The US President’s State of the Union address has long been known as a “feel good” PR exercise to schmooze political supporters and present a second Santa-Claus January list of goodies that are to be delivered in the future.
The President’s job is to convince the public that he wants and can deliver these things. But, everybody already knows he will just blame Congress if he can’t deliver, because Congress’ public approval rating is always lower than the President’s. If they are watching, I am sure our Founding Fathers are totally mystified as to how Congress can poll in the 10 to 15% range without a revolution in this country. “Dear Homeland Security, that was just a joke…really.”
For some strange reason, it now appears that EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker wants to introduce a tradition of a State of the Union wish list for the EU public. Doesn’t the EU already have enough buyers’ remorse without adopting another one from the US?
Press coverage of his EU Parliament address focuses on his double-header surprises. At this late stage of the game, Juncker really wants the EU to jump into the middle of solving the Syrian War Gordian Knot, as he describes the EU’s non-participation as “unthinkable”. If that were really true, why has no one in the EU, including Juncker gotten involved earlier?
The reason for that might be because the last thing Syria needs is more outsiders trying to figure out what is best for the Syrian people. Do I think that Juncker was doing some grandstanding here? Absolutely.
That lame brain idea was paired up with another — that an EU military headquarters is needed to begin constructing an independent EU military force to “complement” NATO. This made me think Mr. Juncker would make a good standup comic in his next job. The US taxpayers know they are picking up 75% of NATO’s bill in a post-Cold War era, with no credible threats on the horizon and where Europe has been happy to enjoy the subsidy.
This would be the same NATO, yes, whose air force ran out of munitions during the Libyan “no fly zone” caper. The British Navy shot off all of its submarine-launched Tomahawk missiles, too. US supplies were tapped to cover the shortfall. And when budget time came up again and the Pentagon asked the EU-NATO countries to restock munitions at a higher level, their attitude was, “Sorry, we are having economic issues, and prefer to rely on US reserves if needed.”
Mr. Juncker went on to propose a “travelers’ database”, so while people are on a plane, they can be checked out prior to arriving at their destination. The Israelis have been doing that for ages, and to discover that the EU has not previously done so was initially a shocker, but then, it wasn’t.
We have seen people on European watch lists move across borders with ease when going to fight for ISIS, and then travel back home with apparently no problem. When VT’s Gordon Duff came back from his Germany vacation this summer, he was grilled for five hours by Homeland Security.
Juncker did make an “economy” pitch for the EU army, saying that it would avoid duplication and save $110 billion a year. But those national armies are NATO members, so that means if their size were reduced, the EU would have even less of a contribution to NATO and its own defense. And if Juncker is thinking about an EU army that could cross national borders, they already have that with NATO, where a lot of money gets spent in joint training. In reality, what Juncker is proposing is DUPLICATION.
And, he is smart enough to know this, but thinks the rest of us are too stupid, so he must have a secondary reason. My guess is he wants the EU leadership to have a toy army to play with. If they want to intervene somewhere that NATO does not, they have a force under their command to deploy. But if Juncker really wants a European toy army to play with, he can call for Europeans to pay the 75% tab to put the EU in the driver’s seat. On hearing this news, Americans would cheer and send thankyou cards.
Continuing with the EU Wish List, Juncker then switched over to the refugees, wanting more done for them, but of course wanting third parties to pay for it all, when many EU countries have their own citizens living like refugees with no livelihood security. But then he went bonkers with a plan to pump $50 billion into the African economic stimulation to reduce the numbers fleeing Africa due to poverty and no jobs.
He has been around long enough to have some idea of how much of that $50 billion in aid money would be looted by those who always loot foreign aid, and for the same age old reason. They know that if they don’t steal it, the next person in line will. The legacy of foreign aid in African is no trickle down.
Past foreign investment funds in Africa usually required them to purchase European goods, so there was no resulting manufacturing infrastructure created in the target countries. The profits made by the African insiders go to off shore trusts, bank accounts and real estate, and are not reinvested into their domestic economy. Juncker has become enamored with using other people’s money to fund his grandiose plans, where he will not be around to take any responsibility for their failure.
However, if Juncker really wanted to do something for the EU, he would propose redoing the whole rotten project, rather than trying to put lipstick on a pig. Isn’t this the political cabal that supported the destruction of Ukraine and installed a NATO puppet theatre there that continues to terrorize the ethnic Russians simply for being Russians?
All of the money pumped into the Kiev puppet government was borrowed and laid upon the backs of European taxpayers for future repayment, as the Ukrainian people certainly never will. Struggling EU farmers found themselves victims of Russian counter sanctions, as the EU lost a chunk of its trade surplus with Russia — one which wiser politicians had spent two decades building up.
With Britain leaving the EU, Juncker’s plan for an EU army just lost its biggest potential contributor, but one that will remain in NATO with military problems of its own, if it goes ahead with thinking it can refurbish its Trident submarines without the project turning into a British version of the US F-35 cost overrun disaster. When did huge military cost overruns become a trending thing to do?
Will Juncker transform the EU political class into a mockup of America’s political class? In its latest manifestation, the public is not something to be served, but to be “managed”. The public is not to be empowered but disempowered, with major decisions affecting their livelihood being made behind layers of firewalls, which allow those at the top to ignore public opinion.
The only exception to this has been the broad pushback in the TTIP negotiations, where a large cross section of the European public hit the streets, and these were not the rent-a-mob types. Europeans sensed that they were about to have hard-won, generational social gains whisked away with the signing of one treaty. I would love to see the EU TTIP protestors tour the US, to teach us how to stand up to the multinational corporate abuse.
We certainly have a crisis of leadership here in the US, where we are facing two of the most disliked people in history as choices for president. It cannot be an accident that all potentially competent, marginally qualified people were eliminated during the primaries; or even worse…none could get into the primaries because they were not corrupt enough to promise to sell out sufficiently to raise the needed funding.
One of the major topics of discussion among the old Intel grey heads is the internal threat they see, with the dirty money in politics making sure that no one reaches high office who will not play ball with the banksters and gangsters. Any candidate who would be against them would not have a snowball’s chance in hell of funding a campaign.
As for Europe, Mr. Juncker is the wrong man at the wrong place, at the wrong time, using tired platitudes from our failed State of the Union fairy dust. And we Americans should know, because we have seen plenty of it over here. God help us all, when there is no one left to call that we can trust to make competent decisions.
Jim W. Dean, managing editor for Veterans Today, producer/host of Heritage TV Atlanta, specially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.