EU Scream

Not That Ambassador

October 16, 2019 Season 1 Episode 30
EU Scream
Not That Ambassador
Chapters
EU Scream
Not That Ambassador
Oct 16, 2019 Season 1 Episode 30
EU Scream
Former US Ambassador Anthony L. Gardner on Brussels and Kiev, his forthcoming book, and where Europe is heading under new leadership.
Show Notes Transcript

A conversation with Anthony L. Gardner, the former US ambassador to the EU under President Obama. Gardner is a former director on the National Security Council who has spent much of his career in Europe. He left his ambassadorial post in Brussels when Donald Trump entered the White House, and he was succeeded by Gordon Sondland, a hotel magnate with scant government experience. Sondland has more or less hewed to a Trumpian script, occasionally pouring scorn on Brussels officials and raising questions about the relevance of the European project. Now Sondland has been swept up in the investigation that could result in Trump’s impeachment. Congressional panels are pouring over details about Sondland's possible role in pressuring Ukraine's leadership to investigate Joe Biden, Trump’s likeliest rival in next year’s US election, and Biden's son. It’s against this background that Gardner talks with EU Scream about what’s ailing American diplomacy in Europe, his forthcoming book on the importance of EU-US relations, and where the continent may be heading under its new leadership.
A lexicon for this episode:
A “stagiaire” is a trainee; "DG Comp” is the EU's antitrust department; the “Sablon” is an upscale part of Brussels teeming with antique and chocolate shops; “TTIP" is an acronym for Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, a failed US-EU effort to strike a trade deal; Wilbur Ross is U.S. commerce secretary; Herman Van Rompuy represented EU heads of state and government as the first president of the European Council; “ECSC” is the European Coal and Steel Community, the group of six countries that started an integration process eventually leading to creation of the EU; SWIFT is the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, a network through which interbank transfers are traditionally made; “PESCO” is Permanent Structured Cooperation, an EU policy goal for developing joint military capabilities.
Visit our website for episode art and for more EU Scream. “Beethoven Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125” by Papalin is licensed under CC by 3.0. “Airside No. 9” is played by Lara Natale.

Support the show (https://euscream.com/donate/)

Speaker 1:
0:02
The European union has not treated as a stupid, you are being the elites jumping off the cliffs. Once again. Uh, yes, you all the guilty people and you refuse to accept it.
Speaker 2:
0:21
[inaudible]
Speaker 3:
0:21
this is EU screen, the progressive politics podcast from Brussels in association with EU observer. I'm James a journalist who's crisscrossed Europe for 15 years now. In this episode, a conversation with Antony Gardner, the former us ambassador to the EU under president Obama Gardner is a former director on the U S national security council who has spent much of his career in Europe. Gardener left his ambassadorial post in Brussels when Donald Trump entered the white house, Andy was succeeded by Gordon Sandlin, a hotel magnate with scant government experience. Sandlin has more or less hued to a Trump Ian script occasionally pouring scorn on Brussels officials and raising questions about the relevance of the European project. Now, Sunland has been swept up in the investigation that could result in Trump's impeachment. Congressional panels are pouring over details about Sutherland's possible role in pressuring Ukraine's leadership to investigate Joe Biden, Trump's likeliest rival, and next year's election in Biden's son. It's against this background. The gardener and I talked about what's ailing American diplomacy in Europe. His forthcoming book on EU U S relations and where the continent may be heading under its new leadership. We started with a topic close to the heart of most everyone with links to Brussels, his preferred brand of Belgian chocolate.
Speaker 4:
1:56
Oh, I have to save you to ma. You know why James? When I first came here, I actually lived on the second floor of the V TML building downtown Brussels when I was a stodgy air in a in DG comp and I had to find an apartment. I wandered into beat them out and they happened to have an apartment, so I lived there and I used to have every day I got back from work, a little platter of VJ mal chocolates deposited my door. That's why I fell in love with Brussels. That's so Vitaa marriage chocolate all the way that all the way this is the chocolate shop on Savlon. Yes, that that's where I was. Yeah. For a couple of years of my life, actually three years of my life, I lived in the sub dome. Now, Tony, you are appointed ambassador to the EU by president Obama.
