2 April, 2016

Donald Trump has been making many revolutionary proposals. Unfortunately, they have often been obscured by the furor over his fumbled remarks about abortion and the pulsating hatred of America’s Republican ruling class.

The media have attacked Trump like a school of enraged piranhas. A contrived incident mounted by the hard right wing tried to make his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, look like a woman abuser. I met Lewandowski two weeks ago in Palm Beach. He’s a reserved person and certainly no abuser.

Last week, Trump claimed the USA was paying too much to sustain NATO. It was time, he asserted, to cut way back on US financial support and get Europe to pay its fair share for “protecting itself from threats.”

More outrage greeted Trump’s attack on the post World War II status quo. But he was quite right. The US subsidizes about 73% of NATO’s total military, economic and social costs. NATO’s European members pay only about 1% of their gross national product.

But Trump was not right about the western alliance. First, NATO faces no outside threat even though Washington’s Republican war party and necons are trying to revivify the Cold War confrontation with Russia.

The only real danger to Europe comes from ISIS and can be dealt with by police and intelligence agencies. However, Washington has long sought to reshape NATO into an offensive military alliance that can act as auxiliaries to the US forces in the Mideast and Third world, but with only modest results.

The US has garrisoned and directed Western Europe’s military affairs since 1945 – and today, Eastern Europe as well. A new US brigade will be moving into the Baltic States and former Warsaw Pact members.

More important, NATO is a huge military and political asset to the US. In effect, NATO keeps Europe under US military influence. The old Soviet Warsaw Pact played the same role for Moscow. As strategist Zbigniew Brzezinski told me long ago. NATO serves as “stepping stones” for the ongoing US geopolitical control of Europe. No wonder it was not disbanded like the Warsaw Pact after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The post-war European states gravely weakened by World War II mostly accepted NATO as their overlord. General Charles DeGaulle ousted NATO from France and refused American tutelage.

But his successors restored US suzerainty over France. Germany’s tough defense minister, Franz Josef Strauss, said “we won’t play foot soldiers to America’s atomic knights” but his attempted to build a more independent policy failed.

American politicians, Trump included, like to accuse Europe of “not carrying their rightful defense burden.” What they really mean is that Europe is not paying enough to support the American Imperium. The US is not in Europe and Asia for humanitarian reasons; they form the two key spheres of US world power.

This writer has long advocated ending the obsolete NATO alliance. It made much sense when the Soviets had 50,000 tanks facing Europe, revving their engines. Today, its ‘raison d’etre’ has gone. Yet NATO keeps Europe under American direction and seriously hinders the unification of Europe – something that the US and its feudal vassal state Britain seek to avoid.

Europe badly needs its own unified armed forces. How can the European Union be a successful union without integrated military forces and strategic command? We still accept this strange situation 71 years after the end of World War II. The US exercises similar post-war imperial control over Japan and South Korea.

No one in the US has dared question this post-war imperial status quo until the bulldozing Mr. Trump. Small wonder he is so hated and vilified. Trump directly threatens America’s military-industrial-Wall Street complex and its role as a world hegemon. Trump questions carte blanche for Israel, and America’s entire system of government which has been profoundly corrupted by oceans of money.

Trump is not owned by anyone. That is practically un-American. In the US, politics are business by another name. One fears that heretic Trump will be burned at the stake by the powers that be.

Copyright Eric S. Margolis 2016

This post is in: NATO, USA


  1. IceColdCamembert says:

    I don’t remember pro bigotry as an option on my ballot. It’s not even legal English usage today.

  2. The Blog Fodder says:

    You working for Putin now or just another of his useful idiots? The blog post is straight out of Kremlin speaking notes. I live in Ukraine and see this stuff all the time. Trust me you are wrong on all counts. Compared to Putin’s vision for Europe, ISIS is pretty small potatoes and merely one of the Kremlin’s tools to destabilize Europe. Trump will cut a deal with Putin and throw eastern Europe back under the Russian bus. He may even throw all of Europe under the Russian bus.

    • The Ukraine is not a good place to be… your government has failed…
      One of Gorby’s conditions on freeing the soviet satellites was that NATO would not be established in these areas… perhaps the Ukrainian people and their government were not informed of this condition.
      You bring on your own misery, and Eric has nothing to do with it.


