Europeans Contest US Anti-Russian Hype

Besides the Brexit rejection of U.S.-style neoliberal economics, some European voices are protesting, finally, the U.S.-led, anti-Russian propaganda campaign that has justified an expensive new Cold War, notes Joe Lauria.

By Joe Lauria

A significant crack has been unexpectedly opened in the wall of Europe’s disciplined obedience to the United States. I’m not only referring to the possible long-term consequences for U.S.-European relations in the wake of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, but the unlikely blow against Washington’s information war on Moscow delivered by Germany’s foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who a week ago shockingly accused the North Atlantic Treaty Organization of “war-mongering” against Russia.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Since the Bush administration’s twisting of events in the 2008 Russia-Georgia war, which the E.U. blamed on Georgia, Western populations have been subjected to the steady message that Russia is a “threat” to the West and is guilty of “aggression.” This reached a peak with the false narrative of events in Ukraine, in which blatant evidence of the West’s complicity in a violent coups d’état was omitted from corporate media accounts, while Russia’s assistance to eastern Ukrainians resisting the coup has been framed as a Russian “invasion.”

The disinformation campaign has reached the depths of popular culture, including the EuroVision song contest and sports doping scandals, to ensure widespread popular support for U.S. hostile intentions against Russia.

The Russian “aggression” narrative, based largely on lies of omission, has prepared the way for the U.S. to install a missile-shield in Romania with offensive capabilities and to stage significant NATO war games with 31,000 troops on Russia’s borders. For the first time in 75 years, German troops retraced the steps of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union.

U.S. Designs on Russia

The U.S. is eyeing a post-Putin Russia in which a Wall Street-friendly leader like Boris Yeltsin can be restored to reopen the country to Western exploitation. But Vladimir Putin is no Yeltsin and has proven a tough nut for the U.S. to crack. Washington’s modus operandi is to continually provoke and blame an opponent until it stands up for itself, as Putin’s Russia has done, then accuse it of “aggression” and attack in “self-defense.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin during a state visit to Austria on June 24, 2014. (Official Russian government photo)

Russian President Vladimir Putin during a state visit to Austria on June 24, 2014. (Official Russian government photo)

In this way, Washington builds popular support for its own version of events and resistance to the other side of the story. Unfortunately it is not a new trick in the U.S. playbook.

“The statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception,” wrote Mark Twain.

So suddenly, after many years of an air-tight, anti-Russia campaign believed unquestioningly by hundreds of millions of Westerners, comes Steinmeier last week blurting out the most significant truth about Russia uttered by a Western official perhaps in decades.

“What we shouldn’t do now is inflame the situation further through saber-rattling and warmongering,” Steinmeier stunningly told Bild am Sontag newspaper. “Whoever believes that a symbolic tank parade on the alliance’s eastern border will bring security is mistaken.”

Instead Steinmeier called for dialogue with Moscow. “We are well-advised to not create pretexts to renew an old confrontation,” he said, saying it would be “fatal to search only for military solutions and a policy of deterrence.”

In keeping with the U.S. propaganda strategy, the U.S. corporate media virtually ignored the remarks, which should have been front-page news. The New York Times did not report Steinmeier’s statement, but two days later ran a Reuter’s story only online leading with the U.S. military’s rejection of his remarks.

NATO General: Russia is No Threat

Just a day after Steinmeier was quoted in Bild, General Petr Pavel, chairman of NATO’s military committee, dropped another bombshell. Pavel told a Brussels press conference flat out that Russia was not at a threat to the West.

NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.

NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.

“It is not the aim of NATO to create a military barrier against broad-scale Russian aggression, because such aggression is not on the agenda and no intelligence assessment suggests such a thing,” he said.

What? What happened to Russian “aggression” and the Russian “threat?” What is the meaning then of the fear of Russia pounded every day into the heads of Western citizens? Is it all a lie? Two extraordinary on-the-record admissions by two men, Steinmeier, the foreign minister of Europe’s most powerful nation, and an active NATO general in charge of the military committee, both revealing that what Western officials repeat every day is indeed a lie, a lie that may be acknowledged in private but would never before be mentioned in public.

Two years ago I was in a background briefing with a senior European ambassador at his country’s U.N. mission in New York and could hardly believe my ears when he said talk about Russia’s threat to Eastern Europe was “all hype” designed to give NATO “a reason to exist.” Yet this same ambassador in public Security Council meetings would viciously attack Russia.

But the hype is about more than just saving NATO. The fear campaign feeds the American and European military industries and most importantly puts pressure on the Russian government, which the U.S. wants overthrown.

Were these remarks made out of the exasperation of knowing all along that the Russian threat is hype? Were they made out of genuine concern that things could get out of hand under reckless and delusional leaders in Washington leading to a hot war with Russia?

Neither man has been disciplined for speaking out. Does this signal a change in official German thinking? Will German businessmen who deal with Russia and have opposed sanctions against Moscow over Ukraine, which were forced on Germany by the U.S., be listened to?

Were Steinmeier’s remarks a one-off act of rebellion, or is Germany indeed considering defying Washington on sanctions and regime change in Moscow? Is the German government finally going to act in Germany’s own interests? Such a move would spark a European defiance of the United States not seen since the days when Charles de Gaulle pulled France out of NATO in 1966 to preserve French independence.

