Trump's America First policy is about to precipitate a break in the unity of the nations of the Empire. If that were to happen, we would see the rebirth of a multipolar world in which a thoroughly corrupt US government could not dictate the affairs of the nations of the world that value their sovereignty. I'm not ready to make that bet, but the fact that the EU just backed the International Criminal Court in its efforts to investigate Israeli war crimes shows a streak of independence that may be a harbinger of good things to come.

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Rick Staggenborg, MD Social Media Pages: Facebook Page       Twitter Page       Linked In Page       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

I am a former Army and VA psychiatrist who ran for the US Senate in 2010 on a campaign based on a pledge to introduce a constitutional amendment to abolish corporate personhood and regulate campaign finance. A constitutional amendment banning (more...)

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