Donald Trump has been making many revolutionary proposals. Unfortunately, they have often been obscured by the furor over his fumbled remarks about abortion and the pulsating hatred of America’s Republican ruling class.
The media have attacked Trump like a school of enraged piranhas. A contrived incident mounted by the hard right wing tried to make his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, look like a woman abuser. I met Lewandowski two weeks ago in Palm Beach. He’s a reserved person and certainly no abuser.
Last week, Trump claimed the USA was paying too much to sustain NATO. It was time, he asserted, to cut way back on US financial support and get Europe to pay its fair share for “protecting itself from threats.”
More outrage greeted Trump’s attack on the post-World War II status quo. But he was quite right. The US subsidizes about 73% of NATO’s total military, economic and social costs. NATO’s European members pay only about 1% of their gross national product.
But Trump was not right about the western alliance. First, NATO faces no outside threat even though Washington’s Republican war party and neocons are trying to revivify the Cold War confrontation with Russia.
The only real danger to Europe comes from ISIS and can be dealt with by police and intelligence agencies. However, Washington has long sought to reshape NATO into an offensive military alliance that can act as auxiliaries to the US forces in the Mideast and Third world, but with only modest results.
The US has garrisoned and directed Western Europe’s military affairs since 1945 – and today, Eastern Europe as well. A new US brigade will be moving into the Baltic States and former Warsaw Pact members.
More important, NATO is a huge military and political asset to the US. In effect, NATO keeps Europe under US military influence. The old Soviet Warsaw Pact played the same role for Moscow. As the strategist, Zbigniew Brzezinski told me long ago. NATO serves as “stepping stones” for the ongoing US geopolitical control of Europe. No wonder it was not disbanded like the Warsaw Pact after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The post-war European states gravely weakened by World War II mostly accepted NATO as their overlord. General Charles DeGaulle ousted NATO from France and refused American tutelage.
But his successors restored US suzerainty over France. Germany’s tough defense minister, Franz Josef Strauss, said “we won’t play foot soldiers to America’s atomic knights” but his attempted to build a more independent policy failed.
American politicians, Trump included, like to accuse Europe of “not carrying their rightful defense burden.” What they really mean is that Europe is not paying enough to support the American Imperium. The US is not in Europe and Asia for humanitarian reasons; they form the two key spheres of US world power.
This writer has long advocated ending the obsolete NATO alliance. It made much sense when the Soviets had 50,000 tanks facing Europe, revving their engines. Today, its ‘raison d’etre’ has gone. Yet NATO keeps Europe under American direction and seriously hinders the unification of Europe – something that the US and its feudal vassal state Britain seek to avoid.
Europe badly needs its own unified armed forces. How can the European Union be a successful union without integrated military forces and strategic command? We still accept this strange situation 71 years after the end of World War II. The US exercises similar post-war imperial control over Japan and South Korea.
No one in the US has dared question this post-war imperial status quo until the bulldozing Mr. Trump. Small wonder he is so hated and vilified. Trump directly threatens America’s military-industrial-Wall Street complex and its role as a world hegemon. Trump questions carte blanche for Israel, and America’s entire system of government which has been profoundly corrupted by oceans of money.
Trump is not owned by anyone. That is practically un-American. In the US, politics are a business by another name. One fears that heretic Trump will be burned at the stake by the powers that be.