The last time European governments broke with Washington on a major issue was the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. Then France and Germany joined Russia on the U.N. Security Council in blocking the war’s authorization (although Britain supported it). But France and Germany then voted for a resolution several months later that essentially condoned the invasion.

It’s Up to the European Public

One has to ask whether a conditioned German public is ready to see through the lies about Russia. Last November, I flew from St. Petersburg to Berlin and discussed this very question with a number of well-educated Germans.

Russian marchers honoring family members who fought in World War II. (Photo from RT)

Russian marchers honoring family members who fought in World War II. (Photo from RT)

I had visited Russia for the first time since 1995, 20 years before to the month. Those were the days of the Yeltsin-Jeffery Sachs Russia, of the unbridled neoliberal capitalism of the Wall Street-oligarch alliance that plundered the country leaving millions of Russians destitute. Outside train stations I saw homeless encampments replete with campfires. Policemen were stopping motorists for bribes. I ran from two men intent on robbing me until I lost them in a Metro station. That’s the Russia the neocons in Washington and the knaves and buccaneers on Wall Street want to see again.

The Russia I saw in St. Petersburg and Moscow, 20 years later, was orderly and prosperous, as modern as any European city. It is a testament to Russia’s resistance to American attempts to restore its political and financial control. Russia is a capitalist country. But on its own terms. It is fully aware of American machinations to undermine it.

In Berlin I met several Germans, educated, liberal and completely aware, unlike most Americans, of how the United Sates has abused its post-World War II power. And yet when I asked them all why there are still U.S. military bases in Germany 70 years after the war and 25 years after the Cold War ended, and who the Americans were protecting them from, the universal answer was: Russia.

History shows European fears of Russia to be completely overblown. Germany and other Western powers have invaded Russia three times in the last two centuries: France in 1812, U.S., Britain and France in the 1918 Russian Civil War, and Germany again in 1941. Except for Imperial Russia’s incursion into East Prussia after war was declared on it in 1914, the reverse has never been true.

In his memoirs Harry Truman admitted that false fear of Russia was the “tragedy and shame of our time” during the Cold War that he had much to do with in part to revive the U.S. post-war economy with military spending. George Kennan, the State Department official who advised a non-military containment of the Soviet Union, conceded as early as 1947 that Soviet moves in Eastern Europe were defensive and constituted no threat. In the 1990s, Kennan also decried NATO’s expansion towards Russia’s borders.

With its vast natural resources, Russia has been the big prize for the West for centuries, and is still today in neocon-driven Washington. But Germany, especially, has benefited from trade with Russia and has no need to join the U.S. imperial project.

The British voters’ decision, days after Steinmeier’s extraordinary remark, could herald significant change in Europe, which may be approaching an historical junction in its relationship with the United States. Growing anti-E.U. sentiment has spread across the continent, including calls for similar referenda in several countries.

British voters evidently saw through the hype about the Russian “threat,” as a majority did not buy British Prime Minister David Cameron’s scare tactic ahead of the vote that Brexit would make it harder to “combat Russian aggression.”

Britain has been called Washington’s Trojan horse in the E.U. The thinking is that without Britain, the E.U. would be freer to chart its own course. But as Alexander Mercouris explained here, Obama bypasses London to call Merkel directly with his demands. Still, removing Britain’s voice from the E.U., though more crucially not from NATO, opens space for more independent voices in Europe to emerge.

“I worry that we will have less clout on our own,” former British Ambassador to the United States Peter Westmacott told The New York Times. “In the future, we won’t have as much influence on Europe’s response to Putin’s transgressions, Iran’s nuclear ambitions, or the E.U.’s foreign and security policy. … And we will be less able to ensure it is U.S.-friendly.”

But that could be a good thing. If German leaders conclude the United States is pushing Europe into a disastrous war with Russia, could we see a Charles de Gaulle moment in Berlin? Merkel doesn’t seem to have it in her. Three days after Steinmeier’s remarks, she told a news conference she favored increased German spending for NATO to counter Russian “threats.”

Instead it will require a revolt by an awakened citizenry against the E.U. and elected European governments that refuse to stand up to Washington, mostly because it benefits their own class interests, to the detriment of the majority.

The Future of the EU

European social democracy had been probably the best social and political system ever devised on earth, maybe the best that is humanly possible. Europe could have been a model for the world as a neutral power committed to social justice. As late as 1988, Jacques Delors, then president of the European Commission, promised the British Trades Union Congress that the E.U. would be a “social market.”

President Barack Obama talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the G7 Summit at Schloss Elmau in Bavaria, Germany, June 8, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the G7 Summit at Schloss Elmau in Bavaria, Germany, June 8, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Instead the E.U. allowed itself to be sold out to unelected and unaccountable neoliberal technocrats now in charge in Brussels. European voters, perhaps not fully understanding the consequences, elected neoliberal national governments slavishly taking Washington’s foreign policy orders. But Brexit shows those voters are getting educated. Unity is a great ideal but E.U. leaders have refused to accept that it has to benefit all Europeans.

The E.U.’s Lisbon Treaty is the only constitution in the world that has neoliberal policies written into it. If it won’t reform — and the arrogance of the E.U.’s leaders tells us it won’t — it will be up to the people of Europe to diminish or dismantle the E.U. through additional referenda. That would give liberated European nations the chance to elect anti-neoliberal national governments, accountable to the voters, which can also chart foreign policies independent of Washington.

The danger is that the right-wing sentiment that has driven a large part of the anti-Establishment movements in Europe (and the U.S.) may elect governments that grow even closer to Washington and impose even harsher neoliberal policies.

