Diana Johnstone Gets It


In her star-struck biography of the First Lady, “Hillary’s Choice”, Gail Sheehy reported Hillary’s plea in favor of bombing Yugoslavia in 1999 as a major point in her favor. According to Sheehy’s book, Hillary convinced her reluctant husband to unleash the 78-day NATO bombing campaign against the Serbs with the argument that: “You can’t let this ethnic cleansing go on at the end of the century that has seen the Holocaust.”

This line is theatrical and totally irrelevant to the conflict in the Balkans. As a matter of fact, there was no “ethnic cleansing” going on in Kosovo at that time. It was the NATO bombing that soon led people to flee in all directions – a reaction that NATO leaders interpreted as the very “ethnic cleansing” they claimed to prevent by bombing. But Hillary’s remark illustrates the fact that Yugoslavia marks the start of using reference to the Holocaust as the most emotionally-potent argument in favor of war.

It was not always so. At the end of World War II, both the long- suffering survivors and those who discovered the horrors of the Nazi concentration camps wanted only to draw the conclusion that this was yet another powerful reason never again to go to war. But as time passed, by the strange chemistry of the Zeitgeist, the memory of the Holocaust has now become the strongest rhetorical argument for war. It is a sort of imaginary revisionism of past history that gets in the way of facing the present.

– Diana Johnstone, CounterPunch

When I read the above, I had one of those “Ahaa!” moments.  It not only put to rest doubts about the lengths to which Hillary will go to say anything to anyone, but it made perfect sense, to me anyway, as to how the elite EU plan for destroying national sovereignty has been covered up by an “imaginary revisionism” that has drawn attention away from a collective, pan-European, ante-EU expression of “Never Again!”.

The EU wasn’t formed out of any real home=grown sense of pan-European solidarity in the face of some future aggression from the east.  In fact, communism and socialism held a certain attraction for much of Europe exhausted by the two world wars fomented by capitalistic dreams of empire, and it was to counter this threat to capital that the idea of a unified Europe was promulgated.

According to the exhaustively researched and highly readable book, Circus Politicus, (Deloire and Dubois, Albin Michel, 2012), even before the end of WW II, the US was very interested in a consolidated Europe.  One effort in this direction was the creation, in 1940, of the International Visitor Leadership Program (p 170) under the aegis of the State Department’s Office of Cultural Affairs and Education using its various embassy services to identify future members of a country’s elite, bring them to the States on an all expense paid tour, then send them back and see what would happen.  As the authors point out, the US was pretty good at picking their “visitors”.  Both former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his former Prime Minister Francois Fillon made the pilgrimage, among many others who occupy, or have previously occupied high government positions, large corporations, banks, media, and the like.

Another initiative, the well-known Bilderberg Conference, whose first organizational meeting took place in Paris in 1952 (p 150), while not of American origin, included a Frenchman, Guy Mollet who, according to Tony Judt (Postwar p 70), “ … passed much of the Second World War in the United States …” and could be considered a harbinger of the International Visitor Leadership Program.  For example, the authors find a document in the National Archives in The Hague entitled “Project, confidential no. 4” which states (p 148):

The work of this unofficial committee is the result of its members’ profound conviction that the maintenance of western civilization depends entirely on the continued friendship and confidence between America and Europe.

The authors conclude that “ … Bilderberg was created so that Europe would not distance itself from the United States, or from its business interests.” (p 149).

When the first Bilderberg Conference took place in 1954, none other than the young David Rockefeller was named economic rapporteur, and had this to say about Europe’s future:

“The American economy is solid and should furnish a dynamic example to the Old World.  …  The American government needs partners to developeconomic growth in the free world and European countries are its natural partners.”  (p 151).

Another example of these unofficial, discreet clubs created in postwar Europe is that of le Siècle, a kind of Bilderberg à la française.  The first dinner meeting took place in 1944 in a private residence, comprised of six men and one woman.  As of January, 2011, le Siècle had 751 members (p 124-125) and until recently met at the Automobile Club of France.  And like the Bilderberg or the Trilateral Commission or Davos, for that matter, these get togethers are nothing more, according to their various members, than informal (albeit highly confidential) conversations.  Kind of like a water cooler conversation or a beer after work.

Yeah.  Right.

The point of all this?  The United States, unscathed by two world wars, saw the opportunity to basically buy Europe at a bargain price and extend its economic and political hegemony.  The problem was the European post-war aversion to the status quo, to the dominance of capital, in its many forms.  Europe was exhausted by war, exhausted by the systems that brought war about, and was searching for an alternative, be it communism, socialism, or anarchism in variously interpreted, country by country, forms.

The messiness of all those different cultures and languages seeking their own ways to some kind of future harmony and possibly coming up with a peaceful alternative, outside the control of capital, was not to be tolerated.  Better to bring them under the aegis of one controlling body with a minimum of actual democracy, the EU, than allow them to sort things out for themselves.

Thus, the need for Johnstone’s “imaginary revisionism” wherein we turn former allies (Russia) into an enemy in the interest of protecting Europe, while all the US really wants to do is to continue to extend its hegemony, destructive as it is, worldwide.

So while the “Divide and Conquer” rule is still relatively in place, it has been turned on its head.  Create an homogenized “Europe à l’américaine” ostensibly for protection against an imagined enemy (an independent Russia, China, Iran, Lybia, ect) rather than allow Europe to become independent, autonomous nations, willing to listen to its own citizens whose interests are common worldwide.


Circus Politicus (Christophe Deloire, Christophe Dubois, Albin Michel, 2012).

Postwar (Tony Judt, William Heinemann, 2005).

Translations of Circus Politicus by the author.

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