Cinq leçons clés à retenir des Guerres Mondiales…


… et des siècles de l’Histoire de l’Europe

Le 11 novembre, la France et une soixantaine d’autres pays a observé le centenaire de l’Armistice marquant la fin de la Première Guerre Mondiale.

Cela étant le cas, je voudrais partager avec vous, mes chers Lecteurs, les cinq renseignements clés qu’il faut, à mon avis, retenir de cette Guerre et, en effet, de toute l’Histoire de l’Europe.

  1. Les tendances dominatrices et impérialistes, et non les Etats-nations, ont été à la source de tous les grands conflits mondiaux (notamment européens).

Nos élites politiques et médiatiques nous disent sans cesse depuis des décennies que “les Etats-nations, c’est la guerre”. Ils affirment que l’existence de ces derniers à donné naissance au nationalisme, à l’haine d’autrui, et, du coup, aux deux Geurres mondiales.

Rien n’est pourtant plus faux. Toute l’Histoire de l’Europe démontre le contraire : que ce sont les tendances d’un seul chef d’Etat non-élu (monarque ou dictateur), ou d’une clique de dirigeants, à imposer sa domination et sa politique à toute le continent européeen.

Telles étaient les tendances de tous ces qui ont provoqué tous les conflits les plus meurtrieurs des 1 000 derniers ans : les Hohenstaufen, les Habsbourg, Louis XIV, Napoléon, Kaiser Guillaume II, Hitler, et Staline. Tous avaient des projets et des visions méga-ambitieux pour toute l’Europe. Tous voulaient immposer à l’ensemble de notre continent leur vision, leur système, et leur politique :

  • “l’universalisme impérial” des Hohenstaufen selon lequel tous les pays européens devaient être obédients à l’Empéreur, et tous les évêchés, dont celui de Rome, lui seraient également subordonnés ;
  • les plans des Habsbourg de transformer toute l’Europe en un seul empire germanique et catholique ;
  • l’Europe à la française de Louis XIV, et les guerres ruineuses que celui-là a provoquées ;
  • le “système napoléonien” ;
  • la politique néo-impériale du Kaiser Guillaume II, ménaçant non seulement la France métropolitaine mais aussi les intérêts vitaux de l’empire français et britannique ;
  • et évidemment la vision d’un Troisième Reich de Hitler et d’une Europe bolcheviséee de Staline.

Un point important à retenir ici ! Tous ces dirigeants étaient soit des monarques, soit (dans le cas d’Hitler et Staline) des dictateurs.

Ce qui nous amène à Leçon Cruciale n° 2…

2. La démocratie et le respect de la souveraineté de chaque nation est le meilleur antidote aux conflits.

Evidemment, nos élites politiques européistes ont tiré le mauvais enseignement sur le premier point : la source des conflits européens.

Ainsi, sans surprise, ont-ils tiré une deuxième conclusion totalement érronnée : que la solution est d’effacer les Etats-nations, çad les déposséder complètement -étape par étape) de leur souveraineté au profit d’institutions supranationales. Ces dernières, étant menées par des bureaucrates non-élus et irresponsables, feraient la politique interne et étrangère pourà la place des Etats-nations, réduits au statut de simples régions.

Là encore, comme toujours, nos politichiens européistes ont compmètement tort. non, ce ne sont pas les nations ni les Etats-nations qui ont amené l’Europe à l’abîme des deux Guerres mondiales.

La Première était provoquée et commencée par un monarque irresponsable, Guillaume II, dont le Gouvernement était responsable devant lui et lui seul et non devant le parlement allemand (le Reichstag).

La Seconde était l’oeuvre de deux dictateurs, Hitler et Staline. Et Hitler n’avait pas été complètement démocratiquement élu. Les élections du mars 1933, celles après l’incendie du Reichstag, avaient été truquées et précédéees par les premières de nombreuses vagues de répressions contre les opposants au nazisme, notamment les sociaux-démocrates (SPD).

Effectivement, mis à part la France, la Grande-Bretagne, la Suisse, et les pays scandinaves, presque tous les autres pays de l’Europe de l’époque étaient des dictatures. Avec l’exception notable de la Tchécoslovaquie, abandonnée lâchement par Londres et Paris pour apaiser le dictateur Hitler.

La même leçon vaut pour l’Asie orientale : le Japon de l’époque était une dictature militariste n’ayant rien à voire avec la démocratie.

En effet, tous les grandes guerres de l’Histoire avaient été provoquées par des dirigeants non-élus et irresponsables. Aucune n’était l’oeuvre d’une démocratie.

Pourquoi ? L’explication est simple.

Dans une (vraie) démocratie, les dirigeants sont élus par, et responsables devant, les électeurs, çad leur peuple. Ces derniers sanctionnent souvent leurs élus pour leurs mauvaises décisions.

Pour mener son pays à une guerre, le gouvernement d’un pays démocratique doit en convaincre ses compatriotes. Il doit donner des raisons graves et incontestables. Il doit aussi bien mener cette guerre. Sinon, ou si cette guerre semble devenir interminable, les élus seront pénalisés aux urnes. Tel était le cas, aux USA, du Président Johnson en 1968 et des Républicains en 2008. Il en était pareillement pour les dirigeants de la Quatrième République française à cause des guerres d’Indochine et d’Algérie.

Ce qui nous amène logiquement au troisième ensegnement crucial…

3. Il faut absolument réfuser toute idée d’une armée européenne.

Engager son pays et son peuple dans une guerre est sans doute la décision LA plus grave, la plus lourde en conséquences, qu’un gouvernement peut prendre.

C’est littéralement une question de vie et de mort. Aucune autre décision n’entraîne un tel risque de destruction, de mort, de dégats financiers et économiques, et de semer les grains de conflits futurs. Les deux Guerres Mondiales en étaient le meilleur exemple.

Pour cette raison, il est absolument IMPERATIF que cette décision puisse être prise seulement par des dirigeants directement responsables devant les administrés.

Or, l’Union européenne est gouverné par un aréopage de bureaucrates  et commissaires non-élus et irresponsables (la Commission européenne et ses 60 000 fonctionnaires).  Elle est seule à avoir l’initiative législative ; elle peut aussi donner des directives non-législatives aux Etats-nations et, en cas de refus d’obéir, leur faire procès devant la soi-disant “Cour Européeenne de Justice”.

