USA plays its cards ever more openly in Europe
The pressions on Germany to avoid the implementation of the NordStream 2 gas pipeline are not the only front in which US diplomacy is trying to wrestle the arm of European capitals. Just today, the response of the Beijing government to the news of Cyprus joining the US initiative to decouple its allies from Chinese technology was released. Greece, the biggest influence in the small island state, even tries to strike a balance, after all its main ports and a good part of its strategic investment in land logistics depend on the alliance with Cosco and Chinese funds. But constant Turkish pressure advises the Greek-Cypriot bourgeoisie to give in to the US at least on the technological front of the trade war.
The pressures on the European countries to exclude Huawei are nothing new. What is happening now is a decantation: Spain and Portugal, which like Greece have their main ports in Chinese hands, disregard Washington, while more than one of the so-called thrifty countries follow strictly the American argument. Sweden, this same week, prohibited the use of Huawei and ATZ technology in its 5G network.
But what worries and bothers the European bourgeoisies most is US intervention through populist and ultra-nationalist political forces. The rupture between PP and Vox in Spain as the final scene of the motion of censure against Sánchez is only a local and relatively calm manifestation of a bigger phenomenon.
In Italy, the riots and the urban guerrilla scenes in Naples, cheered by the street violence of the far right in Rome may mark a similar turning point. Yesterday, the last Agnelli -the great-great-grandson of Fiat’s founder- pointed directly at Salvini by uttering an enough is enough behind which a good part of the Italian bourgeoisie is expected to stand.
Turkey and the Islamist violence in Europe
The Turkish strategy, financed in large part by Qatar, of feeding the growth of the Muslim Brotherhood as a pillar of its own imperialist strategy is nothing new. In Europe, the Brotherhood has managed to bet on adapting themselves to the multiculturalist and ghettoizing discourse of the Anglo-Saxon world -which reaches deep into Germany and Holland- in order to create their own racialism, feeding the indigenist delirium of the academia and the scarce capacity of the identitarianist left (Mélenchon, Podemos, etc.) which, characterized by the categories and discursive structures of feminism, lacks the tools to confront this racialism in an even testimonial way.
It was certainly the most successful strategy to reproduce in Europe a phenomenon that has been occurring in the Arab world for almost a decade: the transfer of sympathies and resources from Jihadism to the old Islamism of the Muslim Brotherhood. The result, generously financed from Qatar and Ankara, is this separatism which Macron, as cynical as he is, tries to identify as the cause of the decomposition of the neighborhoods when in reality Islamism is the beneficiary of both the pauperization and discrimination promoted by the French state itself. The outbreaks of violence in recent weeks, from the assassination of Samuel Paty to the beheading threats in Lyon are revealing the biographical links and deep complicities between the surviving Salafism of the years of war in Algeria and the neighbourhood bureaucracy encouraged around the mosques by the Muslim Brotherhood.
The French and international press and television conceal the central role of the Islamist organization in the French state’s strategy of confrontation. In doing so, they also make invisible the links of the Muslim Brotherhood with Turkish imperialism and its role from Libya to China passing through Greece, where it attempts to frame the Turkish-speaking Muslim minority in Thrace with the help of Ankara. The reason is their fear that doing so would legitimize Erdogan as an actor in French domestic politics.
Because the truth is that Erdogan is increasingly trying to present himself as the spokesman for European Muslims. He has done so this week in Germany by denouncing a police raid on a Berlin mosque as motivated by Islamophobia and racism, the same argument that groups controlled and influenced by the Muslim Brotherhood have repeated ad nauseam.
Nor has he remained silent in the face of the bellicosity of the French state against his patrons. He called Macron an Islamophobe and a mentally ill person for vindicating the cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo in the homage to Paty. The French complaints and the removal of the French ambassador in Ankara only served to underline that any attack against the Brotherhood in France would result in international political-military tension.
In case it was not clear, Hamas, the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, organized a demonstration in front of the French embassy in Israel and the entire Brotherhood network organized in record time a boycott of French products. This boycott will really only have a real impact where it is supported by the state (Turkey and Qatar, but also Iran for its own propagandistic reasons), but it has been effective enough to send a signal to the governments of Jordan, Egypt and Kuwait, framed with Saudi Arabia and the USA, where the Brotherhood is part of the underground and organizes the Islamist resistance to their respective governments. A sign from the Brotherhood to these governments that they have some leverage despite their clandestine nature, but also a sign from Turkey to an increasingly belligerent Saudi Arabia against Ankara, which still hopes to collect the damage inflicted on Saudi Arabia with the affaire Khashoggi.
What is clear is that the relationship between Turkey and the Brotherhood is increasingly open and extends to Salafist environments, which are armed by Erdoganism even within Turkey itself. The perspective today is one of increasing interference within Europe, shaking the Salafist tree and picking the nuts with the whole plethora of racialist groups, mosques and social centers controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood. Erdogan needs to compensate for his loss in Libya and electrify in a global cause a Turkish bourgeoisie that is wondering again whether the imperialist strategy of the government really works out for them.
Europe as an imperialist battlefield
Europe is no longer just a battleground in the imperialist struggle to place capital between China and the US. Alarmingly, other powers are bringing their conflicts with European capitals into their own territory. From Russia, which has a long history of financing destabilization and even training militias, to the US, which openly plays at breathing life into a far right made in its image and likeness, from Vox in Spain to the Italian ultras, passing through denialist demonstrations in the whole continent. And of course, Turkey.
The increase in imperialist tensions thus reaches, in the form of instability, within the EU. These are only the first signs. European capital’s rivals and competitors are taking up positions, stirring up conflicts between different national capitals while playing at driving the revolts of specific sectors of the petty bourgeoisie, from shopkeepers and imams of the French neighborhoods to the hoteliers and ultras of Naples and Rome. They aggravate the chaos created by the ruling class of each country hoping to fish out opportunities in the troubled waters. Opposing the workers, all states, all the bourgeoisies, all those movements of shopkeepers and angry petty bourgeoisie, are in reality on the same side, the side that is aggravating the pandemic by feeding the slaughter. They represent different expressions of the same historical barbarism, the same grinder, the same daily massacre. They are just different forms of the same chaos, the chaos of a system that can only survive at the expense of the human society it parasitizes.