Steve Bannon – Donald Trump’s former strategist and theorist of national-populism - expressed his enthusiastic support for the alliance of the Lega with the 5 Star Movement for "the government of change." In an interview he stated: "The fundamental question, in Italy in March, was the question of sovereignty. The result of the elections was to put into office those Italian citizens who want to regain sovereignty and control over their country, and to put an end to the rules coming from Brussels.” (Sky TG24, May 26)

However, it does not say “Put an end to the rules coming from Washington.”

It is not only the European Union, dominated by the powerful economic and financial circles, particularly in Germany and France, that is exerting pressure on Italy to guide its political choices, fearing a break in the “rules” that serve their interests.

Strong pressure is also being exerted on Italy, in a less evident but no less intrusive way, by the United States, which fears a break in the "rules" that subordinate Italy to its economic and strategic interests.

This is part of the policies Washington has adopted towards Europe, through different administrations and with different methods, pursuing the same objective - to maintain Europe under US influence.

NATO is a key instrument of this strategy. In Article 42 of the Treaty of Maastricht, it is established that EU “shall respect the obligations of certain Member States, which see their common defence represented by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).” And Protocol 10, concerning cooperation, states that NATO "shall remain the foundation for the “defence" of the European Union.

Today, 21 of the 27 countries of the EU, totalling about 90 percent of the population of the Union, are part of NATO, whose "rules" have allowed the United States to maintain the position of Supreme Allied Commander in Europe and all other key commands since 1949. They allow the United States to determine the political and strategic choices of the Alliance, with agreements made under the table especially with Germany, France and Great Britain, and then have them approved by the North Atlantic Council, where according to the "rules" of NATO there is no voting or majority decision, but decisions are always taken unanimously.

The entry of Eastern European countries into NATO, including Ukraine and Georgia - once members of the Warsaw Pact, the Yugoslav Federation and also the USSR - has allowed the United States to exert control over these countries, and in fact they are already members of NATO, contracted more to Washington than to Brussels.

Washington has thus been able to force Europe into a new Cold War, making it the front line of an increasingly dangerous confrontation with Russia, which functions in the political, economic and strategic interests of the United States.

Emblematic is the fact that, in the week during which Europe was bitterly debating the "Italian question", the 1st Armoured Brigade of the 1st US Cavalry Division from Fort Hood in Texas, landed in Antwerp (Belgium), without provoking any significant reaction. Some 3,000 soldiers landed, with 87 Abrams M-1 tanks, 125 Bradley combat vehicles, 18 self-propelled Paladin cannons, 976 military vehicles and other equipment, which will be deployed at five bases in Poland and sent from there close to Russian territory.

This continues to "improve the readiness and lethal power of US forces in Europe," which has received 16.5 billion dollars since 2015.

Just as the tanks sent from Washington landed in Europe, Steve Bannon encouraged Italians and Europeans to "recover their sovereignty" from Brussels.

John Catalinotto
Il Manifesto (Italy)