That is a risk that may need to be taken in the hope that the anti-Establishment left and right can coalesce around shared interests to put an end to the elitist European project.

Joe Lauria is a veteran foreign-affairs journalist based at the U.N. since 1990. He has written for the Boston Globe, the London Daily Telegraph, the Johannesburg Star, the Montreal Gazette, the Wall Street Journal and other newspapers. He can be reached [email protected]  and followed on Twitter at @unjoe.

71 comments for “Europeans Contest US Anti-Russian Hype

  1. delia ruhe
    July 2, 2016 at 17:43

    A refusal by the European countries to continue being Washington’s “poodle parade” (see Pepe Escobar) is long overdue. But the bureaucratic elite in Brussels is going to make it very hard for other EU countries to want to leave the EU. That will be achieved over the next two years, as Brussels demonstrates, in the negotiations of Article 50 with Britain, just how much punishment all “leavers” can expect to endure.

    Bernie wasn’t kidding when he said it would take a revolution to tear America out of the sticky hands of the neoliberals, who infest every agency and institution in both the public and private sectors. The same goes for Europe, and the Europeans don’t yet know that they will have to mount a similar kind of revolution. The way to begin it is for several countries to exit at the same time.

    I am especially pleased to see Steinmeier and whatshisname Head of NATO starting a revolution in thinking, as the EU as loyal vassal of Washington has been seriously difficult to watch (not to mention the trashing of Russia, first by the carpetbaggers of the ‘nineties, now by the likes of Obama and Hillary — makes me just wanna puke).

  2. Alex Contis
    June 30, 2016 at 20:37

    Herr Steinmeier deserves praise for courageously accusing NATO of “war mongering” against Russia. However, does he also have the courage to address with equal forthrightness two events that challenge the very heart and mind of the European endeavor?

    The first regards Turkey’s outrageous military invasion, occupation, oppression, plunder and population settlement of EU member, Cyprus. It would be even a greater act of courage if Steinmeier would accuse NATO and the European Union of not only engaging in mutual lies and acts of omission about this atrocious affair, but in actively aiding and abetting it. Both Europe and NATO have long,shameful histories of not only ignoring Turkish aggression, but of rewarding Turkey’s continuous and dangerously illegal behavior toward both Cyprus and Greece with special military and trade deals, open visa arrangements and hard Euro cash.

    The second regards Greece and Germany. As Herr Steinmeier talks of NATO’s “war mongering” against Russia, he can’t escape the fact that his own government and news media have waged a socio/political war against not only fellow EU member Greece but reason itself. Germany, now dictated by its powerful banking and industrial lobbies, administered uber bureaucrats, Merkel/Shauble, is the effective force in Europe. And, as he well knows it has the material ability and persuasive moral power to positively reform the European Union. Early in the development period of the EU idea, Germany was both a political and moral force for unity and solidarity.

    Germany, sparked World War II and caused the devastation of Europe, Greece having been one of its most devastated victims. Nevertheless, Germany received the largest bailout and debt reduction in European history, and, in the bargain, vast unconditional aid from America’s Marshall Plan. A little known hypocrisy is that Nazi Germany, during its brutal occupation of Greece, forced the Greek treasury to loan it an enormous amount in gold which they never repaid, and still refuse to repay. Steinmeier should make note of this, and the fact that, sadly and ironically, Germany is again devastating Greek social, medical and higher education systems, while strangling its economy. Until the American financial crisis in 2008, such had achieved top tier in the European Union.

    Germany, and its minions, as they hammered it from every side, along with other neoliberal calumnies, forced Greece to obscenely increase its foreign debt load by accepting a harshly conditioned loan, the funds of which were handed over to German and French banking creditors, not to Greece. Both German media and their government, including intolerably anti-Greek commentary by Angela Merkel, have inflamed the situation further by a mutually approved propaganda campaign to discredit Greece and Greeks in ways and means unheard and unseen since the rise of Anti-Semitic propaganda in Nazi Germany.The propaganda campaign against Russia,seems pale in comparison. Germany and the EU, against all reason, have rent the solidarity of Europe so badly, it will need heroic leadership to recover.

  3. Allan
    June 29, 2016 at 16:33

    These typos would not be found using a spell-checker. You need to have someone not the author read through each article carefully.

  4. Allan
    June 29, 2016 at 16:32

    Another typo…

    ‘…Western officials repeat every day is indeed a lie, a lie that may be acknowledged in private but

    would never before be mentioned in public. <– was never before mentioned in public

  5. Allan
    June 29, 2016 at 16:29

    There is a typo.

    ‘…Pavel told a Brussels press conference flat out that Russia was

    not –> at <– a threat to the West.

  6. TellTheTruth-2
    June 28, 2016 at 11:00

    After watching the neoCON Zionist controlled news turn on Trump 24/7 it’s easy to see how they manipulate the truth and make it whatever they want it to be. The USA will NOT be safe until the ability to control the news is stripped from the Zionist war mongers.

  7. dahoit
    June 28, 2016 at 09:38

    It aint US at all,its Zion.

