“Putin’s purposes are clear to all with eyes to see: to divide the EU, disrupt the Trans-Atlantic Alliance most strongly represented by NATO, and so again create Muscovite hegemony and despotism over Central Europe and if possible, over all Europe.”
As the European Union approaches its final days and political resolve and soft power in Berlin, Paris and Brussels wane following Brexit, plans to form a European military are now central around their final pitiless drive towards a pan-continental empire out of opposition to President Trump. Meanwhile, the Kremlin’s ambitions have not waned in spite of Russia’s massive economic collapse following sanctions over Moscow’s illegal annexation of Crimea from neighboring Ukraine in 2014. As accelerating numbers of Muslim migrants from the war-ravaged Middle East and North Africa arrive in Western Europe and Canada, the seeming ‘defeat’ of ISIS appears to have been a ruse given the organization has gone underground internationally in order to coordinate attacks against soft targets. By no later than the late 21st Century, Europe and Canada could face total civilizational collapse due to their respective open border immigration policies in the name of multiculturalism and expanding the welfare state.
Meanwhile, France is revisiting the disastrous revolutions of 1789, 1830, 1848 and 1871. One form of tyranny — be it the Ancien Régime, Committee of Public Safety and its successor, the Directory; both Bonapartist Empires and, finally, the Marxist Communards following Napoleon III’s crushing defeat to Bismarck’s newly formed German Empire — has an unholy knack of leading to another, far more totalitarian one immediately thereafter. Today’s tyrants may well be the Malthusian colonialists inhabiting Brussels; but tomorrow, a new far right-wing anarchist utopia may spread throughout the whole of Europe seeking another international ‘nationalist front’ in Napoleon’s image. Nationalism will hypocritically transform into a united front across the continent until like 1945, the crushed Nazi regime of Adolf Hitler (in so juxtaposed with the European Union) was replaced by another genocidal monstrosity in Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union (born of the ‘Yellow Vest’ movement), with the likely two leaders of this new order — France’s Marine Le Pen and Italy’s Matteo Salvini — making clear their intentions to pivot geopolitically towards oil-rich Russia and, according to Le Pen’s political manifesto, away from America. Under Le Pen, the current French hostility to America’s presence in Europe will not dissipate in any way. If anything, it will escalate.
Macron and Merkel: The Franco-German Couple
Alas, the current golden child of globalism and European politics, French President Emmanuel Macron, has called for mobilizing a ‘real European army’ to wage war against ‘China, Russia and even the United States of America’, citing, according to Agence France-Presse while on a tour of World War I memorials, that Brussels “will not protect Europeans unless we decide to have a true European army.” Calls like this for the past several years have prompted both Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to advocate mobilizing a collective European force since the former’s election victory in 2017. Among the weakened states of the European Union, those calls may be received with greater urgency after President Trump announced that the U.S. would pull out of a Cold War-era nuclear weapons treaty with Russia due to Moscow’s breach of the agreement’s terms. Macron, just the latest French president to heap accusations onto the United States for placing its own geopolitical goals ahead of Europe, condemned Trump for “announcing that (America is) quitting a major disarmament treaty.” Yet it is Macron who continues to unveil his own brand of francocentric imperialism throughout the whole of Europe in the name of ‘security’. In doing so, the embattled French president chose the grave markers of long-dead war heroes at the city of Verdun to send a chilling message to Trump from the sunny side of the cemetery.
“I am rather alone in the EU, but I don’t care. I am right. We are in Europe what the Americans are in the world: the unloved leading power.”
— Angela Merkel
A calmer head pursuing her own dreams of what some call a ‘Fourth Reich’, Merkel, Germany’s latest black widow kaiserin, spun her web of intrigue many years ago through her manipulation of the media and Germany’s position as the largest European nation. Of late, she’s wistfully acknowledged that NATO’s ‘imminent death’ following Trump’s call for member nations to pay their recommended two percent of total GDP into the alliance after withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement, declaring more or less that America and Britain were now the EU’s two newest foes. At the same campaign stop in Munich in late May 2017 (a historically appropriate location inside an outdoor beer festival), she declared that the days when Germany and Europe could completely count on outsiders were “over to a certain extent,” and that “we Europeans must really take our fate into our own hands,” while failing to commit to peacefully coexist “as good neighbors… with other countries, even with Russia.”
