Brexiting the American Empire?
What follows are excerpts from a pre-referendum audio interview with Paul Craig Roberts, conducted on 28 May by Julian Charles of "The Mind Renewed" website. A former associate editor of The Wall Street Journal, Dr. Roberts was appointed by President Reagan as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy during Reagan's first term in office, following which he served as a consultant to both the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Commerce. He is now the Chairman of The Institute for Political Economy. Here, among much else, he explains the mounting danger of a supine EU at the service of Washington Neocons out of control.
Like many others, Dr. Roberts anticipated both the unhinged reaction to a Brexit vote, and calls to overturn the result. But he also insisted, and still insists, that America simply will not allow Britain to leave the EU. Cue the U.S. Secretary of State's recent passive-aggressive call for a "sensible" UK/EU arrangement! To be decided, of course, by "sensible" types, such as: the fence-sitting Remainer in No. 10; the europhile Chancellor touting go-slow negotiations; the Goldman Sachs-Governor of the Bank of England, et alia. Thus, the Roberts' thesis looms large: viz., negotiations being strung out for years until doomsday propaganda and currency attacks wear down the populace, and Britain re-shackles itself to Brussels. After all, as Daily Mail columnist Stephen Glover pointed out, Mrs May's "Brexit means Brexit" rhetoric is "actually pretty meaningless":
Brexit might mean trading with our former EU partners with minimal tariffs, while regaining complete control of our own borders and not paying a penny into EU coffers. I suspect this is what most people who voted Leave want and expect.
But Brexit might just as well involve signing up to all the rules and regulations of the single market, paying a hefty wodge of money to Brussels every year, and having only a limited say (or even none at all) as to how many migrants come to work in this country from the EU.
We must pray and dare to hope, therefore, that just as "Project Fear" was miraculously withstood, so too the new Brexiteer ministers will withstand attempts to do Brexit to death by negotiated stealth.
There is one certainty, however: the global impact cannot be undone. As Dr. Roberts states, British rejection of the fascist EU will not only embolden other member states to do likewise, it will energise electorates everywhere to reject governments that have become dictatorial tools of corporate control — above all in America.
Our transcript, title, and parenthetical insertions.
JULIAN CHARLES: Why is Washington so averse to Brexit?
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS: The EU is a creation of the CIA. This was discovered some years ago by an American professor who happened upon released documents in the archive of the United States, where public documents are put when they are released from their time-holding. It was reported on by the [London] Telegraph by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, in the year 2000. This was 16 years ago reported in the Telegraph by Ambrose, who I guess was for a while the Telegraph’s correspondent in Washington. And the documents show that the CIA did this, basically organised, orchestrated, lobbied for the creation of the EU, for two reasons: one, as a bloc against the Soviets, and two, as enabling Washington’s control. Because to control all the separate European governments is much more time consuming, demanding and involved than controlling an EU government. Especially
And according to Evans-Pritchard, this goes back to the 1950s and 60s, I understand?
Yes, back to the 50s I think it was. But it was a creation of the CIA as a way of enhancing Washington’s empire. You know, for Washington to have to go to Italy, France, to Germany, to the British, negotiate with each of these governments, the more people you have to bribe or threaten or cajole. And then the countries themselves can increase their demands for what they want in return, because if one holds out no deal can be made.
Whereas, if Europe is dissolved, if the European countries are dissolved into one entity, then Washington only has to deal with one entity. And so this was the origin of the EU, for that purpose. It facilitates Washington’s control, and that is why Washington has pushed so strongly to put all of Eastern Europe into both the EU and NATO. Because, otherwise, instead of having to deal with 28 governments, Washington can achieve what it wants dealing with the EU.