  8. June 28, 2016 at 08:09

    Thanks Joe I hope with all my heart that these anglo-zionist start using some sane reasoning for in the past both sides of the world were more than aware of mutual destruction , at present the leaders in the west don’t seem to know it and if they do they r sure not giving me any sense of it. Unlike The Iranians, Russians and the Syrians since 2014 have been requesting for diplomatic and political solution and on every turns they refused. Similar events in Yemen. The Houtis have been warning the rulers in then House of Saud since 2010 that a political solution is what we want . All these cries all fell on deaf ears.Hears hoping but old Italian saying Chi vive con le speranze muore disperato. He who lives in hope dies desperate.

    • Joe Tedesky
      June 28, 2016 at 22:06

      Your thoughts are good, and decent in nature. Peace.

  9. Joe Tedesky
    June 28, 2016 at 01:52

    falsemartello, I’m no historian, but what you wrote her has a remarkable flow. You by rhyming the history of the 30’s to today makes one have to stop and think. It would be wise to hope that who ever stands the watch doesn’t get trigger happy, and waste a shot on a decoy. Caution is the word. I’m a glass half fool kind of guy, but yeah I don’t see much hope on the high end of leadership to trustworthy of the responsibility set before them. Now after a minimum of twenty years we learn things we didn’t know then, but we do know now, Under various countries FOIA disclosures, how way back when in the 60’s & further yet, there were those flash points, but the then leadership allowed the option of waiting it out. I hope it’s just my age and I know I have turned into a pussy, but I freak out when I scant the upper layers of our government & others, and then I get worried. I would like to tell Granma Hillary, take a good look at the grandkids, first. Stay far, far and away from ‘the Footbal’. Oh, and take something for that cough,…try not talking. As a grandparent this makes just to much nonempirical sense… !!!

    I’m not judging Hillary. No, I am sincerely advising her, (that Footbal thing is a rule, I think…) I heard the late great actor Anthony Quinn give a backyard speech, when he was older years. (Still looked good) He said, how he had traveled the world’ and the world over making pictures, and that the more people he meet, from all over, he couldn’t understand why there could be any need for wars, anywhere ever.. What he saw, that no matter where, no matter who, that people are people. He said better than me here, but from sunrise to sunset, they all do the same thing, day in day out. He mentioned a list of chores, relationships, that we all have, yes, all of us….the same.,..I digress, and hey it’s not my job description to tell the president what to do anyway.

    “Always think the worst, and the best will happen.,. Now grap your ankles shipmates” – USN advice

    Cool analysis falsemartello

  10. June 27, 2016 at 23:46

    The morphing of the Braziensky doctrine and the Wolfowitz doctrine has made the new third reich(wahington consensus) foreign policy very troubling to say the least. Further analysing the UK situation adds further problems in the horizon with regards to US and western foereign policies. IE: Their seems to be a conspiracy with in the ranks of the British labour party. A coup has been planned to further undermine Corbyn. All senior Blairites following the just sacking of that schill Benn have quit his shadow cabinet. Is this a plan for deception . Like Syria are they planning to impose their famous plan B which was always the plan to Kill off Syria. The anglo-zionist have already put special forces in Syria and have admitted to it. US, Brtain, France and Germany have all recently admitted to this further more MI6 have established a training base with special forces in Jordan and have rebranded another takfiri army as the New Syrian Army which the Russians last week blew them out of the dessert just less than a fortnite ago. I am with ur enthusiasm of the present chaos in Europe might be welcome events that lead the west toward some sort of detente with Tehran, Moscow and Beijing but to many surrounding events tells me other wise. Hitlary Rodham Clinton being the next pres of the new third reich tell most of us that hawkish foreign policy will be the norm and it will be on steroids. Steinmeirer was putting out feelers as far bak as October post the Putin surprise in the UN and in Syria about the inevitable return to normal relations with Moscow. His word r Its inevitable but not sexy. Time will tell but History has a weird way of repeating itself and just like the events of the 30’s the similarities to this day and age is scary. The western anglo-zionist elite no that the financial reset is overdue hence only three options r left for them just like in the tail end of the 30;s. 1:restructure their massive debt.2:Write off their massive debt.3: Or off to war we go. The nuclear winter is just around the corner. Great read Mr Lauria. U r probably the most insightful of them all in ME affairs and western geopolitics of our time. Keep at it

  11. Tristan
    June 27, 2016 at 23:03

    It appears that the true power in Europe has now shifted to NATO, as a US controlled entity, foreign policy in Europe will derive from there post British exit from the EU. Note Obama speaking, “…The special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom is enduring, and the United Kingdom’s membership in NATO remains a vital cornerstone of U.S. foreign, security, and economic policy.” And to Cameron, “… The President [Obama] assured Prime Minister Cameron that, in spite of the outcome, the special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom, along with the United Kingdom’s membership in NATO, remain vital cornerstones of U.S. foreign, security, and economic policy.” Note also Sec. Kerry speaking in Europe, “…“We have high expectations of a very strong NATO meeting and important deliverables,” Kerry said of the summit planned for Warsaw on July 8-9. “That will not change one iota as a consequence of the vote that has taken place.”

    The politicians of European states may wish to use this “Brexit” as an opportunity to seek greater independence from the US, but mechanisms are already in place by which the Imperial US will continue to dominate foreign as well as domestic policy on the continent of Europe. The profit from conflict is now too great, as it is the life blood of the Imperium of the indispensable and exceptional US, the greatest example of Democracy the world will ever know, ever! Now time for some Football!

