The United States has kept Europe from becoming a major independent power since the end of the Second World War as European leaders continue to show “cowardice” in the face of Washington’s “imperial power,” renowned political and linguistics scholar Noam Chomsky told independent media outlet acTVism Munich.
The U.S. has acted since the 1950's to stop Europe from evolving into an independent world power such as the U.S. or the former Soviet Union.
“Those concerns still exist and are in some ways even greater,” he said in the interview published Monday. “Europe does have the capacity under German initiative to move in an independent direction.”
Discussing the way Europe acted by not granting whistleblower Edward Snowden asylum due to U.S. pressure, Chomsky said the mistreatment of Snowden was “a revelation of real cowardice in the face of a power that the European elites are unwilling to confront.”
However, despite U.S. dominance Europe does act independently on certain issues such as the Iran deal and the Palestinian cause. “It’s one of a number of ways — there are quite a few — in which Europe and the United States, the dominant elements in the United States, are following different paths,” Chomsky said.
Several European business have already started to reopen offices in Iran and engage in dealings with the Iranian government and private sector.
But the U.S. maintains a military presence throughout Europe, including Ramstein Air Base in southwest Germany, where over 50,000 U.S. troops are stationed.
Snowden’s documents revealed that the U.S. National Security Agency was spying on German citizens and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. However, the German government dropped the investigation last year.
“Germany and France, and other European countries, their governments, have made a decision to subordinate themselves to U.S. power,” he said.
But for Chomsky Snowden is a “hero” who should be allowed to return to the U.S. for alerting the people of his country about the illegal actions carried out against them by their own governments.
“Snowden, it’s important to recall, performed an enormous service, a patriotic service in fact, to the people of the United States and the world,” he said.
“He revealed to the population what your government is doing to you. That’s just what he should have done. That’s the responsibility of a decent citizen. The idea that he should be punished for this is really grotesque, and that Europe participates in this is even worse.”