    • “Trust me you are wrong on all counts.” And, of course, you are so right! If Putin had chosen to do so, he could have driven straight into Kiev at the end of February 2014, and there’s not a damn thing anyone could, or would, have done about it. ISIS, far from being a tool of “Russian aggression”, is a natural progression of the Mujahideen-Al Qaeda agents who serve USA’s interests in the oil-rich MENA. Does anyone actually still believe the official narrative of 9/11? I expect that you and your deluded chums think that it was Putin’s fault, along with the abduction of Madeleine McCann, the banking crisis of 2008, the release of the “Panama Papers”, and the recent disappearance of my neighbour’s cat!

  3. I agree that NATO is a thing of the past and should be disbanded…
    Some comments:
    “More outrage greeted Trump’s attack on the post World War II status quo. But he was quite right. The US subsidizes about 73% of NATO’s total military, economic and social costs. NATO’s European members pay only about 1% of their gross national product.”
    If NATO continues, since NATO is simply an extension of American foreign policy, the Americans should pick up the total ticket and not just 73%. Everyone knows that NATO represents American interests.
    It is my understanding that one of Gorbachev’s conditions of dismantling of the Soviet bloc was that NATO bases would not be installed in the former soviet satellites; the Americans lied when they agreed to this.
    The Americans are having a few problems with Erdogan in Turkey, a NATO member, and Turkey’s covert support of ISIS.
    Trump is in the unenviable position of being criticised by his fellow party, as well as the establishment press. They are actively looking and hoping for a gaffe that can be used to discredit Trump. I would not enjoy being in the position where I had to weigh each word I spoke for fear of being considered an ‘outrage’. Trump is ‘so far’ from the ‘pre-paid’ politicians that he brings an element of renewal to American politics. I hope is effort is sustained.

    • Steve_M. says:

      Interesting comment about Turkey and its covert support of ISIS. Turkey has been turning a mostly blind eye to the young men and women arriving at Istanbul airport, en route to joining ISIS, when it could very well stop them and send them back to the US, Britain, Canada and elsewhere. What’s more, the US and Britain know this is going on and choose to do nothing to Turkey. Makes me wonder if the so-called war against ISIS is real or mostly shadow-boxing.

  4. Mike Smith says:

    Keep NATO…. just kick the US out and let Russia in.

    Imagine the Military / Diplomatic / Economic Alliance that would result… Canada would need to be a member to break with the Americans dominating us. Screw Globalization… development of member countries would be the economic engine for the next century… Middle East… China can deal with the Saudis, Arctic issues… A Russia / Europe / Canada alliance would very quickly resolve disputes. I imagine we would have great trade relations with the new Latin America alliance that would result from a President Trump as well.
    Seems at least 80% of the worlds problems either go away or become local affairs simply by limiting the US and their ” influence ”
    Sunny Ways Globally…. Sounds good

  5. Steve_M. says:

    Another excellent column. One small thing to clarify is that France never withdrew from NATO, but under Charles de Gaulle, its armed forces were taken out from under the NATO command structure and all NATO forces from other countries were asked to leave France. Also, NATO’s headquarters were moved to just outside of Brussels.

    As for Trump, I don’t seriously believe that as president he could make any major reductions to the military-industrial complex. For one thing, the (likely) Republican-dominated Congress after the November elections would stand in his way. Remember how back in 1995 the Pentagon, under the Clinton administration, sent its budget to the Republican-controlled Congress, only to have it sent back to them and told to increase the proposed amount of spending by a few hundred million dollars? (Yes, you read that right.) Members of Congress of both parties, especially the Republicans, are mostly willing puppets of the military-industrial complex and they will happily do its bidding.

  6. Joe from Canada says:

    There is a courteous voice of reason which is being heard a little more each day in America, in spite of being deliberately ignored by mainstream press.

    This voice does not chant the mindless war songs.

    He talks about beating weapons materials into schools and hospitals for the betterment of all.

    Yes. Trump is right about NATO.

    Bernie Sanders is right about the positive changes that could make America great again, before the War Party took control.

    In Canada, last October, Canadians overwhelmingly said “No” to bigotry, divisiveness, attacks on science and the environment.

    Canada said “yes” to continued universal health care and education.

    In Canada, Bernie would be a welcome member of the governing Liberal Party.

    Sanders expresses the principles often seen in Margolis articles.

    I look forward to the writer’s eloquent support of those principles.

    I hope that it is not too late.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.