Speaker 4:
2:42
So if fellow Democrat, Hillary Clinton had won the election in 2016 I guess you might've stayed at post a little bit longer, perhaps even a lot longer. You know, I think I would have stayed for some period of time. My hope was that I would have stayed a year, probably not more than a year because you know for years I think it's time to hand it over to someone else. But there were things I wanted to finish that were unfinished when I left in January, 2017 in recent days, you tweeted that you've been told that you'll now have to go through life explaining. No, I wasn't that ambassador to the EU. And I guess you are referring to the current ambassador who is president Trump's appointee. Mr Sunderland. That's right. And now [inaudible] is in the thick of broadly speaking, Trump world controversy.
Speaker 5:
3:41
Gordon Sunland is not your typical diplomat. Gordon Sundland is a hotel magnet. He's a large Trump donor. He was appointed by the president to be ambassador to the EU. He was deeply involved in these text exchanges, setting up this meeting or trying to set up this meeting between the leader of the Ukraine and the president of the United States. One of the things that has stood out from the beginning is that Ukraine is not part of the EU. So straight out of the gate, it didn't make any sense why he would be involved in these text exchanges.
Speaker 4:
4:15
Question, were you ever given responsibility or special assignments for a country outside the EU 28 while you were in post? No, I considered going to Kiev a couple times. And why? Why did I do that? Because we were involved in a couple of really substantive issues involving Ukraine first on sanctions. One of the key things get me busy during my three years was a coordination sanctions with the EU on Russia after they invaded Crimea and, uh, interfered in Southeast and Ukraine. The second issue was energy security, ensuring that Ukraine became less dependent on energy imports. So there were some reasons perhaps for me to go to Kiev and I decided not to. Why? Because frankly, it was a peripheral issue to my core job of being an EU. We had an excellent ambassador at the time in Kiev, Jeff Piot, and I did not think it was inappropriate use of us taxpayer money for me to go to Kiev at that time.
Speaker 4:
5:12
So I did not go in as much as you can say something about this. I mean, what do you make of [inaudible] extra duties? I think the Washington post has described it as seizing control of the Ukraine portfolio to help Trump. Well, James, you know, I uh, have said, and I will continue to respect the, the, the line of not commenting on my successor. All I can say is this, that this post, the U S D U S EU posts is a critical post, is one of the most important posts we have in the United States abroad along with a number of others. Kia being one of them, Moscow and anchor and Tel Aviv and a number of others, right in Berlin. This is a highly substantive posts that requires a high degree of technocratic knowledge, mastery of detail, even for an ambassador. And I say that be some people may think that, well, it doesn't really matter whether ambassador has or doesn't have technical knowledge or background in a post, which is he or she's been assigned EU is, is, is different because here, one really deals with issues of sometimes life and death sanctions, right?
Speaker 4:
6:22
Warren peace. Uh, and beyond that, issues that really matter to a lot of us businesses that are very detailed trade on data privacy, digital economy, law enforcement, which took a lot of my time. Um, the second thing I will say that should be blindingly obvious, James, is it an ambassador in any post should be representing the interests of the country, of the entire country? Not for one second. Did I ever think that my job was to represent the democratic party or the personal interests of the president even though I was a personal representative of, uh, Barack Obama. Uh, and I don't think any of my predecessors, Republican or democratic, ever thought that they were here to do a narrow job of representing a party. That's very important because us taxpayer money should be spent on promoting the interests of the United States. And I hope we did that.
Speaker 4:
7:16
And my predecessor did that too, that he came with serious regulatory experience. Uh, and he also came here with an approach and an attitude that won him a lot of friends. You know, and I say that because coming to this post and insulting the, uh, EU officials coming here with an attitude that the EU is worse than China, but smaller that the EU is a, is a foe, that theU is a problem because it, it magnifies the leverage of individual member States. All of that is so deeply misguided. Is there enough vetting of people who take these important jobs around the world, including what is possibly one of the very most important, which is the one that you held? You know, presidents of both administrations have something, you know, sense abroad. Sometimes people who have not had deep background in a post to which they have been assigned. And it's certainly within the president's gift to ask anyone to serve for services rendered, which is is legitimate E key posts. In fact, more or less has been 50% in Europe is probably more of the key posts are given to people from the outside who are not civil servants. Right.
