Archive for the ‘Trump and Europe’ category

Trump to Germany: Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way

May 29, 2017

Trump to Germany: Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way, PJ Media, Michael Walsh, May 28, 2017

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

What the president understands, and the Europeans pretend not to, is that Russia is no longer the direct menace it was during the days of the Fulda Gap, and that the real menace to Europe and NATO (which, by the way, includes the Islamicizing state of Turkey) is Islam, and its ongoing invasion of the historic lands of Christendom. If you think that’s a joke, and that it can’t happen in France, Italy or Britain, ask the Anatolians, the north Africans and the Albanians how that worked out for them.

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Quick, name the worst leader in western Europe. Yes, it’s a tough call: it’s either whoever the leader of Italy is this week, plus whichever socialist is temporarily in charge of France, plus the your-name-here chinless wonder domiciled at 10 Downing Street in London. But surely the prize goes to Frau Kartoffel herself, German Kanzlerin Angela Merkel, who’s been in office since 2005 and, alas, shows no signs of leaving any time soon.

On his visit this past week to Europe, President Trump spoke some hard truths to our European allies, but none spat it out more quickly than Merkel, to the absolute delight of the Trump-hating New York Times. It is a cold day in hell when the Times speaks fondly of any German, but here it is:

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Europe’s most influential leader, has apparently concluded that the United States of President Trump is not the reliable partner her country and continent have automatically depended on in the past.

Clearly disappointed with European leaders’ inability to persuade Mr. Trump to publicly endorse NATO’s doctrine of collective defense — or to agree to common positions on Russia, climate change or global trade — Mrs. Merkel said on Sunday that traditional alliances were no longer as reliable as they once were, and that Europe should pay more attention to its own interests “and really take our fate into our own hands.”

To which let me add: it’s about time. I’ve spent a good deal of my life in Germany, speak the language, and raised my children there; my most recent book, the best-selling The Devil’s Pleasure Palace, concerns not only the Frankfurt School of Marxist philosophers and the cultural havoc they wrought in America, but the musical and literary cornerstones of German culture itself, including Goethe and Wagner.

If it took Trump’s typical bluntness to finally get the message across that the Europeans are now responsible for the mess of their own making, good. Germany in particular has coasted under the American nuclear umbrella for decades, allowing it to a) concentrate entirely on rebuilding its domestic economy, infrastructure and social welfare state and b) thumb its nose at American warmongering imperialism. It’s one of the least attractive aspects of the German character; the gratitude that the immediate postwar generation felt for our having rescued them from Hitler and the love Germans felt for all things American have vanished. In their place has come a churlish, we-can-take-it-from-here mutter that does not become them.

Formerly known as Christendom (Wikipedia)

What the president understands, and the Europeans pretend not to, is that Russia is no longer the direct menace it was during the days of the Fulda Gap, and that the real menace to Europe and NATO (which, by the way, includes the Islamicizing state of Turkey) is Islam, and its ongoing invasion of the historic lands of Christendom. If you think that’s a joke, and that it can’t happen in France, Italy or Britain, ask the Anatolians, the north Africans and the Albanians how that worked out for them.

Speaking on the campaign trail after contentious summit meetings in Belgium and Italy, Ms. Merkel said: “The times in which we could rely fully on others, they are somewhat over. This is what I experienced in the last few days,” she said.

Given this new context for international relations, she said, “that is why I can only say that we Europeans must really take our fate into our own hands — of course in friendship with the United States of America, in friendship with Great Britain and as good neighbors wherever that is possible also with other countries, even with Russia.”

Welcome back to the 19th century! As the gorilla in the middle, Germany has always been forced to deal with the West (in the form of France and French culture) and the East (Russia); the result was two world wars and the deaths of millions. The European Union was essentially a response to the lingering question of how to prevent the great ape from escaping its cage and having dinner in Paris a month or so later. Worse for Merkel, although born in Hamburg, she grew up on the wrong side of the East-West German border and so was raised in a state that was at once a communist dictatorship and a swaddling socialist experiment, one which beat the sense of personal striving out of the people and replaced it with a dull conformity.

That dullness is now embodied by Merkel, a dull, uninspiring leader with no vision for the future and, childless, with no personal stake in it. Somewhere in hell, Walter Ulbricht and Erich Honecker are having a good laugh about their perfect revenge on the capitalist West. Sure, it took their own destruction to pull it off, but what could be more German than that?

