Finian Cunningham (PTV) : The key issues are the prevention of Russia and Europe developing closer trade and political ties – stemming primarily from a vast trade in energy fuels; and, secondly, the survival of the American dollar as the world’s reserve currency.
So vital are these issues for continued American hegemony that Washington is prepared to sacrifice millions of lives in a war between Russia and its so-called transatlantic European “ally”.
This shocking revelation comes from a former European NATO commander. According to Christof Lehmann, editor of the news and analysis website nsnbc international, the European military officer was given the grim warning by American counterparts in an off-the-record briefing.
The European commander, now retired, subsequently confided the information with Lehmann, who says that the tensions over Ukraine between Russia and Western powers are consistent with this latent American threat.
The original threat was disclosed during the 1980s, but there is no reason to believe that the American policy of inciting a war in Europe has since changed. This is because the strategic rationale for the US bellicose logic remains the same. And recent events over Ukraine strongly suggest that Washington’s destructive designs are still in place.
Says Lehmann: “In the early 1980s, a European top NATO admiral said that American colleagues at the Pentagon had told him, unequivocally, that the US and UK would not hesitate in creating a new European war if the situation ever arose that Europe and Russia, then the USSR, were to develop close relations.”
Central to the American rationale was, and continues to be, the issue of energy fuel. Washington does not want to see European and Russian economies integrating on the vital issue of trade in oil and gas, the foundation for economic and social development.
Over the past two decades since the end of the Cold War between the US-led West and the former Soviet Union, Europe and Russia have seen substantial alignment of their economies, primarily due to the enormous oil and gas volumes supplied by Moscow. European-Russian bilateral trade is well over $1 trillion annually, and is some tenfold that of US-Russian trade.
Russia accounts for nearly one-third of Europe’s total hydrocarbon fuel consumption. In Germany, the largest European economy, that figure rises to 40 per cent. With the new pipelines of the North Stream and the currently constructed South Stream, the role of Russia as the main energy supplier to Europe is set to grow even more over the coming decades.
Lehmann adds: “The American dominance of the Atlantic axis with Western Europe is threatened by this development of closer economic ties between Europe and Russia. Germany and the Czech Republic have since the end of the Cold War developed close economic and other relations with Russia. Both are, together with Austria and Italy, pushing a trend towards even tighter relations with Moscow.”
This trend was always seen as a strategic danger by Washington. It can be argued that the Cold War from 1945 to 1990 was deliberately instigated by the US as a bulwark to counter the naturally inclined trade integration between Europe and Russia, owing to the latter’s prodigious energy reserves and its continental proximity.
The strategic danger for the US is twofold. Firstly, a close relationship between Moscow and Europe would remove the rationale for America’s military role in NATO and thereby its political influence in Europe. The second is that the European-Russian energy trade undermines the role of the American dollar as the world’s reserve currency. Exchange in such a key world market will inevitably move to the use of the Euro/Ruble, which would spell the end of global American financial hegemony, and with that, the end of the monstrously indebted US economy.
The American economy is already teetering on bankruptcy, with a total debt of $17 trillion, and spiraling. American bankruptcy and social implosion is an eventuality that is so far only postponed by the dollar’s continuance as the standard currency for international trade in fuel, and the de facto license for the US Federal Reserve to keep printing money way beyond any sound economic basis for doing so.
Says Lehmann: “The development of Russian-European partnership would leave the US politically, culturally and economically isolated within no more than 25 years. It would also mean that the US would become increasingly isolated in terms of its militarism and strategic encirclement of Russia and China. The dollar would collapse.”
An important side note is the insidious role of Britain. As the top European NATO commander revealed, the American war plans for Europe were supported by Britain. This is partly because of the historical co-dependence of Anglo-American capitalism, and also, as Lehmann points out, “a weakened Atlantic axis would mean a significant loss of British influence over Germany and France.”
This is the background to why Washington has sought to create a crisis over recent events in Ukraine. Washington has played the key role in fomenting regime change in that country, which has seen the rise of an unelected fascist junta in Kiev that poses a serious threat to Russia.
The Kiev demagogues have openly talked of inciting terrorism and mass murder against Russia and are willing to install American missiles on their Western border with Russia.
The debacle has led to the worse diplomatic crisis between European capitals and Moscow since the end of the Cold War. The possibility of a war between nuclear-armed powers may have receded for now, but the danger of such a catastrophe remains.
This weekend Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met with his American counterpart John Kerry for urgent talks in Paris. Reportedly, Kerry was holding the meeting to “de-escalate tensions” between Russia and the West. The reality is that Washington has done everything to escalate this conflict, in particular between Russia and Europe, for its own selfish strategic interests. That includes, if deemed necessary by the pyromaniacs in Washington, the ignition of all-out war in Europe.
Finian Cunningham, PRESS TV
(Originally from Belfast, Ireland, Finian Cunningham (born 1963) is a prominent expert in international affairs. The author and media commentator was expelled from Bahrain in June 2011 for his critical journalism in which he highlighted human rights violations by the Western-backed regime. He is a Master’s graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in journalism. He is also a musician and songwriter. For many years, he worked as an editor and writer in the mainstream news media, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent. He is now based in East Africa where he is writing a book on Bahrain and the Arab Spring.He co-hosts a weekly current affairs programme, Sunday at 3pm GMT on Bandung Radio. Finian Cunningham is a frequent contributor to international media, including PRESS TV and nsnbc, where he began contributing in 2012.)
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