The world is preparing for war, but not in Europe, where Daft Punk’s beat goes on.
Europe is different from when I first lived there in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It was not as superficially wealthy then, although this time I rarely wandered far from where the tourists congregate. On the outside, at least, you would hardly see the rot of debt and welfare-state mismanagement even in Italy and Spain. The people were well dressed. The cafés were expensive but still packed. The cars are fairly new and have shockingly little body damage, when you consider the insanity that overtakes Europeans when they slide behind a steering wheel.
But that’s on the surface. Once you get behind the walls and into interior of the homes, the old cramped shabbiness is still there. All their money goes to clothes, food, and drink, because there’s no room in European apartments for the stuff Americans pack into theirs.
Spending Their Money on Frivolity
Like a cheesy disaster movie foreshadowing the apocalypse during Act I, the TVs in the bars where the locals drink wine and gobble pricey tapas cover the looming Greek default 24/7. The coming collapse is background noise to a cacophony of people chattering into iPhones. The revolution is being televised, and no one’s watching.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a documentary broadcast across Russia on March 15 that he was prepared to use nuclear weapons if Western powers had tried to prevent Moscow from seizing Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula last year.
The comments represent only the latest of many recent instances of nuclear threats from Russia.
Several of the nation’s latest military drills have included simulations of nuclear strikes; Russian state-run media recently ran a program called “Putin Can Destroy nato With a Single Phone Call,” during which it said Moscow could bomb the United States to “radioactive ash”; and, in recent months, Russian bombers—often equipped with nuclear weapons—have flown forays on the borders of nato airspace.
Given Putin’s ambitions of a conquest of Europe, this isn’t surprising. All it would take is one Russian war on Ukraine plus taking out a small NATO country such as Lithuania in the process, combined with a lack of response from NATO because they’re, as we speak, not prepared for war. Europeans already want NATO gone and this would be the proverbial icing on the cake.
MOSCOW, November 25. /TASS/. Speaker of Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, Sergey Naryshkin suggested on Tuesday that Europeans should expel the United States from NATO.
“I have got a fantastic proposal: I suggest that European partners should expel the US from the bloc [NATO – TASS],” Naryshkin told an international roundtable on ways to resolve the crisis in Europe. Continue reading →
Although the EU does not formally recognise the state of Palestine, many European countries recently did so, showing that Europeans are becoming less indulgent with the Israeli government’s behaviour and that international sympathy for its cause is dwindling, says political scientist José Ignacio Torreblanca.
First it was the new Swedish government, which announced on 3 October that it would recognise the state of Palestine, and officially did so on 30 October. Then came the British Parliament: in a vote introduced by Labour members of parliament on 13 October, the United Kingdom’s MPs voted 274 against 12 in favour of recognising Palestine. Days later, on 16 October, the Spanish Socialists submitted a proposal to parliament for a resolution to recognise the Palestinian State. [Danish Parliament is set to discuss a similar resolution on 11 December and MEPs will vote on one in December]. Continue reading →
By creating their own multilateral financial institutions, the BRICS emerging-market powers are shaking up global economic governance but remain far from dismantling the post-war system dominated by the West.
For the past 70 years, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have been the pillars of the world’s economic system, coming to the rescue of countries in trouble and supporting development projects, respectively.
China, the world’s second-largest economy, continues to have just slightly more voting power in the IMF than Italy, about five times smaller.
And, since their creation in 1944, the IMF and the World Bank have only been led by Americans and Europeans. Continue reading →
At Asia’s biggest rail cargo base in Chengdu in south-west China, the cranes are hard at work, swinging containers from trucks onto a freight train. The containers are filled with computers, clothes, even cars.
Until last year, all of it would have first gone more than 1,000 miles east to Shanghai and then to Europe by sea. Continue reading →
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has gone on a charm offensive lately with multiple interviews with American media promising collaboration, but a recent video shows he takes pride in deceiving the West. “Gone is the age of blood feuds,” Rouhani stated in an op-ed in the Washington Post. “World leaders are expected to lead in turning threats into opportunities,” he wrote in the Post Friday.
In interviews with ABC and NBC, Rouhani said that Iran will never develop nuclear weapons and that he has the authority to make a deal with the West. “In its nuclear program, this government enters with full power and has complete authority,” Rouhani said. “Under no circumstances would we seek any weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, nor will we ever.” Continue reading →
A spectre is haunting Europe – the spectre of demographic suicide. Although the consequences of such a turnout could not be more serious, the problem attracts little public attention – indeed, most people may not even be aware of it. And experts can neither explain the cause nor prescribe a reliable remedy. The story is outlined in Population and Public Policy: Essays in Honour of Paul Demeny, published by the New York-based Population Council (2013). Continue reading →