Cette nature profondement non-démocratique de l’UE était d’ailleurs la raison  principale du vote de la plupart des Britanniques pour le Brexit.

En applicant servilement les sanctions édictées par Washington contre la Russie et l’Iran, l’UE nous a déjà amenés dans une guerre froide et commerciale contre ces 2 pays. Il serait absolument impardonnable de laisser les technocrates irresponsables à Bruxelles nous mener dans une vraie guerre dans le sens militaire.

4. La seule voie à la paix en Europe, c’est la démocratie et l’autodétermination de chaque peuple

Comme nous avons déjà observé, essayer d’imposer un système uniforme et une politique uniforme à tout le monde ne peut que mener à une guerre sanglante.

Chaque pays et chaque peuple européeen est différent. Chacun possède sa propre identité, histoire, culture, traditions (politiques et autres), mentalité, et autres attributes.

Et la situation de chaque pays européen estdifférente des autres, ce qui nécessite d’autres solutions – que seuls les gouvernements démocratiquement élus desdits pays peuvent mettre en oeuvre.

Il en découle naturellement que la seule voie à une paix durable en Europe est le rétabissement de la démocratie et du le respect de la souveraineté et du droit à l’autodétérmination de chaque peuple européen. Cela doit respecté par Bruxelles mais aussi par tout le reste du monde.

Cela entraîne naturellement une profonde décentralisation de l’UE :la vaste majorité de ses pouvoirs et compétences doit être restituéee aux Etats-membres. Celles de l’UE doivent être strictement limitéees à une dizaine de domaines où l’UE peut contribuer une valeur ajoutée.

C’est seulement sur cette base que les peuples européeens pourront vraiment vivre ensemble et copérer là ou nous pouvons et devrions le faire – tout en respectant nos différences et la souveraineté de chacun.

Contrairement à ce que disent sans cesse les politichiens européistes, la création d’un Etat supranational sur les ruines d’Etats-nations n’est PAS la solution ; c’est le problème principal.

Mais pour admettre cela, lacaste de technocrates et politiciens européistes qui nous dirige devrait évidemment rénoncer à leur projet : celui d’un Etat fédéral gouverné par ces mêmes technocrates sans responsabilité. Bien entendu, ils ne le feront jamais…

5. Pour se défendre, les démocraties doivent avoir des forces armées fortes.

Il y a toujours eu, et il y aura toujours, ceux qui ne respectent guère la souveraineté et le droit à l’autodétermination d’autres nations. Autrement dit, des agresseurs. Pour se défendre contre eux, chaque démocratie a besoin d’une armée forte.

Or, tous les pays européens sans exception ont des lacunes importantes à cet égard.

Il est totalement illusoire et irréaliste de croire, comme les pacifistes, que le désarmement et l’apaisement d’agresseurs puissent mener à la paix. Toute l’Histoire dément cette idéee erronnée. Les agresseurs se foutent de la moralité, des lois et des traités. Ils ne respectent que la force, et c’est ce qu’il faut leur montrer. A commencer par Vladimir Poutine.

La France était peu préparée pour la Première Guerre Mondiale : elle avait delacunes sérieuses en termes d’artillerie, de véhicules militaires, de mitrailleuses, de munitions et d’autres armements. Tels étaient les résultats des coupes budgetaires et programmatiques imposées aux Armées au début du XXème siècle. D’où la hécatombe subie par la France entre 1914 et 1918.

A la veille de la Seconde Guerre Mondiale, les futures Alliés ont encore une fois négligé de se doter d’instruments militaires nécessaires et se sont laissés faire rapidement, en 1940, pa’ les Allemands.

Comme l’a remarqué Charles de Gaulle, “les pacifiques désirent la paix, mais savent qu’il faut savoir se défendre en cas d’agression. Les pacifistes rénoncent à se défendre. Ils sont donc des fauteurs de la guerre.”

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How Did Rich People Get So Rich?


All around the world, including (unfortunately) even in the US, rich people (commonly understood as millionnaires and billionnaires) are maligned and blamed for all of the world’s problems.

Year by year, they continue to get ever wealthier and to increase the gap between themselves and the poor, leading people to believe that this is unfair; that these social inequalities are unjust and unfair.

Socialists claim that the wealthy got that way by stealing, exploiting the working class, scamming people, and avoiding paying taxes by stashing their money in so-called tax heavens. But is there any truth? To find out, let’s look at how millionnaires earned their wealth in democratic countries. (I will deliberately exclude kleptocracies like Russia and Ukraine as they are not relevant to the Western world’s context.)

So how did wealthy people get that way?

Unfortunately for the Left, the vast majority of Western millionnaires and billionnaires didn’t inherit or steal their wealth; they earned it.

How? Clearly, hard work was an important component of their success. Indeed, as the late Gary Becker, a Nobel-Prize-winning economist, observed years ago, the top 20% of Americans work, on average, 60 hours per week, while the poorest 20% work only 20 hours per week – and many of those people don’t work at all.

But hard work alone doesn’t explain their success. If it could, the world would be run by coal miners and peasants.

Nor was it education; many of the world’s billionnaires and millionnaires either dropped out of college or skipped it altogether, and others did graduate from but not excel in college.

And as stated above, the vast majority of the world’s rich people did not inherit their money; they were born to working or middle class families. Of the world’s famous billionnaires, only Warren Buffett was born to a privileged father (a Congressman), but even the young Warren didn’t inherit his billions, he earned them.

And while their daily (especially morning) routines did help them a long way, they were not, in and of themselves, the source of their success.

So what made those people so wealthy? So much so that they are the envy of the rest of the world?

I will now reveal the secret…

Massive Value Added to Other People’s Lives

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, THIS is how the vast majority of Western millionnaires got rich: by providing massive value to other people – usually to HUGE numbers of people.

Not by scamming others, winning the silver spoon lottery, stock market speculations (most speculators and so-called “investors” actually lose their money sooner or later), or  siphoning taxpayer subsidies.

