PODCAST: ISIS, Trump and the Threat of Global War: After Brussels with Dr. Hall Gardner of The American University of Paris, Ep 59


March 24, 2016: Joining The World Meets America Report from Paris is Dr. Hall Gardner, Professor and Chair of International and Comparative Politics at The American University in Paris, to discuss the recent terrorist attacks on Belgium and the danger that Europe is having a neurotic episode similar to the one exhibited by the United States after 9-11.

Items also discussed with Dr. Hall Gardner:
— ISIS is attempting to spark civil war between European Muslims and non-Muslims
— Latent separatist cleavages in the European Union, for example, those involving the Basque separatists, could also play in to the hands of Islamic State terrorists seeking to trigger civil conflict
— Europe is on the cusp of a neurotic episode similar to the one that took hold of the United States after 9-11, or in other words, it is prone to taking reflexively violent, self-defeating policies that undermine its own way of life and moral authority
— François Hollande is playing the role of George W. Bush, making many of the same mistakes as he did
— The rhetoric is similar and civil liberties are being greatly curtailed
— Dr. Gardner has very little hope that Europe will figure out how to better integrate immigrants into its society
— Even immigrants who fight in uniform for their adopted European nations have been disrespected upon returning to civilian life
— Ironically, Belgium, which is in effect the capital of Europe, may be the best place for civil conflict to erupt, given the lack of a national identity among its multilingual and multicultural population of French, Dutch, Flemish, Walloons and Muslim immigrants.
— Dr. Gardner offered an anecdote that perhaps presaged the current difficulties: while visiting Belgium a few years ago, he watched a TV broadcast – an Orson Wells style stunt – in which it was announced that the country was breaking up. It was only satire, yet most people believed it because at that point, the country had been functioning without a government for over a year
— The fact of the European Union compounds the problem because in terms of national identity, the EU diminishes whatever national identity would otherwise be retained in its member countries
— Part of the problem is that the immigrants prefer to speak English simply because practically speaking, English is far more universal. Yet to become, for example, citizens of Belgium, France, The Netherlands, they must learn the local languages as well.
— In Europe, unlike the United States, the preservation of one’s native culture and identity, also known as communitarianism, is frowned upon. This tends to alienate new arrivals.
— Another problem is that in the case of Europe, many new arrivals come from former European colonies, and there are resentments that ISIS terrorists use to stir people up – say in the case of Algerians who arrive in France.
— While NATO does need reform – Trump’s complaint that NATO should be reconsidered because Europe doesn’t spend enough on defense isn’t quite true: If you combine defense spending by Britain, France, Germany and Italy, it amounts to more than China spends, making Europe the second highest spender on the military behind the United States. The trouble with the EU is that there is no unified defense command – and hence no shared vision of defense. Ironically, the EU’s failure to act has handed many current challenges, including dealing with the immigration crisis – to NATO.
— Another problem with NATO: Like a self-fulfilling prophecy, by expanding the way it did, NATO has created conflict with Russia
— Libya was a test of whether the United States could hand decision-making power to Europe – and it failed miserably
— Trump’s isolationist rhetoric should shock Europeans into major efforts at greater joint defense and political unification
— Concern is growing in Europe and the Gulf about what would happen if Saudi Arabia broke up – and what Iran’s role might be in any such crisis, for example, if Saudi Arabia broke up, parts of the country that are Shiite, many of which are the most oil-rich, could well want to become part of Iran. The question being asked is – would the United States intervene?
— Gulf states don’t really mind Trump’s talk of paying protection money to Washington – but his talk of denying entry to all Muslims rankles
— A Russia-Saudi deal on limiting oil production to raise prices may have been coupled with a secret deal on removing Assad – eventually
— Dr. Gardner speculated about whether recent events, including the terrorist attacks on Brussels, suggests that we may be on the cusp of a global conflict on a scale of WWI
— Our naivety about nuclear weapons could be the blind spot the leads us into such a war
— Dr. Gardner describes some of the mistakes and misunderstandings that, like WWI, could trigger am unforeseen global conflict
— Russia and China can be expected to cooperate to counter US and allies efforts at encirclement – which may in fact prevent a WWI-style conflict
— Prevention of such a conflict will depend on how the next president interacts with his Russian and Chinese counterparts – so an accommodation over Ukraine must be found
— In terms of death – if nuclear weapons are involved – this next conflict may well be as horrifying as WWI in terms of the number of dead

Dr. Gardner Speaks to French Lawmakers and VIPs on the State of US-Saudi Relations:

Past World Meets America Report Interviews with Dr. Hall Gardner:
PODCAST: E.U. Disintegration, Economic Nationalism and Taiwan Elections with Dr. Hall Gardner; AI Obsession at Davos, Ep. 54: Click Here
PODCAST: Friend or Foe?: The Relative Appeal of the House of Saud vs. the Iranian Republic with Dr. Hall Gardner, Ep. 53: Click Here
PODCAST: Dr. Hall Gardner on Fear of Trump Abroad; Saudis vs. Iranians and the China-Russia Axis, Ep. 46: Click Here
PODCAST: ‘Super Blowback’: The Dark Horizon after San Bernardino with Dr. Hall Gardner, Ep. 32: Click Here
PODCAST: Ramifications of the Paris Attacks with Dr. Hall Gardner of The American University of Paris, Ep. 22: Click Here

Books on Geopolitics By Dr. Hall Gardner:
–The Failure to Prevent World War I: The Unexpected Armageddon: Click Here
–Crimea, Global Rivalry, and the Vengeance of History: Click Here
–American Global Strategy and the ‘War on Terrorism’: Click Here
–Averting Global War: Regional Challenges, Overextension, and Options for American Strategy: Click Here
–NATO Expansion and US Strategy in Asia: Surmounting the Global Crisis: Click Here
–Surviving the Millennium: American Global Strategy, the Collapse of the Soviet Empire, and the Question of Peace: Click Here
–Averting Global War: Regional Challenges, Overextension, and Options for American Strategy: Click Here
Other Books By Dr. Hall Gardner: Click Here


Information on William Kern:
William Kern, founder of www.worldmeets.us, iis managing editor and executive director of non-profit journalism project Worldmeets.US and is a former copy editor and page designer at numerous newspapers, including the International Herald Tribune, the San Mateo Country Times, the Taipei Times and the Taiwan News. In 2005 he began his life’s work of revealing to the American people how the non-English global media covers the United States when he invented trans-copyediting – a system that allows news editors to check the accuracy of human-translated copy and in 2007, he incorporated Worldmeets.US Inc. as an educational non-profit. Over the years, Kern and his dedicated global team of translators have rendered into English thousands of columns about the United States – its politics, culture and history – from around the planet and every major language. In partnership with The London Metropolitan University, Worldmeets.US is helping train the translators of tomorrow, offering internships to qualified student candidates.

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Key Words: Dr. Hall Gardner, University of Paris, François Hollande, Donald Trump, William Kern, Worldmeets.US, The World Meets America Report, William Kern, Brussels attacks, Islamic State, Daesh, ISIS, ISIL, French intelligence, migration crisis, Syrian civil war, 9-11, September 1, 2001, George W. Bush, Dominique de Villepin, Nicolas Sarkozy, elite universities, assimilation, Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Germany, Syria, Putin, Bashar al Assad, Iran, Iraq, Iraq War, Iraq invasion

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