Russia as monster
© Michel Phillipsen
The peace-loving EU watches helplessly as the monstrous Russia devours Ukraine with thousands of tons of humanitarian aid... This is an illustration in a school textbook in The Netherlands, where children are being taught the American way of life.
As Sott.net reported earlier this month, this photo from a Dutch school textbook for 15 and 16-year-olds, portraying Russia as a monster with claws and fangs trying to devour Ukraine, while Europe extends a helping hand - in complete contravention to the truth - encapsulates the full-spectrum madness emanating downwards from the Atlanticist elites.

Five months back, I wrote an open letter to the leaders of the EU:
An open letter to Europe's leaders: "F*ck the EU" was an insult, not a command!
And now they have replied - sort of - with actions that make it abundantly clear that the spineless, pusillanimous pond-froth parading as 'leaders of the EU' have not changed tack one bit. The EU extended its sanctimonious sanctions against Russia, thereby ensuring more suffering for Europeans in the name of US global hegemony. The sanctions were extended on June 22nd, which just so happens to be remembered in Russia as the day Nazi Germany invaded in 1941. As a Russian Foreign Ministry statement said:
We would like to believe that it is a coincidence, and not by design."
Interestingly, a few days before the EU council met to decide whether or not to extend the sanctions, German newspaper Die Welt published the findings of research into the sanctions' financial impact on EU countries. The research was done by the Austrian Institute for Economic Research (Instituts für Wirtschaftsforschung - Wifo), and it's bad news all around for Europe.

The researchers had two scenarios, one showing the damage done until now, and another showing future damage should the sanctions continue, which they are. First graph below shows losses in terms of 'gross value added' (GVA):

Loss of gross value added
© Die Welt
The loss of gross value added (GVA), compared to the year 2013.
Next comes the loss of jobs:

EU sanctions jobs
© Die Welt
Job losses due to sanctions.
According to the Austrian Institute, more than 2 million jobs in the EU are in danger, and the economy is facing a loss of €100 billion. In Germany alone the loss is close to 500,000 jobs and €27 billion.

The above numbers account for just the primary effects of the sanctions. As German banker Folker Hellmeyer explained in a refreshingly truthful interview, German exports declined 18% year-on-year in 2014, and 34% in the first two months of 2015. But the secondary knock-on effects will be felt in peripheral countries, who will "suffer massively". The growing chasm between ideologically-insane policy-makers and more reality-oriented business leaders is resulting in farcical scenarios, not least because of plans by leading European industrial conglomerates to create production facilities "of the highest efficiency level in Russia." They're considering relocating their industries to Russia! According to Hellmeyer, this means Europe "loses this potential capital stock, which is the basis of our prosperity. Russia wins the capital stock."

How about that for being 'hoisted on your own petard'? The EU's economic sanctions against Russia could - and, in all probability, will, at the rate things are going - increase Russia's wealth at Europe's expense. Europe is headed straight for a(nother) recession, this time willfully self-imposed. There will be no blaming the 'PIIGS' countries this time around: from now on, whatever goes wrong, remember that it's always Russia's fault.

Naturally, those countries with the strongest business ties to Russia are most impacted and, as the graph shows, the Baltic states are very much exposed. Estonia stands to lose an estimated 16% of GVA and 120,000 jobs! For a country of just 1.3 million people, this is HUGE! You'd think this would be all over the news in Estonia, and the rest of the Baltic states. But no; as if to distract people there from this gargantuan foreign policy blunder, their media are screaming 'RUSSIAN AGGRESSION' and 'WAR, WAR, WAR.'

Why worry about systemic problems at home when you can cajole people into supporting Washington's aggressive displays of military might up and down Eastern Europe? Why seek diplomatic solutions to problems and talk about reconciliation when you just demonize Russia some more and pump soldiers and weapons into the region?

European leaders have not yet come to their senses - and it could be a cold day in hell before that happens, but in the meantime former leaders are speaking their mind. In response to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announcing in Brussels the deployment of 40,000 NATO troops to Eastern Europe, and his boss - US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter - announcing, in Talinn, Estonia, the deployment of a further 250 US military vehicles to the same region, former German finance minister Oskar Lafontaine took a leaf out of Victoria Nuland's book of 'diplomatic skulduggery' to speak on behalf of most people in Europe:

Image

One really has to wonder why EU leaders are so willing to sacrifice the interests of their own countries and their own credibility in this way. Does anyone really think Merkel and Hollande are so ignorant as to believe the "Russian aggression" narrative being pushed by the US? It's highly unlikely, which means we need to consider other reasons for this willful self-defeating "strategy" they are pursuing. It seems pretty obvious that the virulent anti-Russian hysteria that has been aggressively promoted for the last 12 months is 100% 'made in America', so why are EU leaders following along?

For the answers, we probably don't have to look further than the recent revelations about NSA spying on Merkel and Tuesday's annoucement by Wikileaks that, not just Hollande, but Sarkozy and even Chirac were systematically spied on by the empire of chaos. What kind of information did that spying reveal to the NSA and US government? If Merkel and Hollande and other EU leaders ever decide to stop toeing the US line on Russia, we may all find out by way of a front page news story in the Washington Post.