Connect with us

Latest

Hellenic Insider

Analysis

Mass migration nightmare: "Refugee" squats coming to a town near you!

Published

on

7 Views

Since the last massive migrant waves in 2015 and the creation of the so-called migrant “hotspots” all over Greece, which merely serve as processing reception centers for mass migration towards the EU, we have seen the development of the interesting case regarding the City Plaza Hotel in central Athens.
The owner of the City Plaza Hotel, a lady by the name of Aliki Papachelas, had previously made appearances in the media defending and supporting migrants and SYRIZA. Today though, she alleges that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) took over her abandoned hotel literally overnight and started using it as a base to house migrants. The hotel was not in use when this occurred, but it was still in her name and the occupation occurred without her permission. At the time, there were many rumors that hotels would be requisitioned and if they were empty. If these hotels did not provide accommodation to migrants, then the state would penalize the hotel owners.
Everybody knows to a lesser or greater extent the Greek state. It’s not famous for paying its commitments on time. When it comes to migrants, two may turn up for a room but behind them could be another 10, as “subletting” is all the rage. There have been countless cases of apartments being rented and then mattresses appearing to cover all floors and dozens of people appearing to be living in a single three bedroom flat.
The hotel City Plaza became an international status symbol of ‘refugee squats’ ie migrant displacement and economic warfare inaugurated by global corporations. It appeared all over the worlds media and was presented as a lively modern version of what migration should look like. Any buildings that are derelict on not functioning should be taken over. City Plaza was closed in 2010 and the owner after having supported Syriza suddenly started to criticize the occupation of her hotel.
The Greek state, in the era of the economic memorandums (IMF-EU economic genocide against the Greek people), started to charge all owners of property the so-called ENFIA ‘haratsi’ (property tax) whether the property was in use or not. By 2016, Aliki Papachela alleges she had accrued debts of €135,000, which had accumulated for all the properties she owned. The largest percentage of this amount came from the closed hotel. Now, according to reports, the Greek government has received near €1 billion for the mass migrant waves. The NGO’s, which are too many and too varied to keep track of, also receive tons of money. The issue here is that once the migrants are processed, then money can be claimed from the NGO’s, the United Nations, and the Greek government for provisional accommodation. Newspapers such as The Guardian obviously invert reality when alleging that “[s]quats like City Plaza accomplish their work without a cent of government or NGO funding.” In contrast, despite the $803m euros that have flowed to the Greek government and NGOs since 2015 to help them deal with the refugee crisis, refugees froze to death in camps last winter. Yet we are supposed to believe that despite large sums of money swishing around, the City Plaza has been taken over by destitute refugees all on their own without NGO help or government backing.
So is the City Plaza is a real squat independent of the owner Aliki Papachela, or is it perhaps operating in agreement with her? What is the actual purpose of this “squat” in central Athens? In the aforementioned article, The Guardian is once again illuminating:

Perhaps the squats’ real crime is breaking this barrier, and bringing refugees from the urban periphery to its heart. City Plaza is just one prominent member of a network of squats, festivals, social centers, bars, solidarity kitchens and community assemblies that form the multi-ethnic, politically radical fabric of several Athens neighborhoods.”

So is this its real purpose? In your face migration at will, wherever we want, whenever we want, accompanied by a parallel propaganda blitz by the owner that the hotel has been taken over and nothing can be done? So far so good as the story goes, but is there something else behind it all?
Aliki Papachelas has gone on the record to state that an agreement was made with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to rent the hotel to them and for her to collect income. Specifically, she has said:

“I would like to thank the crooks and criminals in the government the biggest scumbag functionaries who intervened just after an agreement had been reached with the UNHCR for the renting of my hotel to refugees. If it had been rented I would not now have lost my ancestral home and would not now be facing eviction to end up on the street or in jail.”

