French President Macron issued his idea in two steps – in a visible effort not to overload the public. The first step came on Monday, August 27, in front of the annual conference of French ambassadors; the young leader pushed for a more independent European Union to organize her security objectives including Russia: in a multipolar world. The second and equally big step followed Thursday, August 30, in Helsinki, at the news conference after a work meeting with Finland’s president Niinisto. Macron named Turkey as one of several strategic partners in Europe’s vicinity (Iran! – another case, in which he is verbally positive, without pushing his French automotive industry to stick to its investments…), reiterating the need for European security co-operation with Russia.
These two statements should have sent shock waves at least through Europe and the US, where Russia has filled the usual “bad guy” role spot, whereas Turkey under its highly popular president Erdoğan had to make do with “Sultanate”, “Osman Empire in spe” and the president as incumbent “Sultan”; both were on their way to undermine democracy and one to turn away from NATO, Europe and “western values” (whatever THAT may be…) – only to get closer to the “bad guy” named above. Unpopular Putin subsequently becoming the profiteer of the turn for the worse – but what can you expect from such a leader and his misguided country after the much-lamented “annexation” of Crimea?
And then, all of a sudden, this incredible turnaround. And, with a quick and light turn of the hand, the whole Crimea issue, according to Macron, ‘should not be forgotten - but subject to a more realistic attitude’. Acceptance? Of Crimea's access to Russia? The backbone since 2014: of all western sanction policies and threat analyses, including rationale for NATO troops moving up to the Russian border by the many thousands, fully armed? Including the complete break-up of the NATO-Russia Founding Act, the only step missing: its formal abolition?
One good reason, why there is no shock wave shaking Europe, is simple: European big cartel-ruled media do not discuss the matter, the biggest German "serious" papers, websites and public TV don't even publish what little dry facts were carried e.g. by Reuters. Result: Macron’s huge turnaround is an unkept secret and not strongly pushed elsewhere. It's in fact no more than testing the waters. Pro-Russian opposition in Germany and elsewhere has been pushing for this for years, now we miss jubilant parties, proposals to abolish self-hurting sanctions, ridiculous visa hurdles etc. And the Turkey question is so far off the usual policy tracks, even the Germans, most of them lost in ignorance of their own history, have problems of digestion, should they get access to the information at all, which is necessarily rare.
In the case of this near-secret public strategic turnaround, it seems not so easy to measure the credibility or sincerity of Macron’s ideas. After all, the basic global situation hasn't changed at all: Financial crash is imminent and inevitable. In order to counter social and political consequences, ruling cartels and deep-state leaders in western countries have taken great pains to carefully prepare a number of global war scenarios at great financial and military engagement and cost. These preparations are so much advanced, that it does not seem exaggerated to state that the globe lives in a permanent pre-war situation, memories of 1938 included. The big Eurasian military exercise named "Vostok-2018" or "East-2018", including troops from Russia, China and Mongolia, starts at an auspicious date: 9/11 and mirrors Washington-inspired war preparations of the past 15 years with a climactic development after 2014, provocations like the recent coward murder of young Donbass hero and Donezk leader Sakhartchenko as a sad and stupid highlight at a very meaningful point of time.
But for a quick check-up of credibility or sincerity of Macron’s ideas there are a few good measures of principled procedure, just look at the background facts:
- The second CIA-inspired coup in Ukraine within ten years, sanctions, adverse and sometimes hostile western military policies (calling this "defense policies" appears insincere), US-European disenchantment and US isolationist tendencies. Now the turnaround comes from one of the two most important European powers.
- If and when a difficult relation improves, those of the hitherto adverse parties, who carry responsibility for the most aggressive measures, should reliably and credibly try to live up to their words and introduce hardcore measures to prove their sincerity and reliability. Should these practical implementations remain scarce or non-existent, we face just another offer of sweets after obedience.
- In the difficult past, when it became clear to Washington and its NATO club, that Russia had no special ambition to develop into just another obedient vassal, swallowing all dirt being thrown its way, negative consequences grew in number and degree. Russia's foreign policy was wise enough to show a highly diligent, flexible and undeterred approach, while at he same time using every opportunity to improve its own strength, self-reliance and overall political, economical, military maneuverability and thus gain attraction. This proved highly successful - and there is no single reason to abandon this successful strategy in the very same moment, when a real step ahead can no longer be denied.
- It is not to be excluded, that the present Macron offer follows lines established in 2003, when Washington offered to stop the Iraq invasion with its infamous “coalition of the willing”, in case Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and his sons left Iraq. Later, US and other “coalition” leaders tried to push it to gullible listeners, that this offer had any chance of realization. It was a pure last-minute propaganda trick, before Iraq was turned into a slaughter house. But Russia is neither gullible nor weak and not in the least comparable to Iraq. If Macron’s proposals were a mere propaganda show, its only customers could be the usually grossly misinformed western people - or, at least, the pro-Russian western opposition, with the intention to weaken their position in case of later escalation.
Reasoning: While the formulation of Macron's ideas certainly establishes a positive act in itself, sincerity and credibility rely completely on real political progress, meaning on practical facts as a proof. In this situation only clear and irrevocable signs may raise trust – and stabilize the crisis-ridden situation. This is what EU members can and should do:
Declaration of distance, non-support and opposition to all of Washington’s war mongering steps and plans, with emphasis on the new no-fly-zone for the region being installed right now in Northeastern Syria, recent arrival of fresh US naval forces in the ME theatre, Mediterrainean Sea and Persian Gulf.
– Withdrawal of all European NATO forces from the Russian border
– Stop of all sanctions against Russia – accepting the Crimean situation as a fact
– Withdrawal of all support for the US missile shield in Europe against Russia
In the Middle East:
– Cessation of all European measures directed against Turkey, Syria and Iran, including sanctions and hostile preparations (White Helmets, MEK etc.)
– Repatriation of 1.5 to two million Syrian immigrants without precondition – but including financial and logistics support
– Immediate cessation of hostile acts and withdrawal of all personnel from Syria
– Diplomatically reigning in Israeli aggression against its neighbors – under announcement of sanctions
– Diplomatically reigning in the anti-Yemen group of countries under Saudi leadership, cessation of armed conflict, immediate shipment of humanitarian goods to Yemen
On this background, three very simple consequences may assist in good handling of the opportunity:
- Careful, non-binding friendly encouragement to allow European action to follow the declarations by president Macron.
- Set up of a range of scenarios for well-balanced tit-for-tat positive steps of commune Russia-EU action.
- Caring not to unnecessarily disenchant any of the (western) partners; making sure Washington, Ankara and Tehran (what an astonishing group, indeed...) need not fear Russian-EU rapprochement. Frustrating war mongers establishes no fundamental contradiction to this point...
Putting these ideas and suggestions into practice, it seems important to just make sure everybody understands: Planning the murder of a personality like Alexander Zakhartchenko usually needs six months, three months being quick. Being able to use a restaurant visit for a hit, which is very certainly not being planned that long in advance, needs high general readiness standards. It is quite clear, that Washington was informed. In case European leaders were not, that would constitute a very bad sign for the state of NATO alliance in general and for US-EU relations in particular. Even Washington’s deep state (= non-Trump) sabotage of Macron’s offers to Russia, Turkey and Iran appears imaginable. The killing of Zakhartchenko in fact amounts to a rude and raw demonstration of power, befitting a former hyper power in decline. But that doesn't influence the last sentence to follow here.
Carefully measured retaliation makes sure, that everybody in EU, NATO and elsewhere understands: Sudden extension of a hand to Moscow doesn't establish carte blanche for crazy acts in its close vicinity - for nobody and for no reason.