In the free world, in free-market economies, money is simply the measure of the value we add to other people’s lives – and the number of those people.

YOU can also achieve massive wealth – if you provide enormous value to other people by making their lives easier/more pleasant/less expensive. If you do, the world will thank you with its money.

Bill Gates and Steve Jobs developed attractive, intuitive, easy to use operation systems for computers and made those things affordable for the average consumer. Jobs also created a revolutionary pocket-sized MP3 player capable of storing, and playing, thousands of songs. He then went on to develop a device which is a cell phone, a photo camera, an MP3 player and a pocket-sized computer all at once.

Larry Page and Sergei Brin are two brilliant computer scientists who found a great way to list and index websites throught the Internet. Their search engine can now also provide you, at a moment’s notice, with a map, navigation, public transport timetables, contact data of local businesses, weather forecasts, currency exchange rates, and much more.

Jeff Bezos is the creator of a portal where anyone around the world can buy pretty much anything they need at affordable prices and have it shipped right to their home, along with excellent customer service.

I could go on and on and on, but you get the idea. THIS is how massive wealth is created – by improving the lives of millions of people in some way. And YOU can do it too!

Hard Work, Discipline, Personal Responsibility and Self-Improvement

But of course, this would have never been possible withoutcertain behaviors rich people have consistently shown, and certain beliefs they adhere to – which created their mindset.

And it all began with them accepting the basic notion/belief that they are exclusively responsible for their destiny. This is the exact opposite of many of the world’s poor people who believe (and are constantly told by lefitst politicians and media) that  someone else, not themselves, is responsible for their misfortune. It can be The Filthy Rich, the President, Republicans, the weather, their family, their cowokrers, their boss… anyone but themselves!

And this is PRECISELY the kind of mindset that keeps millions (if not billions) of people around the world poor: you are downtrodden because someone else is better off.

But the rich, accepting the notion of personal responsibility, have therefore always sought to improve their financial situation – and thus their quality of life – through ingenious hard work, discipline, constant self-improvement, and constant learning of new skills (which public education won’t teach you).

And that was only possible through disciplined, hard work. You see, as multimillionnaire MJ DeMarco says:

If you want to achieve anything substantial in life, you need to accept that the effort required will also have to be substantial.

Last, but certainly not least, every Western millionnaire and billionnaire entrepreneur and investor had to accept and shoulder a substantial risk. Starting a business, even in a fast-developing industry and in a vast, growing market, is always risky. So is investing. Yet, those people sacrificed security and accepted substantial risk to gain a lot. Most people, by contrast, choose the illusory security of a job.

The Rich Don’t Pay Taxes… Or Do They?

“But the Filthy Rich Don’t Pay Taxes!”, you will say. This is the second most frequent charge levied at wealthy people. Socialists of all stripes claim that the rich don’t pay taxes (or at least not enough), that they don’t want to “share” their wealth with others out of pure selfishness. The logical conclusion drawn from this myth is, of course, that rich people should pay more in taxes – i.e. be punished for their success – and poor people should receive more in social aid.

These claims, however, are just as bogus as the ones debunked above.

In the US, the world’s largest  economy, the top 1% of taxpayers alone pay almost 40% of all federal taxes – 39.5%, to be exact. The next-wealthiest group (the top 5% excluding the absolutely wealthiest 1%) contribute another 20.5% of all federal income tax revenues.

In other words, the wealthiest 5% of Americans – the wealthy elite that other people envy – bears 60% of the entire federal income tax burden!

Image source: HowMuch.Net and the Tax Foundation.

Meanwhile, the bottom 50% of taxpayers – the less fortunate in socialist parlance – bore only 2.7% of the entire federal tax burden. In fact, the bottom 47% of American households paid no income tax at all! NONE!

If it’s anyone who bears a disproprotionately big share of the tax burden, it’s the wealthy.

So the next time you drive on any road, use public transport, go to a public hospital, benefit from any government program, or even see the military or the police, remember that they are founded, for the overwhelming part, from RICH people’s taxes – not yours.

Conclusion : Rich People Earned Their Money. Deal With It.

As we have seen, the widespread beliefs about the Western world’s rich people are utterly false.

Socialism is based on Karl Marx’s principle “from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.” That would mean that the wealthy are to blame for poor people’s plight and must therefore be robbed of their wealth to help the latter group.

But when you examine the FACTS, the entire justification of socialism and income redistribution collapses like a deck of cards.

As has every socialist economy in history. Let that be a pignant lesson for the world, on the eve of the 10st anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia.

Why Trump Was Right to Ditch the INF Treaty


peacethroughstrength

Yesterday, US President Donald Trump announced he intended to withdraw the US from the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty*.

The accord, signed by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987, resulted in the elimination of an entire class of US and Soviet strategic missiles; namely, those deployed in Europe and capable of targeting the whole Old Continent.

So why would Donald Trump ditch such a successful treaty, and why was he right to do so ? Read along, and I’ll explain why.

(To summarize for those who don’t want to read the whole thing: Russia has flagrantly violated the pact by deploying missiles that violate the treaty, namely SSC-X-8 “Novator” cruise missiles. Two division-strength units, in fact. Their own top military officer, Gen. Gerasimov, has confirmed this deployment in the westernmost part of Russia. If launched from there, the missiles can hit any target in Europe with nuclear warheads in a matter of minutes. Attempts to convince or coerce Russia to comply with the treaty have been fruitless, so Trump is withdrawing the US from the pact.)

 

The Treaty’s Background

Firstly, a little historical background about the treaty is needed. In the late 1970s, the Soviet Union – then at the height of its military and geopolitical power – began deploying missiles capable of hitting any place on the European continent with up to 3 nuclear warheads. These were the SS-20 Saber and the SSC-4 ground-launched cruise missile.

In a nutshell, these weapons were able to wipe out any target anywhere in Europe within 5 minutes. Command centers, large cities, electric plants, large military bases – any target worth striking. And all of this without involving the Soviet Union’s intercontinental (strategic) nuclear forces, leaving them entirely free to target the US and Canada.

Alternatively, Moscow could’ve simply nuked (or threatened to nuke) Western Europe without threatening the US, and thus without creating an incentive for America to stay out of a new European conflict, just as the US had initially done in the two World Wars.

