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By The Truth Hound
CHICAGO, Ill.—Washington’s foreign policy should forever consist of America leading and bleeding to police the world. And there’s no ironclad guarantee that other nations, try though they might, will lend America financial and military support on par with America’s world commitment.
That’s the crux of a speech given Oct. 18, 2016 by former NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen, which this writer attended. His stated topic, “The Will to Lead: America’s Indispensable Role in the Global Fight for Freedom.”
Speaking to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs (CCGA), Rasmussen bluntly stated, “Whether you like it or not, you’re destined to lead.”
That jolting remark, although given to the denizens of high society in the Windy City with some 75 people in attendance, was uttered as if Rasmussen was directly addressing the American people.
The former Danish Prime Minister, who started as an economics ministry bureaucrat in Denmark and went on to head NATO from 2009-2014, said the reason the U.S. cannot be a mere “gatekeeper” in the global crusade against terror is that, as he sees it, the threats to “freedom” are too serious—including ISIS and potentially Russia—so therefore the U.S. must suck it up and continue spending the multi-billions required to be the world’s invincible top cop.
In his view, America’s the only highly trusted nation with the resources and the prestige to “get things done.” He said Russia, after the Cold War ended, morphed into an apparent adversary of the West so Russia mustn’t receive the baton to patrol the world. And China, with its communist underbelly, clearly hasn’t established the trust and credibility to be the global cop.
So, Rasmussen’s speech was “an appeal to the American people” that the U.S. is the only “capable, reliable” option to serve as the world’s policeman. Thus, in the U.S. presidential election, Americans, based on this model, should choose the person “who has the will to lead.”
His speech was riddled with references to the bleak outlook should the U.S. curl back into the worrisome womb of “isolationism.” True to CCGA and NATO form, Rasmussen gave no middle ground, speaking as if even the slightest step backward by the U.S., anywhere in the world, would mean a total abandonment of America’s world presence and the instant rise of a bevy of enemies. He ignored the idea that patrolling the world breeds enemies in the form of blowback.
And given Rasmussen’s claims of having a reasonable knowledge of history, you’d think he’d acknowledge that perpetual warfare abroad, including modern drone warfare in which the very concept of war is on “autopilot,” breeds a police state at home, including heavy surveillance and a general discouragement of views that oppose nonstop war and world-policing. So, it’s tough to argue that America leading a world-military imperium constitutes a “fight for freedom” when history has shown that nations at war become hostile to freedom. Yet, Rasmussen made that very argument as if no contradiction exists.
Indeed, what soared over the heads of the audience was the real meaning of Rasmussen’s praise of the NATO-led destruction of Libya in 2011 when he still headed the nearly 70-year-old alliance. “Libya is a failed state,” he said, without any hint that NATO played a key role in making that happen.
He then used Libya’s destroyed status and other examples to say that wherever the U.S. retreats, “a security vacuum” happens, which is then filled by the foes of the West, be it state actors like Russia or non-state actors like ISIS. He avoided directly addressing the apparent seriousness of NATO’s recent military exercises near the Russian border at such a tense time in history, while claiming, “NATO has never even thought about attacking Russia or encircling it.”
Rasmussen then mused that Russian leader Vladimir Putin is “a great asset,” which drew laughter, since that “asset” could convince Europeans who live near Russia to spend more on defense and less on their welfare states, which would help the U.S. patrol the world.
The CCGA is the former Chicago Council on Foreign Relations—a plutocratic cousin of the Rockefeller-linked Council on Foreign Relations in New York. The CCGA has some 200 programs a year dedicated to a sustaining and expanding a worldwide economic and military order.
The week this writer covered Rasmussen’s speech also included a CCGA appearance Oct. 20 by British Gen. Richard Shirreff, whose provocative topic was, “Road to War: Russia, NATO and the Threat of Inaction.” Moreover, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was to address the CCGA Oct. 26.
Rasmussen also took an unexpected step and proposed a never-heard-of “Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Area,” or TAFTA—a grid for even more corrosive free-trade deals, toward a growing transatlantic alliance that Rasmussen sees as a key goal, lest the world succumb to the nationalist-populist parties and factions that are rising in Europe and beyond.
Interestingly, that backlash has become so vexing to the CCGA clique that, on Oct. 24, the CCGA hosted a half-day symposium to assess the rise of populism and its perceived impact on the international system.
Rasmussen made it clear that the Bretton Woods economic conference which happened as World War II ended (under his “hero,” President Harry Truman) gave the world what Rasmussen called “a rules-based liberal Democratic world order.”
And that economic order, as he indicated in almost sacred terms, is worth defending, perhaps to the death. Yet, the oath that American officials and soldiers take, while it says Americans should defend the Constitution from all enemies near and far, is silent on defending Bretton Woods from the same.
Notably, Bretton Woods, held in New Hampshire in 1944, laid the cornerstone for the eventual World Trade Organization, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
Yet, these agencies are “birds of a feather” with NAFTA, CAFTA and other trade treaties that have exported or closed much of America’s industrial base, with steep middle class job losses. Moreover, the IMF has toppled poorer nations with unpayable debt schemes, which causes the very unrest and violence that the U.S., as top cop, is often summoned to quell.