The euro crisis only strengthened Chancellor Merkel’s role as de facto leader of the European Union following the 2008 financial collapse. Germany is not merely using its economic power to manipulate the behavior of the other 27 actors in the EU, but to creating an empire, as Spiegel Online notes, whose “image… has become one of an egotistical economic occupier flanked by smaller Northern European countries from the same mold” in order to re-establish German hegemony over the continent. Historian Sebastian Haffner once described Victorian Germany’s ’unwieldy size’ as both too big and too small. Italian journalists Vittorio Feltri and Gennaro Sangiuliano examined the newly resurrected German juggernaut in The Fourth Reich: How Germany Subdued Europe by analyzing how the euro perpetuates Berlin’s objective to extort neighboring EU states through unpayable austerity debt measures, illustrating the “unsuitability of this common currency that only Germany is profiting from,” before segueing to this Fourth Reich’s intention to dissolve the nation-state in favor of a dictatorship ruled by an unelected cartel.
Such alarmism is not without merit. For example, the fall of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in November 2011 after Italy’s lower house of parliament overwhelmingly approved a massive bailout from the European Central Bank (ECB) to avoid default on the nation’s €1.9 trillion debt still underscores revelations of Brussels’ collusion with Chancellor Merkel by former Obama Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, who described that the EU “wanted us to refuse to back IMF loans to Italy as long as [Berlusconi] refused to go,” which Washington declined. Furthermore, former Italian executive with the ECB, Lorenzo Bini-Smaghi, even suggested that the decision to topple Berlusconi set into motion upon his threat to reinstate the Lira as Italy’s currency ― an indirect indictment of German hegemony over the continent by way of central banking and the single currency. The same general logic also applied to the failure of Grexit.
Merkel’s non-committal to peace is further exacerbated by a broad emergence of hostile situations throughout the former Iron Curtain, plus a few others like Austria and Italy, led by Poland and Hungary, that have prompted the EU to threaten Warsaw and Budapest with punitive sanctions and suspension of voting rights following the ruling Polish Freedom and Justice Party’s placement of 15 judges from the National Council of the Judiciary (KRS) under direct government control in July 2017 for later rejecting Merkel’s ‘open-borders policy’ and migrant quotas. In September 2017, Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło agreed to a deal to collaborate with the former Soviet republics in the Baltic (Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia) to police the airspace over the region while monitoring the EU’s eastern border with Russia in the wake of Moscow’s annexation of Crimea. Likewise, Lithuania’s Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis secured Polish support to synchronize the nation’s electricity grid with Western Europe, while Latvian Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis lauded Warsaw’s “political approval to the synchronization of the Baltic electricity system with continental Europe via Poland” per “a joint issue of national and energy security of the Baltic states.”
Paris and Berlin will no doubt use the ‘Yellow Vest’ revolt across France and the Low Countries as a pretext to justify potential future Soviet-style military crackdowns throughout the EU. On January 21, 2019, Macron and Merkel met at the ancient capital of Charlemagne’s Holy Roman Empire, Aachen (known in France as Aix-la-Chapelle), to sign a new military defense pact exactly 56 years after their predecessors Charles de Gaulle and Konrad Adenauer signed the Elysée Treaty to cement the new Franco-German friendship in the postwar world. In what the French press calls the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, the two nations’ pillow talk opened the door to “deepen [the two countries’] cooperation in foreign affairs, defense, external and internal security and development, and at the same time work on strengthening the ability of Europe to act independently” as a ‘Franco-German couple’ serving as the cornerstone of European integration. For the more subtle Merkel, the penchant for a German-dominated Europe means that because “Populism and nationalism are strengthening in all (European) countries,” Brexit, and mounting international economic protectionism will, in the words of Macron himself, further spread accompanied by “growing anger”. In a sign of Macron’s emerging presence on the continent, Merkel’s speech laudes the French president’s “contagious enthusiasm” through his “clear ideas on where and when Europe needs to evolve and has the capacity to inspire young Europeans.”