At the time, the US and its allies in Western Europe had no such weapons deployed. None! Clearly, something had to be done.

So, What Was Exactly Done?

Then as now, leftists in Western countries (including those now advocating sticking to the INF Treaty no matter what Russia does) said that the US should avoid deploying any counterweapons and simply try to negotiate the issue with Russia. But the Soviet Union refused to discuss the issue, or even to slow down its continued deployment of these powerful weapons. Which, by 1983, had grown to 1300 nuclear warheads mounted atop some 400 SS-20 missiles.

Earlier, in December 1979, NATO – led by the US – had decided (unanimously) to deploy American like-for-like weapon systems to deter any Soviet adventurism. These were the Pershing ballistic missile and the Gryphon cruise missile, both capable of carrying multiple warheads.

At the same time, NATO had pledged to cancel the planned deployment if the Soviets would withdraw their own intermediate-range missiles. The Kremlin refused.

And so, in 1983, under President Reagan, NATO went ahead with the planned deployment. Massive demonstrations (sponsored heavily by the Kremlin) took place in many Western countries, including the US itself, but most notably in Britain and Germany.

 

The Peak of Stupidity: Protesting Against… Being Protected!

In other words, the Europeans were protesting… against being protected by the US! Because in the minds of those mistaken people, being strong and equipping yourself with protective weapons is somehow provocative!

Never mind that all human history demonstrates that it is weakness, not strength, that is provocative. Potential agressors (be it states or criminals) only attack victims they perceive as weak. Weakness encourages them to take actions they would otherwise refrain from.

This is true for all humans and indeed for all animal species. In schoolyards, bullies only attack those students whom they perceive as weak (because they usually are). Likewise, in shark-infested waters, if you swim away from a shark, or otherwise act afraid, he’ll likely attack you.  But if you stand your ground, and punch the shark in the nose if need be, he’ll go away.

No nation in human history has ever been attacked by another because it was too strong; but plenty of weak countries, throughout history, have succumbed to aggression by stronger neighbours. Or, as the famous ancient Greek historian Thucydides said, “the strong do what they will, and the weak suffer what they must.”

 

The INF Treaty Is Negotiated

In response to the NATO deployment, the Russians initially walked away from the bargaining table at the Strategic Arms Reduction Talks in Geneva.

Nonetheless, relentless pressure from the US – including building up US military power, economic sanctions, and President Reagan’s enormous moral pressure – coupled with the rapid deterioration of the Soviet economy – forced the Soviet Union to come back to the bargaining table.

Put simply, America’s ever-growing might, coupled with the Soviet Union’s own economic decay, left the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) with no choice but electing a moderate communist, Mikhail Gorbachev, as its leader. And Gorbachev was keen to end the arms race as quickly as possible to focus on badly needed reforms at home.

Nonetheless, even Gorby long refused (before finally agreeing in 1987) to accept American on-site inspections at Soviet military bases to verify that Soviet missiles were actually being scrapped. When he agreed, the INF Treaty was finally signed on December 8th, 1987, and entered force in June of the following year.

Under its terms, both the US and the Soviet Union (now Russia) were/are prohibited from developing, let alone building or deploying, any ground-launched ballistic or cruise missiles that have a range between 500 and 5,500 km – or any launchers for such missiles.

 

Why the INF Treaty Worked… For A While

As we observed earlier, Gorbachev needed to end the arms race to reduce the burden on the then-moribound Soviet economy and pursue badly needed reforms at home. When the Soviet Union disintegrated, Russia’s first President, Boris Yeltsin, faced similar constraints.

But at least two powerful groups in Russia always hated the INF Treaty : the Soviet/Russian military (and industry) and imperialist, revanchist politicians such as Vladimir Putin.

 

The Putinists and Russia’s Military Undermined the Treaty

These people regret the Soviet Union’s collapse and seek to reestablish Moscow’s former power and sphere of influence. Vladimir Putin himself has publicly stated on several occasions that he regrets the USSR’s dissolution in 1991 and that whoever doesn’t share this feeling “has no heart”. According to polls, 60% of his countrymen do share his opinion.

In particular, the Russian military always hated the treaty. They grudgingly accepted it when they had no other choice, under Gorbachev and Yeltsin. But when Putin and his fellow revanchists came to power in 2000, the Russian military began planning to design and deploy new weapons of this class.

Putin, always keen to do anything needed to restore Russia’s former superpower status, agreed, and in 2008, the Russians began testing the first of the offending missiles, the Novator (SSC-X-8) ground-launched cruise missile. This was the first clear violation of the treaty.

The Bush, and then the new Obama Administrations, knew well of this, but they kept it secret. The Obama Admin, in fact, withheld this information from the Senate when that body debated, and voted to ratify, the New START treaty, another nuclear arms control accord with Russia.

Even so, that agreement barely passed the Senate by the lowest vote of any arms control agreement in history. It is safe to bet that had the Senate known about that violation, New START would’ve never passed.

 

Obama Admin Changes Course… Sort Of

Russia continued to test the offending land attack cruise missile repeatedly throughout the next decade. The Obama Administration, OTOH, kept trying to appease Moscow to buy peace with it, with concession after concession.

At the same time, Russia took the last, third stage out of its RS-24 Yars intercontinental missile and developed, then deployed, the RS-26 Rubyezh ballistic missile. This weapon has a range of 5,600 km and can therefore hit any target on the Eurasian landmass. But, with its range just above the INF Treaty’s upper ceiling (5,500 km), it falls outside its scope. It enables Russia to cleverly circumvent the treaty without violating it, unlike the SSC-X-8 cruise missile.

Then, in early 2014, things changed: Russia invaded and dismembered Ukraine, a country that, two decades prior, voluntarily surrendered its nukes to Russia in exchange for formal Russian, US, and British security and territorial integrality guarantees.

The West awoke to a new Russian military threat, but the alarm bells were slow to ring.

The Obama Admin, as usual, replied with half-measures: weak sanctions (which only invited Russian derision) and by publicly accusing Russia of violating the INF treaty.

