Sunday, 20 November 2016 08:29
US President-elect Donald Trump and his chief strategist Steve Bannon are planning to remake Europe in their own image, says Professor Dennis Etler, an American political analyst who has a decades-long interest in international affairs.
Professor Etler made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Saturday while commenting on a statement by President Barack Obama in which he called on the European Union to continue close cooperation with Washington under Trump presidency.
Obama, who was on his final foreign tour as president, met with the leaders of Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Spain in the German capital of Berlin on Friday. He had “affirmed the importance of continued co-operation through multilateral institutions, including NATO,” and reassured them that Trump also understands this.
“As Obama made his farewell tour of Europe, meeting with his neo-liberal counterparts, the question all are asking is will Trump upset the apple cart and change the dynamic of the Atlantist alliance?” Professor Etler asked.
“Perhaps the best insight into the mind of Trump on this score is the thoughts of his chief strategist Steve Bannon. Bannon describes himself in a recent interview in Hollywood Reporter as an economic nationalist and populist,” he said.
“He supports similar movements in Europe that seek to dismantle the EU and reassert national sovereignty throughout the continent. Bannon sees the nationalist movements in Europe as reasserting the core values of their Judeo-Christian heritage.”
‘Trump sees China as the new great Satan’
Professor Etler said Bannon is “a Eurocentric cultural fundamentalist who eschews and disparages the liberal secularism characteristic of today’s Europe which he condemns as corrupt and incorrigible.”
“Bannon and Trump by association, feel more at home with a nationalist, illiberal and orthodox Russia than they do with the liberal, secular Europe of Merkel, Hollande, et al. What Trump and Bannon want to do is remake Europe in their image. Thus their willingness to reintegrate Russia into their vision of resurgent European traditionalism based on a Judeo-Christian ethos that Bannon, at least, considers the light of the world and the highest form of human expression,” he stated.
“There is an important corollary to this way of thinking which is that other ‘Weltanschauungs’ adhered to by other civilizations are of lesser value, inherently corrupt and must be combated.
‘Make US imperialism great again’
Professor Etler said “Trump’s approach to Europe, he would much prefer a grouping of nationalist European states under the wing of US imperialism, recast as a quasi-fascist authoritarian state, than a neo-liberal EU supported by an anti-Russian NATO.”
“He would love to see Israeli influence grow in the Middle East in conjunction with authoritarian Arab states that accept US leadership. In the long-term he wants to challenge China and bring it to heel based on overwhelming US strength brought about by resurgent US militarism,” he said.
“Trump slogan is ‘making America great again,’ which actually means ‘make US imperialism great again.’ The neo-con/neo-liberal paradigm to impose US global hegemony by invasion, occupation, color revolutions and other interventions has failed,” the commentator said.
“Trump proposes a new paradigm for preserving America’s unipolar moment, promotion of right-wing nationalism in Europe and Russia, unbridled support for Israel in the Middle East and an eventual face-down with China in the Asian-Pacific,” he pointed out.
“Will this strategy prevail? Given its inherent contradictions and the forces arrayed against it the likelihood of success is very dubious,” the scholar concluded.