Besides former President Obama’s supposed “goodwill,” Joe Biden has nothing to show for his performance as former vice president, except for frequent gaffes and fake dentures. He is the weakest Democratic presidential candidate in decades and doesn’t stand a chance against incumbent Trump.
Although the unequivocal support of the mainstream media and the American national security establishment might still tip the balance in his favor in the November presidential elections. This is the reason why he had to choose articulate and persuasive Kamala Harris as a running mate on the insistence of the Democratic Party whips despite personal reservations.
Joe Biden: Can’t allow Good Friday Agreement to become casualty of Brexit
Pontificating on the British electorate’s sovereign decision to quit the European Union yesterday, the unequivocal proponent of Washington-led neocolonial world order masqueraded as purported “globalization” warned the Conservative-led Boris Johnson government of the United Kingdom in a characteristically blunt and haughty manner that there would be no trade deal between the US and the UK unless the latter respects the Northern Irish peace deal, which was never in danger, to begin with.
“We can’t allow the Good Friday Agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland to become a casualty of Brexit,” Biden said in a tweet. “Any trade deal between the US and UK must be contingent upon respect for the Agreement and preventing the return of a hard border. Period.”
It’s pertinent to mention that the trans-Atlantic military alliance NATO and its corollary economic alliance European Union were conceived during the Cold War to offset the influence of the former Soviet Union which was geographically adjacent to Europe.
Historically, the NATO military alliance at least ostensibly was conceived as a defensive alliance in 1949 during the Cold War in order to offset the conventional warfare superiority of the former Soviet Union. The US forged a collective defense pact with the Western European nations after the Soviet Union reached the threshold to build its first atomic bomb in 1949 and achieved nuclear parity with the US.
NATO outlived purpose following the Soviet Union dissolution
But the trans-Atlantic military alliance has outlived its purpose following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 and is now being used as an aggressive and expansionist military alliance meant to browbeat and coerce the former Soviet clients, the Central and Eastern European states, to join NATO and its corollary economic alliance, the European Union, or risk international isolated.
It was not a coincidence that the Soviet Union was dissolved in December 1991 and the Maastricht Treaty that consolidated the European Community and laid the groundwork for the European Union was signed in February 1992.
The basic purpose of the EU has been nothing more than to entice the former communist states of the Eastern and Central Europe into the folds of the Western capitalist bloc by offering financial incentives and inducements, particularly in the form of agreements to abolish internal border checks between the EU member states, thus allowing the free movement of workers from impoverished Eastern Europe to the prosperous countries of Western Europe.
Regarding the global footprint of American forces, according to a January 2017 infographic by the New York Times, 210,000 US military personnel were deployed across the world, including 79,000 in Europe, 45,000 in Japan, 28,500 in South Korea, and 36,000 in the Middle East.
In July, the Trump administration announced plans to withdraw 12,000 American troops from Germany and sought to cut funding for the Pentagon’s European Deterrence Initiative, though the main factor that prompted Trump to pull out American forces from Germany was German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s refusal to attend G-7 summit in person due to coronavirus outbreak.
The summit was scheduled to be held at Camp David on June 10 but was canceled. About half of the troops withdrawn from Germany were re-deployed in Europe, mainly in Italy and Poland, and the rest returned to the US.
Brexit a shock to ‘deep state’ within US and EU
In Europe, 47,000 American troops were stationed in Germany since the end of the Second World War and before the withdrawal of 12,000 US forces in July, 15,000 American troops were deployed in Italy and 8,000 in the United Kingdom. Thus, Europe is nothing more than a client of corporate America.
Not surprisingly, the Western political establishments, and particularly the deep states of the US and EU, were as freaked out over the outcome of Brexit as they were during the Ukrainian Crisis in November 2013 when Viktor Yanukovych suspended the preparations for the implementation of an association agreement with the European Union and threatened to take Ukraine back into the folds of the Russian sphere of influence by accepting billions of dollars of loan package offered by Vladimir Putin.
In this regard, the founding of the EU has been similar to the precedent of Japan and South Korea in the Far East where 45,000 and 28,500 US troops have currently been deployed, respectively.