Speaker 6:
8:34
How did you end up in the hotel business? What, what got you there? Well, I started in Seattle as a commercial real estate broker and I began to run a division for a regional brokerage company and one of the brokers who worked for me brought me a hotel that was in bankruptcy and I knew a little about bankruptcy because I had done a lot of apartment, you know, bankrupt apartment. Then as I got into the numbers more, I said, you know, this is an interesting opportunity. Maybe I'll raise the money and buy it myself. Which I did. And this was in 1985 never looked back. Yeah. Put the brokerage business and went into the hotel business. What do you love about it? Um, it sort of combines all of the elements of what sort of gives me reasons for getting up in the morning. Um, it's sort of show business and real estate and theater all combined. And that's what makes it so interesting once these, when you talk about it like that, it does sound really exciting. So, um, we've got,
Speaker 4:
9:33
so all of that can be legitimate as long as you respect a couple of basic things. One, these people should be committed to the relationship they want, should need to do, want to do a good job, and they should have some relevant experience. It could be in business, it could be in law, it could be another areas, right? But I don't think we've always respected those basic criteria for sending people abroad. Now, before the Ukraine imbroglio ambassadors, Sundland was known for bringing as one of the things he was known for bringing his pal, the comedian Jay Leno to H July, the fourth party in Brussels. Top that who, who did you bring from the U S I fell short. General ambassador. I fell way, way short of that. James, I think we really stumbled. We didn't, uh, we didn't have any, uh, big names unfortunately. Uh, we had of course music at July 4th is a great event.
Speaker 4:
10:31
Uh, we opened up the embassy, we had square dancing and we had gospel singers and we had, you know, even classical music. But, uh, no, we didn't have any comedians, I'm afraid. So I disappointed we don't, one of the things I really, I was very proud of two things actually. We did two screenings. One was a screening of Selma, you know, that wonderful movie. Yes. And I mentioned that James, because I got a lot of interesting comments after that film, people came up to me and says, well, mr baster, why you say you, you showing a movie that's pretty critical of a, a dark, you know, this is a dark chapter in us history,
Speaker 7:
11:08
mr president and the South. There had been thousands of racially motivated murders. We need your help, dr Kaney. This thing's just going to happen.
Speaker 4:
11:18
And I said, PS, that is the sign of a mature democracy that it can look itself in the mirror and say, we fell short of our ideals. And, uh, even though it's a really tough movie, I think, uh, we have, uh, well we've both moved on from those days and we've realized I think in the last couple of years to be brutally honest, that we still have a lot of work to do on race relations. You know, many of us, including myself, frankly, have been a little bit over optimistic about how much progress has been made when in fact a lot more hair needs to be done. The second screening that I feel very proud of doing was winter on fire. And it was about the, my Don demonstrations, right? In Kiev,
Speaker 8:
12:04
European union leaders and Ukraine have failed to sign in the store free trade deal after last minute. You turned from Kia
Speaker 4:
12:19
and it describes very movingly how young men and women, Ukrainians from all walks of life congregated in the freezing cold, often at the risk of death to demonstrate and to say, we want to be part of this European union. We want to be part of the European family. We're tired of corruption. We're tired of this oligarchy, right? It's robbing us of our future. And that really was powerful for me because these, some of them kids were wrapping themselves up in the EU flag. And I used to mention this to the, the cynics who were saying the EU does no longer has the force of attraction says watch this movie. And when people are dying because of the force of attraction to the European union,
Speaker 9:
13:12
Tony, you're writing a book. And in a chapter of that book you cite New York times columnist, Tom Freedman who says that including the word's European union in the lead of an article or at the top of an article is tantamount to hang a do not read sign because the boredom, the subject will trigger in people. Yet you've written a whole book on the European union. So defend yourself,
Speaker 4:
13:39
face this issue every day you write, how do you write about issues that sometimes are really technical, but in a way that describes hippie, why they matter. It had a publisher said, look, do not write another academic book on the European union. I mean, law libraries are groaning under the weight of heavy tomes of academic literature, which are very good. So I said I didn't want to write that kind of a book. I want to write a book that describes in a narrative voice, the extent possible in nine different areas, what the United States and the European actually do together. That makes a difference for a lot of people. So trade is an obvious one. That's a big one. Data privacy, another big one. Digital economy, hugely important for businesses and also for consumers. And so over social media in terms of the privacy settings for example, or GDPR that now many Americans note about, but also on law enforcement, on sanctions, on energy, security, on military security, cooperation, uh, on climate change, on foreign aid, humanitarian assistance, all those areas.
Speaker 4:
14:43
And describe what it is that not only under Obama, by the way, there's some of this may sound self-serving. I'm talking really about 60 of excellent ambassadors from both parties. This administration has gone off the rails and that's important piece. This is not a partisan issue. Right? So though in those nine areas, would you say that the Trump administration has gone off the rails in all nine? Not an all night. So to be fair said, I say this to the book openly and there's some areas where, uh, even some progress has been made or at least some continuation has been, has been since it has been seen. So at energy security, I think we continue to work well on data privacy. We continued to work to preserve the privacy shield agreement that we labored for a long time and to, to negotiate. Now title and publication date of your book, let's make sure we flag to people when this is coming out.
