Monday, November 28, 2022

The EU's Real Enemy - the United States?

If you are an American who lived on the European Continent, specifically Western Europe, you’re very familiar with an exceptionally sharp strain of anti-Americanism that resides in a significant percentage of their ruling elite – an adult version of the middle school mean girls. Though present in all nations to one degree to another, it is especially acute in Germany and France for slightly different reasons but are all working towards the same goal; degrade American influence in Europe.

The best way for this political and corporate anti-Americanism to find a lever of power is through the the trans-national and anti-democratic modern iteration of the European Union – made even more problematic with the departure of Great Britain who once played a balancing role between the Continental powers as she has for centuries.

Why primarily France and Germany? To start with, this is part of the sibling rivalry between the children of Charlemagne for primacy in Europe that has churned Europe over the last thousand years. The Anglo-Saxons on both sides of the Atlantic kept getting in the way of their return to the struggle.

Their armies under various blood-soaked leaders moved across Iberia to Moscow and back for centuries in order to be THE driver of power and influence on the continent. The European Union, once the “trade association” nose was in the tent, is now seen – fairly – as a mechanism to centralize power so The Smartest People in the Room™ no longer have pesky minor powers and – Buddha forgive – voters getting in their way. Without checks, power only seeks more power for itself. The morphing of the EU is just the latest example.

Not unlike their American counterparts who would like the USA to extract itself from foreign entanglements (NB: as I have written through the years, I am sympathetic/supportive of these efforts), many of the strongest proponents of the EU just want the USA to go home.

The Europeans, while benefiting from the WWII/Cold War leftover presence of the USA, want it to end and the influence that comes with it. If any opportunity to push back against the USA appears, they have their talking points ready to dirty up the reputation and standing of the USA. If that can be done while blaming Eurocrat failures on the USA as well, even better.

You know the Americans, citizens of that mongrel nation whose gene pool is full of religious zealots, failed revolutionaries, slaves, economic refugees, grasping second sons, criminals, and their descendants – spoiled with a continent overflowing with food, water, minerals, forests and open land they don’t even appreciate.

Loud. Fat. Pushy. Americans.

The usual snarled insults cobbled together by smug people who get much of their opinions of the USA by reading The Washington Post or The New York Times. “I know America, I read your newspapers.” That is right after, “I’ve been to America. I spent a week in DC/NYC/Boston/Chicago. I studied a semester at Brown.”

If you are used to countering America’s resident self-loathing Left, these are easy to deal with, and even entertaining. 

Don’t laugh too much though. Their externalized insecurity is a mortal danger to Western unity by constantly working to divide the West and undermine its cultural, economic, and military strength. When those snotty 20/30-somethings get in their 40s, 50s, and 60s in the Eurocracy, they start to get access to the levers of power and influence. That is when they can make trouble.

For my generation, we used to sneer and poke fun at the useful idiots of the 1980s anti-nuke/anti-war protest movements in Europe – clearly useful idiots for the Soviet Union – but we’re not laughing too much now, one of those fools is the Chancellor of Germany.

Knowing these people is as important as tracking what they say and do. With the East ablaze or rising to challenge the West, this is what the Eurocrats want to train their ire at – to the west across the Atlantic.

There is a lot to unpack in this ... whatever you would call it in Politico - but let's dive in;

Nine months after invading Ukraine, Vladimir Putin is beginning to fracture the West. 

Top European officials are furious with Joe Biden’s administration and now accuse the Americans of making a fortune from the war, while EU countries suffer. 

Funny opening, and telling. No, Putin is encouraging useful idiots in the West to do the fracturing for him.

As for the second part of the pull quote...just let that soak in. As if EU nations have nothing to benefit from keeping the Russians east of the Dnepr, and not threatening the Vistula. 

“We are really at a historic juncture,” the senior EU official said, arguing that the double hit of trade disruption from U.S. subsidies and high energy prices risks turning public opinion against both the war effort and the transatlantic alliance. “America needs to realize that public opinion is shifting in many EU countries.”

Almost comically lacking in self-awareness. Which nation tried to warn, pre-war, against reliance on Russian energy? What was the European reaction?

Another top official, the EU’s chief diplomat Josep Borrell, called on Washington to respond to European concerns. “Americans — our friends — take decisions which have an economic impact on us,” he said in an interview with POLITICO.

Why yes; the decision by the USA for over half a century to subsidize European defense with American taxpayer largess sure did have an impact on Europeans. It gave them the opportunity to spend not just on unsustainable welfare states, but in virtue signaling and corrupt green energy policies built on Russian gas, Chinese solar panels, and clear cut American forests

The U.S. rejected Europe's complaints. “The rise in gas prices in Europe is caused by Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and Putin's energy war against Europe, period," a spokesperson for Biden's National Security Council said. Exports of liquefied natural gas from the U.S. to Europe "increased dramatically and enabled Europe to diversify away from Russia," the NSC spokesperson said.