Merkel and Macron fail to acknowledge that there of course does not exist a ‘European people’ ― the continent remains comprised of 28 nationalities, each with a separate history, ancient animosities and distrust that no empire has successfully erased and will ensure that the European project, sooner or later, will arrive at the point of its mutually assured destruction. As a result, the rioting on the streets of Paris now bears a striking revisitation of the recorded violence during the French Revolution, given the ‘Yellow Vests’ wasted little time ‘invading’ neighboring foreign countries (Belgium), even attempting to storm the EU Parliament building in Brussels – a move that has absolutely no direct connection with settling national matters in France, nor by peaceful intentions. There are too other fractures, such as Spanish nationalism, that reach well beyond the unrest in Catalonia into Britain’s claim to what Madrid describes as the ‘anachronism’ of Gibraltar as ‘the last colony in Europe’ following the successful June 2016 Brexit “Leave” referendum. Madrid will likely contest a clause within the European Counsel’s Brexit guidelines that require Britain and Spain to arrive at a separate agreement regarding Gibraltar’s geopolitical status. Officials within the Tory government of Theresa May rejected calls for any shared sovereignty over Gibraltar with Madrid, with former Tory party leader Michael Howard going so far as to compare the present rift to those with Argentina over the Falkland Islands in 1982 by suggesting that May, as did Margaret Thatcher, “would show the same resolve in standing by the people of Gibraltar.” Former British defense minister Michael Fallon has pledged that London would go ‘all the way’ to keep Gibraltar in British hands, while charismatic foreign minister Boris Johnson declared that Britain would stand “implacable and rock-like” to defend its colony. The pressure following Catalonia’s ‘successful’ secession referendum and Brexit two years after the failed Scottish secession referendum has ignited, however slightly, the potential for a continental war in Western Europe after the recently-deposed Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy swore that Spain would veto any independent Scottish application for EU membership. These matters could mean that the next great European war might not happen in the East after all, but rather Western Europe, giving Washington no alternative but to respond as the lead nation of NATO to end the hostilities under Article 5 . As America would likely find support from Poland, Austria, Italy, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Romania, the only concerns from the outside will be whether Russia decides to invade further west into Ukraine and the former Warsaw Pact and Soviet-controlled Baltic states. Finally, a renewal of hostilities between Turkey and Greece over territorial disputes in the Aegean Sea and Cyprus has the international community concerned over another war ― the first since 1974.
German remilitarization, the excuse through which Merkel’s advisers have, since at least 2009 following ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, campaigned to gradually disband EU ties to NATO, veils her ominous threat of a German invasion into the Balkan region in November 2015 upon declaring she did not “want to it to happen that military conflict is once again necessary” over Hungary’s construction of a wall along its border with Serbia due to ‘fault lines’ prohibiting further EU expansion along the Adriatic coastline. Furthermore, she has declared that full European integration is naturally “Germany’s responsibility, as the largest state in the EU,” and that finding “a resolution to the problem that encourages solidarity rather than division” ― while boasting that she was “pretty sure [Germany] can achieve that” ― should leave no doubt that she intends to rule through both the carrot and the stick as she did in both Italy and Greece.
