EU flagInternationalIndiaAfricaDissent is brewing inside the EU and inside NATO as old aristocracy and business circles of France and Germany feel betrayed by Washington, Pepe Escobar, geopolitical analyst and veteran journalist, told Radio Sputnik’s New Rules podcast.”Basically, what the Americans would like to do is to have Eastern Europe leading NATO and even leading the EU, which is even more far-fetched,” said Pepe Escobar.
"And the new superpower would be Poland. This is what they think and this is what they're actually working towards. The French and the Germans, and I'm not generalizing, let’s say, [the] patriotic faction of French business especially, and a few diplomats are saying, 'No, we have to go back to our De Gaulle modern roots. We should be independent. We should have our own 'force de frappe', as they say, our own striking force. And we should leave NATO', in fact," the geopolitical analyst continued.
As the Biden administration is pushing ahead with simultaneously confronting Russia and China, Washington’s European allies are facing risks of losing not only cheap energy commodities but a leading trade partner, too.
How US Strategy Backfires on France, UK and Germany
After his talks with Chairman Xi Jinping, French President Emmanuel Macron told Politico on April 9 that Europe must reduce its dependency on the US and avoid getting dragged into a confrontation between China and the US over Taiwan. He warned that Europe could get “caught up in crises that are not ours, which prevents it from building its strategic autonomy.”
"When Macron said we should be a third independent superpower, he didn't mean Europe, he meant France, in fact," noted Escobar. "And as you know, the French, they still have this idea of themselves as a perennial Western power (…) They're still dreaming of Napoleon, not even referring to Napoleon's defeats, like in Russia, for instance, but Napoleon at his apex. So it's a very complicated, it's a mixed feeling environment. And the question of sovereignty is essential. In France, they still have an idea of sovereignty in their minds coming from the Enlightenment."
On April 11, Macron delivered his keynote speech in The Hague, Netherlands, emphasizing Europe’s need to promote its own economy and security amid the ongoing crisis. Remarkably, as Macron was outlining his vision of Europe’s strategic autonomy, Polish Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, flew to Washington in order to strengthen economic and defense ties with the US – the one that “guarantees our security in Europe,” as per Warsaw.AnalysisForget Pension Reform, France Faces Bigger Problems Over Ukraine Adventurism1 May, 16:57 GMTEven though Macron came under criticism from US lawmakers over his apparent dissent, about a week later, UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly stepped forward warning that Britain should not “pull the shutters down” in an April 19 interview with the Guardian. Speaking at Mansion House in the City of London six days later, the Foreign Secretary Cleverly insisted that no significant global problem can be solved without Beijing, arguing that “a stable, prosperous and peaceful China is good for Britain and good for the world.”In contrast, German government officials remain largely silent which is hardly surprising given that the nation is “still in a neo-colony, period,” according to Escobar.
"And this was proved by the whole Nord Stream incident," the veteran journalist said. "But German businessmen are already talking about it. And there is an undercurrent of very, I would say, very secret, in fact, because there's one leak here and there. German businessmen and parts of the old German aristocracy, are basically discussing among themselves saying, ‘we have to get rid of this traffic light government, which is completely crazy with these Greens. And we should have a sort of Bismarck pact with Russia again, and then we'll be able to fulfill our destiny as the number one trading power in Europe and one of the best in the world’. Trading, especially with Russia, China and the rest of Asia. And enormously get rid of American dominance. But this for the moment is an undercurrent that is kept very secret. But you hear this all the time by very well-connected German businessmen. So France and Germany in some high-level way are already thinking about it, the post EU/NATO environment."
AnalysisFrenemy? How US Deprives Germany of Strategic Autonomy and Status as Industrial Powerhouse 26 February, 04:15 GMT
Is the German Government Betraying National Interests?
