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The Lust for Washington's Money

Lawlessness is the New Normal

by PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

In various articles and in my latest book, The Failure of Laissez-Faire Capitalism, I have pointed out that the European sovereign debt crisis is being used to terminate the sovereignty of the countries that are members of the EU. There is no doubt that this is true, but the sovereignty of the EU member states is only nominal. Although the individual countries still retain some sovereignty from the EU government, they are all under Washington’s thumb, as demonstrated by the recent illegal and hostile action taken on Washington’s orders by France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Austria against the airliner carrying Bolivia’s President Evo Morales.

Flying back to Bolivia from Moscow, Morales’ plane was denied overflight and refueling permission by Washington’s French, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese puppets and had to land in Austria, where the presidential plane was searched for Edward Snowden. It was a power play by Washington to kidnap Snowden from Bolivia’s presidential airliner in defiance of international law and to teach upstart reformers like Morales that independence from Washington’s orders is not permitted.

The European puppet states went along with this extraordinary breach of diplomacy and  international law despite the fact that each of the countries is incensed that Washington is spying on their governments, diplomats, and citizens.  Their thanks to Snowden, whose revelations made them aware that Washington was recording their every communication, was to help Washington capture Snowden.

This tells us how much morality, honor, integrity there is left in Western civilization: Zero.

Snowden informed the countries of the world that their communications have no independence or privacy from Washington’s eyes and ears.  Washington’s hubris and arrogance are shocking.  Yet, no
howeconcountry has been willing to stand up to Washington and to give Snowden asylum. Ecuador’s Correa was intimidated and slapped down by Washington and withdrew his offer to Snowden. For China and Russia, Washington’s favorite targets for human rights demonization, giving Snowden asylum would have been a propaganda triumph, but neither country wanted the confrontations that Washington’s reprisals would have caused.

In short, the governments of the countries on earth want Washington’s money and good graces more than they want truth and integrity or even their independence.

Washington’s sordid interventions against Snowden and Morales give the world another chance to hold Washington accountable before Washington’s hubris and arrogance force the world into a choice between accepting Washington’s hegemony and World War III.  The countries, split among themselves and grasping for money and favor, are, instead, permitting Washington to establish that whatever it does is legitimate. Washington’s lawlessness is being established as the new normal.

The South American governments are unlikely to stand together against Washington’s affront.  A few of the countries are led by reformers who represent the people instead of the rich elites allied with Washington, but most prefer calm relations with Washington and domestic elites.  South Americans assume that Washington will succeed in overthrowing the reformers as it has in the past.

In Europe headlines are that “NSA surveillance threatens the EU free trade deal” and “Merkel demands explanations.”  The protests are the necessary public posturing of puppets and will be regarded as such by Washington.  The French government says the trade talks should be temporarily suspended “for a couple of weeks to avoid any controversy.” However, the German government says, “We want this free trade agreement and we want to start the talks now.”  In other words, what Merkel describes as “unacceptable Cold War-style behavior” is acceptable as long as Germany gets the free trade agreement.The lust for Washington’s money blinds Europe to the real consequences of the free trade deal.  What the deal will do is to fold Europe’s economies into Washington’s economic hegemony. The deal is designed to draw Europe away from trade with Russia, just as the Trans-Pacific Partnership is designed to draw Asian countries away from China and fold them into US-structured relationships. These deals have little to do with free trade and everything to do with US hegemony. These “free trade” deals will commit the European and Asian “partners” to support the dollar.  Indeed, it is possible that the dollar will supplant the euro and Asian currencies and become the monetary unit of the “partners.”  In this way Washington can institutionalize the dollar and protect it from the consequences of the printing press that is being used to boost the solvency of banks too big to fail and to finance never-ending federal budget deficits.

Paul Craig Roberts is a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. His latest book The Failure of Laissez-Faire Capitalism. Roberts’ How the Economy Was Lost is now available from CounterPunch in electronic format.