Throughout its second term, that administration tried patiently to resolve the dispute with Russia diplomatically – to no avail. Russia steadily refused to even acknowledge the violation, let alone stop cheating, and replied with false counter-accusations against the US.

 

President Trump Gives Peace a Chance

In 2017, President Trump – initially enamored of Putin – took office, hoping for a thaw in relations with Moscow. Despite the apparent personal chemistry between the two leaders, the conflicting interests and superpower rivalry persisted.

In late 2017, Moscow went even further and deployed two division-strength units of those cruise missile launchers in its westernmost part: the Kaliningrad District. Stationed there, the missile launchers can hit any target anywhere in Europe with nuclear weapons within minutes, giving the West little time to respond. Russia’s Chief of the General Staff, Gen. Valery Gerasimov, confirmed this deployment publicly in 2018.

Thus, even by its own admission, Russia has violated the INF Treaty.

All half-measures taken up to this point – sanctions, naming and shaming, and negotiations – have utterly failed to convince Russia to resume compliance with the Reagan-era accord.

Therefore, the US now faces a simple choice:

  • Tolerate Russia’s continued violation of the treaty while remaining unilaterally constrained by it and not building similar weapons of its own; or
  • Withdraw from a treaty that Russia no longer abides by, and has no intention of complying with, accepting the odium coming from being the party that has formally abrogated it, and build countermeasures.

Faced with such a choice, President Trump has wisely chosen to ditch this treaty that no longer serves US national interests. At the same time, he  dispatched his National Security Advisor, John Bolton, to Moscow on Monday to try once more to resolve the issue. Bolton’s talks with his Russian counterpart, KGB Gen. Nikolai Patrushev, and with Putin himself have been fruitless, though.

At the same time, the Administration already has contingency plans to develop and deploy a new American medium-range missile, comparable to what the Russians have, if Moscow still continues to violate the accord.

 

But Won’t This Lead to Nuclear War?

Pacifists of all stripes will, as always, blame the US and accuse the Trump Admin of leading the world to a nuclear war. This is highly unlikely, to say the least.

As we noted above, potential agressors only attack those whom they consider weak, not those who are strong.

The same pacifists – including the Democratic Party and its sycophants at the Arms Control Association, the Center for Non-Proliferation, and the Center for American Progress – are the same people who vocally opposed the 1983 deployment of American Pershing and Gryphon missiles in Europe to counter the Russians’ deployment of the SS-20.

They claimed “detente” and unilateral disarmament would lead to peace. They were wrong.

They claimed the Pershing/Gryphon deployment and President Reagan’s defense buildup would lead to war. They were wrong.

Not only did President Reagan not cause a nuclear war, he actually brought the Soviets back to the bargaining table, forced them to accept steep cuts in their nuclear arsenals (by bargaining from a position of strength, not weakness), and won the Cold War without firing a shot!

 

But Won’t This Spark A Nuclear Arms Race?

There are also those, such as certain “analysts” and European politicians, who claim President Trump’s move will lead to a new arms race.

Ladies and gentlemen, whether we like it or not, there already is an arms race, and it’s been going on for many years.

The US didn’t start it; revanchist Russia did, by developing and deploying several different types of nuclear weapons (and their carriers) that far exceed any of its legitimate defense needs:

  • The multi-warhead Yars intercontinental missile, capable of carrying up to 10 warheads while American ICBMs carry only one each ;
  • its even bigger cousin, the 15-warhead RS-28 Sarmat, capable of reaching the US while flying over the South Pole to avoid US early warning systems;
  • A rail-mobile ICBM, the Avangard;
  • The forementioned RS-26 Rubyezh pseudo-ICBM, clearly intended to target Europe because its 5,600 km range is insufficient to reach the Continental US;
  • Hypersonic weapons, including the Zircon cruise missile;
  • And the most dangerous of them all, the Kanyon nuclear drone, armed with a megaton-class warhead capable of blowing up an entire coastal mega-city such as New York or LA.

Sadly, the US has no choice but to build a new generation of strategic weapons of its own if it doesn’t want to be left behind (and therefore vulnerable).

To refuse to arm the US military with the corresponding weapon types, needed for nuclear deterrence, would essentially amount to unilateral disarmament.

Other Critics Blame America First

Other critics claim that President Trump has killed the INF Treaty and in so doing, has left the Russians unconstrained to build whatever weapons they want while the US takes the blame for ditching the agreement. This is also false.

The INF Treaty is already dead, for all intents and purposes, and has been for several years. It’s dead because Russia has killed it by repeatedly and egregiously violating it . The Obama Admin helped Moscow do so, by first refusing to recognize these violations, then by failing to take any effective measures to counter them while there was still time.

Agreements that one or more parties doesn’t comply with are a dead letter. Treaties that a nation doesn’t respect and observe do not constrain that nation. Arms control pacts are constraints only for those who comply with them.

Other critics claim Russia’s violations are understandable because Moscow has grievances towards the US over missile defense, NATO expansion, etc. Still others claim that nuclear weapons are simply intrinsically evil and that the US shouldn’t respond in kind to Russia’s military buildup.

This is all false because nuclear weapons are not good or evil in and of themselves; it depends on who has them and what purpose they serve. The West has been a responsible steward of these, while Russia uses them for intimidating every country that happens to do something Moscow dislikes.

President Reagan’s words spoken in 1987 at the Brandenburg Gate are as true today as they were then:

We must remember a crucial fact: East and West do not mistrust each other because we are armed; we are armed because we mistrust each other. And our differences are not about weapons but about liberty.

Conclusion

It would have been preferrable to preserve the treaty, had Russia continued to comply with it. Sadly, the Kremlin has chosen to egregiously violate it (and every other arms control pact it is party to). And throughout President Obama’s two terms, it got away with it, totally unpunished.

The choice President Trump had to make was quite simple. Should America be unilaterally constrained by an INF treaty that Russia has been violating for years and has no intent of comply with? Or should the US ditch this dead-letter agreement and build countermeasures?

