Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Angela Merkel's Obama Nostalgia

European political leaders seem to be suffering from a severe case of Obama Nostalgia. The miss the weak president who would do anything to be part of their club-- even abrogate American leadership. They pine for the days when they could count on Barack Obama to do their bidding. They yearn for the days when America was not providing leadership in the Middle East, and when Vladimir Putin was doing as he pleased. They are positively appalled by a strong and somewhat uncouth American president stepping forward to lead from the front… not from behind.

It is fair to say that Angela Merkel is the most appalled. After all, Donald Trump accused her of opening her country’s floodgates to Muslim refugees and laying the groundwork for her country’s destruction. As it happened, the British exit from the European Union, the first blow to German power, occurred well before Donald Trump won his first electoral vote. Surely, the British people wanted out of the EU because it did not want to have a mass migration of Muslim immigrants flooding its shores. As you know, the Brits have more than they can handle with their current Muslim population. Think Manchester and Westminster and Rotherham.

Merkel is running an election campaign and is happy to use Trump as a punching bag… the better to show how important she is. Fair enough. Yet, Merkel has led the way in accepting Muslim refugees into her country and her message of open arms has made its way to the Middle East and North Africa. A recently leaked report from the German government estimates that around 6 million refugees are readying themselves to cross the Mediterranean in search of welfare.

One remarks that Trump, with his bluster and bravado about immigration, has managed to persuade large numbers of people that America is not going to welcome them with open arms. Walls matter, but so does perceived attitude.

As for the situation in Europe, the Daily Mail reports:

More than six million asylum seekers are waiting to cross into Europe, a leaked intelligence report warns.

There has been a huge increase in the number of migrants hoping to reach EU countries, it says – contradicting claims from Brussels that the situation is under control.

The confidential report, leaked to German newspaper Bild, claims 6.6million migrants are waiting in countries around the Mediterranean sea to cross into Europe, including 2.5million in war-torn North Africa.

Does anyone need to be reminded that this surge was provoked by Merkel's open arms policy and by Barack Obama’s pusillanimous leadership in Syria and his leading from behind in Libya? Rather than take responsibility for the mess that their own policies have created over many years now, European leaders are happy to blame Trump.

But, if you think that the migrant invasion is bad, Merkel will tell you that the threat to the planet is far, far worse. Don't you know that the sky is falling and that the earth is about to be destroyed? Merkel is especially torqued that Trump has not signed on to the Paris climate change agreement, an agreement that was not ratified by the United States Senate and that does very little for America… beyond covering Merkel’s you-know-what. While Europe succumbs to a wave of invading refugees and does nothing to stop ISIS from proliferating, its brave leaders are going to go to the mat to fight... the weather.

The Wall Street Journal editorializes this morning:

Mrs. Merkel’s embrace of green-energy dogmas has done enormous harm to the German economy. She reacted to the Fukushima meltdown by phasing out nuclear power, and her government has force-fed hundreds of billions of dollars into solar and wind power that have raised energy costs. As Der Spiegel once put it, electricity is now a “luxury good” in Germany.

It’s not surprising that Mrs. Merkel and the Europeans should want to shackle the U.S. with similarly high energy costs, and Mr. Obama was happy to oblige. But Mr. Trump was elected on a promise to raise middle-class incomes, and domestic energy production is essential to that effort. Mrs. Merkel doesn’t care if Mr. Obama committed the U.S. to Paris without any Congressional approval, but Mr. Trump has to take that into account.

The U.S. natural-gas fracking revolution also has the benefit of reducing fossil-fuel emissions by reducing reliance on coal. To the extent that U.S. energy production can supplant Russian natural-gas supplies to Europe and keep the price of oil low, it also undermines Vladimir Putin’s influence at home and abroad.

As though that is not bad enough, Merkel has not exactly been standing up to Russian perfidy. When Putin was doing as he pleased, neither she nor her good pal Barack Obama were anywhere to be found.

The Journal explains:

As for fading U.S. leadership in Europe, we wish the German Chancellor had prodded Mr. Obama to do more after Russia snatched Crimea from Ukraine. We’re still waiting for the Germans to support arming Ukraine to impose higher costs on Russia’s military incursions. Then there’s the failure of the U.S. and Europe to stop the Syrian civil war, which contributed to Brexit by sending millions of refugees into Europe without border controls.

One understands that the German Chancellor would want to make political points at the expense of the American president. And yet, she also tried to upstage Trump’s Middle East trip by inviting Barack Obama to an open meeting in Germany… might one not imagine that Trump would push back at her bald attempt to undermine American diplomacy in the Middle East? And besides, are the Europeans really upset that Trump managed to bring together dozens of Sunni nations in a coalition to fight ISIS and Iran? The only reason they would be unhappy was that they were not there, that they were not needed, that their views did not matter. 