This Week in Trump

May 28, 2017

This Week in Trump, Power Line, Steven Hayward, May 28, 2017

Normally I don’t traffic in the typical media thumb-sucking about what’s immediately ahead for the President, or other unctuous, subjunctive commands about what the President “must do” if he is going to advance. But I make an exception now because I have a sense that Trump might make some big moves this week following on his highly successful and consequential first foreign trip.

How do I know it was a successful and consequential trip? Because the media was complaining about Melania’s wardrobe and Trump’s supposedly boorish behavior of pushing himself past the prime minister of Montenegro during a group photo setup. I think that was just Trump making clear that the U.S. is done leading from behind. How else do I know it was a successful trip? Because Angela Merkel has her nose bent out of joint. Frau Merkel was quoted this weekend saying, “We can’t rely on the U.S. anymore. I have experienced this in the last days. We Europeans should take destiny in our own hands.”

Merkel and other Europeans reportedly gave Trump the razzle-dazzle about staying in the Paris Climate Accord, which Trump is now rumored to be ready to dump this week. I hope so, though I don’t think it may matter very much. The Paris Accord is so weak that even chief climatista James Hansen calls it a “fraud,” and the fact that ExxonMobil and other major fossil fuel companies support remaining in the Paris Accord is additional indication that Trump might cause more difficulties for the climate racket it he stays in. The great Roger Pielke Jr writes:

“As a symbol, here is how the politics works: Trump pulls out of Paris, Trump wins. Trump stays in, Trump wins. Fun game, huh?”

Roger thinks the smart play for the euroclimatistas would be to kick the U.S. out. I doubt they have that much moxie, and in any case Trump would love it. I can just imagine his tweetstorm now.

Meanwhile, is Trump going to shake up his staff? One analogy to the early months of Trump’s presidency is the first few months of Bill Clinton’s presidency in 1993, which also did not go well for him in terms of public approval and forward progress on his legislative agenda. It’s not exactly the same: no one in the media today is emulating Time magazine’s “The Incredible Shrinking President” cover of June 1993 that Clinton’s fecklessness provoked. The liberal-media complex fear today is just the opposite—that Trump is a fascist dictator.

It was at about this point in 1993 that Clinton shook up his staff, bringing David Gergen on board as communications director (fortunately there is no risk that Trump will inflict that special misery on us), and musing about demoting Dee Dee Myers, one of his early press spokespeople. It didn’t really help all that much. Hillary’s ridiculous and authoritarian health care plan couldn’t even get a vote in a Congress with comfortable Democratic majorities in both houses, and the crime bill that did pass in the fall of 1994, with its trendy “assault” weapons ban and midnight basketball program, backfired on Democrats.

I suppose the cautionary tale here is that today’s GOP Congress needs to pass some things, or else they will suffer (deservedly) the same fate as the Democrats did in 1994. They really need to get their act together—fast—on the replacement for Obamacare and tax reform. They GOP Congress doesn’t need specific direction from Trump to do these things. In fact, it would be a great move back to political health if Congress stepped up and showed that it can lead the nation just as well as a President, which is what the Founders intended. But that’s a subject for a longer, separate post.

My conclusion is that Trump’s foreign trip and events this week will mark a turning point for his first term.

At G7, Trump Diverts Agenda Away from Climate and Toward Islamist Terrorism

May 26, 2017

At G7, Trump Diverts Agenda Away from Climate and Toward Islamist Terrorism, Breitbart, Thomas D. Williams, Ph.D., May 26, 2017

(Possible WaPo headline: Trump promotes terror to dodge climate change. — DM)

TAORMINA, Italy – At President Trump’s first major meeting with international leaders, his world influence has become evident as conversations shifted from the bogeyman of climate change to the real and present danger of Islamist terrorism.

Prior to the G7 summit of the leaders of the world’s wealthiest and most advanced nations, “climate change” constantly appeared on the list of priorities highlighted by the heads of state especially of European nations.

As one headline read, “Trump talks terrorism while Europe shouts ‘Climate!’” In this shouting match, however, the U.S. President has definitely gotten the upper hand.

Reality has imposed itself, as a major jihadist attack last Monday in Manchester, England, claimed the lives of 22 persons and gunmen massacred some 26 Coptic Christians Friday morning south of Cairo Egypt. The latter attack coincided with the first day of Ramadan, the holiest season in the Islamic calendar.

While the phantasm of global warming hovers over the misty horizon, the reality of repeated slaughters of innocent men, women and children by terrorists inspired by Islamist ideology is an elephant that insists on being recognized.