Fortunately, he has chosen the latter. And I believe that some time from now, perhaps at the end of his second term, when Russia finally cedes to US pressure, he’ll be able to say something along these memorable lines:

But through it all, the alliance held firm. And I invite those who protested then– I invite those who protest today–to mark this fact: Because we remained strong, the Soviets came back to the table. And because we remained strong, today we have within reach the possibility, not merely of limiting the growth of arms, but of eliminating, for the first time, an entire class of nuclear weapons from the face of the earth.

I have no doubt that he will.

 

 

Faut-il partager la force de dissuasion nucléaire avec l’Allemagne ?


Selon certains articles récents dans la presse, l’Elysée considère le “partage” de la force de dissuasion nucléaire française (ou au moins de son contrôle) avec l’Allemagne, au condition que cette dernière contribue financièrement à son renouvellement et fonctionnement.

L’idée sous-jacente est que l’Allemagne, menacée comme toute l’Europe par le terrorisme islamique et par une Russie néo-impériale, ne peut plus compter sur la protection américaine dans l’époque Trump.

Le diable est dans les détails

L’idée n’est pas du tout nouvelle. Or, l’Elysée devrait éviter de se précipiter à prendre des décisions ou faire des propositions au gouvernement allemand. D’abord, il faut garder à l’esprit que :

  • L’Allemagne est toujours un pays largement pacifiste qui réchigne à investir sérieusement en sa propre armée, et ne veut rien avoir à faire avec les armes nucléaires.
  • Contrairement à ce que les politiciens et les médias français nous disent tous les jours, le soi-disant “couple franco-allemand” n’existe pas. C’est une fiction, et cela, une fiction exclusivement franco-française, car les Allemands ne se sont jamais crus être “en couple” avec la France. Ils ne s’accordent avec la France que cela est dans leur propre intérêt national (comme ILS le comprennent et l’interprètent).
  • Pour que la France reste un Etat souverain, il faut qu’elle retient le contrôle exclusif de sa force de dissuasion nucléaire. Personne autre que le Président de la République ne devrait jamais avoir une influence quelconque sur la décision d’engager, ou non, le feu nucléaire. La force de dissuasion ne devrait jamais faire l’objet d’un marchandage.
  • Or, hélas, force est de constater que c’est exactement ce qu’Emmanuel Macron, en tant que ministre de l’Economie et maintenant Président de la République, a fait avec les fleurons de l’industrie française : les turbines d’Alstom ont été bradées à General Electric, Alstom lui-même à Siemens, et DCNS (Naval Group) à l’italien Fincantieri.

Cela étant dit, l’idée de partager les coûts de la force de dissuasion nucléaire n’est pas nouvelle et pas mauvaise en soi. Comme on dit, le diable est dans les détails.

Pourquoi faire ça, et pourquoi maintenant ?

Nous vivons dans une époque assez intéressante… et bizarre. Le Président des Etats-Unis, ayant été élu avec l’ingérence forte de la Russie, poursuit un comportement étrange, erratique, et nous semble-t-il, incohérent à l’égard de Moscou :

  • D’un côté, il modernise toutes les trois composantes de l’arsenal nucléaire américain pour répondre au développement et déploiement de nouvelles armes stratégiques par le Kremlin. Il reproche d’ailleurs (non sans raison) à l’Allemagne d’être dépendante du gaz russe.
  • De l’autre côté, il est amoureux de la Russie et de Vladimir Poutine personnellement, il ne trouve aucune faute dans son comportement, et semble être fasciné par le style dictatorial de gouvernance dont fait preuve le maître du Kremlin.

Mais surtout, nous devons garder à l’esprit une vérité fondamentale qui était déjà vraie pendant la Guerre froide, et qui est doublement pertinente aujourd’hui :

L’arsenal nucléaire américain sert exclusivement à protéger l’Amérique du Nord, et non l’Europe, contre une attaque nucléaire. Les Américains ne risqueront jamais l’apocalypse nucléaire pour protéger un autre pays. En effet, ils n’ont jamais risqué, et n’ont aucune intention de frôler, la destruction de leur propre pays pour défendre quelqu’un d’autre.

Cette intention de non-usage a déjà été exprimée par l’ancien Secrétaire d’Etat Henry Kissinger à ses collègues européens dans les années 1970 :

Est-ce que vous les Européens ne comprenez pas que vous nous demandez des garanties que nous ne pouvons pas vous donner, et que nous devrions même pas vouloir honorer, car le faire impliquerait la destruction de notre propre civilisation ?

N’oublions aussi pas une autre vérité fondamentale : en cas d’une aggression contre l’Europe continentale, y compris la France, les Américains peuvent toujours se réfugier derrière l’Atlantique et prétendre que cela ne les concerne pas. Comme ils l’ont d’ailleurs déjà fait deux fois, dans les deux Guerres Mondiales. Les Britanniques, toujours les vassaux les plus fidèles des Américains, peuvent, quant à eux, se réfugier derrière la Manche.

En revanche, la France et l’Allemagne étant des pays voisins situés tous les deux sur le continent européen, elles n’ont pas de telle possibilité…

Un bouclier nucléaire indépendant de Washington

C’est exactement pourquoi la France s’est dotée de sa propre force de dissuasion nucléaire, grâce au Général de Gaulle.

C’est d’ailleurs lui qui a rappellé à son gouvernement ces vérités basiques.

Il est vrai que le Général était fiercement opposé au partage du contrôle sur la force de dissuasion. En effet, dénoncer l’accord qui la prévoyait (l’accord Chaban-Delmas-Strauss) était son premier acte dès son retour au pouvoir en 1958.

Néanmoins, c’est le même Général de Gaulle qui, dans les années 1960, avait proposé le parapluie militaire (notamment nucléaire) français, c’est-à-dire des garanties de protection par ce bouclier militaire, aux partenaires européens de la France.
Le but poursuivi par l’Homme du 18 juin était double :
  • D’un côté, aider les partenaires européens de la France, et surtout l’Allemagne occidentale, à s’affranchir de l’hégémonie de Washington ;
  • Et de l’autre côté, dans un tel “Troisième Bloc” d’Etats ouest-européens, assurer la domination de la France. Comme Charles de Gaulle l’avait confié, en privé, à Alain Peyrefitte, “dans cette Europe, en réalité, nous tiendrons les rênes parce que nous aurons la bombe.”