After the Second World War, when Japan was about to fall in the hands of the geographically adjacent Soviet Union, the Truman administration authorized the use of nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to subjugate Japan and send a signal to the leaders of the former Soviet Union, which had not developed its nuclear program at the time, to desist from encroaching upon Japan in the East and West Germany in Europe.
Then, during the Cold War, American entrepreneurs invested heavily in the economies of Japan and South Korea and made them model industrialized nations to forestall the expansion of communism in the Far East.
Similarly, after the Second World War, Washington embarked on the Marshall Plan to rebuild Western Europe with economic assistance of $13 billion, equivalent to hundreds of billions of dollars in the current dollar value. Since then, Washington has maintained military and economic dominance over Western Europe.
There is an essential stipulation in the European Union’s charter of the union, according to which the impoverished developing economies of Eastern Europe that joined the EU allowed free movement of goods (free trade) only on the reciprocal condition that the prosperous developed countries would permit free movement of labor.
What’s obvious in this stipulation is the fact that the free movement of goods, services, and capital only benefits the countries that have a strong manufacturing base, and the free movement of people only favors the developing economies where labor is cheap.
Now, when the international financial institutions, like the IMF and WTO, promote free trade by exhorting the developing countries all over the world to reduce tariffs and subsidies without the reciprocal free movement of labor, whose interests do such institutions try to protect? Obviously, they serve the interests of their largest donors by shares, the developed economies.
Regardless, while joining the EU, Britain compromised on the rights of its working class in order to protect the interests of its bankers and industrialists, because free trade with the rest of the EU countries spurred British exports.
British working classes overwhelmingly voted in favor of Brexit
The British working classes overwhelmingly voted in the favor of Brexit because after Britain’s entry into the EU and when the agreements on abolishing internal border checks between the EU member states became effective, the cheaper labor force from the Eastern and Central Europe flooded the markets of Western Europe.
Consequently, the wages of native British workers diminished, and finding employment also became difficult, because immigrant workers were willing to do the same job for lesser pays, hence raising the level of unemployment among the British workers and consequent discontentment with the EU.
The subsequent lifting of restrictions on Romanians and Bulgarians to work in the European Union in January 2014 further exacerbated the predicament of the British workforce. Thus, the majority of the British electorate voted in a June 2016 referendum to opt-out of the EU.
The biggest incentive for the British working classes to vote for Brexit was that the East European workers would have to leave Britain after its exit from the EU, and the jobs would once again become available with better wages to the native British workforce.
The prosperous developed economies of Western Europe would never have acceded to the condition of free movement of labor that undermines their economic interests, but Washington vociferously persuaded the reluctant countries of Western Europe to yield to the condition against their national interests in order to wean away from the formerly communist states of the Eastern and Central Europe from the Russian influence.
Thus, all the grandstanding and moral posturing of unity and equality aside, the hopelessly neoliberal institution, the EU, in effect, is nothing more than the civilian counterpart of the Western military alliance against the erstwhile Soviet Union, the NATO, that employs a much more subtle and insidious tactic of economic warfare to win over political allies and to isolate adversaries that dare to sidestep from the global trade and economic policies as laid down by the Western capitalist bloc.
It would be pertinent to mention that though the Conservative-led government was in favor of Brexit, the neoliberal British deep state and the European political establishments led by France and Germany were fiercely opposed to Britain’s exit from the EU.
Since the referendum, the British deep state and the European political establishments created numerous hurdles in the way of Brexit. The First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon demanded more autonomy and control over Scotland’s vast oil and gas reserves and threatened that Scotland could secede from the United Kingdom over Brexit.
Had it not been for charismatic Boris Johnson, winning an overwhelming mandate from the British public in the December elections, Brexit would never have materialized under bumbling Theresa May.
In 2018, 25 out of 27 EU member states signed an enhanced security cooperation agreement known as the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), whose aim is to structurally integrate the armed forces of the EU members. Britain, along with Denmark and Malta, was left out, apparently to punish the British electorate for opting out of the European Union.
Nauman Sadiq is an Islamabad-based attorney, columnist and geopolitical analyst focused on the politics of Af-Pak and Middle East regions, neocolonialism, and petro-imperialism.