European leaders have also found themselves asked repeatedly to respond to President Trump’s powerful speech against Islamist terrorism before 55 world leaders from Arab and other Muslim-majority nations in Riyadh earlier this week.

In that speech, Trump called for unity in pursuing “the one goal that transcends every other consideration. That goal is to meet history’s great test—to conquer extremism and vanquish the forces of terrorism.”

In this unique and preeminent task, Trump said, “Muslim-majority countries must take the lead in combatting radicalization.”

“Every time a terrorist murders an innocent person, and falsely invokes the name of God, it should be an insult to every person of faith,” Mr. Trump said. “Terrorists do not worship God, they worship death.”

Asked for a reaction to that speech, the chairman of the European Union’s Council said he agrees with President Trump that the international community should be “tough, even brutal” on terrorism and the Islamic State.

EU Council President Donald Tusk said that he “totally agreed with him when he said the international community, the G7, the United States, Europe — should be tough, even brutal, with terrorism and ISIS.”

Tusk also recognized that “this will be the most challenging G7 summit in years,” because of President Trump’s independent views that do not always mesh with the European globalist establishment.

Throughout the day’s meetings in Taormina, Sicily, President Trump seemed eminently comfortable with his role as world leader and agenda-setter, one which his fellow heads-of-state appeared ill-equipped to counter.

Farage on Trump: The EU Is ‘Absolutely Terrified of Him – Good’

February 24, 2017

Farage on Trump: The EU Is ‘Absolutely Terrified of Him – Good’, PJ MediaNicholas Ballasy, February 24, 2017

farageatcpacNigel Farage at the UKIP spring conference Feb. 17, 2017, in Bolton, UK. (Rex Features via AP Images)

“You know, with 34 days in I think that he clearly has the intention of a man who intends to put into place the ticket on which he was elected, and how refreshing is that in a democracy? We are not used to it,” he said. “My guess is he’ll be feeling a bit frustrated with the judges and other people; I would just like to see him to stock to what he’s doing. I mean, maybe he is going to have to box clever to get some of his stuff through, but basically don’t change.”

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NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – Nigel Farage, former leader of the UK Independence Party, told PJM that there is “nothing to be lost” with President Trump meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying that Trump has to show he’s “not going to be a pushover.”

“Well, he has to show he wants to have a better relationship with Russia. He believes we have shared common interests in dealing with Islamic terrorism and issues like that but he’s not going to be a pushover — that’s what you’ve got to show,” Farage said during an interview Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference outside Washington.

“He’s going to say, ‘Look, you’ve behaved badly but we want to form a grown-up relationship with you.’ One thing is for certain, there’s nothing to be lost with him meeting Putin. Nothing at all,” he added.

Farage rejected the notion that the U.S. cannot make a good deal with Russia.

“They are small-minded, very silly people who don’t understand there is a thing in life called human chemistry. Trump himself said ‘I may not get along with him,’ but the very fact he is prepared to meet is grown-up policy. The great Winston Churchill said jaw-jaw is better than war-war and I’m with that,” he said.

Farage told PJM that Trump should “stick” to what he has been doing in office and not change anything.

“You know, with 34 days in I think that he clearly has the intention of a man who intends to put into place the ticket on which he was elected, and how refreshing is that in a democracy? We are not used to it,” he said. “My guess is he’ll be feeling a bit frustrated with the judges and other people; I would just like to see him to stick to what he’s doing. I mean, maybe he is going to have to box clever to get some of his stuff through, but basically don’t change.”

British lawmakers recently debated whether they should withdraw a state visit invitation to Trump. Some European leaders have voiced opposition to Trump’s travel ban that covers seven Muslim-majority countries. Farage was asked if Trump should tweak any of his policy positions given the criticism he has faced from some world leaders.

“Obviously, the world is watching on the Russian stuff to see exactly where this goes. On issues like that people will be looking for a bit more clarity because he wants to have better relations – what exactly does that mean?” he said. “And the world will be looking for that and the European Union are terrified of him, absolutely terrified of him. Good.”

During the interview, Farage shared his reaction to far-right French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen recently refusing to wear a headscarf in Lebanon in order to meet with the Grand Mufti.

“Listen, good for her. You know, she’s a strong woman. It remains to be seen what the runoff is going to be, it’s going to be fascinating. France is where the action is going to be. The global revolution of ’16 could keep rolling,” said the leader of the 2016 Brexit movement.