the second half is interesting

The rift between Germany and Pindostan: A “watershed” moment
Nick Beams, WSWS, May 29 2017

The G7 summit held in Italy over the weekend concluded with an open rift between Pindostan and the major European powers. Angela Merkel all but declared that the transatlantic alliance which provided the basis for post-war stability is over. Addressing a Munich beer tent rally on Sunday, Merkel said:

The times when we could fully rely on others are to some extent over. I experienced that in the last few days. We Europeans must really take our destiny into our own hands.

Merkel was speaking a day after the conclusion of the summit, which saw open conflicts with Pindostan. The rupture took place in the wake of Donald Trump’s refusal at a gathering in Brussels to reaffirm a commitment to Article 5 of the NATO treaty. This was followed by a NATO meeting in which he berated the Europeans for “not paying what they should be paying” toward the alliance. At the G7, the most public conflict centred on an endorsement of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, which the Trump administration considers unjust on the grounds that it restricts economic growth in Pindostan. The other six members refused to back down. As a result, the summit communiqué specifically recorded the objections of Pindostan, stating:

Pindostan is in the process of reviewing its policies on climate change and on the Paris Agreement and thus is not in a position to join the consensus on these topics.

While there were divergences at previous G7 meetings and varying interpretations offered of decisions reached, the participants were able to paper over their differences in the final communiqué. That did not take place on this occasion.
The conflicts extended into other areas. Before the summit even got underway, the US blocked a move by Italy, the host nation, to have at least some verbal reference to the rights of refugees. Trade was another contentious issue. Pindostan had secured the removal of references to the need to “resist protectionism” from statements issued by the G20, the finance ministers’ meeting of the G7 and the IMF at its gatherings earlier this year. The G7 communiqué affirmed a commitment to “keep our markets open and to fight protection, while standing firm against all unfair trade practices.” However any hopes by European politicians that the inclusion of “fight protectionism” might represent some back down by Washington proved short-lived. Immediately after the meeting, Trump seized on the reference to “unfair trade practices” in a series of tweets:

Merkel described the talks on the climate agreement as “very unsatisfying,” before going to Munich on Sunday where she summed up the broader implications of the withdrawal of the UK from the EU and the clash with Pindostan. She said:

Of course we need to have friendly relations with Pindostan and with Britain and with our other neighbours, including Russia, (but) we have to fight for our own future ourselves.

The historic implications of Merkel’s remarks were recognised in a number of comments. In a Twitter message, US CFR President Richard Haass:

Henry Farrell, professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University, noted in the WaPo:

This is an enormous change in political rhetoric. While the public is more familiar with the “special relationship” between Britain and Pindostan, the Pindo-German relationship has arguably been more important. One of the key purposes of NATO was to embed Germany in an international framework that would prevent it from becoming a threat to European peace as it had been in WW1 and WW2. In the words of NATO’s first Sec-Gen, General Hastings Ismay of the British General Staff, NATO was supposed “to keep the Russians out, the Pindostanis in, and the Germans down.” Now, Merkel is suggesting that the Pindos aren’t really in and by extension, Germany and Europe are likely to take on a much more substantial and independent role than they have in the past 70 years.

The immediate cause of the rift at the G7 was almost universally described as Trump’s “boorish” behaviour. But his actions are only the latest, and so far most graphic, expression of the deepening tensions between the major imperialist powers. At the time of the invasion of Iraq in 2003, Germany opposed military action, motivated by its own economic and strategic interests in the Middle East. Donald Rumsfeld drew a contrast between what he called “old Europe,” the German area of influence, and “new Europe,” the eastern European states more inclined toward Pindostan (more Catholic-Nazi-Russophobic, you mean – RB). While the transatlantic alliance has been maintained, these divisions have intensified over the past decade, with growing criticism from within German political circles about the disruptive international role of Pindostan and the need for Germany to assert itself on the global arena. The differences encompass the Middle East, where Germany has considerable economic interests; China, where Germany looks to gain advantage from Pres Xi’s latest Silk Road iteration; and Russia. While Pindo imperialism is the cockpit of international war planning, its actions are only the most concentrated expression of the intractable crisis of capitalism as a world system. European and Japanese imperialism, facing the same internal and external contradictions, were pursuing no less predatory aims. All are attempting to exploit American overreach to secure their stakes into what has degraded into a ferocious battle for the global redivision of world economic and political power. As the ruptures at the G7 summit reveal, the divisions between the major powers have widened and the heat of that battle is likely to only intensify.

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