By the time the 43rd G-7 summit convenes from May 26-27 next year in Taormina, Sicily, German chancellor Angela Merkel will be joined by at least one female colleague, British Prime Minister Theresa May, described as «Margaret Thatcher on steroids», and quite possibly a third, the war hawk Hillary Clinton representing the United States. Sicily may not be able to withstand the presence of two highly-volatile threats on the island, the unpredictable Mount Etna, along with the three «Maidens of War» – Merkel, May, and Clinton.
Merkel, of course, is the grand dame of Cold War-era saber-rattling. In words that could have emanated from the lips of a previous German chancellor, Adolf Hitler, Merkel called the massing of NATO troops on Russia’s borders with Poland and the Baltic states a «deeply defensive concept».
Hitler used similar language to describe Germany’s buildup of troops in 1939 on its borders with Poland. The troops, Hitler argued, were to defend Germany from the aggression posed by Poland. Like Hitler, Merkel today justifies such troop buildups on the Russian border as merely «defensive» in nature. NATO’s actions, since its inception in 1949, have never been «defensive».
NATO’s aggression against Yugoslavia in the 1990s, an action brought about by the husband of the woman who wants to join Merkel and May in Sicily in May 2017, is a case in point. NATO’s actions against Yugoslavia were purely those of an aggressor.
As for NATO’s involvement in Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks, that civil war-wracked nation was never a threat to Europe. The United States became the first NATO state to invoke the collective self-defense security measures of Article 5 of the NATO charter as a mere cheap publicity stunt to create global support for Washington’s nebulous «war on terror».
Merkel’s excuse for sending a full German battalion to the Lithuanian border with Russia was decried by her own Foreign Minister in her Christian Democratic «Grand Coalition» with the rival Social Democrats.
It was Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier of the Social Democrats who warned NATO against «saber-rattling and war cries» directed against Russia. Merkel’s own Vice Chancellor, Sigmar Gabriel, also of the Social Democratic Party, has been a critic of renewed European Union sanctions against Russia, something that is being pushed hard by Merkel.
The world could only hope that it might be Gabriel or Steinmeier who would join May and Clinton in Sicily in 2017, but Merkel shows no signs of leaving the post of chancellor any time soon.
The second war maiden due to be in Sicily for G7/43 is Theresa May, the British Home Secretary who succeeded David Cameron as British prime minister after the Brexit referendum on continued UK membership in the EU.
May, like Cameron, supported a «Remain» vote and, although May has said there should be no second referendum, she and Merkel may plot in behind-the-scenes coffee klatches to seek some sort of «third way» solution.
As Home Secretary, May has been the «Queen of Surveillance». May has served in the office of Home Secretary longer than any recent predecessor and she has supported every Orwellian system of spying and data collection that came to her desk.
May’s pet project has been the Investigatory Powers Bill, currently before the House of Lords. Also dubbed the «snooper’s charter», the proposed surveillance bill would give law enforcement and the intelligence services broad powers to access a full year’s worth of stored Internet browsing data and carry out the bulk collection of raw data.
The law, if enacted, would make Britain the world’s foremost surveillance society. May had also championed the placement of intrusive video surveillance systems across the United Kingdom.
May’s bill also permits the government to hack into any computer system or data network of its choosing. The language in the bill mandates that the government could employ «a range of techniques used by the equipment interference agencies that may be used to obtain communications, equipment data or other information from the equipment. The material so obtained may be used evidentially or as intelligence, or in some cases, may be used to test, maintain or develop equipment interference capabilities». «Equipment interference capabilities» is a just a British upper crust high tea expression meaning «hacking».
May, like Merkel and US presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, is a war hawk. May voted to send British troops to Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Afghanistan.
In the case of Iraq, May voted for the House of Commons bill authorizing Britain to join the war in Iraq, which, as is now known from the Chilcot Inquiry report on the war, was based on Prime Minister Tony Blair’s deceit and outright lies about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. May also favors Britain retaining its fleet of Trident nuclear submarines, a view that is most welcome in the halls of NATO.
The third war maiden who would attend the first-ever G7 summit having three female leaders present is Mrs Clinton. Like May, Clinton voted, as a senator, to commit forces to war in Iraq.
Although Clinton is a Democrat and May is a Conservative, in the neoconservative – neoliberal political world, there is not a dime’s worth of difference between mainstream conservatives and liberals – they are all controlled by corporate elites who ensure that governments sing from the very same pro-globalization and anti-labor song sheet.
For Israel, the three war maidens will be a God-send. Unlike Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who has been a reasoned critic of Israeli policies – and is paying a political price for it – May is a champion of Israel and its draconian policies in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza.
Mrs Clinton has made strengthening US ties with the fanatic right-wing regime of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu a primary foreign policy goal of her administration. As for Merkel, the German chancellor has only heaped praise on Israel and has continued to supply German submarines to the increasingly-apartheid state.
The arrival of the three war maidens in Sicily next May will cause the world to shudder. However, there is another female leader-in-waiting who would be in a position of stopping any joint aggressive stance by Merkel, May, and Clinton.
The French presidential elections are scheduled for April 23 and May 7, 2017. The French National Front leader Marine Le Pen has been running neck-and-neck with incumbent President Francois Holland in opinion polls.
A President Le Pen confronting, a week after her swearing in, the three war maidens in Sicily might save the world from military conflict in such hot spots as Ukraine and Syria.
Only in a world where political lines have been blurred by massive amounts of corporate money being introduced into politics could a standard bearer for a right-wing nationalist party like Le Pen actually advance the cause of peace.
The old political score cards from the last century are no longer relevant. Today, a progressive would have to vote for a right-winger like Le Pen and even a Donald Trump in order that the G7 in 2017 does not come under the spell of three female war maidens intent on plunging the world into dangerous conflicts in the Middle East and Eastern Europe.
WAYNE MADSEN | SCF