Papachela then goes on to name various individuals who profit from the migrant flows. These individuals have been in business for decades, tapping money from various sources. First of all is the illustrious Nikos Giannopoulos from an NGO by the name of “Diktio” (“Liaison Group for Political and Social Rights”) who was a defense witness in the pseudo-terrorist trials of “17 November” and in particular on behalf of the infamous Dimitris Koufontinas.
The second individual is Olga Lafazani, the daughter of Panagiotis Lafazanis, currently the leader of SYRIZA breakaway party “Popular Unity” (LAE). Notably, Lafazanis served as Minister of Development in the first SYRIZA government, elected January 2015. Thirdly, the political formation ANTARSYA, which encompasses a motley crew of the globalist faux-far left, is mentioned.

The occupied Hotel Oniro in Lesvos, used as a squat for refugees and migrants.


There are technically no squatting rights in Greece and there never have been, so it’s a tall order to believe that Aliki Papachela is being billed for ENFIA and all her properties are slated for repossessions whilst she cannot evict the illegal squatters. Giannopoulos has been close to SYRIZA since time immemorial, having been promoted on SYRIZA-owned media platforms such as left.gr. Why would Giannopoulos all of a sudden, with SYRIZA in power, illegally aid a squat when the government in all its pronouncements and in all its practice since coming to power has shown that it supports sustained illegal mass migration and bends over backwards to accommodate all newcomers to the detriment of its own electoral base? Why would Lafazanis, via his daughter, want to be exposed as supporting an illegal occupation? Something doesn’t quite fit.
Is this a case of the owner Aliki Papachelas actually being instructed to go against the occupation of City Plaza? Why is this being surmised? Almost a decade prior, there was another squat in central Athens, but this time it looked real and it had no media attention nor was it a darling of the global pro-migrant propaganda movement. It was in a derelict building which housed tens of thousands of migrants and was a living hellhole. Rubbish and excrement were piled everywhere, as were intravenous needles, while migrant women openly engaged in prostitution either outside of the squat or a few meters from the nearby central police station, located just a block away from Omonoia Square.
As quoted in national Greek daily Kathimerini, the mayor of Athens Giorgos Kaminis claims that 3,000 migrants are squatting in empty hotels in central Athens. The owners of these many properties, who don’t actually receive any media attention or interviews, unlike Aliki Papahela, are ordered to pay for electricity, water and taxes as the NGO’s turn on all the utilities without their knowledge but as their name is registered as owners they are held liable! Within the Athens city council, Petros Konstantinou of KEERFA fame (KEERFA is the main anti-racist lobby group in Greece) alleges all the fundraising ANTARSYA has performed was intended to pay the previous employees of City Plaza hotel who are owed back wages. Aliki Papachela responded by stating her hotel was rented out and they aren’t her liabilities, and that she was also owed back rent.

Occupied building in central Athens with banner which reads “Ministry of Housing Refugees.”


Via social media campaigns and posters plastered throughout Athens, “solidarity” groups — perhaps better known as the “open border brigades” — circulate endless amounts of propaganda. If anyone nearby complains or states anything that jeopardizes these squats, they are immediately labelled “fascists” or “racists” so as to silence critics and ensure nothing is questioned. One also observes constant demands for resources from the Greek population, but hardly any passion to aid destitute Greeks who are in the same dire situation.

Picture of leaflet posted on Facebook, advertising a list of needs of the occupied Hotel Oniro in Lesvos.


A June 2017 report on the City Plaza sage reads:

The City Plaza building had been empty from 2010 to 2016, when activists occupied the building and repurposed it as a building with living spaces, healthcare, education and dining for migrants and refugees.

Over 1,500 people migrants and refugees have lived in City Plaza, many of them using the building as a temporary home while they find other accommodation in Greece or another European country.

However, City Plaza owner Aliki Papahela filed appeals for its evacuation that resulted in the court decision.”

Yet, after going to court and securing an eviction, still no eviction has taken place even as we now find ourselves in 2018.

A poster picturing another squat, located on Notaras Street in central Athens.


