Throughout the Cold War, the US national-security state told the American people that it was necessary for America to go over to the dark side in order to combat the threat of communism and the Soviet Union. By that, they meant adopting policies and practices employed by the communists. It was a mindset akin to fighting fire with fire.
That’s how America ended up with a formal program of assassination, whereby US agents wielded the power to assassinate people around the world who were suspected of being communists, despite the fact that the victims had never initiated any force against the United States. It was essentially a system of legalized murder or, as President Lyndon Johnson termed the program, “Murder, Inc.”
It’s also how the national-security state ended up with the authority to oust democratically elected regimes in which people had elected the “wrong” people (i.e., communists or communist sympathizers) to be their president or prime minister.
Reading through a recent interview with former NATO secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen, it becomes clear that his world is one in which US foreign policy has only ever made us all safer and the biggest risk we now face is diminished US power.
The entire premise of his argument throughout the interview is that if the US steps back from playing global policeman, the “bad guys” will win. Simple as that.
The interview, which focuses on Donald Trump, opens with a question about Trump’s views regarding the NATO alliance and how the candidate sees the US’s role in the world. Rasmussen immediately declares he is “not taking sides” in the US election, but his attempt at neutrality goes swiftly out the window moments later when he complains that Trump is undermining “the credibility of the United States” and putting at stake America’s “role as the global superpower”. If Trump were to be elected, he laments, that could usher in “the end of the American-led world order”.
This would be very bad, he says, because if NATO is undermined by a Trump victory, then Vladimir Putin would “open a bottle of champagne” and be “tempted to test” the alliance. This assumes that Putin has simply been waiting in the wings for the 16 years that he has held positions of power for Donald Trump to come along so that he can invade Estonia for no reason. Because Rasmussen doesn’t give us a reason and we’re not supposed to ask. We’re just supposed to assume invading the Baltics is on Putin’s to-do list.
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For years, European Union advocates denied allegations that they were trying to erase national borders and create a single country with a shared military. Then recently proposals for a single military emerged — just before Britain left the EU. One of the most effective criticisms made against the EU before Brexit was to challenge voters to actually name the people in charge of the EU and policies affecting their lives. Now, the head of the EU has gone out of his way to confirm the worst suspicions of critics. The much-maligned EU chief Jean-Claude Juncker has publicly denounced the very concept of national borders as the “worst invention ever.”
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