July 12, 2014

Just how independent is the European Union? Given recent events involving the United States and its European allies, one really must wonder.

First, there was the US National Security Agency brazenly tapping German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s private cellphone and, very likely, many more vip’s in Germany, a key US ally and Europe’s most important nation.

Washington and the NSA shrugged off this horribly embarrassing incident with the usual “well, everyone does it.”

Not true. Imagine the stink if Germany bugged President Barack Obama’s Blackberry. Chancellor Merkel was humiliated but she downplayed the scandal, unable or unwilling to chastise the US by taking any real punitive action – like closing one of the 69-year old US military bases in Germany.

Next, Britain’s Mutual Defense Agreement with the US is up for renewal. This 1958 pact is the foundation of the much ballyhooed US-British “Special Relationship.”

This writer has reported for years that Britain cannot fire its nuclear-armed missiles without Washington turning the key via special codes. Now, we learn that Britain’s nukes also contain components that only the US can provide. France, at least, has an independent nuclear force.

In 2003, US CIA agents kidnap a Muslim cleric off the street in Milano. Italian courts indict and convict 23 US agents of this crime and orders them extradited to Italy. The US refused the legitimate extradition request.

US officials charge UBS bank with helping Americans avoid taxes – a perfectly legal act in Switzerland, the bank’s home.

The head of UBS wealth management, Raoul Weil, was arrested in Italy and sent to the US under house arrest where he waits trial. Washington shut down a second important private Swiss bank and sends others running. The Swiss banks, no angels, risked seeing their US operations shut down unless they violated the basic Swiss bank secrecy law by giving up many of their client’s names.

Now, France’s leading bank, BNP, is being forced to pay a mammoth fine of $8.79 billion for violating US and New York State sanctions against Sudan, Iran and Cuba. Such dealing was entirely legal under French and EU law, but the US was determined to expand its punitive laws to Europe -a process called “lawfare.” BNP’s business in the US was threatened. BNP’s humiliation was hailed as a victory by Israel against Iran.

Shockingly, France’s government made no more than a few peeps of protest, yet another example of abject weakness by President Francois Hollande who is often compared to a large jellyfish by French critics. Paris could have told the Americans “non!” and threatened to seize US assets in France. Instead, it groveled.

Of late, two Americans were caught red-handed spying on Germany’s government. The CIA station chief in Berlin was ordered expelled. Germany repeatedly asked the US to be included on its lilly-white list of allies supposedly not to be spied upon: Canada, Britain, Israel, Australia, New Zealand. The US refused.

No one knew whether President Barack Obama was actually aware of this espionage. He will, of course, deny being in the loop. But further serious damage was inflicted on US relations with Germany and the European Union.

Unwisely, Washington still deals with Europe and the EU as if dealing with minor vassal states: “foot soldiers for America’s nuclear knights,” in the pithy words of Germany’s late defense minister, Franz Josef Strauss. Washington’s arrogance and contempt for Europe was best illustrated by State Department neocon Victoria Nuland’s reply when asked if the EU should get more involved in US attempts to overthrow Ukraine’s pro-Russian government, “f-k the EU.”

Washington has never accepted any European state or the EU as an equal. While official US policy backs a united Europe, unofficially the US has sometimes tried to thwart or delay unification – particularly a European armed force. NATO – 76% financed and run by Washington – is still the EU’s police force and America’s big stick in Europe.

At times, it looks as if not so much has changed in Europe since 1945. The Soviets are gone, but the more amiable Americans are still around. But it often seems that Washington is almost trying to alienate its natural European allies by treating them like banana republics with old world charm.

copyright Eric S. Margolis 2014

This post is in: Europe, European Leaders, European Union, Finance, France, Germany, Great Britain, International Politics, NATO, Switzerland, USA


  1. On the surface everything seems legit and above board, but when one starts to dig deeper and ask questions or googles for more answers or definitions, one invariably ends up with a reference to the international bankers and from there things get really murky and when one then listens to the video, that is given there about ‘moneymasters’, one gets a lesson in history, the likes of which cannot be found in any history book.
    Assuming, that the information given there, is based on true facts, it does not take a leap of faith to figure out how the thread of history has wound itself around the necks of the world population. It is quite clear, that by being under the control of the international bankers, Germany, or any other ‘sovereign’ country would commit financial suicide, by trying to punish the US, which seems to be governed by an entity, that recognizes no borders nor international laws and treaties, any more than the US government has since the invasion of Iraq, when even the US Constitution seems to have been suspended. And the creation of what is called ‘Homeland security’, has further exacerbated the misery of the US population by severely limiting its freedoms and liberties.
    Google gave me the following link about international bankers:
    From there one can keep reading all day about more and more subterfuge.
    I wonder about the real purpose of NATO, because its original purpose as claimed at the time of creation, being a counterweight against the Warsaw Pact, was nullified the moment the USSR ceased to exist. But now, that body has even been expanded against promises made at that time. So much for being able to trust the promises made by the US.
    The action taken by the US against the head of the USB smacks of strong-arm tactics, that rival those of the Mafia.
    “BNP’s humiliation was hailed as a victory by Israel against Iran”? Why is it a victory by Israel? Unless one assumes Israel and the US to be synonymous, a fact that seems to be borne out by the behavior of the US government with regards to Israel.
    I think, that Victoria Nuland`s quote clearly shows the contemptuous attitude of the US towards its ‘allies’. Personally I think they have no allies, but only vassal states. Sooner or later it will all blow up in their faces and that moment seems to be getting nearer all the time.

  2. George Rizk says:

    As you know, Gen. De Gaul asked for France’s gold, and got it. Now Angela Merkel has been asking for Germany’s gold for several years, and has been getting the run around. Germany is not even able to send an inspector to audit their gold in America.

    In addition, we are asking Germany to act against its own interest and stop buying oil and gas from Russia? Germany may reach a point of overture resistance?

  3. Eric is, as always, in good form, it’s just as he says, the Europeans are stuck in an obsolete paradigm. The world has moved on, times have changed, and new geopolitical factors are now ascendant . It’s time for Europe to reject the controlling and abusive relationship with the US. America is hopelessly compromised, on the verge of financial default and driving the world into destruction. If the European’s cut their ties with the faltering hegemon and go their own collective way the world would be a better place for it. Germany and France should lead the way.

  4. Steve_M. says:

    The US continues to prove that it is not a real friend to any country. Canada’s positions with the US is really no different than that of the EU and its member nations. America has treated with utter contempt all of the countries that thought they were its friends. Then many Americans have the chutzpah to wonder why they are so disliked by so many people all over the world! Who needs enemies when your country has a phony friend like the US?

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