A posting on the Facebook page for the above pictured squat on Notaras Street in the center of Athens reads as follows:
Those who manage to enter Fortress Europe come face to face with states who profit from the migrant-refugee flow and the emergence of cheap labor, paying no interest to human life and dignity. They are confronted with xenophobia and racism, institutional or not.
In this suffocating context, we are squatting an empty public building in Athens, 26 Notara St., in order to territorialize our solidarity towards refugees/immigrants to cover their immediate needs (shelter, food, medical help). This project doesn’t stand for philanthropy, state or private, but rather for a self-organized solidarity project, wherein locals and refugees-immigrants decide together. The decisive body is the squat’s open assembly where everyone is welcome to participate with no exclusions.”
Thousands of properties have been left derelict due to the economic crash in Greece and now they are being taken over with or without the owners’ consent. Activists state that there are around 4,000 empty buildings in Athens that could be used as temporary homes for refugees and migrants.
Once this situation is stabilized, pro-migrant activists will then aim for apartments for migrants and refugees. Under the current SYRIZA-led government, tens of thousands of homes are slated to be repossessed, as per troika (European Union, European Central Bank, International Monetary Fund) demands (Editor’s note: As part of the latest demands from the troika, the SYRIZA-led government has pledged to go forward with electronic repossessions of homes. These repossessions take place at the heavily-guarded offices of notaries, outside of public view, instead of at the public courthouses which had become the site of a major campaign against home repossessions and seizures). So even if you were to go bankrupt and couldn’t pay your bills, more expenses and suffering will be piled on, leading you become an internal refugee in your own country, just like what happened to the Serbs who overnight became citizens of newly-invented foreign “nations, such as Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia.
The reality is that mass migration sold as a “refugee” movement aims, in actuality, to displace the populations and workforce of the EU. Clever NGO marketing, alongside absolute promotion by the corporate media, seals the deal. Yet, as with many other issues, such activities are localized and most people do not pay attention to what is happening even in a neighboring area. However, when such realities come knocking on the door in one’s own locality, people inevitably wake up and smell the coffee.
As for the latest mass migration nightmare? It is only just now beginning to unfold…
Opinions are those of the author alone and may not reflect the opinions and viewpoints of Hellenic Insider, its publisher, its editors, or its staff, writers, and contributors.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of

Latest

Whose Money Stoked Religious Strife in Ukraine – and Who Tried to Steal It?

Was $25 million in American tax dollars allocated for a payoff to stir up religious turmoil and violence in Ukraine?

Jim Jatras

Published

on

Authored by James George Jatras via Strategic Culture:


Was $25 million in American tax dollars allocated for a payoff to stir up religious turmoil and violence in Ukraine? Did Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (unsuccessfully) attempt to divert most of it into his own pocket?

Last month the worldwide Orthodox Christian communion was plunged into crisis by the decision of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I in Constantinople to recognize as legitimate schismatic pseudo-bishops anathematized by the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which is an autonomous part of the Russian Orthodox Church. In so doing not only has Patriarch Bartholomew besmirched the global witness of Orthodoxy’s two-millennia old Apostolic faith, he has set the stage for religious strife in Ukraine and fratricidal violence – which has already begun.

Starting in July, when few were paying attention, this analyst warned about the impending dispute and how it facilitated the anti-Christian moral agenda of certain marginal “Orthodox” voices like “Orthodoxy in Dialogue,” Fordham University’s “Orthodox Christian Studies Center,” and The Wheel. These “self-professed teachers presume to challenge the moral teachings of the faith” (in the words of Fr. John Parker) and “prowl around, wolves in sheep’s clothing, forming and shaping false ideas about the reality of our life in Christ.” Unsurprisingly such groups have embraced Constantinople’s neopapal self-aggrandizement and support for the Ukrainian schismatics.

No one – and certainly not this analyst – would accuse Patriarch Bartholomew, most Ukrainian politicians, or even the Ukrainian schismatics of sympathizing with advocacy of such anti-Orthodox values. And yet these advocates know they cannot advance their goals if the conciliar and traditional structure of Orthodoxy remains intact. Thus they welcome efforts by Constantinople to centralize power while throwing the Church into discord, especially the Russian Church, which is vilified in some Western circles precisely because it is a global beacon of traditional Christian moral witness.