Speaker 4:
15:37
Well, it's still a while, right? It's April a parent is going to April and it's stars with stripes, the essential partnership between the United States and the European union. Stars with stripes. They come from the two flags, you know, it's that you flag the United States flag. You know, this was a personal labor for me. There's not just a, you know, professional job. I had, this was personal. I've spent and I described, you know, 29 years of my life in Europe. Uh, and, uh, I, I, for me it was really important to promote this relationship and hopefully we didn't in at least a few areas.
Speaker 4:
16:21
You write a very meaty chapter on Brexit, but this, the implications for Europe that I think interests a lot of people because that very quickly gets us into the implications for the West and for liberalism completely. You know, I go back to the papers we did during the Obama ministration on the impact of Brexit for Europe, for Britain, for the United States. And our conclusion was pretty bad on almost all fronts with a few exceptions. Uh, we were concerned and I think it was legitimate to be concerned that without the UKs pro free trade pro free competition, liberal voice Europe would be the poorer. Yes, there are others who will wave that flag will be the standard bears of an open a society free competition and free trade like the Scandinavians and others. But it will be harder. The UK was a key philosophical promoter of those and other topics, even examples, sanctions.
Speaker 4:
17:18
The U K was a key actor in promoting sanctions against Russia. And by providing the evidentiary support for the sanctions lists that were established by the EU, other countries participant as well. But the UK was critical in terms of security. The state, the obvious point without the UK military might and its ability to conduct operations, the EU 27 will be poor in terms of law enforcement. There is no doubt that it will be a two operational capabilities without the UK. So you know, the EU will be worse off in that extent. Having said that, if you look at American business and you look how keen certain segments of American business are to get us agricultural products, a beachhead in Europe, uh, they look very keenly to the UK to allow more GMO to allow them more biotech in particular. And then there's this idea that socialized European medicine might benefit from a little bit more red blooded American Capitol.
Speaker 4:
18:26
In Britain, this translates into a possible privatization of the national health service. There are segments of us business that are very keen to see Brexit happen and very keen to make Britain a beachhead for a new way of doing business in Europe. Yes, you're right. But I, the other side of the coin is even stronger, you know to suggest is Wilbur Ross did that the UK should abandon EU regulations and just adopt U S regulations because it'll make things so much easier. Right. For a UK us free trade deal is simply misguided in my view. Many us companies invested heavily in the UK. Why as a beachhead to attack to pet penetrate the larger EU market. You know, and if the UK actually veers off and adopts other regulations but you know U S regulation for example, it will make it much harder for the UK to serve as that bridge head to the larger market.
Speaker 4:
19:23
So I think the idea that it's just great if the UK just dumps irrigation is fundamentally flawed. In fact, I think it's the opposite. Plus lets, let's be open and Frank here. I don't think that UK farmers are going to be enamored with the idea that soon after losing EU agricultural subsidies, they're going to be open to a much larger flow of U S agricultural imports into the U K nor are they going to be particularly happy with the NHS somehow being open to privatization or you know, uh, you, you mentioned a few other issues, for example, about public procurement and so forth. All of those things were red button topics in [inaudible]. They're going to be very difficult in the us UK as well. But in the UK we have Boris Johnson who you also write about use ECM is frankly dangerous. You know, when facts, uh, no longer when the day, uh, what happens, politicians invoke world war II, uh, they invoke the Bible because it sounds so much more authoritative now.
Speaker 4:
20:25
So Boris Johnson says like Moses, I will lead my people away from Pharaoh to the promised land. Trouble with that biblical analogy is that, uh, the Jewish people wandered in the desert for 40 years and never, you know, it took them a long time to get to the promised land of milk and honey, I say in the book, it may be a land efficient chips. It's just slightly different. Jacob Reese mom said, you know, Britain has always won its battles, and so he invoked the battles of agile and core and Cressy and [inaudible] and Waterloo and Trafalgar and so on, uh, is saying that you, Britain is always won. So there's this Dunkirk spirit, which is, you know, it's a bit troubling because of the United States as well. When you start waving the flag in this way and invoking patriotism, you realize it's because the substantive arguments aren't there to back it up.