I have interviewed Patrick Wood who has said things along these lines. He’s very much looking at the Trilateral Commission over the years, and one of the quotes he has in his book, Technocracy Rising,comes from a private conversation with David Rockefeller, which is published by, and available for free download from the Trilateral Commission. So this is Pat Wood citing the words of David Rockefeller:“Back in the early 70s, the hope for a United Europe was already full blown, thanks in many ways to the individual energies previously spent by so many of the Trilateral Commission’s earliest members.”So there is a little window in to this interest that was there, as you say, going right back to the 1950s.
Yes, it’s an American creation, the EU. It was orchestrated through the European individuals and under various pretexts, and it was done in stages, but it was essentially a CIA operation. You have to understand, this is not what the professor is saying, or Ambrose Evans-Pritchard is saying. This is what the released CIA documents say.
[In his original article Ambrose Evans-Pritchard] points to various memoranda. One of the memos, June 11, 1965, advised the vice-president of the EEC“to pursue monetary union by stealth.”And it recommends that all debate be suppressed until“the adoption of such proposals will become virtually inescapable.” These are memos from the CIA that are going through to the vice-president of the EEC.
Right. The whole thing was a CIA orchestration, that used various Europeans for it, and always with some cover, or pretext. The documents are publicly available. Once they’ve been released, I don’t think they can all of a sudden be reclassified. All anyone would have to do is go to the National Archive and ask for them. Clearly, it’s so. It’s not something that’s being asserted, it’s based on the actual CIA documents. I mean, they admit it.
[Evans-Pritchard] mentions people involved. He looks at this organisation called An American Committee for a United Europe that was apparently created in 1948.(2) And he says it was chock-full of intelligence people. The Chairman apparently was William J. Donovan, who’d been head of the OSS, the Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner of the CIA, who at the time was ostensibly a private lawyer. The Vice-Chairman was Allen Dulles.
[Laughter] The head of the CIA.
And the board included the CIA’s first director, and he says “a roster of OSS figures and officials who moved in and out of the CIA.” So there it is.
This was clearly done, and it’s succeeded. Europe is very firmly under American control. Washington controls Europe totally. It controls its foreign policies, economic policy, you know, controls what the various elected presidents say, or don’t say, forced retractions. And Obama’s recent visit to London was to tell Cameron to deep six this British exit from the EU. That’s his marching orders, and he will do everything he can to comply. [hence "Project Fear"] Because Cameron, like every British Prime Minister, is a puppet of Washington. He has no independent standing. He can’t put British interests ahead of American interests. He’s not allowed. He’s quite clear, as Obama said, it’s in America’s interests for Britain to stay in the EU.
So what most likely happens in these situations is, the leaders go to the people and say: Oh, 'little' England, we’ll be insignificant by ourselves if we’re not part of this big bloc of Europe. We’ll lose our influence. If we stay in the EU we’ll have a lot of influence because we’re important in the EU, but if we’re not in the EU we’re not important. Things will pass us by. 'Little England'. We’ll be 'little' England.
That’s exactly what they do. ...
This is the trick the British government always pulls on the people whenever the issue of the EU comes up. ... they use the combination of reassurance, that we have a special deal, with fear, we’ll be ruined if we’re not in. So, I don’t know if the British people will succeed in standing up for themselves. Or whether they’ll lose their confidence about leaving. [Despite all, a majority voted with wisdom and courage. – Ed.]
[...] They say it’s good for trade. They say 44% of UK trade is with the EU. This market of over 500 million customers. You know, if we were to pull out we would lose that, or we’d lose the kind of access we have at the moment.
They lie. There’s no need to have political integration to have open markets. For example, we have open markets with Canada and Mexico, but we’re not in some kind of a political unity with them. So that’s just a lie. All governments lie.
[...] Look, a trade bloc is not a political union. You don’t have to have a political union in order to have a free trade zone. And originally, part of the deceit that was practised on Europeans was, ‘This will be a free trade zone’. Then the CIA sprang on them, ‘Oh, it’s going to be a political union.’ You can go and research it. It was not a political thing. It was part of the whole deception. First it was Steel and Coal union, where there’s going to be some kind of tariff reduction. Then it’s gonna be free trade. And then it’s going to be a common currency. There was no reason to have a common currency. ...So it was sprung on them in stages. This was part of the way it was orchestrated. And it had many spokesmen. I mean the CIA pays very well. Many European politicians live very well on their CIA pensions.