This aspect points to another reason for Western governments to support Ukrainian autocephaly as a spiritual offensive against Russia and Orthodoxy. The post-Maidan leadership harp on the “European choice” the people of Ukraine supposedly made in 2014, but they soft-pedal the accompanying moral baggage the West demands, symbolized by “gay” marches organized over Christian objections in Orthodox cities like AthensBelgradeBucharestKievOdessaPodgoricaSofia, and Tbilisi. Even under the Trump administration, the US is in lockstep with our European Union friends in pressuring countries liberated from communism to adopt such nihilistic “democratic, European values.”

Perhaps even more important to its initiators, the row over Ukraine aims to break what they see as the “soft power” of the Russian Federation, of which the Orthodox Church is the spiritual heart and soul. As explained by Valeria Z. Nollan, professor emerita of Russian Studies at Rhodes College:

‘The real goal of the quest for autocephaly [i.e., complete self-governing status independent of the Moscow Patriarchate] of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is a de facto coup: a political coup already took place in 2014, poisoning the relations between western Ukraine and Russia, and thus another type of coup – a religious one – similarly seeks to undermine the canonical relationship between the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and Moscow.’

In furthering these twin objectives (morally, the degrading of Orthodox Christianity; politically, undermining the Russian state as Orthodoxy’s powerful traditional protector) it is increasingly clear that the United States government – and specifically the Department of State – has become a hands-on fomenter of conflict. After a short period of appropriately declaring that “any decision on autocephaly is an internal [Orthodox] church matter,” the Department within days reversed its position and issued a formal statement (in the name of Department spokesperson Heather Nauert, but clearly drafted by the European bureau) that skirted a direct call for autocephaly but gave the unmistakable impression of such backing. This is exactly how it was reported in the media, for example, “US backs Ukrainian Church bid for autocephaly.” Finally, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo weighed in personally with his own endorsement as did the US Reichskommissar for UkraineKurt Volker.

The Threat…

There soon became reason to believe that the State Department’s involvement was not limited to exhortations. As reported by this analyst in October, according to an unconfirmed report originating with the members of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (an autonomous New York-based jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate), in July of this year State Department officials (possibly including Secretary Pompeo personally) warned the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (also based in New York but part of the Ecumenical Patriarchate) that the US government was aware of the misappropriation of a large amount of money, about $10 million, from estimated $37 million raised from believers for the construction of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine in New York. The State Department warning also reportedly noted that federal prosecutors have documentary evidence confirming the withdrawal of these funds abroad on the orders of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. It was suggested that Secretary Pompeo would “close his eyes” to this theft in exchange for movement by the Patriarchate of Constantinople in favor of Ukrainian autocephaly, which helped set Patriarch Bartholomew on his current course.

[Further details on the St. Nicholas scandal are available here, but in summary: Only one place of worship of any faith was destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attack in New York and only one building not part of the World Trade Center complex was completely destroyed. That was St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, a small urban parish church established at the end of World War I and dedicated to St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, who is very popular with Greeks as the patron of sailors. In the aftermath of the 9/11 attack, and following a lengthy legal battle with the Port Authority, which opposed rebuilding the church, in 2011 the Greek Archdiocese launched an extensive campaign to raise funds for a brilliant innovative design by the renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava based on traditional Byzantine forms. Wealthy donors and those of modest means alike enthusiastically contributed millions to the effort. Then – poof! In December 2017, suddenly all construction was halted for lack of funds and remains stalled to this day. Resumption would require having an estimated $2 million on hand. Despite the Archdiocese’s calling in a major accounting firm to conduct an audit, there’s been no clear answer to what happened to the money. Both the US Attorney and New York state authorities are investigating.]