The Three Seas Initiative: The Backdoor to the Intermarium
One last hope remains for Europe’s salvation. East of Germany and west of Russia lie portions of the continent that have historically fallen under the influence of the stronger of the two flanking giants. “The Intermarium,” writes foreign policy expert George Friedman, “is a concept – really, an eventuality… I predicted it would rise after Russia inevitably re-emerged as a major regional power. Which makes sense, considering it would comprise the former Soviet satellites of Eastern Europe: the Baltic states, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and possibly Bulgaria.” The first sign of trouble arose upon the EU’s forcing former Czech Republic President Václav Klaus into quickly signing the Lisbon Treaty which calls for stronger regulations over strategic arms build-up that according to the European Foreign Service, would “strengthen the capability for common action in foreign affairs” — meaning that Klaus was expected to cede more of the Czech Republic’s sovereignty to Brussels by Prague’s “sharing of military duties and specialization”. He quickly arrived to the conclusion that the Lisbon Treaty was designed to be the death knell of individual nation-states’ national security policy by simply abolishing the lone purpose for any European nation-state’s existence ― national defense. In 2005, he called for the EU to be scrapped and replaced by a free trade Organisation of European States, citing that the EU was already a “failed and bankrupt entity… as big a threat to freedom as the Soviet Union was”. He also predicted the euro’s collapse.
The origins of the Intermarium concept go back almost 500 years to 1569, where the Union of Lublin forged a single confederation comprising of Poland and Lithuania. For Lithuania, this union secured their eastern frontier from the rising Russian threat, whereas the smaller but more modern Polish kingdom sought new lands which included Ukraine. Immediately following unification, Poland-Lithuania conquered Livonia and, in the process, German-ruled duchies of Courland and Prussia — the latter of which was a newly Protestant successor of the former Teutonic Order — and transformed them into fiefdoms.
But this expansion would not last. In what is known as ‘The Deluge’, Poland-Lithuania was invaded and, for the first time, partitioned by Russia and Sweden between 1655 and 1660 after Vilnius (in Lithuania) had been burned to the ground by Russian Cossacks. In the wake of this first sacking of the region since the Teutonic incursions, Poland-Lithuania would never return as a great continental power again in spite of regaining independence due to internal strife and political instability.
After the extinction of Jagiellonian Dynasty (1572), the line of succession to the throne was determined by election under the nobility through a system, uniquely labeled “noble democracy”, that concentrated most legal rights among the approximately 10 percent of noble men who participated in government. By the late 17th Century, the nobility could cast a “liberum veto” to stop any political decision found to be disagreeable. Effectively paralyzing the country due to so many nobles vetoing royal policies, civil war between the different noble families made Poland-Lithuania ripe for another invasion by 1700 at the outset of the Great Northern War. In 1772 the three neighboring powers (Austria, Prussia, and Russia) conspired to partition the country. In spite of the uprising by Tadeusz Kosciuszko against Russia’s czarina Catherine the Great, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, occupied by Russia and Prussia, ceased to exist following its third partition in 1795.
Twenty years later, the Holy Alliance of European sovereigns met in Paris on September 26, 1815 following the final defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo. Led by Alexander I of Russia, Francis II of Austria and Prussia’s Frederick William III, the new alliance sought to allegedly promote the influence of Christian principles in the affairs of nations. Inspired by Alexander and even perhaps the visionary Barbara Juliane von Krüdener, all European rulers except for Britain, the Ottoman sultan and Pope Pius VII signed the document. Though in the long run its importance was marginal, left-wing ideologues and some historians suggest this arrangement provided a new pretext for political repression in the name of ‘collective security’ in the more conservative nations of central and eastern Europe.
The History of the Russo-Polish Conflict Since 1700
Russia’s victory over Sweden’s Baltic Empire in the Great Northern War (1700–1721) at the second battle of Poltava inside modern-day Ukraine was key to Peter the Great’s defeat of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Analogous to Prussia’s 1866 war victories over Austria-Hungary at Königgrätz and France at Sedan four years later, Russia’s emergence as the preeminent imperial power in the East reshaped the balance of power throughout the continent and, consequently, caused all hell to break loose. The erosion of Ottoman hegemony over the Balkans as a result of multiple war defeats to Russia was pivotal, given its support from Britain, France and later, the United States during the First World War. After all, Russia was effectively knocked out of the war by Germany with the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk in 1918. And it was Russia’s defeat and the rise of communism in the Soviet Union with direct aid from the German government that gave birth to the modern concept of the Intermarium by the Polish statesman and diplomat, Józef Piłsudski.
Born to poor aristocrats of Lithuanian descent inside Russian-controlled Poland, the ethnic Pole Piłsudski attended secondary school in Vilnius before enrolling in medical school at the Ukrainian city of Kharkov in 1885. Upon school authorities becoming aware of his seething hatred for the ruling Russian Empire, Piłsudski was suspended the following year. Upon his return to Vilnius and becoming connected with local political radicals, Piłsudski began to read socialist literature by Karl Marx and Mikhail Bakunin. Though not involved in the plot to assassinate Tsar Alexander II, authorities used his role with the underground cell as a pretense to arrest and sentence him to five years in exile to Siberia on false charges. Years after his release in 1908, Piłsudski, convinced that the Russian Empire would eventually collapse, began organizing the nucleus of a Polish Army named the Union of Military Action. In 1914 Piłsudski planned to side with Germany and Austria-Hungary in driving out the Russians from Poland. By 1916, Germany and Austria-Hungary recognized Poland’s independence in order to mobilize the Poles more effectively against Russia, thus permitting Germany and Austria-Hungary to transfer troops to the western front. But Germany would later prove to be an unreliable partner upon Piłsudski insisting that his Polish army be recognized as the army of the new Poland. It was here where Germany rejected Piłsudski’s demand, insisting instead that Polish troops take an oath of fidelity to Berlin. After refusing to comply with Germany’s ultimatum, Piłsudski was imprisoned, while across Poland’s eastern border in Russia, the Bolshevik Revolution broke out. The same Russian Empire that had occupied Poland for generations had now sued for peace with Germany under the new communist regime.
Following the Second Reich’s defeat in the West in 1918, Piłsudski was released from prison. Traveling to Warsaw as a national hero. he was quickly named leader of the new Polish state and commander of the army. But in 1920, a new threat rose from the newly-formed Soviet Union, whose Red Army, intent on marching into the recently-defeated Germany to spread the international communist revolution, invaded, reaching as far as Warsaw. In response, Piłsudski went on the offensive, capturing former Polish territory, convinced that a confederation of Poles, Lithuanians and Ukrainians could be created as a buffer between future German and Soviet aggressors. Fighting a defense war, Piłsudski forced the Red Army to retreat back into Soviet territory. In 1923, Piłsudski briefly retired from politics only to return after factionalism threatened to divide and cause the new nation to collapse. Raising an army to march on Warsaw, Piłsudski, in restoring order, effectively became a dictator as leader of the Sanacja nationalist movement, stressing national unity under a strong executive branch by way of ethnic cleansing through forced Polonization, restricted national development, and artificial political divisions in modern Ukraine. Ironically, the Polish war of liberation reminded foreign spectators that what once was old in Poland had become new all over again.
Ultimately, such policies that had impacted German-speaking minorities had by 1939 provided the pretext for Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union to jointly invade and, once again, partition the young Polish state. Nevertheless, well-aware that he now faced an impossible situation, Piłsudski sent an emissary to Paris to discuss a joint French-Polish war effort to stop Hitler from illegally rearming the Rhineland. With France spurning the proposal, Piłsudski accepted this fait accompli, and in the hope he could secure peace, agree to a ten-year German-Polish non-aggression pact in 1934. To make sure the Soviet Union did not see this as a threat of an invasion, Piłsudski deployed another emissary to Moscow to arrange a similar long term agreement. Unfortunately, this last attempt at securing some modicum of peace failed.
Four years after Piłsudski’s death in 1935, Poland was invaded and partitioned by both the German Third Reich and the Soviet Union as agreed under the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, killing the late Polish leader’s dream of the Intermarium. Forty-five years later though, with the rise of Lech Wałęsa and his trade union organization Solidarity that protested the Soviet occupation of Poland, Polish nationalism provided the necessary catalyst for the eventual fall of communism by November 1989. However, because of the unrest in France (which has already spread into the Netherlands and Belgium, among other places) and the threat of the new German and French military alliance in the Alsace-Lorraine region (Aachen; or, Aix-la-Chapelle), America may once again be forced to shed the blood of millions in an European war to stop Brussels, Paris and Berlin forming a new political and military partnership union similar to the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact. This is yet another reminder of the historic reality of postwar America as explained by Ronald Reagan during his 1985 State of the Union Address: “You know, we only have a military-industrial complex until a time of danger, and then it becomes the arsenal of democracy. Spending for defense is investing in things that are priceless — peace and freedom.” The American public will only forget the Gipper’s point when the nations of Europe demand more military aid and money directed to the aspiring Franco-German Fourth Reich. Today, EU officials, specifically Guy Verhofstadt, have demanded the U.S. to intervene, perhaps invade, ‘rogue’ EU member nations like Hungary found in non-compliance with Merkel’s migrant quotas.
In response to all this, plans by the Trump administration to construct a new military base in Poland on invitation by Warsaw could be a game-changer in creating a new tertiated order by capitalizing on opportunities provided by an increasingly divided EU. The Trump Doctrine appears poised to embrace deepening diplomatic relationships with Eurosceptic allies in the former Warsaw Pact, and a base in Poland would isolate the increasingly hostile actors out of Paris and Berlin, given its current base in Germany will remind the dangerous Franco-German alliance that American hegemony over Europe’s economic, political, and security infrastructure will be maintained as a matter of national security indefinitely. At the same time, a Polish base would project an increasingly aggressive U.S. military presence eastward by both knocking on Russia’s front doorstep and effectively anointing Warsaw as the new regional power broker in an arrangement that would include potentially lucrative trade deals tied to America’s vast oil supply, the largest in the world. Such an initiative will not necessitate a reduction in U.S. troops ‘at the expense of Germany’, according to NATO Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison during a teleconference before a NATO ministerial meeting in Brussels, adding too that the U.S. Armed Forces still possess “a very large number of forces and bases in Germany that we don’t expect to change” ― a total of 30,000, in fact. Hutchison’s response was a staunch defense of the true thinly veiled agenda by the Trump administration in wake of the dying NATO coalition following hostile provocations by Merkel and Macron’s plan to form a European army to wage wars against both America and Russia, thus contradicting a false Washington Post report citing that Pentagon officials were conducting an impact analysis on “a large-scale withdrawal or transfer of American troops stationed in Germany.” In supporting the Trump administration’s demand that each NATO member contribute 2-percent of total national GDP to the alliance by 2024, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg reiterated that “It matters” that Germany contribute more than its current 1.5-percent “because Germany is such a big economy.” This is a big feather in Poland’s cap, whose proposal, according to the Polish defense ministry, would allocate up to $2 billion in order to fulfill a “clear and present need for a permanent U.S. armored division deployed in Poland.” Warsaw’s contribution includes aid with building schools and facilities for American military spouses and children who would be brought to live on the new base.
For the Intermarium to successfully form, Poland — which borders both Germany and Russia — must lead the Visegrad Group and Three Seas Initiative to undermine and isolate both the dying German-dominated European Union and the renewed ambitions of the economically-ailing Russian bear to its east. While the resurrection of a modern Kalmar Union in Scandinavia following the EU’s collapse is less likely due to the small populations collectively in Denmark, Sweden and Norway, its potential partnership with Poland ― with backing from the U.S. ― stands not only to be the coronation of a major geopolitical actor whose design is to drive a hostile wedge up the gut through the continent’s heartland, but as the principal intercessor between the imperial ambitions of Russian Eurasianism and a United States of Europe. Here, the idea is a gambit to greatly decrease the probability of another catastrophic continental war on one hand; and on the other, secure Western Civilization in the wake of the open hijra by migrants who, according to ISIS, will someday by design destabilize and Islamify Europe.