So it’s a deceit. The EU is based in deceit. And what the people in Britain are being told now is more deceit. You see, essentially, when the British are absorbed in the EU they’re no longer British, they’re no longer a people. They are disappeared as a people. They become Europeans. [...] Not only do the individual nationalities disappear, but the achievement of making government accountable to the people, disappears along with it. Because the EU system is not set up to be accountable to people. It doesn’t really matter who gets elected to that EU parliament, it doesn’t seem to have any power. Power is in the Commission. It doesn’t have to be accountable. What the EU really does is recreate rule by aristocrats who are not accountable. ... It’s set up for that. It’s set up as a dictatorship, and will get more so.
[...] So this is the real reason Obama came over here and said that we have this “special relationship”, and it would be best for everybody, best for America, best for the UK…
Best for what? America doesn’t give a damn about Europe. Europe is a vassal territory, it’s part of the empire. There’s no independence. Washington wants to keep it that way. And of course, also, if people leave the EU they’re going to [weaken] NATO, and then Washington can’t carry on its wars, and it can’t risk a nuclear war with Russia, it can’t use the idiot Europeans to put pressure on Russia. So Washington’s drive for world hegemony falls apart.
Because you know Europeans have even less interest being in NATO than in the EU. Because what they’re finding about being members of NATO is they’re being forced into confrontation with Russia! Well how do they benefit from that? They’ve already been forced to bust up their economic and diplomatic relations with Russia. And now they’re being forced into a conflict situation with Russia. That’s not in any European’s interests. If a war breaks out with Russia, you’re finished, it’s over with. You’ll never exist again. Because Washington overthrew the elected government in Ukraine! Thinking that nothing would happen as a consequence. And Russia said: ‘Well, look at all these Russians, they don’t want to be part of that. They’re coming back to us’. [And we reply] ‘You can’t have 'em back, we’re gonna put sanctions on you’. And then we go and make Europe [invoke] sanctions. And ever since, if you look at all the NATO Commanders' statements, it’s always war, war, war — ‘Russia’s going to invade the Baltics, they’re going to invade Poland, they’ve invaded Ukraine. They’re going to invade Europe, we’ve gotta have more missile bases, more troops, more tanks, more NATO forces, more NATO manoeuvres.’
Well, if you’re a Russian and you’re looking at all this, you’ve seen this before, with the Germans, in 1941. They’re not going to sit there forever, while all kinds of hostile forces build up all around their borders and missile systems. They’re not going to do it. In fact they said they’re not going to. People need to start listening to what the Russians say, before the people cease to exist. This is a serious thing. You can’t go around picking a fight with the world’s most powerful military, which is not the United States.
I don’t know if you saw the RAND study that came out last year?(3) The RAND Corporation is essentially a CIA outpost. They were tasked with running all kinds of wargames, between NATO and Russia. And after a year, or two, or three of studies and wargames, this RAND report came out last year. And it said if there’s war between NATO and Russia it’ll be over with in sixty hours. Russia will simply overrun Europe. It will take them 60 hours. Not 60 days. We are so outclassed militarily.
Now some people say, oh well, the reason Rand said this is the military-security complex wants a bigger budget, and they’re using this, and it’s not really true, and they’re using it. But I suspect there has to be some truth to it, because there are too many military analysts still who are independent. And who can look at these studies. And they can say, ‘wait a minute, this is all nonsense’. And I haven’t seen any of that.