I have remarked that Trump’s assertion of American power and influence in the Middle East caused Vladimir Putin to lose status and prestige. But, apparently, it also cause Angela Merkel to lose face. Now, she is doing her best to reassert herself. One can only wonder why so many Americans, in the media, both on the left and the right, and in the Democratic and Republican Parties are buying a narrative that diminishes their president in favor of European leaders like Merkel and Putin?

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Strangely, the Germans will probably re-elect Merkel coming fall. They keep clinging to Mutti's skirts no matter what, or so it seems. Reading the European MSM, almost all are delighted with Ms Merkel's stand 'after the desastrous European tour of Donald Trump.'

Ares Olympus said...

I've been hoping our European allies would get a clue and put up some metaphorical walls of their own against the insanity of our clueless leadership, and in the long run it's a good deal for all. Europe benefits by controlling their own destiny and not being puppets of the U.S.

WSJ: Mrs. Merkel’s embrace of green-energy dogmas has done enormous harm to the German economy. She reacted to the Fukushima meltdown by phasing out nuclear power, and her government has force-fed hundreds of billions of dollars into solar and wind power that have raised energy costs.

It is too bad that Merkel is moving away from nuclear, and I'd be interested in hearing how they keep high-energy-use industry in Germany if relocating can save them money.

It does seem like dealing with climate change does require something of a Trump-like approach - once you raise your standards, you have to be willing to raise tariffs on imports from countries with lower standards. So globalization itself must be reduced, whether in defense of jobs, or in defense of the environment. All of these things raise costs for everything, but potentially allow nations to have more sovereign control over their own destinies, minus the troublesome Muslim hordes I suppose.

David Foster said...

Area..."It is too bad that Merkel is moving away from nuclear, and I'd be interested in hearing how they keep high-energy-use industry in Germany if relocating can save them money."

I believe that they actually have utility prices structured in such a way that residential users are effectively subsidizing industrial users.

Re nuclear, you would think Merkel & co would look next door and observe how safely & effectively France has been able to use nuclear, which generates something like 70-80% of their electricity.

trigger warning said...

Well, as I've noted here before, you can take the girl out of the DDR, but you can't take the DDR out of the girl.

Besides, why should I, or any American, be concerned about the EU taking their "fate" in their own hands? About damn time, IMO. I'm tired of paying for it.

James said...

You're seeing the public acknowledgement (by Merkel) that an age is over. Reelected or not that is a fact. The problem with Merkel and so many others of the dying age is they would rather rule in hell than serve in heaven. By their actions they have signaled they will go down with the ship.

Sam L. said...

"Surely, the British people wanted out of the EU because it did not want to have a mass migration of Muslim immigrants flooding its shores. As you know, the Brits have more than they can handle with their current Muslim population. Think Manchester and Westminster and Rotherham." True. But what are the Brits doing about it? Seems like letting it fester.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

German society has become so feminine.

What green economy? It's a return to the primitive... misanthropic in worldview, spiritually pantheistic, nostalgic in its ignorance of the wilderness, and purely idiotic in its practical application and economic results. Behold, the nice Luddite Leader! It's a vacant, ignorant, sentimental materialism. Grimm's Fairy Tales have more depth.

James is spot on: serving in heaven is for suckers. It's a sinking ship with everyone -- male and female -- shrieking, waiting for the government to make the lifeboats work.

The European contribution to NATO's defense is pathetic. What is telling is that no European leader challenged Trump's assertion of their anemic support of the alliance and its mission. They've been ignoring it for decades, and they know it. How many U.S. Presidents have gone before we saddled ourselves with this purportedly horrible, wicked, awful reality TV star and done NOTHING??? Nothing! The Euros are skilled at creating and consuming subsidy on a grand scale.

Press them on this. Give them the Gitmo detainees they whine so much about. Seems said prisoners would blend in very well to today's Euro society.

trigger warning said...

IAC: "German society has become so feminine."

Sitzpinklers, I believe, is the operative term.

James said...

IAC,
"It's a sinking ship with everyone -- male and female -- shrieking, waiting for the government to make the lifeboats work."
Your right, you'd hope they would go with a modicum of class, but no it's not to be, there will be shrieking.

phann son said...

You're seeing the public acknowledgement (by Merkel) that an age is over. Reelected or not that is a fact. The problem with Merkel and so many others of the dying age is they would rather rule in hell than serve in heaven. By their actions they have signaled they will go down with the ship.

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