THE Nato alliance — set up to hold back the advance of working-class power in Europe — is unravelling. If US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo thinks that his lightning visit to surf the avalanche of tendentious propaganda celebrating the dismantling of socialism in Europe provides a good opportunity to reinforce US dominance over its European allies he is mistaken.
Pompeo pontificated today on “the need for traditional Western allies to work together in the face of modern threats.”
That he combined this with a defence of Trump’s erratic tariff policies and The Donald’s strictures on the “need” for European states to match US defence spending shows how out of touch he is with European popular opinion.
Pompeo said: “We have a duty, each of us, to use all we have to defend what was so hard-won in 1776, in 1945 and in 1989” name checking the 18th-century end of colonial rule in North America, the 20th-century victory over fascism and the restoration of capitalism in the Soviet republics and the European socialist states.
If either Pompeo, or his astoundingly ignorant president, think these historic turning points form a seamless historical narrative they are mistaken.
We understand that the American Revolution was the necessary precondition for the vast expansion of capitalism in North America and its subsequent imperialist annexation of its “backyard” in Latin America. We know that the 1989 counter revolutions in Europe turned the clock back on the natural consequences of a victory over fascism that was due to Soviet sacrifices.
But it was the global confrontation with working-class power — organised at the level of state power — and capitalism that created the Nato war machine. Its anti-socialist essence was made even more explicit when, in 1954, the application of the USSR and other peoples’ democracies to join what presented itself as a collective security pact was refused.
Today French President Macron thinks the alliance is “brain dead” and blames Trump’s policies. Nato members Greece and Turkey are periodically on a war footing and Turkey is playing the gangster capitalist regime of Putin off against the US. On a host of foreign policy issues — from Palestine to the Iran nuclear deal, from US extraterritorial demands that constrain European trade with Cuba, Iran and Venezuela to trade tariff wars with China; from policy on Syria to the sponsorship of competing jihadi militias in Libya — the bourgeoisies of European countries are at loggerheads with the US.
Macron is in conflict with the Nato defence and intelligence establishment because he wants an integrated European military force. When he was EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said the EU needed its own army.
Trump wants European states to stump up 2 per cent of their GDP for defence spending whilst complaining that the US forks out 4 per cent. Playing Britain’s traditionally supine role Dominic Raab says that: “… the answer is for all European countries to meet their commitments to spending two per cent of GDP on defence — the surest way to reinforce rather than weaken the transatlantic relationship.”
Britain needs to get out of this toxic entanglement. If Trump wants to harmonise defence spending he can close down his hundreds of bases scattered round the borders of Russia and China, throughout Europe and in Latin America and Africa.
Britain can drive help down defence costs in a virtuous spiral by dumping the disastrously expensive Trident missile system which is controlled by the US.
This is a policy with overwhelming popular support that would find ready agreement with MPs of Labour, Scottish and Welsh nationalist and Green stripe. What’s not to like?
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