So, to get back to the main point, what the United States is doing with NATO, is forcing Europe into a conflict situation with Russia. But also the United States uses NATO as cover for its war crimes, which it has committed in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia. Without the NATO cover, this would be naked aggression. People all over the world would be screaming to put the United States government on a Nuremberg war crimes trial. But, because of the predominance of the US in Europe, ‘Oh, look, this is some kind of a democratic operation. All these countries support this.’ So what the Europeans do is, they enable Washington’s wars that are now producing refugees that are overrunning Europe. That’s how stupid the Europeans are. And the British. Stupid.
So you see this opportunity for Brexit, to be vital. ... because we could see the EU unravel, we could therefore see NATO unravel, and then many of the problems you’re talking about here, would be overcome.
Right. You see, what you have to understand is the United States right now is threatening the entire world with nuclear war. Because they’re going to keep on picking a fight with Russia and China, and it’s going to be nuclear. We have no possibility of conducting a conventional war against the Russians. Or against the Chinese, much less both of them simultaneously. And they now have a strategic alliance. So we are pushing the world toward a nuclear war. And it’s the Europeans who enable this.
So you are saying, that a Brexit vote is actually a vote against Washington’s ridiculous attempts for its New World Order.(4)
That’s exactly right. And if you don’t get the Brexit vote, the chances of nuclear war are greatly increased. So if Britain stays in the EU, we’ve lost another chance to begin the unravelling that would stop Washington’s aggression.
[...] Washington wanted the EU for control reasons. I don’t know if they thought about economic aspects. But as long as they were fearing a Soviet threat they would want the EU to be economically strong, because they were very much worried about the Communist parties in Italy and France. And this is why Washington created Operation Gladio, where the CIA and various European intelligence agencies would go around bombing train stations in Europe, particularly in Italy, and kill a lot of people. And then they’d blame these mythical creations, the Red Brigades, the Bader-Meinhoff, these were all CIA fronts so they would have somebody to blame for the bombs the CIA was setting off.
We’ve actually talked to Daniele Ganser about that. At the same time, the CIA was also funding mild leftists in Europe, so as to counter the effect of the Soviets on European soil...
So they would’ve wanted a strong Europe, at least at that time. You see, when the Soviet Union collapsed, that’s when the Neoconservative goal of American world hegemony really came to the fore. Not just having a European and Asian empire, but, ‘look, the only thing in our way, the Soviet Union has gone, so we can now have the whole world as our empire’. So the collapse of the Soviet Union is what unleashed this hegemonic demon that now threatens the world with nuclear annihilation. So if the EU were to break up, NATO were to break up, it would take that threat to human life away. But as long as the EU’s there, NATO’s there, the threat is going to worsen. If you look at the attacks on Russia they are reckless, they are really reckless. Irresponsible. And everybody repeats them.
We’re constantly being told about Russian aggression. All the time.
If Russia was 'aggressing' somebody, we would know it. Those people wouldn’t be there anymore. It’s crazy. Why in the world would the Russians bother to invade the Baltics. There’s nothing there. They gave the Baltics their independence. What do they want to go and invade them for. The Baltics can’t do anything to Russia. It would be a totally pointless thing. There’s no sign of it. There’s no Russian plans. There’s no build up. It’s just all ridiculous. And yet all these things become facts. These are facts, man.
David Cameron was treating it as a fact that very time he was speaking to Obama. Saying that it’s a good job the EU exists and that Britain has its ‘place at the table’ so that ‘the things we’re concerned about become a reality’, such as sanctions against ‘aggressive’Russia.
How many times have we heard this “place at the table”. They pull it out every year for my entire life. I mean I can remember when I was at Oxford in the 60s, we had to listen to this “place at the table” stuff. The only way we count is if we don’t count and we’re part of something bigger.