This is, of course, correct.

An American official stressed the price setting for European buyers of gas reflects private market decisions and is not the result of any U.S. government policy or action. "U.S. companies have been transparent and reliable suppliers of natural gas to Europe," the official said. Exporting capacity has also been limited by an accident in June that forced a key facility to shut down.

In most cases, the official added, the difference between the export and import prices doesn't go to U.S. LNG exporters, but to companies reselling the gas within the EU. The largest European holder of long-term U.S. gas contracts is France's TotalEnergies for example. 

I am shocked ... SHOCKED ... that the French would try to profit while shifting blame to the Anglo-Saxons. Next thing you know, the French might actually facilitate the migration of uninvited military aged males by the hundreds of thousands across the English channel to the Anglo-Saxon homeland. You never know ...

It’s not a new argument from the American side but it doesn’t seem to be convincing the Europeans. "The United States sells us its gas with a multiplier effect of four when it crosses the Atlantic," European Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton said on French TV on Wednesday. "Of course the Americans are our allies ... but when something goes wrong it is necessary also between allies to say it."

Amazing. Just read it again. It is almost high art.

Despite the energy disagreements, it wasn't until Washington announced a $369 billion industrial subsidy scheme to support green industries under the Inflation Reduction Act that Brussels went into full-blown panic mode.

“The Inflation Reduction Act has changed everything," one EU diplomat said. "Is Washington still our ally or not?”

Not content with meddling in the laws of their member states, the EU now wants to control the American legislative process? Hey, I didn't like the stupidly named Inflation Reduction Act either, but these are the people the Europeans like running America, so take it up at the next World Economic Forum discussion roundtable on ESG. 

...the EU sees that differently. An official from France’s foreign affairs ministry said the diagnosis is clear: These are "discriminatory subsidies that will distort competition.” French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire this week even accused the U.S. of going down China's path of economic isolationism, urging Brussels to replicate such an approach. “Europe must not be the last of the Mohicans,” he said.

I'm not even sure what that means.

The EU is preparing its responses, such as a big subsidy push to prevent European industry from being wiped out by American rivals. "We are experiencing a creeping crisis of trust on trade issues in this relationship," said German MEP Reinhard Bütikofer. 

"At some point, you have to assert yourself," said French MEP Marie-Pierre Vedrenne. "We are in a world of power struggles. When you arm-wrestle, if you are not muscular, if you are not prepared both physically and mentally, you lose.”

If the Europeans had that much of an attitude towards Russia, there probably wouldn't be a war in Ukraine right now.

Behind the scenes, there is also growing irritation about the money flowing into the American defense sector.

Well, this is were I stop laughing and my blood goes cold.

The U.S. has by far been the largest provider of military aid to Ukraine, supplying more than $15.2 billion in weapons and equipment since the start of the war. The EU has so far provided about €8 billion of military equipment to Ukraine, according to Borrell.

According to one senior official from a European capital, restocking of some sophisticated weapons may take “years” because of problems in the supply chain and the production of chips. This has fueled fears that the U.S. defense industry can profit even more from the war. 

For decades, USA based voices have pleaded with Europe to spend more on defense, to take the threats to our collective civilizations seriously, to maintain their sovereign defense industries, but from the loss of Dutch submarine building capability to the disappearance of the once spunky Belgian military - here we are in 2022. 

The diplomat argued that a discount on gas prices could help us to "keep united our public opinions” and to negotiate with third countries on gas supplies. “It’s not good, in terms of optics, to give the impression that your best ally is actually making huge profits out of your troubles,” the diplomat said.

No one benefits from this except for the enemies of the West from Russia to China. These are the same useful idiots from the 1980s are with us today ... just with more power.

Perhaps we expect too much from France, Germany, and their auxiliaries. There are equally strong friends of the USA in these countries that we should do more to encourage and raise their profile. While doing that, there are other emerging power centers in Europe who could use more support from the USA and may actually appreciate it.

The smaller European nations don’t trust France and Germany all that much, for good historical reasons. Most of the Europeans in the “new territories” in the east like the USA. They see the Americans as a more reliable guarantee of safety from hostile powers in the East, having a few centuries of experience of the Western European Frankish tribes carving them up for fun and profit – irrespective of local desires. Collectively these nations are not that large in GDP or population - not much more than Italy (for now), but that’s OK. They have the correct geography.

If we shape this relationship correctly, we don’t have to permanently garrison this part of Europe. Poland is already establishing a new paradigm of proper levels of security investment. Once NATO’s eastern front calms down a bit, we can rotate through forces for exercises and training. Perhaps even create some combined training and logistics bases ready to scale up in case of trouble in Mordor. A template we should have put in place in Western Europe decades ago.

Reward positive behavior and let the French and Germans continue their millennium-length struggle – peaceful this time – in the west; keep them frothing in Brussels and Strasbourg while the forward-looking nations try to set up the next thousand years of Western progress in a positive direction.


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