Thursday, October 29, 2015

"Leading From Behind" and the Future of Europe

Read this AP blurb that appeared in yesterday's national edition of The New York Times and ask yourself whether Poland's triumphant Law and Justice Party couldn't win any election in any Western country:
Poland: Party’s Total Is Enough to Avoid a Coalition
The right-wing and anti-migrant Law and Justice party has won a majority of seats in Poland’s Parliament and can govern alone, the state election authority announced Tuesday. The party got 235 seats in the 460-seat lower house and 61 of 100 seats in the Senate — the strongest position any single party has ever had in post-Communist Poland. The party supports increasing state intervention in the economy to help families and the poor and has criticized the current governing party, Civic Platform, for agreeing to accept about 7,000 migrants as part of a European Union resettlement plan. Law and Justice has vowed to place higher taxes on large, foreign-owned corporations and banks to pay for benefits like free medications for people over 75 and a reversal of a higher retirement age. The departing government had increased the retirement age to 67; Law and Justice has said it will restore it to 60 for women and 65 for men.
There is no question. Poland's Law and Justice, with those positions, would win everywhere it competed.

Right below that AP blurb about Poland was the following Reuters blurb on Libya:
Libya: Officers Are Killed in Downing of Helicopter
A Libyan helicopter carrying military commanders from Tripoli’s self-styled government was shot down Tuesday by another armed faction west of the city, and at least 12 people were killed, the authorities and security sources said. A spokesman for the Tripoli government’s chief of staff said the helicopter was hit by antiaircraft fire and crashed into the sea. Libya is caught in a conflict involving two rival governments, based respectively in Tripoli and in the east, as well as myriad armed factions that back them in loose coalitions.
The two blurbs are connected. Some of the refugees streaming into Europe, whose numbers exceed any since the Second World War, come from Libya, a state cracked open when NATO facilitated the ouster of its longtime strongman leader Muammar Gaddafi. Obama termed this regime change operation "Leading from behind."

"Leading from behind" is another way of saying you're fucking someone in the ass, an obsession of the U.S. power elite and their sundry cronies in nation-states across the globe. Now, in the words of Malcolm X when he described the Kennedy assassination, the "Chickens are coming home to roost." Europe is starting to fray.

Austria is threatening to construct a border fence, and so too is Slovenia. Slovenia has become the new transit hot spot since Hungary finished construction of its fence and closed its border. Meanwhile the new EU refugee plan hatched last Sunday is yet to get off the drawing board.

As Melissa Eddy, Barbara Surk and Alison Smale report in "Austria and Slovenia Trade Threats as Tensions Over Migrants Grow":
Conservatives are growing increasingly restive, and the Christian Democratic Union, the political party of Chancellor Angela Merkel, has slipped five percentage points in opinion polls. [Anything above a five-point spread is conventionally considered a "landslide."]
Horst Seehofer, head of the Bavaria-only Christian Social Union party, has demanded that the chancellor reduce the influx of migrants, setting a deadline for Sunday when Ms. Merkel and the third leader of their governing coalition, Sigmar Gabriel, head of the center-left Social Democrats, have a meeting scheduled. 
“We need swift, immediate measures,” Mr. Seehofer said in Munich, after addressing legislators in Bavaria. “Above all, it is necessary to re-establish a situation in keeping with the rule of the law.” 
The developments highlighted the growing consequences of the European Union’s failure to forge a common solution to the problem of having hundreds of thousands of people from Syria, Afghanistan and other strife-ridden countries trek through the continent on their way to seeking new lives in the heart of Europe.
Despite plans by European Union leaders to build reception centers around the outer rim of the bloc to control the flow north and west, no progress has been made, and an amended plan that emerged at a summit meeting in Brussels last weekend appears doomed. The result has been that nations along the trail have had to fend for themselves, working together unofficially to allow the migrants to freely cross borders — as long as they also exited at the other end — on their way to Germany.
Germany has opened its arms to the new arrivals and has said it expects as many as a million to try to settle there this year. 
But Mr. Seehofer told the Bavarian lawmakers that if an agreement could not be reached with Ms. Merkel this weekend to limit the newcomers, he would examine “judicial and political measures,” although he did not get more specific.
Bavaria has borne the brunt of handling the tens of thousands of arrivals in Germany — 15,000 people alone over the past weekend — since the first trains began arriving in Munich this summer. There, with the help of volunteers, refugees begin the first steps of the asylum process and are then dispersed throughout the country.
The days of cheering welcomes, however, have given way to a palpable discontent, and Mr. Seehofer said many constituents had questioned whether the government has the situation under control.
This is blow back from the U.S. warfare state, the "leading from behind" policy of perpetual war that has become dominant during the administration of Nobel Peace Prize winner Obama. Insanity has finally found its boundary, and that is Europe.

The Sykes-Picot Middle East has been torn up. But its destruction is destroying the U.S. project of the European Union. I don't think the "ass-fucking" warmongering power elite saw this coming.

What happens now is that governments throughout Europe will be sent packing in favor of parties like Poland's Law and Justice, parties that will close borders and cut against the neoliberal grain by providing more generous social benefits for the native population.

Since border walls and fences are all the rage in Europe, you know what that means for the United States (assuming cousins stick together)? Trump will be the man in 2016.

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