If we’re at somebody else’s table, yes. [laughter]
As long as we’re a lackey for somebody who counts, we count. This was the British attitude even then. And I was just wondering: what happened to this great nation? You know, liberty is a human achievement, mainly achieved by the British. All of the great legal traditions that the British colonies ended up benefiting from, were fought for by the British people for centuries. Took centuries to get accountable government, and to get the people protected by the rule of law. In other words, the British fought for centuries to take law as a weapon, out of the hands of the government, and make it a shield of the people. The most important part of British history is the creation of liberty by transforming law as a weapon in the hands of government, into a shield that protects the people. It’s a British achievement. The colonies benefited from it. Now it’s all being thrown away.
But even if we do get that Brexit vote, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to happen. We could have a repetition of what happened in Ireland, with respect to the [Nice and Lisbon] Treaties where people were given the second opportunity to vote the ‘right way’. That sort of thing could play out again couldn’t it.
Yeah. Or, the government simply won’t accept the vote. [...] Democracy in the West is gone, it’s dead. No respect for democracy. Look at Greece. There’s no respect for any democracy. The government’s doing the opposite to what the people want. .... Look at France. It’s doing the opposite of what the people want. The people are all in the streets. What’s the government doing? Everything they don’t want.
[...] You see, the British people would be doing the world, and themselves, a massive favour. It would block the corporate takeover of Europe. It would block the American use of Europe to create hostility in Russia. And thereby it would greatly remove the threat of war. But what we see now in Russia and the United States is massive increase in nuclear forces. Everything that Reagan and Gorbachev accomplished has just been overturned by Washington. You know Reagan’s two big goals went together. They were keyed toward ending the Cold War, and ending the risk of nuclear Armageddon. He wanted nuclear weapons gone. And so what was achieved with Reagan and Gorbachev and ending the Cold War, we now have a far worse situation. It’s worse in every respect. The war doctrines of the countries have changed. It used to be a nuclear force was a retaliatory force only. You only used it if somehow you were attacked with nuclear weapons. Now, both us and the Russians have nuclear first strike doctrines. So the situation is far more dangerous than it was at the height of the Cold War with the Soviet Union.
And not only that, during the Cold War, American presidents and administrations made every kind of effort to be on good terms. They weren’t demonising the Soviet Union all day long. They didn’t stand up and say Khrushchev was the new Hitler, like our likely future president [Hillary Clinton] has declared about Putin. They weren’t making all kinds of false claims about Soviet invasions. They weren’t telling lies every time they opened their mouths. They made every kind of effort to keep things stable. And Reagan said, we’re tired of trying to keep them stable, we’ve got to end this, there’s too much risk. Something can go wrong. It’s stupid that we’re taking this risk. And we have to end this. Well now these risks are back and they’re multiplied. And if the British lose their nerve and vote to stay in, then that’s just going to encourage Washington more. They’re going to say, ‘see, we’ve got them. We’ve got the whole world. We’re going to go ahead and push harder’.
But the problem is, you see, none of what you’ve been talking about is made clear to the British people. It’s all presented in terms of: is it good for the pound, is it good for jobs ... But because we are sheltered from much of the reality of this situation, then the propaganda that we’re bombarded with is having an effect. ...
Sure. You’re absolutely correct. And so the consequence is that England will disappear, the British will disappear, their justice system will disappear, and the conflicts with Russia will intensify, and it will end in war, and Europe simply will no longer exist in any form. And in fact neither will the United States. And that’s where we’re headed. All the lies and propaganda that’s being used against the judgment of the people, to warp their judgment .... Why they believe anything the press says is a mystery to me. I mean, I can’t understand why any sentient human, anywhere in the Western world, would believe anything that the press says. Because it’s nothing but propaganda and lies.
Look, we had a couple of years ago, the German editor of a big German newspaper [Udo Ulfkotte, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung], he said, look, I’m a CIA agent, they hand me the stories that we print. This is true, he said, for every major news source throughout Europe. He didn’t make this up. He published it, it’s in a book. He said sue me, go ahead. Sue me. No one sues him. It’s true in England, you don’t have any independent press.