Hélas, il n’en a rien été dans les années 1960, faute de volonté des partenaires européens de la France de s’affranchir de Washington.

La présidence de Donald Trump offre à Paris une occasion unique à accomplir ce que le GdG n’était pas parvenu à faire : opérer un découplage stratégique entre l’Europe occidentale (ou au moins l’Allemagne) et les Etats-Unis, qui sont de moins en moins considérés comme un protecteur fiable. Tel est notamment l’avis de la chancelière allemande Angela Merkel.

Cette fois-ci, la réussite est loin d’être assurée, comme en 1962-1963, mais seules sont perdues d’avance les batailles qu’on ne livre pas.

N’oublions d’ailleurs pas que la force de dissuasion française protège, d’ores et déjà, les autres pays membres de l’UE (et de l’OTAN). En effet, la France, en tant que pays-membre de ces deux organisation, est obligée à aller au secours d’autres membres en cas d’agression.

Il serait donc tout à fait juste de demander aux autres pays européens, dont en premier lieu à l’Allemagne, de partager les coûts du maintien et du renouvellement de la force de dissuasion avec la France, sans en partager le contrôle. Telle serait la meilleure démarche.

Ronald Reagan and the practical importance of liberty


It is time to revive this blog after a longer absence on my part. Welcome, everyone.

Regular readers know that I’m a great admirer of Ronald Reagan, even though I’m also a critic of current US foreign policy (which has strayed far away from Reagan’s guding principles). Today, though, instead of directly critizing the latter, I will instead focus on Reagan’s two most important teachings the US (and more broadly, all nations around the world) can and should apply: the practical importance of liberty and the necessity of defending that liberty with a well-armed military.

Why Economic Freedom Really Works Best

First, let’s focus on what Reagan rightly called ‘the practical importance of liberty’.

The detractors of economic freedom (i.e. the statists, “social democrats”, and socialists of all stripes) falsely claim that free-market economics (also called “economic liberalism” or “neoliberalism”) is just one theory among many, just one school of economics. And a failed theory, they claim.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The reality is that, judged solely by evidence from the real world, free-market economics is the only system which (when applied consistently) brings about prosperity: low unemployment, growing personal and household income, low inflation, and thus, greater purchasing power (and greater standards of living) for individuals and families.

And no country exemplifies this better than the US today. The tax cuts and regulatory relief passed by Congress at President Trump’s behest have resulted in:

  • economic growth of over 4%;
  • an unemployment rate at just 3.9% (one of the lowest on record);
  • record numbers of people converting from part-time to full-time work;
  • record-low unemployment rates for men, women, teenagers, African Americans, and Hispanics alike;
  • rapidly rising salaries and, at the same time, disposable income for households, because not only do American workers earn more now, they also take home a greater share of their pay.

Similarly, despite Brexit, the UK economy is still healthy (though not as strong as before the Brexit referendum), with unemployment below 5%.

Similarly, in Germany, thanks to the painful but necessary reforms begun by Gerhard Schröder (a Social Democrat!) and continued by Angela Merkel, unemployment stands at just 5,1% and the country has the greatest financial surplus of any country in the world.

President Reagan understood the ‘practical importance of liberty’ well. As he stated in his Brandenburg Gate speech in 1987 :

Adenauer, Erhard, Reuter, and other leaders understood the practical importance of liberty–that just as truth can flourish only when the journalist is given freedom of speech, so prosperity can come about only when the farmer and businessman enjoy economic freedom.

Socialism, whether tried outright or in a “milder” form, always, inevitably, leads to economic stagnation, poverty, and backwardness. Anyone claiming otherwise is blatantly lying or uninformed.

It is not just outright “socialist” countries like Venezuela, Cuba, and North Korea that are failing. Every country with a heavily-statist economic system is failing. Italy is virtually stagnant, with GDP growth at 0,8%, and France is hardly doing better, at 1,1%. The “Nordic” (Sandinavian) countries, held up as an example to follow by socialists and statists of all stripes, are hardly worth emulating. Although resource-rich Sweden is doing well at 4%, even more resource-rich Norway is economically sluggish with growth at just 1,6%. Denmark and Finland are doing even worse, with economic growth at 1,2% and 0,4%, respectively.

In short, the Scandinavian countries are no example to follow, unless you believe that an economic growth rate of barely 0,4% or 1,2% is robust.

Why A Strong Defense Is Important

And so we come to Reagan’s second key lesson given at the Brandenburg Gate in 1987, also applicable today: freedom is precious, and there are many in this world – inside and outside the West – who would like nothing more than take it away from us.

Today, just as back then, Russia threatens the West with its massive nuclear arsenal aimed at all major Western cities, as well as its increasingly capable conventional military.

There are some in the West, including a number of former senior US government officials, who claim that if the West (especially the US) develops and deploys its own new generation of strategic weapons in response, relations with Russia will be poisoned, as Moscow would view such deployments as a threat.

But just as in 1987, these people are wrong. Strong defenses do not lead to war; they prevent it. Ronald Reagan’s massive defense buildup did not lead to war; instead, it won the Cold War without a shot being fired.

Strong defenses deter aggressors; military weakness, on the other hand, encourages aggression.

But even more fundamentally, strong defenses do not lead to war because, quite simply, they are not the cause of the bad relations between the West and Russia. The real cause is different:

We must remember a crucial fact: East and West do not mistrust each other because we are armed; we are armed because we mistrust each other. And our differences are not about weapons but about liberty.

The real source of icy relations between the West and Russia is not the US missile defense system, the planned modernization of the US nuclear deterrent, or anything of the sort. No, the real source of the problem is Russia’s aggressive, belligerent behavior towards various European countries – especially its neighbors.

Consequently, there can be no real peace between the West and Russia until Moscow forever renounces this aggressive behavior, especially towards Ukraine.

However, this would require Russia to allow Kiev to freely determine its path of development, towards greater freedom and greater integration with the West.

And were that to happen, the Russian people would suddenly see, on their own doorstep, a former non-Baltic Soviet republic successfully transforming itself from a post-Soviet, Putin-style despotic kleptocracy into a prosperous, free society…

… And if that were to happen, the Russian people would understand that their own country can also transform itself this way – and that, in turn, would mean a Russian Euromaidan and the end of Putin’s regime.

