Friday, July 13, 2018

The American Empire Strikes Back

The cognoscenti thrilled to see an American president apologize for America. They almost wet their knickers to hear him denounce his nation for torturing innocent terrorists. They delighted to see any display of American weakness. After all, by the theories of one Jeremiah Wright, a belligerent and bigoted America had caused all of the world’s problems. If only America would don a hair shirt and bow down to potentates, all would be well.

Compared with the dainty diplomatic footwork of the feckless and ineffective Barack Obama, Donald Trump looked like a bulldozer on the European stage this week. Given that America was paying nearly 70% of NATO’s defense budget, he felt that he could throw his weight around… just a little.

Worse yet, he had the temerity to trash German Chancellor Merkel, Obama’s BFF, the instrument for an Obama policy agenda in Europe, for her disastrous open-arms policy and for her collusion with the Russians. No one seemed to much care but Germany has signed a natural gas deal with Russia that effectively finances Vladimir Putin’s regime. Former German prime minister Schroeder is directly involved.

Trump humiliated Merkel in public over the deal, and effectively, it could not have happened to a more ineffectual leader. At a time when the cognoscenti are drooling over the liberal world order, which they see embodied in Merkel, it was a clear sign of who is really in charge. It also tells us that the Obama era of sucking up to weak European leaders is over.

And then there is Once-Great Britain. Yesterday, Trump arrived in an erstwhile ally, one that has been happy to insult him. It is not a very nice way to greet an honored guest. The Baby Trump blimp is one part of it. Demonstrations are another part. In truth, Once-Great Britain is acting the petulant child pretending to be far more powerful and consequential than it is. The nation is being torn apart by political correctness and is experiencing a wave of crime and terrorism. It has more important things to do than to pretend that it is part of the international Resistance against Trump.

Many American presidents would have taken the humiliation, the absence of a cordial greeting, in stride. They would have turned the other cheek. They would have done so even after they ran out of cheeks. They would have accepted the diminished stature that is implied in the serial insults to America and its president.

Not so, Donald Trump.

The cognoscenti are up in arms about Trump’s offensive behavior, but, truth be told, America’s most important ally is seriously misbehaving. What did Trump do? He slapped down Once-Great Britain in  far reaching interview with a British tabloid called, The Sun:

In an extraordinary intervention timed to coincide with his UK visit, Mr Trump said Theresa May ignored his advice by opting for a soft Brexit strategy.

And he warned her any attempts to maintain close ties with the EU would make a lucrative US trade deal very unlikely.

Mr Trump said: “If they do a deal like that, we would be dealing with the European Union instead of dealing with the UK, so it will probably kill the deal.”

Whether this has anything to do with hard or soft Brexit, the truth is, Once-Great Britain needs America more than America needs Once-Great Britain. If you are about to negotiate a new trade deal, it’s not a good idea to insult your negotiating partner.

But, that wasn’t all, folks. In his typical bulldozer style, Trump made clear to The Sun that he was not going to take it lying down. Among the points he made in a far reaching interview were these:

His comments, damaging to the Prime Minster, come as he delivers his most brutally honest verdict yet on Britain in which he also:

  • Blamed Khan for spiralling crime in the capital

  • Denied once branding Theresa May a “bossy schoolteacher”

  • Maintained he would keep ties with Russian tyrant Vladimir Putin despite the Salisbury Novichok poisonings
  • Demanded Britain and other Nato countries spend more on defence

  • Claimed millions of Brits backed his policies

  • Told of his pride at taking wife Melania to meet the Queen

One understands that Theresa May’s government is in serious trouble. One understands that she is negotiating from a position of weakness. One also understands that she has seriously botched the Brexit negotiations and has shown herself to be an incompetent leader.

But, beyond all of that, Trump understands that large number of British subjects were not welcoming him to their country. He also understands that insulting the American president is insulting America. So, one feels, he wanted to show them who was leading the world and who was a whiny also-ran.


Anonymous said...

Trump has a way of coming out on top, in terms of long-term strategy. He negotiates in the open. This is unorthodox to diplomacy wonks, and thus highly disruptive. A "bossy schoolteacher" wouldn't understand this kind of approach. May doesn't, and missed a significant trade opportunity. And Boris Johnson (a mayor most Londoners would love to have back at the helm) walked out of her cabinet. Brits are not Euros. Never have been. Most don't want to be. And with the mass cultural suicide going on on the continent, porous borders are a security risk. Speaking of security, the security for Trump's visit to Britain is the highest for any country he has visited. Yeah, Khan has everything under control, including his luftballoons.

Sam L. said...

Did May botch the Brexit by doing it badly, or doing it on purpose?
My guess is the latter. Ignoring the voters will not end well.

Sam L. said...

Mister Trump IS the Big Boss Man. Sorta has the ability to channel John Wayne, seems to me.