Europe’s leaders are enabling US straight into WWIII
Tribune Content Agency March 15, 2023
PARIS (Tribune News Service) — Europe’s top bureaucrat left her all-smiles meeting with President Joe Biden last week with nothing but promises of more talks, but things are already so bad in Europe that French bakeries are struggling to save the baguette. Does anyone in charge actually care about the average person?
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen was introduced to Biden this week as the “President of the European Union” — as if on equal footing as a leader democratically elected by the people rather than a bureaucrat appointed by the bloc’s establishment heads of state. Why is this important? Because someone elected by, accountable to and dependent on the people for their job security would have gone into a meeting with Biden with a more assertive and less deferential posture. Or at least they should have. Not that it’s a given these days.
French President Emmanuel Macron met with Biden last December and was determined to walk away with concessions on price breaks for American gas that has replaced the supply from Russia that the EU sanctioned — albeit at several times the cost.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz also made the pilgrimage to Washington earlier this month amid serious concerns about German companies — Europe’s economic engine — jumping ship to the U.S. for cheaper gas and subsidies under Biden’s climate-oriented Inflation Reduction Act.
The new law is a big problem for Europe since it’s successfully seducing environmentally-friendly German enterprise to dump Europe for America, according to a new survey by the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Meanwhile, Scholz had absolutely nothing to say on record to Biden about the terrorist attack on the country’s Nord Stream energy lifeline of Russian gas that had turned Germany into an industrial powerhouse with the luxury of fiddling around developing the very same “green economy” that now makes its businesses so attractive to the U.S. Biden had previously declared of the pipelines while standing right beside Scholz last year that if Russia moved into Ukraine, “then there will no longer be a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it.”
Rather than at least paying lip service to some of the problems faced by the German people, Biden could only say that they “discussed ongoing efforts to provide security, humanitarian, economic, and political assistance to Ukraine and the importance of maintaining global solidarity with the people of Ukraine.”
All of this lack of EU leadership has been bad news for struggling Europeans. “Last summer, our energy bills rose by 300%. However, [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s blackmail was unsuccessful. We replaced the shortfall in Russian gas by increasing imports from reliable suppliers,” Von der Leyen told the Canadian Parliament prior to her meeting in Washington with Biden, ignoring the fact that it was Europe’s actual strategy to shove a stick into the spokes of its own bike wheels in order to stick it to Putin by depriving him of export revenues while focusing on renewables.
Yet there wasn’t a single word from her about how the price of this replacement fuel from countries like the U.S. and Norway are killing European industry and crushing households. Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store has now resorted to defending himself against allegations of war profiteering leveled by the likes of Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki by explaining that the country would be giving back — to Ukraine, and maybe also to African countries affected by high grain prices as a result of the conflict.
What about offsetting the damage done to Europeans who are still paying increasingly exorbitant energy costs and resulting inflation?
European leaders are clearly the stooges in this whole farce, dragging their poor citizens along on a seemingly endless white-knuckle ride. Their leaders are constantly going cap in hand to Washington and begging for mercy amid increasing protectionism instead of operating from a position of strength. And what’s Biden giving them in return? Promises of more talks and dialogue to work things out — eventually. As if the average European has all the time in the world when already trying desperately to make ends meet.
If they truly cared about the interests of their own people, EU leaders would opt out of doing Washington’s bidding in Ukraine in favor of placing its own interests first. Specifically, that would mean demanding that the U.S. lower its fuel prices under threat of Europe lifting all sanctions against Russia. It would stop flooding Ukraine with weapons for continued armed conflict in favor of immediate negotiations and lifting of all sanctions that have primarily just hamstrung Europe’s own economy. And finally, it would announce a public inquiry into the Nord Stream sabotage. If Washington doesn’t like it, or tries to retaliate, then Europe can always threaten to close all U.S. military bases on European soil and to withdraw from NATO.
The EU has cards to play in the interests and defense of the average citizen who would benefit from peace, and it steadfastly refuses to do so.
If the U.S. had to go it alone against Russia in Ukraine, it wouldn’t be long before peace would have to break out. Europe has always had the chance to be the friend at the bar who refuses to get in the car and ride shotgun on yet another misguided foreign intervention. Instead of serving as an enabler, it should be taking away the keys before they end up launching us all straight off a cliff into a third world war.
Rachel Marsden is a columnist, political strategist and host of independently produced talk shows in French and English.
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