    • Joe Tedesky
      June 27, 2016 at 23:56

      Boy Tristan after your commentary here I feel a lot better. Should I save you a seat on the fifty yard line? You do have it right, when it comes to our American power. America without a doubt has it’s fingers in every nations eye. What gets obscured is when we Americans experience a crisis such as 911, or maybe even a San Bernatino or Orlando, well then the fight is on. There is never enough of retribution that can be delivered to these creeps, when they trespass on our turf. On the other hand we Americans, for one reason or the other, never quite get it for what it is when a Vietnamese, or an Iraqi fights back when we invade their homeland. Hey, don’t these people want liberty, freedom, and our democracy? This empire thing isn’t going to end well, in the long run. The Brexit is possibly DOA, but the lower standards of living, and the over populated cities being filled with displaced people from far off lands, is not going to go away, and neither is the discontent among the masses. There is a day of reckoning, and we may possibly be at the sunrise of that dawning, but let’s you and I home by noon we will both be on fifty yard line enjoying the game….peace.

      Read this;

      • Tristan
        June 28, 2016 at 02:28

        Joe, the linked article is a good corollary to the points made regarding the intent of the US hegemon. As globalization has reduced nations to little more than specific production and profit centers, with the attendant extraction of national wealth via public/private partnerships (nothing less than selling the public as debt slaves to private globalized corporations). The nature of unrestrained free market capitalism worshipped in the Shinning City Upon the Hill results in the corruption that drives conflict as our nation’s oligarchs primary product of choice.

        What we often consider to be stupid or failed policies undertaken by the US hegemon, (because a rational person can see this is the case) these policies need to be understood by a different metric. One so beyond the human heart, compassion and understanding; the metric is one defined by Machiavellian servants and soulless profiteers. Death is only one component to the desire for profit and power. Understanding the machinations of H. Kissinger, and his ilk, now after the fact, and even now his hand upon the minds of the coming disaster of H. Clinton regime. We poor souls are indeed the lucky ones still, we have the distractions of the Olympics and daily gun deaths, cuz of freedom, unlike our soulless victems in faraway lands who don’t even know what a football is.

        • Joe Tedesky
          June 28, 2016 at 02:55

          Putting all humor aside, yes we should be aware of all those poor souls who have been vanquished for profit. I saw the 90’s especially under Clinton how he and his congressional friends took out the last of this country’s great idustrial centers, and thru bank loans and an open end credit business be converted into driving economies into becoming debt.depended consumers dead ended, and knew it then. So, Let’s hope for a peaceful revolution that may at least shake this establishments greedy foundation enough, to snap itself out of this never going to happen quest for empire. This is the best we can do, so give it up. We will need something big, like a thousand Brext’s and then some…but until my car battery dies while I’m driving it I’m going to try not panic…well but let’s just hope the revolution is as peaceful as it can be.

    • Joe L.
      June 28, 2016 at 19:35

      Tristan… It looks as though with the Brexit and Cameron’s resignation that they are trying to get rid of Corbyn as well, who from what I have read is an opponent to Trident and the growing militarism by the UK in support of America’s wars (maybe in fear that Corbyn could become the UK’s future Prime Minister).

      The Guardian: “Unfriendly fire: would a Corbyn government lead to a military revolt?” (January 25, 2016):

      The Labour leader is opposed to Trident, wants talks with Argentina over the Falklands and voted against intervention in Syria. His stance has put him on a collision course with military chiefs, who have always been wary of political meddling

  12. F. G. Sanford
    June 27, 2016 at 21:28

    If you want to give yourselves a REALLY good scare, read the Alexander Mercouris article linked from this article…Mercouris calls the EU a “crypto-imperialist plot”. I have very few doubts that realists in Russia see it the same way, and would advise Putin to conduct a preemptive first strike…as the only hope for civilization. America has become THAT dangerous.

    • Joe Tedesky
      June 27, 2016 at 22:44

      Wow! I mean really wow! What a revealing story that man has to tell. The whole time I was reading it, I couldn’t help but wonder what a President Hillary would do with all that power. Talk about the man behind the curtain. Now, with this new U.S. Presidential election there will be a Hillary (don’t play the woman card this has nothing to do with gender…she’s a Clinton) behind that very curtain….uh oh. No wonder Putin is resisting to dance with us, and yet he always brings it up how we should all get along. That article also made me think of how Paul Craig Roberts said that the EU is nothing more than a CIA tool. I guess he does know what he’s talking about, after all. Once a while ago, I wrote on this site how any people revolution, or major push back would probably be best to start off in Europe. At that time I was thinking in terms of Europe being swamped with refuges, and the possibility of an actual war on their European soil. So, let’s all hope this Brexit is a start of the people at least trying to make a difference. Probably for not, but hey like T-Ball you at least can give it a nice try.

      Here’s that article;

    • dimitri
      June 28, 2016 at 04:50

      I totally agree. It is not the Cuban missile crisis today. Russia would pull the trigger first if necessary. The fascists in Europe watch out especially the little Baltics fascists, Poland and fascist Netherlands, more like Neandertal I would say. Primitive socially lot.

  13. Joe Lauria
    June 27, 2016 at 20:27

    Exactly. That’s my point. It had nothing to do with the vote because it was nonsense, even though it was intended to have something to do with the vote.

  14. Noel Hofman
    June 27, 2016 at 19:46

    “British voters evidently saw through the hype about the Russian “threat,”” – A bit wishful thinking, I’m afraid: In my opinion, most people in the UK voted out because of the dirty campaign of the pro-Brexit parties, promising that an EU-exit will solve the issue of immigration. I hear the same sound bites in Dutch politics: the vast majority that would vote for leaving the EU, adhere the right-wing populist party that strives for ‘less Moroccans’ in The Netherlands and argue that leaving the EU would enable this. And, of course, to teach the greedy rich elitists, left-wing politicians and the highly educated a lesson.

