• Monthly
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $other
  • use PayPal

SPRING FUNDRAISER

Is it time for our Spring fundraiser already? If you enjoy what we offer, and have the means, please consider donating. The sooner we reach our modest goal, the faster we can get back to business as (un)usual. Please, stay safe and we’ll see you down the road.
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Trump’s EU Doormats

Photo by European People’s Party | CC BY 2.0

All of Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel and Boris Johnson’s entreaties and demonstrations of affection to President Donald Trump were utterly pointless. He responded by humiliating them. Now, he threatens trade and financial reprisals if they fail to break the deal their countries made with Iran three years ago.

Trump has reversed the US’s position, and its allies must fall into line. Seen from Washington, the UK, France and Germany are unimportant, or anyway far less important than Saudi Arabia or Israel.

In Les Chemins de la liberté (The Roads to Freedom), Jean-Paul Sartre wrote: ‘When a man admits his guilt, you always feel like hitting him, to smash what little dignity he has left.’ That holds true for countries, including those of the European Union. Macron says he refuses to talk ‘with a gun to [his] head]’, while Merkel finds it unfortunate that Trump has made things ‘even more difficult’ in the Middle East.

Yet neither seems able to respond with anything but whining. Europe’s major business corporations feel obliged to comply with the White House, since even sending an email via a server in the US or using dollars in a transaction with Iran will make them liable to enormous fines.

No sooner had Trump announced his decision than Total, formerly Compagnie Française des Pétroles, cancelled plans to invest in Iran. At that same moment, Macron, while pretending to look for a way to maintain the agreement, admitted:

‘I would like to be very clear: we are not going to impose sanctions or counter-sanctions on American companies … And we are not going to force [French] companies to stay [in Iran]. That’s the reality of business. The president of France is not the CEO of Total’ (1).

The latter, it seems, takes his orders from the White House.

Our weary political commentators have drawn from this episode the lesson that the EU needs to become stronger (2). But the bigger and more institutionalised it gets, the less it is able to refuse orders from the US. In 1980 the nine members of the European Economic Community took a position on the Middle East, recognisingthe national aspirations of the Palestinian people; on 14 May this year, four member states, Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Romania, sent representatives to the inauguration of the new US embassy in Jerusalem, while the Israeli army was killing civilians in Gaza; and lest anyone forget, in 2003, 15 of the EU’s current 28 members took part in the US-led invasion of Iraq.

The EU is constantly toughening its convergence criteria but, as the fall-out of Trump’s decision made clear, always forgets one: the need for its members to be independent and sovereign.

More articles by:

Serge Halimi is president of Le Monde diplomatique

May 25, 2020
George Wuerthner
Saving the Lionhead Wilderness
Elliot Sperber
Holy Beaver
Weekend Edition
May 22, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Hugh Iglarsh
Aiming Missiles at Viruses: a Plea for Sanity in a Time of Plague
Paul Street
How Obama Could Find Some Redemption
Marc Levy
On Meeting Bao Ninh: “These Good Men Meant as Much to Me as Yours Did to You”
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Shallò: 120 Days of COVID
Joan Roelofs
Greening the Old New Deal
Rob Urie
Why Russiagate Still Matters
Charles Pierson
Is the US-Saudi Alliance Headed Off a Cliff?
Robert Hunziker
10C Above Baseline
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
The Fed’s Chair and Vice Chair Got Rich at Carlyle Group, a Private Equity Fund With a String of Bankruptcies and Job Losses
Eve Ottenberg
Factory Farming on Hold
Andrew Levine
If Nancy Pelosi Is So Great, How Come Donald Trump Still Isn’t Dead in the Water?
Ishmael Reed
Alex Azar Knows About Diabetes
Joseph Natoli
Will Things Fall Apart Now or in November?
Richard D. Wolff
An Old Story Again: Capitalism vs. Health and Safety
Louis Proyect
What Stanford University and Fox News Have in Common
Pete Dolack
Work is Inevitable But its Organization is Not
David A. Schultz
America and the Rise of the Chinese Century
Ramzy Baroud
Why Israel Fears the Nakba: How Memory Became Palestine’s Greatest Weapon
Heather Gray – Jonathan King
Coronavirus and Other US Health Threats? Fund Public Health Not Foreign Wars
Brian Cloughley
Don’t Be Black in America
Kenn Orphan
A Pandemic and a Plague of Absurdity
Matthew Stevenson
Our Friend Eugene Schulman
Richard C. Gross
The Man Who Cried Wolf
Ron Jacobs
Road Trippin’
Robert P. Alvarez
A Simple Solution for the Coronavirus Crisis in Prisons
Aadesh Ravi
The Long March of the Locked-Down Migrants
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
The Proliferation of Conspiracy Theories & the Crisis of Science
Nilofar Suhrawardy
The Other Side of Covid-19
Binoy Kampmark
Battles Over Barley: Australia, China and the Tariff Wars
Cesar Chelala
Donald Trump can Learn Something from Mao Zedong’s Mistakes
Nicky Reid
The New New Cold War is Pretty Much the Old New Cold War
Dave Lindorff
As Republicans Face November Disaster, Efforts to Undermine Social Security Mount
Gaither Stewart
Remembrances of Meeting Cult Novelist Andrzej Kusniewicz in Warsaw
Gary Olson
“No. It’s Capitalism, Stupid.”
Jesse Jackson
The Legacy of Brown v. Board of Education
Phil Knight
Wilderness and Recreation: an Uneasy Partnership
Alicia Salvadeo – Carolyn Pandolfo
No Bernie, Delegates Won’t “Turn Down the Volume”!
George Wuerthner
Massive Logging Putsch Planned for Wyoming’s Medicine Bow Forest
Laura Finley
The Peace Sign: A Safe Greeting and Sign of Victory over COVID!
Bernie Horn
To Save Lives, and Democracy, We Need to Vote by Mail
Dean Baker
Can You Make Stagnating Incomes Go Away? The NYT Wants You To…
Christopher Brauchli
Great Minds Think Alike: From Trump to Bolsonaro
Sophie Jones
Mutual Aid in Queens Amidst COVID-19
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail