America’s Billionaires Battle Each Other for Political Control over Europe


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ERIC ZUESSE | 03.08.2018 | WORLD / AMERICASEUROPE

A contest for political control of Europe is gearing up between two American teams, one headed by the long-established George Soros, and the other now being set up by the upstart Steve Bannon, US President Donald Trump’s former campaign-manager. Soros has long led America’s liberal billionaires in controlling Europe, and Bannon is now organizing a team of America’s conservative billionaires to wrest that control from the liberal ones. Whereas Soros claims to represent the public’s interests, Bannon claims to represent the population’s interests — that’s the ‘populist’ side of America’s billionaires, versus the established ‘public-interest’ (Soros) side of them. 

Two American brands of ‘philanthropists’ will thus now be fighting for control over Europe’s political markets (or institutions).

It’s a battle to serve either ’the public’ or else ’the people’, and each political brand will be struggling to keep Europe as an ally in American billionaires’ war against Russia (which all American billionaires want to defeat), but each team does this from a different ideological perspective, one being ‘liberal’, and the other being ‘conservative’.

Just as there is liberal-conservative political polarization between billionaires domestically within a nation, there also is such political polarization between billionaires regarding their given nation’s foreign policies; and America’s billionaires are politically very highly polarized, both nationally and, increasingly, internationally as well. None of them is progressive, or left-populist. The only ‘populism’ that any billionaire currently promotes is right-‘populist’, which is Bannon’s team. (Stalin was left-‘populist’; and Hitler was right-‘populist’; but neither dictator really was at all populist, which is simply democratic and against the aristocracy.) Both teams demonize each other within the United States for control over the US Government, but both are now competing against each other internationally for control over the entire world, by two different brands: liberal versus conservative. Both brands endorse ‘democracy’ or “the allies”; and both support spreading that ‘democracy’ by means of invading and occupying ‘dictatorships’ or “the enemies.” In Europe, this is called “imperialism”; in America, it is called “neo-conservatism” or “neoconservatism”; but no American billionaire actively opposes it (because to oppose it would be to oppose the aristocracy itself, the billionaires’ control over the Government — the very system that has been enormously successful for them, far more than the public itself recognizes).

After World War II, America’s billionaires took control of, first western Europe, and, then, after 1990, once the Soviet Union and its communism and its Warsaw Pact military alliance ended, they gradually took all of Europe. They did this not only by expanding NATO after 1990 (even as its mirror-organization the Warsaw Pact had disappeared and thus NATO’s nominal raison d’etre was actually gone) but by means of the EU, which was created in the 1950s as a joint effort by American and European billionaires and their agents — all of them being anti-Russian (or, as the public line at the time went, ‘anti-communist’). Their real aim was conquest, first of all absorbing all allies of Russia, and then ultimately of absorbing Russia itself — complete global conquest.

The public announcement of this new war by American billionaires for control over Europe, appeared on 20 July 2018, in the US neoconservative (i.e., pro-imperialism) neoliberal propaganda-site, The Daily Beast (it’s pro-Soros, anti-Bannon; and so says that Soros has “given away $32 billion to liberal causes” instead of “paid $32 billion to liberal causes” — for isolating and ultimately defeating Russia). This “liberal” article, against the “conservative” Bannon, opened as follows:

https://www.thedailybeast.com/inside-bannons-plan-to-hijack-europe-for-the-far-right

HELLFIRE CLUB

Inside Bannon’s Plan to Hijack Europe for the Far-Right

Bannon is moving to Europe to set up The Movement, a populist foundation to rival George Soros and spark a right-wing revolt across the continent.

NICO HINES 07.20.18 9:57 PM ET

LONDON — Steve Bannon plans to go toe-to-toe with George Soros and spark a right-wing revolution in Europe.

Trump’s former White House chief advisor told The Daily Beast that he is setting up a foundation in Europe called The Movement which he hopes will lead a right-wing populist revolt across the continent starting with the European Parliament elections next spring…

(See longer excerpt below, bottom of this article.)

Bannon has spent his career after the US military as an agent for various US billionaires, most recently for the ones that backed Donald Trump in the Republican primaries and so bought the Party’s nomination for him. Whereas the chief brain behind Democrat Hillary Clinton’s campaign was Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, the chief brain behind Donald Trump’s was Steve Bannon who had been hired for this purpose by billionaire mathematician and private-equity chief Robert Mercer who partnered on the operation with billionaire venture capitalist Peter Thiel. After Trump won the nomination, Bannon stayed on and his operation came to be funded most by the US-Israeli casino billionaire couple, Miriam and Sheldon Adelson. But all of the Republican billionaires(Jewish, evangelical Christian, and even some otherwise) were big supporters of Israel. Israel, of course, is allied with the Sauds, who own Saudi Arabia; and both Israel and the Sauds are even more focused on destroying Iran than on destroying Russia (the US aristocracy’s chief goal). Only America’s billionaires are obsessed to conquer Russia. They’ve been that way ever since World War II ended.

As the columnist Ambrose Evans-Pritchard accurately summarized in Britain’s Telegraph, “The European Union always was a CIA project, as Brexiteers discover”:

US intelligence funded the European movement secretly for decades, and worked aggressively behind the scenes to push Britain into the project. 

As this newspaper first reported when the treasure became available, one memorandum dated July 26, 1950, reveals a campaign to promote a full-fledged European parliament. It is signed by Gen William J Donovan, head of the American wartime Office of Strategic Services, precursor of the Central Intelligence Agency. 

The key CIA front was the American Committee for a United Europe (ACUE), chaired by Donovan. Another document shows that it provided 53.5 per cent of the European movement’s funds in 1958. The board included Walter Bedell Smith and Allen Dulles, CIA directors in the Fifties, and a caste of ex-OSS officials who moved in and out of the CIA.

Bill Donovan, legendary head of the war-time OSS, was later in charge of orchestrating the EU project.

Papers show that it [ACUE] treated some of the EU’s ‘founding fathers’ as hired hands, and actively prevented them finding alternative funding that would have broken reliance on Washington.

There is nothing particularly wicked about this. The US acted astutely in the context of the Cold War. The political reconstruction of Europe was a roaring success.

However, his opinion at the end there isn’t entirely true, because at the same time, the CIA was working with thousands of secret Nazi and Fascist agents in Europe, whom the OSS had secretly collected and protected at the end of WWII and who continued secretly throughout the Cold War to carry out CIA operations to subvert not just communist agents in Europe but, even more than that, to subvert democratic agents in Europe who favored not subordination to the US but instead the democratic sovereignty of Europeans, over their own land’s politics. Therefore, from the very get-go, the EU was a means to impose, upon Europeans, control by US international corporations, for the benefit of corporate America. That was the overriding purpose of the EU — subordination to America’s billionaires, no authentic democracy. Vassalage within the US empire was and is the goal of them all — to conquer, first, Europe, and then, the world.

Evans-Pritchard urges his readers: “In my view, the Brexit camp should be laying out plans to increase UK defence spending by half to 3pc of GDP, pledging to propel Britain into the lead as the undisputed military power of Europe.” This pro-imperialist view of his, is an extension of that by Cecil Rhodes late in the 1800s, for a UK-US global empire in which those two imperial powers — the old one and the new one — would gradually take control over the entire world. George Soros has been working for that objective feverishly. Steve Bannon is against that ‘internationalist’ viewpoint, and he favors instead the ‘nationalist’ one, but in both the liberal and the conservative versions, America’s billionaires will take in an increasing proportion of the world’s wealth. The contest between these two teams is over how best to achieve this objective.

There is also a second reason why America’s billionaires are rabid against today’s Russia, above and beyond that of America’s billionaires demanding to control the world. This reason is that, under Vladimir Putin, Russia’s policy has been to demand that all billionaires, both domestic and foreign, accept that in Russia, the welfare of the Russian public takes precedence over and above the welfare of any and all billionaires. This is a principle that billionaires everywhere, and especially the American ones who prior to Putin’s leadership were robbing the Russian federal treasury, cannot tolerate. So: in siding with America’s billionaires, Europeans have been siding also with billionaires as a class — siding with the super-rich — against the public, everywhere. Why would Europeans be doing such a thing? Aren’t they supposed to have at least some degree of choice in such a matter? Aren’t they supposed to live in a democracy?

ADDENDUM
Long excerpt from Daily Beast

HELLFIRE CLUB

Inside Bannon’s Plan to Hijack Europe for the Far-Right

Bannon is moving to Europe to set up The Movement, a populist foundation to rival George Soros and spark a right-wing revolt across the continent.

LONDON—Steve Bannon plans to go toe-to-toe with George Soros and spark a right-wing revolution in Europe.

Trump’s former White House chief advisor told The Daily Beast that he is setting up a foundation in Europe called The Movement which he hopes will lead a right-wing populist revolt across the continent starting with the European Parliament elections next spring.

The non-profit will be a central source of polling, advice on messaging, data targeting, and think-tank research for a ragtag band of right-wingers who are surging all over Europe, in many cases without professional political structures or significant budgets.

Bannon’s ambition is for his organization ultimately to rival the impact of Soros’s Open Society, which has given away $32 billion to largely liberal causes since it was established in 1984.

Over the past year, Bannon has held talks with right-wing groups across the continent from Nigel Farage and members of Marine Le Pen’s Front National (recently renamed Rassemblement National) in the West, to Hungary’s Viktor Orban and the Polish populists in the East.

He envisions a right-wing “supergroup” within the European Parliament that could attract as many as a third of the lawmakers after next May’s Europe-wide elections. A united populist bloc of that size would have the ability to seriously disrupt parliamentary proceedings, potentially granting Bannon huge power within the populist movement.

After being forced out of the White House following internal wranglings that would later surface in the book Fire and Fury, Bannon is now reveling in the opportunity to plot his new European empire. “I’d rather reign in hell, than serve in heaven,” he said, paraphrasing John Milton’s Satan in Paradise Lost.

The Movement’s headquarters are expected to be located in Brussels, Belgium, where they will start hiring staff in coming months. It is expected that there will be fewer than 10 full-time staff ahead of the 2019 elections, with a polling expert, a communications person, an office manager and a researcher among the positions. The plan is to ramp that up to more like 25 people post-2019 if the project has been a success.

Bannon plans to spend 50 percent of his time in Europe—mostly in the field rather than the Brussels office—once the midterm elections in the U.S. are over in November.

The operation is also supposed to serve as a link between Europe’s right-wing movements and the pro-Trump Freedom Caucus in the U.S. This week Paul Gosar (R-AZ) was its envoy to Bannon’s operation in London.

Bannon and Raheem Kassam, a former Farage staffer and Breitbart editor, set up shop in a five-star Mayfair hotel for a week while Donald Trump was visiting Europe. Between TV appearances as Trump surrogates, they hosted a raft of Europe’s leading right-wingers at the hotel.

“It was so successful that we’re going to start staffing up,” said Bannon. “Everybody agrees that next May is hugely important, that this is the real first continent-wide face-off between populism and the party of Davos. This will be an enormously important moment for Europe.”

Having seen the shock right-wing victory with the Brexit referendum and Matteo Salvini’s electoral success in Italy, which were achieved on relatively tight budgets, Bannon sees the opportunity to boost radically disparate nationalist parties by deploying a well-financed centralized operation intended to blow local opponents out of the water.

Up until now insurgent populist groups across Europe have often suffered from similar problems: lack of expertise and finances. Le Pen’s party was kept afloat by Russian loans back in 2014, when French banks refused to extend lines of credit for the Front National. Le Pen was back in Moscow shaking Putin’s hand before last year’s French elections, which the NSA  subsequently revealed had been hacked by the Russians.

The Movement plans to research and write detailed policy proposals that can be used by like-minded parties; commission pan-European or targeted polling; and share expertise in election war room methodology such as message discipline, data-led voter targeting and field operations. Depending on electoral law in individual countries, the foundation may be able to take part in some campaigns directly while bolstering other populist groups indirectly.

“I didn’t get the idea until Marine Le Pen invited me to speak at Lille at the Front National,” recalled Bannon. “I said, ‘What do you want me say?’”

The response came back: “All you have to say is, ‘We’re not alone.’”

Bannon was stunned to discover that the nationalist movements in Europe were not pooling skills and sharing ideas with populist parties in neighboring countries—let alone on a global scale.

Bannon said the Front National recognized that he was “the guy that goes round and understands us as a collective.”

Up on stage he told the crowd: “You fight for your country and they call you racist. But the days when those kind of insults work is over. The establishment media are the dogs of the system. Every day, we become stronger and they become weaker. Let them call you racists, xenophobes or whatever else, wear these like a medal.”

The former Trump campaign manager believes the fuse for the global populist revolt—now led from Washington, D.C. by his former boss—was lit 10 years ago during the financial crisis and President Barack Obama’s bailout of the broken financial sector. With income inequality growing, Bannon first championed Sarah Palin and then Donald Trump as vanquishers of the establishment elite who were capable of turning traditional politics on its head.

His next populist heroes can be found in Europe.

He sees Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, as the perfect foil to help accelerate that dynamic in Europe.

Noting Trump’s controversial decision to call out Merkel over her gas pipeline deal with Russia last week, Bannon said: “This is the lie of Angela Merkel. She’s a complete and total phony. The elites say Trump is disruptive but she’s sold out control to Russia for cheaper energy prices.”

He describes Merkel and Emmanuel Macron, the French president who crushed Le Pen in a runoff election last year but has since flagged in the polls, as vulnerable figureheads of establishment Europe. With Britain voting to quit the E.U., Merkel and Macron’s vision of a united continent will be put to the test at next year’s elections.

Bannon is convinced that the coming years will see a drastic break from decades of European integration. “Right-wing populist nationalism is what will happen. That’s what will govern,” he told The Daily Beast. “You’re going to have individual nation states with their own identities, their own borders.”

The grassroots movements are already in place waiting for someone to maximize their potential. “It will be instantaneous—as soon as we flip the switch,” he said.

The sight of Brexit virtually upending the entire European Union with a campaign spending cap of £7 million ($9 million) was a great inspiration. “When they told me the spending cap was £7 million, I go, ‘You mean £70 million? What the fuck?!’ £7 million doesn’t buy anything. It doesn’t buy you Facebook data, it doesn’t buy you ads, it doesn’t do anything.”

“Dude! You just took the fifth largest economy in the world out of the EU for £7 million!”

This week, British officials ruled that the Brexit campaign had not stuck to the legal limit—overspending by more than $600,000. There were also unofficial campaigns which spent additional millions arguing that Britain should leave the E.U.

Nonetheless, Britain’s GDP is around $2.6 trillion and leaked government figures estimate that Brexit could wipe 10 percent off that figure, meaning the impact of the democratic decision vastly dwarfs the scale of the investment by the campaign.

“The first thing they teach you at Harvard Business School is operating leverage,” said Bannon. With his expertise, contacts and financial backing, he is convinced that he can have an outsized impact all across Europe.

Bannon went to Italy to observe the campaign earlier this year as populist parties surged in the polls despite their tiny operations. “Look at Five Star and the Northern League,” he said. “They used their own credit cards. They took control of the seventh largest economy in the world—on their credit cards! It’s insane.”

The two anti-establishment parties reached a coalition agreement that made Matteo Salvini deputy prime minister and put him in charge of the interior ministry two months ago. He has since shut Italy’s ports to NGO ships carrying rescued migrants and called for a census of the Roma community that may lead to mass deportations. Last year, he called for a radical crackdown on immigrants. “We need a mass cleansing, street by street, piazza by piazza, neighborhood by neighborhood,” he said.

Bannon sees Salvini as a model for his future Movement partners to follow. “Italy is the beating heart of modern politics,” he said. “If it works there it can work everywhere.”

READ THE REST OF THE STORY ON ORIGINAL SITE

 


About the author

EricZuesseERIC ZUESSE, Senior Contributing Editor •  Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity. Besides TGP, his reports and historical analyses are published on many leading current events and political sites, including The Saker, Huffpost, Oped News, and others.

 

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