|The News Line: Editorial
Monday, 18 February 2019
US AND EU SLUG IT OUT AT 55th MUNICH SECURITY CONFERENCE!
THE just-concluded 55th Munich Security Conference saw the conflict between the US and the EU break out openly and venemously. German Chancellor Merkel and other European leaders at the three-day international security conference voiced dismay at a range of Trump decisions as being hostile to America’s NATO allies.
When on Friday, US Vice President Pence said he was bringing greetings from Trump, ‘the leader of the free world’ he was met with the stoniest silence from a room full of national leaders – ministers, generals and security chiefs. Merkel said the expected next stop in the developing trade war is Washington declaring European car imports a ‘national security threat’. She called this prospect ‘frightening’.
In his main speech, US Vice president Pence reiterated that Iran was planning a new ‘Holocaust’ and told the European powers they must scrap the 2015 nuclear agreement with Tehran. EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini responded that the bloc was determined to preserve the ‘full implementation’ of the deal, stressing it was vital to European security. Pence reiterated strong US opposition to the Russia-Germany gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 being built charging that it makes the largest EU economy a ‘captive’ of Russia.
He went on to also criticise weapons purchases by NATO allies ‘from our adversaries’ — seen by Moscow as a reference to a planned Russia-Turkey arms deal. He threatened that when the EU really needed the US it would not necessarily be there, saying: ‘We cannot ensure the defence of the West if our allies grow dependent on the East.’
As well, Pence demanded that the 27-member EU must recognise opposition leader Juan Guaido ‘as the only legitimate president of Venezuela’, ahead of an expected US military intervention. Germany’s Merkel tried to hit back saying ‘we are proud of our cars’ and explained that the biggest plant of luxury brand BMW was not in Bavaria but in South Carolina, from where it exports vehicles to China.
‘All I can say is it would be good if we could resume proper talks with one another,’ she said. The German Chancellor lamented that the US-led global order ‘has collapsed into many tiny parts’. She added: ‘We see great pressure on the classic order we are used to. The question now is: Do we fall apart into pieces of a puzzle and think everyone can solve the question best for himself alone?’ she said.
Her speech got an extended standing ovation from the audience as Ivanka Trump, the US president’s daughter and a top adviser, looked on stone-faced from the crowd. ‘It’s getting crazier and crazier. I don’t know what next year’s Munich will bring,’ said Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics.
The truth is that the developing world crisis of capitalism, both its vast indebtedness and its sharpening trade wars, are leading to an even deeper banking and economic collapse than in 2008, and that this prospect has split the major imperialist powers.
The US is demanding that the EU, and the deformed workers state of China, and the emerging states such as Venezuela must bear the full brunt of the world crisis to ensure that ‘Fortress America’ is able to keep socialism at bay.
The EU is in fact gripped by a huge banking and economic crisis with the French and German economies in decline, the banks on the brink of disaster, and with Italy and Greece already thrown to the wolves. Throughout the EU the masses are on the march. Brexit is changing the UK forever. In Catalonia on Saturday some 200,000 people took to the streets, waving Catalan flags and shouting independence slogans in support of their 12 leaders on trial. In France the most brutal Nazi-style police attacks have been unable to drive back the Yellow Vest movement.
The only way forward for the working class of the world is to unite, build the Fourth International and organise socialist revolutions to bring down the EU and American imperialism and replace them with the Socialist United States of Europe and a socialist USA. This will prepare the way for a World Socialist Republic and Communism, consigning capitalism to the well-deserved dustbin of history.
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