The new chairman of the European Commission is a nearly pure product of the system – like no one else in today’s EU. He is comparable to Leonid Brezhnev, who was general scretary in the Soviet Union; a symbol for aversion to reform. Juncker’s election will make clear, that the european political class wants to continue as before.
Older people know that Brezhnev was the one, who probably bore the largest resposibility for the eventual downfall of the SU – irrespective of the fact, that he had died nine years before its dissolution.
Despite (because of?) favorable conditions (high oil and commodity prices) Brezhnev shunned reforms, that would have put the state on a sounder footing. It resulted in a breakdown of an unthinkable magnitude. It was a blessing for middle europeans, who managed to escape Moscow’s grip, but the collapse brought wide spread suffering to the imperial centre, the citizens of the the Soviet Union proper. In his latest book anthropologist Thomas Crump reexamines the deadly flaws in Brezhnev’s Soviet model (Brezhnev and the Decline of the Soviet Union. 2014)
Juncker is an apparatchik of his own kind. But as Europe (still) lacks the characteristics of a unitarian state (and the legacy of “democratic centralism”), EU apparatchiki have to bring in a regional power base. Which in Junckers case is the duchy of Luxemburg, the (second) smallest and richest country in the Union. Juncker has controlled the fate of this small political entity for 25 years – and he is the only left over from the early days of the european integration.
In a sense one could label Juncker as an original founding father of the Union. So – in contrast to Brezhnev -, Juncker has helped to create the very conglomerate, he will be presiding over from the top of the commission. The system is Juncker and Juncker is the system.
A controlled secret service scandal
Juncker was foster child and successor of his fellow countryman Jacques Santer, who became commission president in 1995. It was he only commission, which has had to resign because of corruption charges so far.
In 2013 a spygate broke in Luxemburg, exposing information on illegal eavesdropping and tens – if not hundreds – of thousands of files, which had been gathered by the secret police of the Grand Duchy. Furthermore there were reports, linking policemen to bombings and other illegal activities, pursuing a strategy od tension.
While this sounds dramatically, it only resulted in a storm in a teacup. Part of the misdeeds that were uncovered, have been known for long, others are over and done with and still others had allegedly been repaired many years ago.
The duke and his court entertain “excellent relations” to British MI6 – as everybody knows -, and the biggest sin of the former spook in chief was a breach of trust vis-a-vis then prime minister Juncker – whose only fault lied in the fact that he did not suspend the intelligence operative right away.
The former spook is still head of security with Siemens and Juncker had to resign as prime minister – but has been completely whitewashed since. He still is smelling of roses - so intense, that seemingly nobody could object to his advancement to the top of the EU commission.
This is how a successful propaganda operation should look like, an operation, the intelligence community calls “partial hang out”. It means, that the publication of old or little known information is used to hide more explosive facts. This is, what wikipedia has to say about a “Limited hang out”:
“(It) establishes credibility for the one releasing the information who by the very act of confession appears to be “coming clean” and acting with integrity; but in actuality, by withholding key facts, is protecting a deeper operation and those who could be exposed if the whole truth came out. In effect, if an array of offenses or misdeeds is suspected, this confession admits to a lesser offense while covering up the greater ones.”
This technique has been in use for more than a generation. You can even find it in the old Watergate tapes.
The press and the political opposition is delighted by the spectacle, yet nobody questions its staging and political ends. Rarely are there doubts about the authenticity or value of the documents in question – even if the surroundig circumstances really do look odd.
Usually there is some sword of Damocles to prompt a politician to resort to risky tactics like these. One can only speculate, what motivated the Luxemburg partial hang out. Possibly it was a “Bommeleeër”-trial, which threatened to pull the cover off parts of the western european deep state.
Last week european governments nominated Juncker als commission president. They did so in a majority vote, against United Kingdom and Hungary (a historic premiere). European Parliament is expected to vote Juncker into office on July, 16.