Speaker 4:
21:17
That's basically what I say. Uh, and so I'm very troubled that a lot of the arguments for Brexit have proven to be simply not true, but in this age, truth in fact, don't seem to matter. I'd like to ask about another character in the Brexit cosmology. Nigel Farage, is he effectively a Russian asset? Ooh, what a question. Guy of EO couldn't possibly comment James on that. Uh, I did see him inaction often in Strasbourg despite his, his, the abuse that he heaped on an institutions. I noticed that he was assiduously present to pick up his paycheck and to eat at the subsidized canteen. And Steinberg rather interesting for a man who has nothing but disdain for the EU. He wanted to pick up his, uh, generous paycheck. I saw him engage in some pretty unpleasant acts. For example, walking out just before the Yazidi women were given the M prize, a, what's it called now?
Speaker 4:
22:23
Sachar off prices. Right. Uh, because I quite not quite sure why they would do that, but it was a statement that didn't want the EU to be recognizing, I guess, you know, the contributions to human rights of various people. But you know, so I have very strong views about Nigel Farrage, you know, of the kinds of things he has said in that parliament. Uh, particularly the Busey heaped on Herman van rum point. You know, here in run run boy is an extremely accomplished professional who's done a lot for Europe. And for, for many of us, I mean, one thing about Farrage that I noticed is that around about the time of the annexation of Crimea by Russia, he started talking about how sanctions were such a bad idea and they were self-defeating. And now we see him continuing to vote against anything that would harm Russian interests in the European parliament.
Speaker 4:
23:15
For instance. I'm sort of amazed that this is not allowed or conversation about how much Russia seems to gain from a Brexit world. It's not a conversation that we have every day. No, we, we don't. I mean, look, the, the, there are few people who are very happy about the current state of affairs. Brexit in particular in 100 is Vladimir Putin of that, I'm absolutely sure. Uh, I think it's much too early. Much, much too early to be considering is some people are bringing Russia back into the fold and it's only been a few years since they invaded Ukraine. And now we're talking about bringing them back into the [inaudible]. I personally think, and I write about this in the sanctions chapter, that our sanctions regime as serious and effective as they were, we could have done much, much more. They could have been much, much tougher and earlier. But what kind of a message does this send to Russia that we're only, what, five years after the invasion that we're thinking of thawing relationship? I think it sends a terrible message.
Speaker 9:
24:21
And when you say we could have done much more on sanctions, are you talking about Washington? Are you talking about brussel together together? What, what would that have looked like? Oh, we had a whole
Speaker 4:
24:31
a menu of options on the table. Uh, I thought some of the most effective, uh, you know, options for example, would have been to reveal information that we had about the degree of corruption amongst the Russian state and the Russian oligarchies. And to make it as embarrassing as possible for those in power. I think we'd have good, been a much tougher about the sanctions hitting the core, which was Donnely the financial sanctions, which we ended up finally doing, but also on energy. But that was a hot button issue, particularly in Europe and let's remember the only reason why we finally got to those sectoral sang so-called sectorial sanctions hitting key parts of the economy was what was the Downing of the Malaysian airliner. Had it not been for that, it would have taken us many months beyond July, end of July of 2014 to implement really biting sanctions, but it's slightly sad to reflect on the fact that it takes this kind of a tragedy to wake people up to something that should have been blindingly obvious that you know, we have a tool in our arsenal, the United States in the EU that really matters and can work and that is the tool of sanctions.
Speaker 4:
25:49
It worked on Iran. It brought a Ranjan negotiating table and it did work. Yes, it did work. In the case of Russia, of course the decline in oil prices also was a critical tool at weakening that you didn't do the Russian economy, but sanctions were too.
Speaker 9:
26:15
Now, one of the quotes that you use, and I think you're very fond of it, is the Ben Franklin quote. We hang together or we hang separately? Absolutely. You use that expression to suggest that it's vital to maintain interdependence between Europe and the U S now as you also point out, the EU is already moving ahead with its more geopolitical vision. Yes. Um, geopolitical being the word that commission president elect Ursula Vonda lion has been using in her assignment letters to various commissioners and the geopolitical focus in many ways that she has adopted is in many ways the results of the Trump administration's isolationism of its America first policies. Isn't there an inevitable clash here between a Europe pursuing more of its own space and defense policies, security policies? Isn't there a bit of a clash here between that and the primacy of NATO?