This is where things get back to Ukraine. If the State Department wanted to find the right button to push to spur Patriarch Bartholomew to move on the question of autocephaly, the Greek Archdiocese in the US is it. Let’s keep in mind that in his home country, Turkey, Patriarch Bartholomew has virtually no local flock – only a few hundred mostly elderly Greeks left huddled in Istanbul’s Phanar district. (Sometimes the Patriarchate is referred to simply as “the Phanar,” much as “the Vatican” is shorthand for the Roman Catholic papacy.) Whatever funds the Patriarchate derives from other sources (the Greek government, the Roman Catholic Church, the World Council of Churches), the Phanar’s financial lifeline is the ethnic Greek community (including this analyst) in what is still quaintly called the “Diaspora” in places like America, Australia, and New Zealand. And of these, the biggest cash cow is the Greek-Americans.

That’s why, when Patriarch Bartholomew issued a call in 2016 for what was billed as an Orthodox “Eighth Ecumenical Council” (the first one since the year 787!), the funds largely came from America, to the tune of up to $8 million according to the same confidential source as will be noted below. Intended by some as a modernizing Orthodox “Vatican II,” the event was doomed to failure by a boycott organized by Moscow over what the latter saw as Patriarch Bartholomew’s adopting papal or even imperial prerogatives – now sadly coming to bear in Ukraine.

…and the Payoff

On top of the foregoing, it now appears that the State Department’s direct hand in this sordid business may not have consisted solely of wielding the “stick” of legal threat: there’s reason to believe there was a “carrot” too. It very recently came to the attention of this analyst, via an unsolicited, confidential source in the Greek Archdiocese in New York, that a payment of $25 million in US government money was made to Constantinople to encourage Patriarch Bartholomew to move forward on Ukraine.

The source for this confidential report was unaware of earlier media reports that the same figure – $25 million – was paid by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to the Phanar as an incentive for Patriarch Bartholomew to move forward on creating an independent Ukrainian church. Moreover, Poroshenko evidently tried to shortchange the payment:

‘Peter [Petro] Poroshenko — the president of Ukraine — was obligated to return $15 million US dollars to the Patriarch of Constantinople, which he had appropriated for himself.

‘As reported by Izvestia, this occurred after the story about Bartholomew’s bribe and a “vanishing” large sum designated for the creation of a Unified Local Orthodox Church in Ukraine surfaced in the mass media.

‘As reported, on the eve of Poroshenko’s visit in Istanbul, a few wealthy people of Ukraine “chipped in” in order to hasten the process of creating a Unified Local Orthodox Church. About $25 million was collected. They were supposed to go to the award ceremony for Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople for the issuing of a tomos of autocephaly. [A tomos is a small book containing a formal announcement.] However, in the words of people close to the backer, during the visit on April 9, Poroshenko handed over only $10 million.

‘As a result, having learned of the deal, Bartholomew cancelled the participation of the delegation of the Phanar – the residence of the Patriarch of Constantinople, in the celebration of the 1030th anniversary of the Baptism of Russia on July 27 in Kiev.

‘”Such a decision from Bartholomew’s side was nothing other than a strong ultimatum to Poroshenko to return the stolen money. Of course, in order to not lose his face in light of the stark revelations of the creation of the tomos of autocephaly for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Peter Alexeevich [Poroshenko] had to just return those $15 million for the needs of Constantinople,” a trusted source explained to reporters.

‘For preliminary information, only after receiving the remaining sum, did Bartholomew finally give his consent to sending a delegation of the Phanar to Kiev … ‘

Now, it’s possible that the two identical figures of $25 million refer to two different pots of money (a cool $50 million!) but that seems unlikely. It’s more probable the reports refer to the same sum as viewed from the sending side (the State Department, the Greek Archdiocese) and the delivery side (Poroshenko, Constantinople).

