Gates reads the riot act to Europe
By: Bill Van Auken
The U.S. is beginning a ruthless crack-down on its
European allies; the purpose of this crack-down is to
force them into being a more compliant military partner
in the American New World Order System. In other words,
if the European elites want to continue to enjoy the plunder
that the Americans are squeezing out of the rest of the
world, they are going to have to offer up their sons and
daughters to this task just as the Americans have been
doing for years. [What Secretary Gates is up to here
is just one part or America's plan to reduce Europe's
population to serf-status; please see our article, "Europe's
New Road to Serfdom."]
This means that they are going to have to end the
bargain the elites of Europe made with their populations
at the end of the Second World War, which is to say, that
if the European people would forego "going communist"
the European elites – with the sufferance of America's
elites – would allow the "socialization" of Europe's economies.
That bargain is over now!
– and the European masses are slated to be reduced to
the same kind of economic uncertainties that American
workers have been suffering ever since the Reagan Presidency.
The speech delivered by outgoing US Secretary of Defense
Robert Gates to a NATO conference in Brussels Friday amounted
to a political ultimatum from American imperialism to its weaker
rivals and co-belligerents in Europe. These countries must
dramatically increase the money and manpower they devote to
US-led military operations or the United States will go its
own way and NATO will face a "dim, if not dismal, future."
being labeled as "fraidy-cats" by Gates.
Gates delivered the speech less than a month after President
Obama spelled out his new military doctrine in his speech on
the Middle East, sweeping aside past limitations on the use
of military force and declaring that any country could be the
target of US attack, depending only on whether US interests,
as defined by the White House, were at stake. The perspective
was one of indefinite warfare to establish neocolonial regimes
in the Middle East, North Africa and beyond.
Now the secretary of defense was telling the European powers
that they had to reorganize their own societies to provide the
resources required for an enormous expansion of militarism.
Otherwise, they face losing out on the
booty—the oil that is to be plundered from Libya, and,
more generally, access to raw materials and strategic territory.
European elites want to participate in the plunder, they
are going to have to participate in the plundering.
While praising the NATO countries for contributing troops to
the counterinsurgency war in Afghanistan, Gates declared that
the Afghan war "has exposed significant shortcomings in NATO—in
military capabilities, and in political will." NATO has had
difficulty providing sufficient resources—not just troops,
but also "crucial support assets such as helicopters, transport
aircraft, maintenance, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance,
and much more."
He pointedly warned against NATO countries reducing their deployments
in Afghanistan, saying "we cannot afford to have some troop-contributing
nations to pull out their forces on their own timeline…"
The alliance's performance in Libya was even worse, Gates said.
He rebuked the majority of the NATO countries for failing to
contribute sufficient forces—or any forces at all—to
the war that began in mid-March. This failure was despite the
fact that the war was limited to air strikes, with no commitment
of ground troops, and was conducted in a region close to Europe
and vital to European security, he said.
The Pentagon chief demeaned in sarcastic terms the military
capabilities of many of the nominal "allies" of the United States.
"Frankly," he said, "many of those allies sitting on the sidelines
do so not because they do not want to participate, but
simply because they can't. The military capabilities simply
establishments of America's European allies are midgets
in comparison to the American military and are capable
of very little without US help.
The United States had to supply specialists to identify bomb
targets, and even had to supply bombs. He said acidly, "the
mightiest military alliance in history is only 11 weeks into
an operation against a poorly armed regime in a sparsely populated
country—yet many allies are beginning to run short
of munitions, requiring the US, once more, to make up the difference."
[Please see our article, "America
Speaking with the arrogance of a feudal lord calling his vassals
to order, Gates noted the danger of a "two-tiered alliance,"
in which some countries pulled their weight in combat, but most
did not. He singled out Britain, Norway and Denmark for praise,
while denouncing the position of unnamed countries—above
all, Germany, but also Poland, Italy and Spain—as "unacceptable."
He blamed a "lack of will, much of it from a lack of resources
in an era of austerity." But he made clear that budget constraints
were no excuse for a failure to devote sufficient funds to the
military. "Today, just five of 28 allies—the US, UK, France,
Greece, along with Albania—exceed the agreed 2 percent
of GDP spending on defense," he said.
Gates concluded by warning that European NATO members ran
the risk of "collective military irrelevance," and that "if
current trends in the decline of European defense capabilities
are not halted and reversed, future US political leaders…may
not consider the return on America's investment in NATO worth
The American elites are threatening to destroy NATO and replace it with a more compliant alliance.
Just as significant as the speech Gates delivered was the response
of his audience of European government and military officials.