Speaker 4:
27:20
The short answers is no, but let me get to this and this in a second one anecdote. You know, when I go, when I went to the council, uh, I would often walk past the photographs of the great founding fathers of the European project back from the ECFC no women, but okay. No women. Uh, but I, I S somewhat a controversial, let me say it, is this one person missing there? You know, who actually made that, that project get off the ground. It was Stalin, right? It was the threat from the outside that made this project really coalesce when it did and may be years hence I'm dreaming. Maybe James, we will see the picture of Donald Trump and I say to say, because the external, uh, situation is now changed so dramatically. The, he has realized it does need to stand up and put on it's big boy pants, let's say, and use the tools at his disposal to protect and project its interests and values.
Speaker 4:
28:19
And in fact you said that right in the political program, that vendor line, his published and in the instruction letters to the commissioners, there are words that are used that have never been used in the lexicon of this Brussels bubble sovereignty, autonomy and projecting and protecting its interests. I find that fascinating. And it's about time. So if that'd be the code of this, if, if Donald Trump somehow bizarrely has led to a more self confident European union that can do that, then he will have made a great contribution. Will it undermine NATO? My conclusion is highly, highly unlikely for a lot of reasons. You know, strategic autonomy, which is a term that's not always fully understood. But if it means a capacity to carry out some form of military campaigns, a abroad without relying on the United States or always on NATO's operational capabilities, I think this is a good thing.
Speaker 4:
29:20
But no one is talking about replacing NATO. That's the core point. It is something very different. It's about Europe having its own, a willingness to defend its interests and even project power in limited ways, right? Particularly in its neighborhood. The first step will be folding in its existing African military programs and also the enable project off the, uh, the horn of Africa and also the Balkans. You know, its neighborhood. So being able to do that without always calling on NATO assets. There's always a bit of concern in Poland and in the Baltics that NATO will be dialed down and that will leave them more exposed to an aggressive Russia that'll believe it. You know, anything that leads to Europe spending more and spending more wisely, which is an even more important point, is a good thing. And some of these, uh, project leading pesto, right?
Speaker 4:
30:19
Um, there's now much talked about the, uh, if it, if results in a Europe that is more coordinated and has fewer platforms, more coordination terms of procurement, uh, ability to get more for its money. All of that has to be a good thing. We've been complaining about this, the United States and some Europeans for many, many years. So how can we now say, actually we're concerned that you're is actually doing what it's promised to do. All of that is to the good. Now what should, what can use that Barel the incoming foreign policy chief and Brussels do that has predecessor Federica Mogherini didn't achieve? That's a tough question. I think she's done a terrific job and I count her as a, as a friend. So maybe I'm a little bias. I think she's done a terrific job, particularly areas like, um, uh, like the Balkans. She made a serious contribution to the U S he had to the Iran agreement where the EU was at the table and John Kerry, who by the way would say the same thing.
Speaker 4:
31:15
I've talked to him about this and that's why it's so distressing to see that agreement come under so much strain. Um, look, there's so many things that the EU is considering doing that probably will happen at some point, maybe not in the next five years. One is the international role of the Euro. The EU probably will come up with some mechanism to insulate itself from [inaudible] sanctions and be able to conduct transactions with countries that do not go through the plumbing of the us financial system because of the abuse of the U S leverage averse is financial system and there may well be an alternative to Swift. All of those things, let me be clear, are not good for the United States. And I'm not saying I want to see them happen, right? Because Swift has been a terrific tool. I don't want to see it undermined, but those things probably will happen because the EU, you know, is, is saying to itself, we need to protect ourselves from being squashed between, you know, forces in the world outside our control, which is all why the United States needs to be wiser in the use of its tremendous powers.
Speaker 4:
32:22
And when you were talking about the abuse there, you were talking about the steady dismantling of the Iran deal. Absolutely. Well the abuse, you know, the role of the dollar, the role of the U S financial system, these are wonderful tools, right? To be clear that we, we have used in the past, but they need to be used wisely and with our allies. Importantly, when we start undermining our allies like the EU, then the natural reaction is we will look for other partners like even Russia and even China in coming up with a separate payment system, right? Alternative to Swift and things like that. And the U S will come out the poor in its ability to project influence
Speaker 10:
33:18
[inaudible]
Speaker 3:
33:18
that's easy screen for this week. You can check our website at [inaudible] dot com for links to topics discussed in the show and for more episodes, please rate us on iTunes. Tweet about us at EU screams and like us on Facebook. EU scream is edited and mixed by me. James canter, Tom Brooks, and I produced the show. Lauren Attali plays our piano. Thanks for listening.
Speaker 10:
33:51
[inaudible].
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