    To me, these voters are merely acting out of selfishness, probably haven’t ever heard of the word ‘neoliberal’, and are ‘for’ or ‘against Putin’ depending on the position of their populist leader. I don’t have high expectations of this group of people to form a basis of a movement that will make Europe better.

    • Joe Lauria
      June 27, 2016 at 20:03

      Did the nonsense about Russia stop the majority of Britons from voting Leave? Then it had no effect. They knew it was nonsense. It did not resonate with them.

      I wonder how many working class people you know. They don’t need to know what the word neoliberalism means. They are suffering the consequences of it.

      • Joe Lauria
        June 27, 2016 at 20:29

        It’s it a bit much to call people who have been so marginalized “selfish.” I think that word applies to the elites that they rightly despise.

      • Noel Hofman
        June 27, 2016 at 20:31

        I don’t think the value of my reaction should depend on the number of working class people I know. But I know some. And I am also including these in the opinion I gave. I just think the nonsense about Russia had nothing to do with the vote, the most important thing that had an impact on the votes was the ‘tsunami of refugees’ as they call it, thinking leaving the EU would solve this ‘refugee problem’. I wished it was otherwise, I know people (outside the UK) that would vote leaving the EU and at the same time see Putin as a threat to Europe. There are only few people that (take effort to) see the links between EU, NATO and Russia, most just don’t.

        • dahoit
          June 28, 2016 at 09:41

          Could you elaborate on Russian links with EU and Nato?
          Its obvious the threat to Europe and America is from Zion,nowhere else.

    • Zahid Kramet
      July 2, 2016 at 06:56

      You’ve nailed it Mr Hofman. Sort of. Immigration is what Brexit was all about. And, it has led to racism to prevent the free movement of labour. But it goes beyond East European immigration: the whole idea is to keep Islamic culture out of Europe. Which is fair enough. But the US and Britain might then look at the wars they have promoted in the Middle East and Afghanistan in the cause of Empire.

  15. Jan Stevens
    June 27, 2016 at 19:27

    The author omits the Soviet invasion into Poland that nearly captured Warsaw during the Poland -Russia war of 1919 to 1921.

    • Joe Lauria
      June 27, 2016 at 20:01

      Poland is not in the West. I’m talking about Russian invasions of the West.

  16. Pablo Diablo
    June 27, 2016 at 17:05

    The “American Century” is over. Wake up America.
    A massive military buildup = an empire in decline.

    • Joe Lauria
      June 27, 2016 at 17:46

      Yes, and it’s called The Project for a New American Century.

  17. Russ Gerrish
    June 27, 2016 at 16:33

    Thanks, Joe – excellent article.

  18. Bill Bodden
    June 27, 2016 at 14:58

    Michael Hudson makes a case that US-NATO wars created blowback in the Middle East in the form of refugees moving into Europe that was a factor in Brexit – “How Western Military Interventions Shaped the Brexit Vote” by Gregory Wilpert – Michael Hudson –

  19. Bill Bodden
    June 27, 2016 at 14:31

    The link next to Mark Twain’s name (above) leads to a reminder of how successful warmongers can be despite warnings and rational arguments from intelligent and civilized opponents.

    The un-elected bureaucrats in Brussels running the European Union have made it quite clear that they see the military option as a means to their ends.

  20. June 27, 2016 at 14:15

    We so much appreciate the essential truths about our time consistently published by you, Robert Parry, and Glenn Greenwald and Greg Palast among a few others. Antidotes to the scare tactics, doping and dumbing-down of most of the world due to US hegemonic bloviation.

  21. June 27, 2016 at 13:47

    “The last time European governments broke with Washington on a major issue was the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq.”

    Really? In late 2014 and early 2015, there was much public criticism from European leaders about the US-led sanctions against Russia. Merkel and Hollande even went to Moscow to discuss a “peace plan” with Putin. Then in March, Germanwings Flight 9525 inexplicably flew into a mountain.

    Steinmeier is risking a repeat of that disaster; the empire does not take kindly to insubordination.

    • Joe Lauria
      June 27, 2016 at 14:09

      And were the sanctions lifted?

      • Peter Loeb
        June 28, 2016 at 07:23


        To Joe Lauria:

        In Gareth Porter’s book on the Iran negotiations, he mentions that prior to
        the beginning, Iran considered withdrawing from NPT.

        In my comments in Consortium at the time I maintained that the US
        and its bribed “allies” were not negotiating in good faith. I said
        that the West would never lift any sanctions. My conclusion was
        based not on the technicalities of the negotiations themselves, but
        on the political environment of the US and west on many levels.

        I still think Iran erred in signing the deal in the belief that any
        sanctions would be lifted.

        With no specific knowledge of Iran’s economy etc, I have
        long believed that Iran should withdraw completely from
        the NPT, from all requirements of the agreement including
        all “Additional Protocols”.

        Iran should offer to reopen any and all negotiations
        PROVIDED that all disarmaments, inspections, sanctions
        etc. apply not only to Iran but also to the State of Israel
        which is (with US backing) the greatest threat to world peace
        in the Middle East.

        Assumed are thorough assessment within Iran as well as
        with all SCO nations.

