Addressing a crowd of U.S. Senators, think-tanks and European leaders, Nigel Farage brought to Washington the strength of feeling in siding with the Greeks “smashing molotov cocktails into the walls of their parliament” last week.
“If I’d been a young Greek – I’d have been there with the rioters, because we’ve left them no alternative but direct action.”
Many of the Americans present at last week’s dinner in Washington, D.C. were shocked to hear an elected politician and party leader endorse violent protest, but Farage bemoaned the lack of American understanding of how severe and divisive things in Europe had become.
Having earlier faced an hour long debate on Fox News, America’s most conservative national news outlet, in which the other guests advocated for the continuation of the EU status quo, he said: “I’m here with the message – that the only message we get from anyone in America is that Britain must stay in the EU and that it’s a great thing – The lack of thinking in Brussels is being echoed by the lack of thinking in Washington.”
“Americans have to understand what we are facing in Europe is Marxism. It’s that significant. I’m not suggesting it’s quite as evil as the Soviet Union – but it doesn’t work for the same reason. You can’t run anything for very long based on coercion.”
Farage had previously been supporting the Greek position and the Greek Prime Minister’s defiant stance against other EU leaders demanding submission. But following the latest bailout agreement Farage said he felt, in seeing Tsipras afterwards, that he “looked like a broken man, just days after his referendum victory.”
His frustration at Tsipras’ apparent capitulation was certainly no less vocal or passionate than those who were rioting in Athens. Farage’s thinking surely that, if given the dire economic settlement and the demonstrable strength of feeling, Tsipras can’t remove Greece from the grip of core Europe – who can? and what does it suggest for Britain’s chances at even a renegotiation of terms of membership?
The UKIP leader went further in criticisng America’s foreign policy and lambasted Obama’s Presidency and recent agreement on Iran:
“The Iran deal is an extraordinary thing for a U.S. President to even countenance – this is still a nation who as far as I know intends to wipe Israel off the map. It looks like Obama, once again, has done an incredibly un-American thing.
“After Obama’s Presidency you can relax – your relationship with Cuba and Iran is brilliant, replacing Britain and Israel as America’s closest allies.”
Speaking on the upcoming U.S. Presidential race he said: “I hope you get a President who believes in democracy, but whoever the next President is they cannot be worse than the incumbent.”
It’s certainly true that the Eurosceptic movement couldn’t do any worse than Obama in a new U.S. President, but a Republican President may present the opportunity of not just a critical approach to the EU, but the provision of an alternative in NAFTA, to allay any fears of a trade deficit post-Brexit.
For this reason a referendum vote after the U.S. Presidential election would surely offer Farage the best chance of moving beyond the brave but ultimately defeated visage of Tsipras, to a long awaited victory, that as he put it to America, “Will give us our own Independence Day.”