Germany appears to be the greatest loser of the US-led anti-Russia and anti-China tilt, as it has been deprived of both the EU flagship and European powerhouse status. Following the beginning of Russia’s special military operation (SMO) Washington twisted Berlin’s arm into joining the West’s sweeping energy embargo against Russia.Germany had relied on Moscow’s pipeline gas since the 1970s. German chemical giant BASF once dubbed Russian gas “the basis of our industry’s competitiveness.” After the destruction of Nord Stream pipelines – which, according to Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh, was carried out by US and Norwegian operatives – German medium-size enterprises and industrial giants have been forced to relocate as energy prices stung.”The problem is what do German businesses want? They want exactly the same thing as the Chinese want. They want to do business all over the world,” said Escobar. “They were already [a] first-class trading power on the way to becoming a superpower before the SMO, before the sanctions and before the bombing of the Nord Streams. And now they’re going back to 100 years ago, to put it in Xi Jinping’s language. And the only ones who actually see that are German businessmen, obviously not the politicians.”AnalysisGermany Got a Slap in the Face From US, But Can Do Nothing But Obey: Political Scientist 3 March, 15:28 GMT”Any political party in Germany, they simply don’t get it. They are all ideological and they all follow the recommendations from DC. When [German Chancellor Olaf] Scholz went to Beijing, there was a hefty German business delegation with him. In effect, they dictated the agenda. ‘Look, you can say anything you want, but we came here to do business with the Chinese. This is what we need.’ You know, the problem is that with the Nord Stream bombing, they didn’t have a say because they were faced with a fait accompli and they said, ‘Wow, we just lost our cheap source of energy, what are we having for a replacement?’ Nothing. So can you imagine that you were a German businessman who looked at his government to say, ‘my government has betrayed me, has betrayed my country?’ This is treason. This is extremely serious business,” the veteran journalist continued.
Meanwhile, Berlin is demonstrating quiet dissent: Scholz has been pushing through a Chinese investment deal involving the Hamburg Tollerort port terminal, despite Washington's vocal displeasure and objections from the German Greens and liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP). The chancellor reportedly wants to wrap up the deal before a planned German-Chinese summit on June 20 in Berlin. His effort is seen as an attempt to protect German business interests, as per the Western press.
AnalysisPepe Escobar: US Outmatched by Russia, China4 May, 15:14 GMT
Sovereignty is Key to International Dialogue
“We’re still living in the after effects of the end of the Second World War,” Escobar noted. “That includes everything, defeatism by the French, the fact that they were smashed in the Second World War. On the German side, there are psychological scars that are very difficult to heal even after decades, a guilt complex, a gigantic guilt complex. And the fact that they know intellectually, they can understand that they are a colony, but they don’t find a way to break free.”Still, no one is interested in doing business with “vassals”, as per the veteran journalist.”It was very, very interesting to see when Macron went to talk to Xi Jinping,” said Escobar. “Basically, Xi Jinping was telling Macron, I respect you, if you behave as a sovereign, then we can have a partnership of equals and you’re going to be probably my favorite partner in Europe. If you behave like a colony, I have no use for you.”Speaking at the Valdai Discussion Club on October 27, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin specifically lamented Europe’s dependency on “Washington Obkom.”“Well, how could one talk to this or that partner if the latter does not make decisions and on every occasion he has to call the Washington Obkom and ask what can and what cannot be done?” Putin asked rhetorically.“Obkom” is a Soviet term for a Communist Party regional committee and Putin’s use of it is by no means incidental: the Russian president de facto nailed Europe’s “vassalage” and lack of strategic sovereignty.
"That's why the Global South respects Russia, because Russia affirms its sovereignty," the geopolitical analyst stressed. "Why do they respect China? The same thing. Why do they respect Iran? Because Iran has been resisting for four decades and they didn't crumble like everybody in the Beltway was thinking. Remember, real men go to Tehran during Rumsfeld and Cheney, they said it would be too easy. Okay, we smash Iraq and the next is going to Iran. It's not like that. When you are dealing with a real sovereign, which is the case of Iran, whatever our opinion or our analysis of their political system, apart from it, the fact that they were able to resist a superpower for four decades, this is immense."
For more of Pepe Escobar’s exclusive analysis on dissent brewing within the EU, check out the full episode of the podcast on our Telegram and Odysee.If you want to learn more about Escobar’s views on de-dollarization and US relations with Russia and China, you can find it here.