Not one challenged the premise that the NATO alliance must become
the spearhead for a series of imperialist wars. None asked the
US Pentagon boss, "Who are you to lecture us? Your country is
now waging five wars at the same time, and is hated throughout
On the contrary, the assembled representatives of the European
imperialist powers listened to Gates's diatribe with a mixture
of fear, admiration and envy. They have
the same appetites for plunder and domination, and they
would like to follow the American example of devoting hundreds
of billions to the military while spurning the basic needs of
the working population. The speech by Gates serves the purposes
of the most reactionary elements in European society, who will
now cite "American pressure" and the obligations of the NATO
alliance as a reason for more attacks on social services and
more spending on the military.
The European elites have the same appetite for plunder as do the American elites.
Gates did not dwell on the political consequences of such policy
changes within the various European states. But editorials the
following day in the leading US liberal and rightwing dailies
spelled them out.
The New York Times, in an editorial headlined, "Telling
Truth to NATO," hailed Gates's remarks as a salutary warning
to the European powers. "As he made clear," the Times
declared, "this country can no longer afford to do a disproportionate
share of NATO's fighting and pay a disproportionate share of
its bills while Europe slashes its defense budgets and free-rides
on the collective security benefits."
The Times condemned "NATO's shockingly wobbly performance
over Libya"—i.e., the refusal or inability of most NATO
countries to take part in the war of aggression that has the
enthusiastic backing of the liberal milieu.
The newspaper then asked, "What if they had to fight a more
formidable enemy than Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi's fractured dictatorship?"
Given that NATO was formed as an alliance against the Soviet
Union, a country that no longer exists, it is not clear what
"enemy" the Times has in mind. There are numerous candidates,
most notably Iran and Syria, but also Russia and China.
The Wall Street Journal went further in elaborating
on Gates's critique, naming "a nuclear Iran and a rising China"
as potential antagonists of a more heavily militarized NATO
alliance. The newspaper drew out more explicitly the implications
for domestic social policy, in the United States as well as
Europe, editorializing: "As for the US, Europe's defense
decline is an omen of what happens to nations that attempt to
finance cradle-to-grave entitlements. They eventually discover
that they can't afford, or are unwilling to pay the price, to
A similar point was conveyed in the news pages of the Times,
which quoted Andrew Exum of the Center for a New American Security,
a Washington think tank, arguing, "The Europeans enjoy generous
social welfare programs in part because the United States subsidizes
their defense spending."
Eight years ago, when the United States invaded Iraq, the predecessor
of Gates at the Pentagon, Donald Rumsfeld, ridiculed opposition
to the war from France and Germany while hailing the support
of the small countries of Eastern Europe, along with Britain.
On Friday, the current Pentagon boss, rather than counterpoise
"old Europe" and "new Europe," essentially denounced most of
Europe as slackers and freeloaders.
The speech by Gates, and its endorsement across the US official
political spectrum, sheds new light on the decision to launch
the war of aggression against Libya, with Britain and France
thrust into a co-leading role. This war is seen as a new
model of increased European involvement and commitment of resources,
an effort to force much higher military spending on the European
countries and off-load some of the military costs.
as nothing more than "submissives" to the American whip.
God bless you all!
FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO WANT TO
FELLOWSHIP ON HOW TO GO ON IN THESE DANGEROUS AND TROUBLED TIMES,
WE URGE YOU TO CONTACT US AT: [email protected].
IN ADDITION, WE URGE YOU TO DOWNLOAD THE NEW ANTIPAS PAPERS,
PRINT THEM OUT YOURSELF, AND STUDY THEM CAREFULLY; SHARE THEM
WITH YOUR FRIENDS.
FINALLY, WE URGE YOU TO DOWNLOAD AND PRINT OUT THE FLYER
WE SENT TO YOU RECENTLY.
Then make copies and take these copies out to the campuses
where you live; pass them out; OR if that seems
too "daring" for you right now, post them on telephone
poles, the sides of buildings, on campus bulletin boards; post
them in union halls, in the neighborhoods of the poor and downtrodden,
near employment offices, wherever you can.
Once again, we URGE you to read (or re-read):
We need your help to spread the word concerning Antipas Ministries and the
eschatological viewpoint it represents; WE NEED YOUR
HELP BECAUSE WE DO NOT "LINK" WITH OTHER SO-CALLED "CHRISTIAN"
WEBSITES which are, for the most part, "in the tank"
insofar as their loyalty to the United States is concerned
- a loyalty that has made them partners in the BLOODY
trail the American military has left in its TERROR-RIDDEN
rampage throughout the world, as well as making them partners
in the abject poverty that American corporations have
imposed on the peoples and nations the American military
machine has ravaged - A BLOODY, TERROR-RIDDEN RAMPAGE
THAT HAS TO A LARGE DEGREE BEEN CARRIED OUT IN THE NAME
OF THE "PRINCE OF PEACE." [Please see our articles,
"The Third World
as a Model for the New World Order," Inside
the American New World Order System" and "The
American Empire: The Corporate / Pentagon / CIA / Missionary
YOU CAN HELP BY EMAILING
THIS ARTICLE TO
YOUR FRIENDS AND