by WAYNE MADSEN
As much as the pro-globalism pundits and opinion makers, many of whom masquerade as journalists, hate to admit it, the neo-Cold War nurtured by Barack Obama, Francois Hollande, David Cameron, Angela Merkel, and Matteo Renzi – is now over. The new war is between the forces of globalism and populism. The end game for the globalists is a unipolar world in which the decisions are formulated in Washington with the bureaucracies in Brussels, London, The Hague, and Berlin acting as the implementers. Although the corporate media has reluctantly re-branded them from «far-right» to «populists», the political forces that are opposed to globalism are fighting for a multipolar world where national sovereignty, majority cultural and religious rights and customs, and domestic industrial protection rule the day.
Two elections on December 4, the Austrian presidential election and the Italian constitutional referendum, provided a degree of mixed results for both sovereigntists and globalists. Austrian nationalist presidential candidate Norbert Hofer lost to the chain-smoking Russo-Estonian immigrant Green candidate Alexander van der Bellen, not because Hofer was considered too right-wing, but because he began to waffle at the end of the campaign on core issues.
Hofer changed tack and began saying positive things about the European Union and Austria’s continued membership in what has essentially become the «mother of all bureaucracies». The Austrian election results did not reflect van der Bellen witnessing a sudden surge of support but because Hofer’s most ardent supporters deciding to stay home after the Austrian Freedom Party (OVP) candidate began adopting a pro-Europe stance. Hofer originally said the following about the EU after the successful Brexit referendum in the United Kingdom to exit the union: «If the answer to Brexit is a centralized European Union, where the national parliaments are disempowered and where the union is governed like a state, we would have to hold a referendum in Austria».
Hofer underestimated the opposition in Austria to the EU and its championing the free flow of migrants across European borders. After Hofer altered his position to claim that he was in favor of «a stronger union», his anti-establishment supporters turned their backs on Hofer, believing him to be just another spineless politician. Hofer could only muster 46.7 percent of the vote to van der Bellen’s 53.8 percent. In the first presidential election in May 2016, which was invalidated by court order because of vote counting irregularities, Hofer received 49.7 percent of the vote to 50.3 percent for van der Bellen. On December 4, Hofer saw his support drained in rural areas of Austria, where anti-EU and anti-open borders feelings are predominant. As in rural England and Wales and rural America, it is in the all-but-forgotten hinterlands where national sovereignty and cultural protection are key issues. The power elites ignore and ridicule rural and small town populations at their own peril.
The globalists wrongly saw Hofer’s defeat as a rejection of populism. Their ill-informed opinions were somewhat dashed when the Italian electorate decisively rejected a plan to increase the powers of the prime minister, reduce the powers of the Senate and presidency, and return to the national government certain powers granted to regional governments. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, an EU fan and a globalist poster boy, vowed to resign if the referendum failed and fail it did. Renzi announced his resignation as exit polls indicated that his referendum, which was spurred on by Eurocrats in Brussels, was faring badly.
The globalists, of course, claimed not too much should be read into the Italian results and that they were unconnected to the Brexit vote and the surprise election of Donald Trump in the United States. The Italian «No» campaign received the support of young voters across Italy. The «No» coalition included left-wing members of Renzi’s own Democratic party, the populist and anti-EU Five Star Movement (M5S), the nationalist Northern League, Forza Italia of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, and former Communists who now gravitate to the Sinistra Italiana (SI) movement. Only European unionists and globalists with their heads buried in the sand failed to understand that what occurred in Italy is part of the same epic tide against global elites that shook Britain and the United States.
Austria was not part of the populist parade because Hofer chickened out on his opposition to the EU and, thus, sacrificed his populist credentials. The Austrian presidency is a ceremonial position that lacks any significant power. In the first half of 2017, when Austria is to see national parliamentary elections, the OVP leader Heinz-Christian Strache will not make the same mistake as his party’s presidential standard bearer. Recent opinion polls show that Strache and his party is favored to win the parliamentary election with Strache favored to become Austria’s next chancellor, succeeding the lackluster Social Democratic chancellor Christian Kern.
Most Austrians continue to bristle over the overturning by an Austrian court of the conviction of a 20-year old Iraqi male refugee who raped a 10-year old Austrian boy in a swimming pool. In his defense, the Iraqi claimed he had a «sexual emergency». Van der Bellen and his starry-eyed Green and Social Democratic supporters may have sympathy for the Iraqi rapist, but for Austrians who put country and faith over boutique social causes, the countenance by an Austrian court of such behavior was the final straw. Strache has not strayed from his demand that Austria’s borders be controlled, unsuitable and illegal migrants be deported, and diktats from Brussels be ignored.
The pro-globalist news media, in advancing the notion that Brexit, the U.S. presidential election, and the Italian referendum were mere flukes and that the real story is the Austrian presidential victory for the pro-EU van der Bellen, conveniently omit two elections held between the U.S. election and the Austrian and Italian polling. On November 13, two pro-Russian presidential candidates defeated their pro-EU rivals in Bulgaria and Moldova. Because the victories of Rumen Radev in Bulgaria and Igor Dodon in Moldova did not fit into the globalist propaganda template, they are not considered as being part and parcel of the populist and sovereigntist wave sweeping through Europe.
In April and May of 2017, French National Front presidential candidate Marine Le Pen will square off against conservative pro-EU status quo enthusiast Francois Fillon, a former prime minister, and the current Socialist prime minister, Manuel Valls, an immigrant from Spain. Fillon and Valls are trying to advance their candidacies with an increasingly anti-EU and anti-immigrant French electorate. However, Fillon and Valls are late-comers to the cause of French sovereignty. The dalliance with the EU and global bankers by both Fillon and Valls are suspect, at the very least by the French electorate. Just as members of the working class Italian left voted against Renzi’s referendum, a fair number of French working class labor unionists, who have, in the past, voted for the Communists, can be expected to opt for Le Pen over the two corporate candidates.
In other European countries, anti-EU parties are now part of the electoral makeup of national parliaments and delegations in the European Parliament. Hungary’s Jobbik, which received 21 percent of the national vote; the Danish People’s Party, which also saw a 21 percent share of the vote; and the Alternative for Germany (AfD), which saw an impressive 14 percent of the vote in the Berlin state election in September of this year, are forces to be reckoned with. German chancellor Angela Merkel, worried that her open-door policy on Muslim migrants may cost her dearly in next year’s election, adopted a plank from the AfD in recently announcing that she favors a ban on the Muslim burqa and niqab in Germany. Merkel, who addressed her Christian Democratic Union party congress in Essen, also said she would never again repeat her «mistake» of opening Germany to an influx of migrants. Former UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage commented on Twitter that Merkel’s newly-adopted policy was «Too late. The horse has bolted».
Too late, indeed, for Merkel. The chancellor’s feeble attempt to adopt a populist line comes after a 17-year old Afghan migrant, known only as «Hussein K»., raped and murdered 19-year old medical student Maria Ladenburger, whose father is a high-level EU official in Germany. The German people, just like other Europeans, as well as Americans, have had enough of such outrages and will not forget that many Germans, especially women, would never have been raped, or murdered by jihadists, as in the cases of Ladenburger and other Germans, had it not been for Merkel’s welcome mat to crazed migrants from the Middle East, South Asia, and North Africa.