Therefore, as long as Russia remains an oppressive dictatorship run by KGB thugs like Vladimir Putin, it will always remain an aggressor. And as long as such aggressors exist, the West will always need strong defenses.

 

 

Commentaire sur le 51ème anniversaire du lancement du sous-marin Le Redoutable


Hier était un anniversaire historique. Il y a 51 ans, le 29 mars 1967, le premier Sous-Marine Nucléaire Lanceur d’engins (SNLE) français, Le Redoutable, a été mis sur l’eau à Cherbourg en présence du Général de Gaulle. (Vous pouvez visiter vous-mêmes ce sous-marin, qui fait aujourd’hui partie de la Cité de la Mer à Cherbourg 🙂 )
 
C’était une avance d’une importance capitale pour la Marine nationale, pour la défense de la France, et par conséquent pour son indépendance. A partir de ce moment, la France disposait du type le plus discret et plus sûr de vecteurs d’armes nucléaires, ce qui a fortifié son outil de dissuasion nucléaire, la clef de voûte de son souveraineté.
 
Hélàs, force est de constater que ce héritage du Général de Gaulle a été dilapidé par les derniers en date des chefs de l’Etat français. En 2015, Alstom (avec le plein aval de l’Etat et notamment d’Emmanuel Macron, alors ministre de l’Economie), a vendu son activité de turbines (notamment pour des sous-marins) à la société américaine General Electric.
 
A l’avenir, la France ne pourra donc construire aucun sous-marin nucléaire sans l’aval de Washington, au moins que cette activité industrielle ne soit pas rénationalisée ou reconstituée (comme je préconise).
 
Il est d’ailleurs marrant que les mêmes politiciens européistes (euroatlantistes vraiment) qui vantent la prétendue “construction européenne” comme un antidote à la domination de Washington ont bradé les clefs de l’independance de la France et son patrimoine industriel… aux Américains !
Parce que, comme je l’ai déjà dit, et comme le Général de Gaulle a averti les Français il y a plus de 50 ans, le but même de la soi-disante “construction européenne” est, et a toujours été, d’assujettir l’Europe à la domination des Etats-Unis et non point de les en affranchir.
Comme le GdG a correctement dit :
Vous savez qu’est-ce que ça veut dire, la supranationalité ? La domination des Américains. L’Europe supranationale, c’est l’Europe sous le commandement américain.
Cela étant le cas, il n’est pas du tout surprenant que les politiciens européistes, y compris Emmanuel Macron, sont aussi des archi-atlantistes et philo-américains, alors que les souverainistes européens (notamment français) sont fort critiques des Etats-Unis et cherchent de libérer leurs pays respectifs de l’hégémonie de Washington.
Autrement dit, la prétendue “construction européenne” est une grosse arnaque. L’affirmation qu’elle soit une réponse ou un contre-poids à l’hégémonie américaine est le plus gros mensonge qu’il soit.

Why North Korea has agreed to denuclearize


Yesterday (Washington time), on March 8th, a stunned world learned that North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un has agreed to stop any further missile and nuclear tests, to denuclearize his regime in the long term, and that he’ll meet US President Donald Trump to discuss this. As luck would have it, this happened on the 35th anniversary of President Reagan’s “Evil Empire” speech.

Of course, the North Koreans have already made promises of denuclearization several times before, notably in the early 1990s and in the late 2000s, and never kept them. And, when Kim’s father Kim Jong-il promised, in 2000, to stop his missile tests and Russian President Vladimir Putin relayed that to the G8 group, the now-deceased Kim Jong-il said he was only kidding. So guarded optimism is in order. There is no guarantee that North Korea will live up to its promise this time.

Nonetheless, there is a small chance that this objective will be achieved. The fact that Kim has agreed to denuclearize and to meet Trump is already a moderate success.

This being the case, it is necessary to underline how it was achieved.

The pacifist Left will, without doubt, claim that this was due to patient diplomacy and to appeasement policies on the part of South Korean President Kim Jong-un.

Others, especially members of President Trump’s Republican Party, claim this was due to the new, tough sanctions imposed on Pyongyang by Trump.

Both of these camps are wrong, however. While diplomacy and sanctions did contribute, in a minor way, to this success, it is due primarily to President Trump’s unrelenting military pressure on North Korea.

Since coming into office, despite facing provocations (including repeat nuclear and missile tests) by North Korea, President Trump has applied unrelenting military (as well as economic and diplomatic) pressure on Pyongyang, notably by :

  • Accelerating the (previously slow) modernization of the US nuclear deterrent ;
  • Openly declaring that this deterrent must be “in tip-top shape” and the biggest and most modern nuclear arsenal in the world ;
  • Openly threating to wipe North Korea off the map if it attacked anyone ;
  • Openly declaring to the world, including to the UN, that the US will respond with full military force to any North Korean provocation or aggression.
  • Sending three carrier battle groups (CBGs) towards the Korean Peninsula, including the appropriately named USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76).
  • Holding new military exercises with South Korea.
  • And last, but not least, increasing the number and the reliability of the missile defense interceptors protecting the US, especially Hawaii and Alaska, from North Korean missiles.

This enormous and unrelenting military pressure gave North Korea no choice but to stop its nuclear and missile tests and to agree to long-term denuclearization.

This is in stark contrast to the Obama Administration’s utterly failed “strategic patience” policy, which was essentially about ignoring and downplaying the North Korean threat – pretending that it didn’t exist or that it was greatly exaggerated by the Republican Party.

And what were the results ? Accelerated North Korean development of nuclear weapons and ICBMs capable of reaching as far as Chicago. This was the state of affairs Obama bequeathed to Trump in 2017.

The lesson the whole world – especially the Western world – must learn from this is that appeasement and unilateral disarmament ALWAYS result in utter failure. The only way to deal with potential aggressors is by amassing superior military strength and demonstrating clear willingness to use it if and when necessary.

This is the right lesson to learn from this episode – a lesson the West should’ve already learned in March 1983, when President Reagan delivered his landmark “Evil Empire” and “Peace Through Strength” speeches.