        —Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

        • Joe Lauria
          June 28, 2016 at 08:25

          Peter, I was referring to the sanctions on Russia in response to the above comment..

  22. Bill Bodden
    June 27, 2016 at 13:15

    This article reveals an obvious fact for people concerned about the future of the world to ponder. We desperately need more statesmen – not politicians – like Frank-Walter Steinmeier, more journalists like Joe Lauria and websites like Consortium News.

  23. RPDC
    June 27, 2016 at 13:13

    Trump wants to normalize relations with Russia and end this madness. Hilary is actively campaigning on starting WW3 with Russia in Syria. Yet it is Trump who is called the “great threat to humanity.”

    • dimitri
      June 28, 2016 at 04:33

      Hillary Killary Clinton is a fascist who supports the slaughter of innocent Palestinians in the concentration camps called, Gaza Strip, West bank and East Jerusalem. Hitler would be proud of her. Trump may be loudmouth but he is honest in his beliefs and so is also ready to change his points of view. Hillary on the other hand has forked tongue and says without engaging her heart or her small brain whatever she wants to say without any emotion. For goodness sake she is admirer of Kissinger the war criminal.

      • Peter Loeb
        June 28, 2016 at 07:10


        “dimitri” has a piece of the truth.

        The myths of the colonization process have been clarified in
        many other works (Norman Finkelstein: IMAGE AND REALITY;
        CRITIQUE; and others.

        As Finkelstein (op cit p. 8) the early Zionists did not dispute
        anti-Semitism. They accepted many of its bases.
        The cause of anti-semitism was that Jews as a race
        were invariably a minority in a nation dominated by
        larger races such as the Aryan race in Germany.
        The Zionist “solution” was to establish a state (“homeland”?)
        controlled and owned ONLY by the Jewish race. The
        place of this Jewish-only state was to be Palestine which
        at the time was almost entirely Muslim. Zionists were sick and
        tired of being “ALIENS”. Once Jewish dominance began
        to grow and when the indigenes had had been displaced,
        massacred etc. the Zionists constituted themselves as
        the majority race and the Muslims were the “ALIENS”. The
        “Arabs”/Palestinians would be “transfered”(removed)
        for the “security” of their conquerors.

        With the help of contemporary weapons of war from
        the US. the will of the Zionists’ God was done.

        These acts by Zionists are invariably called
        “achievements”, “heroic”, “glorious” etc.

        Instead they represent a fatal and tragic chapter of a
        gruesome history, a chapter in which the US played
        a major role and continues to do so today.

        Hillary Clinton plans an expanded role vis a vis
        Israel. Donald Trump’s role should he become President,
        remains unclear.

        For an incisive analysis of fascism see George L Mosse’s
        THEORY OF FASCISM. While Mosse’s focus was German
        fascism as well as Italian fascism and some aspects were
        peculiar to those fascisms, the overall analysis is as
        applicable to Zionist Israel since its inception and
        in the forseeable future.

        —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

        • June 28, 2016 at 13:27

          Peter. Its called Balfour and Sykes Picot, During Disraeli Prime ministership in the middle 19th century of lobbying for the land along with Lord Rothschild were lets say lobbying for a homeland in Palestine later on during the same century Rothschild along with Balfour came to an gentleman’s agreement known as the Balfour accord which was being arranged by Sykes and Picot for their respective governments UK and France. The war hadn’t even finished this my friends was taking place between the years 1913-1916. If I am not mistaken the armistice was the year 1918. Here a little lesson in History. The Countries in the middle east as we know them today all came to fruition during the colonial conquest post 1918 post first world war. Prior to these years Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen Qatar, Saudi Arabia were not sovereign countries and did not have these present borders. They were all created by the winners of the ww1 western colonial entities minus Germany and Russia. England and UK were dividing up the spoils of war and the demise of the Ottoman empire.

          • Joe Tedesky
            June 28, 2016 at 21:56

            “Edmond de Rothschild stated that “the struggle to put an end to the Wandering Jew, could not have as its result, the creation of the Wandering Arab”

            If de Rothschild really meant what he said, then this Zionist take over of Palestine is a failure hundred times over. We should all call our congresspeople and demand an end to Americans funding Israel with aid, and stop the traditional U.S. obstruction of all UN sanctions to force Israel to abide by international law. In addition tell your congressional representative that if they take any political donations from AIPAC or any other Zionist affiliate then they will automatically lose your vote. Also, take sometime to search out Jewish people who oppose the Zionist/Likud platforms, and see if you in anyway can help turn up the volume on their opposing voices to drown out the ADL and AIPAC propaganda puppet masters who own our American media. Doing this could be the beginning of a U.S. withdrawal from the Middle Eastern wars of aggression.

  24. June 27, 2016 at 13:01

    The U.S. is the biggest source of global strategic risks.

    Beijing And Moscow Fed Up With Washington, Time For A New Order

  25. Joe Tedesky
    June 27, 2016 at 12:21

    When corporations are finally put in their place, then and only then will democracy prevail. NATO must be dismantled, and the sooner the better. America should settle the hell down. Why, America’s greatest ally could be, and should be Russia. Together, with their European, Asian, and South American partners, and with the right mind set, (first the people, then the corporations) could do some wonderful things. No more GMO foods, end the pharmaceutical nonsense which is producing addicts of all kind to no end, quit warring over cultures and religions only to allow Israel space to squash the Arab like a bug, and for heavens sake get some decent jobs for people to gain access to a good quality of life. I probably left some things out, but I think you all get my point. Disarm, and build towards the new 21st century infrastructure, and include every human being in this plan this time.