I think the problem is, still too few people realise that this is the case. ... And so we’re getting this argument that the economic case is that we should stay in the EU. And the IMF thinks so, the Bank of England thinks so .... people haven’t learnt to distrust those institutions, they’re listening to what they’re saying...
You’re right. Propaganda generally prevails because of repetition. But in actual fact the British people don’t know what the Bank of England thinks. Because if the Bank of England thinks that it’s a bad idea to be in the EU they’re not gonna say it. They wouldn’t be permitted to say it. And you’re going to stay in the EU, cause that’s where Washington wants you. It doesn’t matter how you vote. You could vote 100% to exit. You won’t be allowed to.
You really think that’s the case.
Washington will say, ‘No’.
So if they decide for Brexit you’re saying it doesn’t make any difference anyway.
It doesn’t make any difference. Washington won’t permit it. Or what’ll happen if you leave, then all of a sudden there’s a massive attack on the pound, Goldman Sachs will order the European Central Bank and Japanese Central Bank — they’re our puppets, they do what we tell them. The Federal Reserve will gang up, will drive the pound down to nothing. And then we’ll say, ‘see, see, this was caused by you leaving the EU. We didn’t have anything to do with it. You’ve left the EU, no confidence in Britain’. And then the government will say ‘we’ve gotta go back in’.
[...] It’ll be a massive attack. They won’t admit they’re doing it. And they’ll say, OK, we told you not to exit, everyone’s lost confidence in the pound. And everybody will be screaming, ‘we’re ruined, we’re ruined’. And all the papers will say, ‘see, you stupid people, you didn’t listen to us, and look what’s happened. The government has to take us back instantly or we’ll all starve to death.’
If that’s the case, then that’s a very negative scenario you’re painting. ... surely there must be some point in voting for Brexit...
Well, I think that what it would do, it might encourage some other members, who don’t have their own currency. Greece or Italy, or Spain or Portugal, they don’t face an attack on their currency to bring them in line, like Britain does, because they don’t have a currency, they only have the euro. And clearly the central banks aren’t going to destroy the euro cause that doesn’t do them any good in bringing Greece or Spain or whoever back into the EU.
OK. So it would embolden other people.
Yeah. So if the Greeks, for example, who are being driven into the ground, if they say, ‘look, the British voted to get out, and they had to get back in because they had their own currency, and it fell under attack. We don’t have our own currency. Well why don’t we vote to get out? If the British voted to get out, we can do that too.’ So it would be good in that sense. The prospects of people actually voting to leave, would take hold.
[...] What’s at stake is life on earth. And the fact that the British do this, it changes everybody’s mentality. You know, whether the British can make it stand or not, it still changes everybody’s mentality. They say, ‘look, the British didn’t believe all that rot, why do we believe it?’ And so the whole propaganda power of government collapses. That’s the most important thing about a ‘No’ vote. It shows that people weren’t fooled this time by the government’s lies. They saw through the propaganda. That’s the important thing. It’s so important. Cause then everybody else in Europe, and the United States, Canada, Australia, they all say, ‘Hey, why do we believe it.’ And all of a sudden the propaganda basis of all Western governments is gone. That’s the only way that people would ever get control back over their lives, and over the government. Right now they get zilch control. Especially in the United States.
(1) "EU-federalists financed by US spy chiefs", Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, The Telegraph, 19 September 2000. See also, "The European Union always was a CIA project, as Brexiteers discover", The Telegraph, 27/4/16.
(2) "OSS, CIA and European Unity: The American Committee on United Europe, 1948-60", Richard J. Aldrich, Diplomacy & Statecraft 8.1, Routledge, 1997. Accessible via the University of Warwick.
(3)"Reinforcing Deterrence on NATO’s Eastern Flank: Wargaming the Defense of the Baltics", David A. Shlapak and Michael W. Johnson, RAND Corporation (2016).
(4) Cf. "How a secretive elite created the EU to build a world government", Alan Sked, The Telegraph, 27/11/15.