Lending credibility to the confidential information from New York and pointing to the probability that it refers to the same payment that Poroshenko reportedly sought to raid for himself are the following observations:

  • When Poroshenko generously offered Patriarch Bartholomew $10 million, the latter was aware that the full amount was $25 million and demanded the $15 million Poroshenko had held back. How did the Patriarch know that, unless he was informed via New York of the full sum?
  • If the earlier-reported $25 million was really collected from “a few wealthy people of Ukraine” who “chipped in,” given the cutthroat nature of disputes among Ukrainian oligarchs would Poroshenko (an oligarch in his own right) have risked trying to shortchange the payment? Why has not even one such Ukrainian donor been identified?
  • Without going into all the details, the Phanar and the Greek Archdiocese have a long relationship with US administrations of both parties going back at least to the Truman administration, encompassing some decidedly unattractive episodes. In such a history, a mere bribe for a geopolitical shot against Moscow would hardly be a first instance or the worst.

As one of this analyst’s Greek-American connections puts it: “It’s easy to comprehend the Patriarchate bowing to the pressure of State Dept. blackmail… not overly savory, but understandable. However, it’s another thing altogether if Kiev truly “purchased” their autocephalous status from an all too willing Patriarchate … which would relegate the Patriarch to ‘salesman’ status and leave the faithful wondering what else might be offered to the highest bidder the next time it became convenient to hold a Patriarchal ‘fire sale’ at the Phanar?!”

To add insult to injury, you’d think Constantinople at least could pay back some of the $7-8 million wasted on the Crete 2016 debacle to restart the St. Nicholas project in New York. Evidently the Phanar has better things to spend it on, like the demonstrative environmentalism of “the Green Patriarch” and, together with Pope Francis, welcoming Muslim migrants to Europe through Greece. Of course maybe there’s no need to worry, as the Ukraine “sale” was consistent with Constantinople’s papal ambitions, an uncanonical claim to “universal” status, and misuse of incarnational language and adoption of a breathtakingly arrogant tone that would cause even the most ultramontane proponent of the Rome’s supremacy to blush.

Finally, it seems that, for the time being at least, Constantinople doesn’t intend to create an independent Ukrainian church but rather an autonomous church under its own authority. It’s unclear whether or not Poroshenko or the State Department, in such event, would believe they had gotten their money’s worth. Perhaps they would. After all, the issue here is less what is appropriate for Ukraine than what strikes at Russia and injures the worldwide Christian witness of the Orthodox Church. To that end, it doesn’t matter whether the new illegal body is Constantinopolitan or Kievan, just so long as it isn’t a “Moskal church” linked to Russia.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Latest

EU Army: Fact or Fiction? (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 152.

Alex Christoforou

Published

on

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and International Affairs and Security Analyst via Moscow, Mark Sleboda discuss the possibility, and feasibility, of putting together an EU army, as French President Macron is now boasting about.

Will an EU Army replace, rival, or fold into NATO? How will the US respond to Europe’s military initiative, and how will Russia deal an EU army?

Remember to Please Subscribe to The Duran’s YouTube Channel.

Follow The Duran Audio Podcast on Soundcloud.

Via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


“Insulting” – that’s how US President Donald Trump sharply reacted to the idea of a “real European army” proposed by French President Emmanuel Macron.

And it was how Macron rationalized the need for an independent military force for Europe that perhaps most irked the American leader.

Speaking on a tour of World War I battlefields in northern France last week, Macron said that Europe needed to defend itself from “China, Russia and even the United States of America”.

It was a pretty extraordinary choice of words by the French leader. To frame the US among an array of perceived foreign enemy powers was a devastating blow to the concept of a much-vaunted transatlantic alliance.

Since the Second World War, ending 1945, the concept of an American-European alliance has been the bedrock of a supposed inviolable, mutual defense pact. That nearly seven-decade alliance is now being questioned more than ever.

Macron’s call for a European army was further backed up by German Chancellor Angela Merkel who also pointedly said this week that Europe can no longer rely on the US for its defense.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has welcomed the proposal for Europe to form its own military organization, independent from Washington. No doubt, Moscow views such a development as augmenting a move towards a multipolar international order, which Russia and China, among others, have been advocating in opposition to American ambitions of unipolar dominance.

