'Donald Trump will have dinner this week near a Brussels sculpture that glorifies genocide.
The monument dedicated to the Congo’s colonizers bears an inscription with the words of Belgium’s Leopold II. The king, it suggests, took over that vast African land “in the interest of civilization.”
One historical fact that probably won’t be highlighted during Trump’s trip is that in 1884 the US became the first powerful nation to support the claim on the Congo made by Leopold.
An estimated 10 million lives were destroyed between then and 1920. Natural resources were plundered through the massive use of slave labor.
There is an eerie sense of continuity behind how Trump will be fed in the park where the Congo monument is located. The president is visiting Brussels for a summit of NATO, a modern-day imperial pitbull – to borrow a phrase from the deceased scholar Edward S. Herman.
As a candidate, Trump dismissed the military alliance as “obsolete.” As president, he has been trying to sharpen the pitbull’s teeth.
The US dominates NATO. And NATO helps preserve US domination around the globe. That explains why Trump has warmed to the alliance.
He and his entourage are pressing all of NATO’s members to spend more on weapons.
A Cold War club, NATO ought to have been wound up when the Soviet Union collapsed. Yet it has managed to reinvigorate itself – by bombing Serbia in 1999 and later by coordinating the wars against Afghanistan and Libya.'
Read more: Trump sharpens NATO’s teeth
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28 January 2019
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