The strongest alliance of the century may be under the biggest strains as it came very close to proxy war in Syria.
Trump has now backed out, demanding a cease fire, further stating he is “prepared to swiftly destroy Turkey’s economy if Turkish leaders continue down this dangerous and destructive path.”
A plain reading of these events is difficult in some ways, with suggestions Turkey was going to move in anyway rather than being given some sort of green light by Trump removing US troops.
Now the defense secretary Mark Esper said he would next week travel to Brussels to request that Nato allies punish Turkey over the invasion, which he said had “resulted in the release of many dangerous ISIS detainees.”
The question for Europe: was this all planned? Is this a calculated trap to break up relations between Europe and its next door neighbor, Turkey?
How would America react for example if Europe threatened to destroy the economy of Mexico, or indeed Canada?
Turkey, the Devil’s Chess
You’d think Europe’s interest would be to keep Turkey very close. Half of it afterall is European. Likewise half of Russia, or at least up to Moscow and St Petersburg.
For America, any close relationship between Europe and Russia is to be avoided, perhaps at all costs. While Turkey is a prize for US and if they can’t have it, better it goes to Russia than Europe.
Destabilization in the Middle East has oil as a prize of course, but also a weakening of Europe through refugee floods and a straining of social relations.
For Europe, Turkey as a junior partner to enforce peace and stability in the Middle East, and Russia likewise for the Kazak region, with UK to maintain US close, ensures its security and prosperity.
All three are at play. How the game goes may well determine whether the trenches are back in a decade or two, or whether peace is maintained for a century more.
Brexit, the Skull Worshipers’ Plot
Still in the EU, UK’s blocking a “condemnation” of Turkey’s action makes it quite clear just what exactly is at stake with Brexit.
Not least because the trans-atlantic differences extend far more than just this Turkey matter. US has afterall imposed $7.5 billion tariffs on EU goods.
With Britain in EU, the latter has quite a bit of military muscle and thus political muscle derived from the size of its economy.
It still would, but with UK out, it may become more of a UK-US alliance, instead of a Europe-US alliance. Such change might be the beginning of a game of empires, a most awful game you’d think.
A planned game of course. The neo-cons are in the whitehouse whatever Trump might claim, or at least their pen is. Likewise in UK those same drivers towards the Iraq war drove Brexit.
Thankfully it does not appear they have any ideology. It may be more just about securing resources and perhaps control especially over the American people to keep them busy.
In addition it might be more just about that wretched geopolitical thinking, an underground ideology itself that claims respectability by appearing objective when it’s nothing more than a how to war manual and/or reasons why x should hate or fear or invade y.
You’d think this ideology was sent to the trash bin after what happened last century primarily due to this skull worshipers’ manual of war, or geopolitics as they respectfully call it.
Yet the endless wars might be entrenching it more and more especially now with Brexit and with this straining of the cross-atlantic alliance.
The Watching Public
While Trafalgar Square is being cleared of Extinction Rebellion protesters, a million or more are to march in London demanding a people’s vote on Europe.
A deal is most likely impossible. What we have seen so far may well be just politiking to get the upper hand on the blame game.
Already they’re saying to expect the outcome of the EU summit to be “we’ve made great progress in negotiations but still need more time.”
There’s probably no way to escape the need for a border between two different countries that have completely different laws, tariffs, taxes, and so on.
Either Northern Ireland stays in the single market and customs union with a “virtual” border between Britain and NI, or there’s a border between Europe and Ireland.
That you can’t square this circle became obvious earlier this year, hence the public opinion shift towards stopping Brexit as in the referendum they promised a deal of Canada++ or Norway, not of borders.
What Boris Johnson will say on Saturday in parliament and to the millions outside it, remains to be seen, but if there is a deal whether it passes would probably depend on DUP, and in any event there is likely to be a vote on a referendum.
If that’s a deal or remain vote, then it would be difficult. If it’s a no deal or remain vote, then you’d think most sensible people would go with remain.
There’s suggestions the current unelected government might not implement such referendum act if it is passed. Maybe they can tell that to the million people that might have gathered outside on Saturday.
On the other hand there are ways Brexit can be a good outcome, but that’s on the basis of securing some sort of special deal in addition to some arrangement whereby war between UK and EU is not just unthinkable, but practically impossible due to some iron and steel union.
Without any arrangement, UK would probably break up into Scotland, England and Wales and depending how Brexit goes Northern Ireland might referendum to leave too.
Without some special deal that has passporting rights and regulatory alignment in finance as well as much of red-tape business, London might be reduced considerably.
Brexit, the Fall of London?
Those that came to the great city, which tend to be some of the smartest people in their own countries, in Britain, and in the world, may well leave perhaps to Amsterdam where they all appear to speak english, even children, and almost native english.
Amsterdam of course was once a great financial center, greater than London as its location in the middle of all the other financial centres in Europe made it some sort of melting pot of merchants that had to go through it.
That changed when they started kicking people out, with many of them going to London and so beginning its rise, but still Amsterdam is a great financial centre.
Such people might leave not because they expect anything to happen in the next few years, but because they might be thinking in decades, where to raise their children.
The first consideration there would be whether London can compete outside of Europe considering its greatest competitor is New York.
UK of course will desperately need US and will probably be more of a laky to it than it currently is. US on the other hand would obviously want NY to do better.
Within Europe, London is Europe’s city. They’d want it to do as best as it can because it’s their city, with London being the second biggest French city for example.
Outside of Europe, then London is just UK for now and might be just England and Wales, just a provincial financial centre rather than the financial center.
So you’d go to New York for finance or California for tech and presumably Amsterdam or Ireland, with the rest being more regional.
That means services exports, which are difficult to account in trade data, would reduce and perhaps considerably, so making London poorer, hence why pound has fallen drastically.
All this obviously won’t happen tomorrow or in the next few years, but UK was the sick man of Europe before it joined EU. Without one country access to the single biggest market, then it might not quite be the same London.
And Europe probably won’t grant good access even if there is an exit deal as UK pays billions a year for the benefits of EU. Why would they get anything if they’re not paying.
While outside of EU what exactly do they get? Not even bargaining power with India which apparently is to ask for the free movement of 100,000 a year in return for what more than EU gets from India exactly?
What would US give London, NY’s biggest competitor, or better what would it take? While China is definitely going to give UK something more than to EU, subjugation.
Meaning little good might come out of Brexit, but then many of those that voted for it don’t have anything anyway, so what do they care. Led to vote so by some of the very rich who want to buy cheap those that have something.
Yet there may be something good out of it, the probable rise of European patriotism. Something many in Britain feel, but whether they’ll be able to continue doing so depends on what happens this week.
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