When Trump arrived in Paris last weekend along with dozens of other world leaders, including Putin, to commemorate the centennial anniversary marking the end of World War I, there was a notable frostiness between Macron and the American president. Only a few months ago, Macron and Trump had appeared the best of friends in what some observers referred to as a “bromance”.

During the Paris events, Macron sought to placate Trump by saying that the European army proposal would have a “complementary” role to the US-led NATO military alliance. However, their relationship further soured when Macron later delivered a speech in which he made a veiled rebuke of Trump’s “nationalist” politics.

Days later, on returning to Washington, Trump then fired off a fusillade of angry tweets attacking Macron in very personal terms over a range of issues, including “unfair” economic trade and France’s alleged ungrateful attitude towards the US liberation of Paris from Nazi Germany during the Second World War.

The rift between the US and Europe has been brewing even before Trump’s presidency. For years, Washington has been carping that the Europeans need to spend more on military defense, claiming that the US has been shouldering the burden for too long. Trump has taken the griping to a new, higher level. Recall that he has threatened to pull out of NATO because the Europeans were “free loading” on American “protection”.

The irony is that now the French and German leaders are talking about setting up their own military defenses, Trump has blown a fuse.

Evidently, the American contention is not about “burden sharing” of defense. If Washington was genuinely aggrieved about supposedly defending Europe at too much of its own expense, then Trump, one would think, would be only too glad to hear that the Europeans were at last making their own military arrangements, and taking the burden off Washington.

This gets to the heart of the matter about the real purpose of NATO and presence of tens of thousands of US troops stationed in bases across Europe since 1945. American military presence in Europe is not about “protecting” its supposed allies. It is, and always has been, about projecting American power over Europe. In reality, American troops and bases in Europe are more functioning as an occupying force, keeping the Europeans in line with Washington’s strategic objectives of hegemony over the continent.

Macron and Merkel’s vision of a European army is probably fanciful anyway, without any real prospect of materializing. How such a new defense arrangement would work independently from the 29-member NATO alliance led by the US seems unwieldy and impractical.

But the latest tensions between Washington and European leaders over military organization demonstrate the real nature of America’s relationship to Europe. It is about domination by Washington over Europe and has little to do with partnership and protection.

When Trump and previous US presidents have urged greater military spending by Europe the ulterior agenda is for Europeans to pay more to underpin American military presence, not for Europeans to find their own independent defense arrangement.

Tensions in the transatlantic axis seem to be coming to a head, heightened by Trump’s nationalistic “America First” policy. Rivalries are sharpening over trade, US sanctions on Iran, Trump’s threats against European energy plans with Russia, the Paris Climate Accord, and squabbling over NATO expenditures.

There is nothing progressive about Macron or Merkel’s call for a European army. It is more to do with France and Germany wanting to assert themselves as great powers and to shake off American tutelage out of frustration with Trump’s domineering petulance.

Only last week, Macron caused controversy when he praised French military general Philippe Pétain who collaborated with Nazi Germany as leader of Vichy France (1940-44). Macron wants a European army to satisfy his own nationalistic ambitions of revamping French global power. This week, he spent the night onboard a refurbished French aircraft carrier, the Charles de Gaulle, from which he gave a media interview saying that being “an ally of America meant not being a vassal”. Touché!

A progressive challenge from Europe to American power would not involve setting up a new army. Instead it would involve Europeans pushing for the disbandment of NATO as an obsolete organization and for the withdrawal of US-led forces which are dangerously amassing on Russia’s border.

Nonetheless, the one positive thing to emerge from the transatlantic spat over military defenses is that it illustrates more than ever how European protection is not the real purpose of Washington’s relationship to the continent. The purpose is one of using Europe as a platform for projecting America’s power, in particular against Russia.

The recent announcement by the Trump administration that it is willing to rip up yet another nuclear arms control treaty – the INF following the ABM in 2002 – clearly shows that Washington, ultimately, has recklessly scant concern for Europe’s security with regard to a possible future war with Russia.