    • Annabel Hartridge
      June 27, 2016 at 19:13


    • Idiotland
      June 28, 2016 at 00:25


    • Elizabeth
      July 2, 2016 at 13:31

      I completely agree with your remarks.

  26. Zachary Smith
    June 27, 2016 at 12:19

    In keeping with the U.S. propaganda strategy, the U.S. corporate media virtually ignored the remarks, which should have been front-page news.

    I checked out to page 10 of google news after typing in Frank-Walter Steinmeier as the search term. The author was absolutely right – the US Neocon Corporate Media simply ignored what the man said. It’s no wonder the US public knows so little about what’s really going on in the world.

    • Joe Tedesky
      June 27, 2016 at 12:22

      If I recall that week in the news, American media pundits were too concerned with Trump U.

      • exiled off mainstreet
        June 27, 2016 at 19:46

        Bill Clinton’s private university corruption is more significant than Trump U and eliminates this issue. Steinmeier recognizes that continued survival trumps political correctness. Hopefully, the Brexit wave will break over Europe in the next year or two.

        • Joe Tedesky
          June 28, 2016 at 12:21

          Was that where Bill took a 16 million dollar bribe?

    • Roberto
      June 27, 2016 at 14:35

      Yepper, keep the citizens of North America in the dark and feed them $hit. Respect them as you would a mushroom.

    • June 28, 2016 at 03:32

      Not at all surprising.

      Did Google Manipulate Search for Hillary?

    • Andrew Nichols
      June 28, 2016 at 06:52

      Completely ignored here in Australia and NZ too. So it “didnt happen”.

  27. Nancy
    June 27, 2016 at 11:54

    Philladelpia July 24-29, 2016: Come march for change.

    • Bart Gruzalski
      June 27, 2016 at 23:38

      Sorry, Nancy, but I’m a little old to go all the way up there for a one day march. Instead, I’ll put my energy into persuading. This piece that we’ve both just read is about the best I’ve read in many months. NOT ONLY is it well written, BUT Joe Lauria shows us where the bleeding bodies are and even shows us the smoking guns. It’s too bad the presstitutes are afraid to inform American citizens in this so-called democracy. (If the people are spoon-fed propaganda and so think that Hillary’s a peace candidate and Trump’s a war candidate, and so they vote in line with the propaganda, is that really a democracy? Are people really exercising democratic rights???)

      ….great nuggets that should persuade all of us to get off our cans. He… Phooey … I realize that I have jumped the queue to get back to the article (rather than talking about a march).

      Nancy, I have nothing against marching, blocking traffic, nonviolently blocking logging roads, and all the rest. I have marched and rallied against the Vietnam war—that’s when I suddenly woke up from my propaganda slumber—been arrested, of course, tear gassed, of course, been the first professor to cancel classes (that’s not a “of course” but just the way it turned out, am a trained nonviolent peacekeeper who had some natural skills [e.g., calming down a nineteen year old who was about six five and I’d guess 280… ].)

      Since those good ole days, in post-Vietnam nonviolent activities I was disturbed to see the number of agent provocateurs. The last guy I saw was wearing the denim—it was a little too clean, and when I approached him he moved away, but he was trying to rile the crowd us and no one knew who he was (this was in Northern California where someone would have known him if he was legit). I subsequently debated in LA in a posh Animal Rights Group whether nonviolence could include black bloc tactics (the black bloc folk often wear black bandannas across their faces and some wear black balaclavas)… It’s tough, especially with new laws calling almost any resistance terrorism.

      I apologize for breaking into the queue and I will jump to the back when I have a chance to discuss this ten-out-of-five-stars article. Nancy, I’m not opposed to nonviolent marches and, in fact, I think they are extremely important. I’m not even sure what I think, given the new laws making it harder to be a nonviolent resister, about the black bloc–though in general let’s be nonviolent and let the movement include not only angry young women and men, but also families and the elderly.

      I’m not being very succinct. Nancy, the rally you are talking about is a month away. I don’t think that advertising it was the most appropriate thing to do after such a provocative and game-changing article..

      Thanks for your indulgence. If anyone thinks I merit a good verbal slam, please do it–that’s one function a reply can serve.

      BUT if we are going to change the “game” plan we need more articles like Joe’s and some serious give and take. Later… somewhere below.

      • Joe Tedesky
        June 28, 2016 at 02:12

        No, praise for Lauria is the right think to do, and Bart I sincerely want you to take a rest. You sound thoughtful, and what a life you have had…I was respectfully impressed. I like reading your comments…

      • Joe Lauria
        June 28, 2016 at 06:35

        Hi Bart.. I want to thank you for your kind words about my piece and for your years of activism.

        • delia ruhe
          July 2, 2016 at 21:15

          I just finisht reading it in full. Very informative — thanks!

    • Joe Tedesky
      June 28, 2016 at 02:23

      Nancy I have two questions. What change group is that? Okay, now laugh. (Following is sarcasm) I hope it doesn’t interfere with Hamilton’s matinee Hillary date. (Boos & mix of applauds with laughter)

      Nancy tell us about the March.,

    • June 28, 2016 at 03:30

      Did you know ? America’s next president could be eased into office not just by TV ads or speeches, but by Google’s secret decisions…

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