For Washington, despite all the chivalrous rhetoric, Europe is not a partner nor even an ally. It is a vassal. Admittedly, thousands of American troops died while bravely fighting wars in Europe. But they are distinct from the US ruling class. At bottom, Europe is merely a battlefield for American military power, just as it was in two previous world wars. One hundred years after the end of World War I, the same callous calculus for the imperial planners in Washington is at play.

European ideas for independent defense is why Washington has reacted so furiously. It’s not willing to give up its European front.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Latest

Zuckerberg Clings To Power While Sandberg Claims Ignorance After Damaging NYT Report

The New York Times reported that Facebook hired GOP PR firm, Defenders, to smear liberal detractors as Soros operatives. 

Published

on

Facebook executives Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg are battling backlash over an explosive investigation by the New York Times into Facebook’s mercenary damage control tactics in the wake of several major scandals.

Despite fresh calls from investors for Zuckerberg to step down in his dual role as CEO and chairman and appoint an independent director to oversee the board, the 34-year-old tech titan brushed off the suggestion during a Thursday call with journalists.

“A company with Facebook’s massive reach and influence requires robust oversight and that can only be achieved through an independent chair who is empowered to provide critical checks on company leadership,” said New York City comptroller, Scott Stringer.

Zuckerberg disagrees. “I don’t think that that specific proposal is the right way to go,” said the Facebook CEO when asked if he would consider stepping down, adding that other initiatives had been launched to “get more independence into our systems.”

The measures include creating an independent body to advise the company on decisions over whether controversial content should remain on the site.

Ultimately, he said Facebook is never going to eradicate mistakes. “We’re never going to get to the point where there are no errors,” he told reporters. “I’m trying to set up the company so that way we have our board, and we report on our financial results and do a call every quarter, but that also we have this independent oversight that is just focused on the community.” –Business Insider

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, meanwhile, is claiming ignorance – telling CBS This Morning co-host Norah O’Donnell “we absolutely did not pay anyone to create fake news – that they have assured me was not happening.”

In their Wednesday exposé – the culmination of interviews with over 50 current and former company executives, lawmakers, government officials, lobbyists and congressional staff members,the New York Times reported that Facebook had hired GOP PR firm, Defenders, which smeared liberal detractors as Soros operatives – and worked with a sister company to create negative propaganda about competitors Google and Apple.

Mr. Kaplan prevailed on Ms. Sandberg to promote Kevin Martin, a former Federal Communications Commission chairman and fellow Bush administration veteran, to lead the company’s American lobbying efforts. Facebook also expanded its work with Definers.

On a conservative news site called the NTK Network, dozens of articles blasted Google and Apple for unsavory business practices. One story called Mr. Cook hypocritical for chiding Facebook over privacy, noting that Apple also collects reams of data from users. Another played down the impact of the Russians’ use of Facebook.

The rash of news coverage was no accident: NTK is an affiliate of Definers, sharing offices and staff with the public relations firm in Arlington, Va. Many NTK Network stories are written by staff members at Definers or America Rising, the company’s political opposition-research arm, to attack their clients’ enemies. –NYT

Meanwhile, Sandberg stressed that Facebook was undertaking new security measures, telling O’Donnell: “Our strategy was to shore up the security on Facebook and make major investments there,” and that the company had made significant investments in combatting fake news and foreign influence.

“It was not what I was doing nor was it the company’s strategy to deflect, to deny or to hire PR firms to do things. That’s not the strategy. And I was part of none of that. We’ve taken great steps, we’ve made huge investments. We’ve invested a ton in AI and technology and if you were following us before the election you saw those efforts pay off. We were able to take down lots of stuff over and over, over and over because we were now focused on this,” said Sandberg.

When asked if rank-and-file employees are confident in her, Sandberg replied: “Yes, I believe so.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

JOIN OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL

Your donations make all the difference. Together we can expose fake news lies and deliver truth.

Amount to donate in USD$:

5 100

Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Advertisement

Advertisement

Quick Donate

The Duran
EURO
DONATE
Donate a quick 10 spot!
Advertisement
Advertisement

Advertisement

The Duran Newsletter

Trending