Saturday, June 09, 2018

A World To Run

Ian Bremmer and Malcolm Nance, the latter in response to the former, consider President Trump's affinity toward Russian President Vladimir Putin:

Early Thursday morning, The New Yorker posted by Susan Glasser an article in which she referred to a security conference in the Estonian capital the previous week and added

When I went to Berlin after the Tallinn conference, I talked with several German officials who made similar references to personal and familial dysfunction. In their view, Trump’s decision to take on his allies on so many issues all at once is quite different from the standard-issue European policy disputes with the United States, such as the 2003 rift over George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq, or Ronald Reagan’s early nineteen-eighties military buildup against the Soviet Union. Those were differing views over how to protect the alliance; now Trump is questioning the alliance itself. “It’s like your parents questioning their love for you,” Norbert Röttgen, the chairman of the Bundestag’s foreign-affairs committee, told me on Monday. “It’s already penetrated the subconscious.”

That was Thursday morning. It wasn't until Friday morning that the President left the White House to be flown to the two-day G-7 summit in Canada and stated "Russia should be in this meeting. Whether you like it or not, and it may not be politically correct, but we have a world to run. . . . They should let Russia come back in."

And so the President of the USA wants Vladimir Putin's Russia to be join the group of seven allies. It would, at least, alleviate the need to tell our intelligence secrets to the Kremlin. But wait- run that one by me again, will you?

We have a world to run.  Trump wasn't talking about the G7-8, the Transatlantic alliance, or the European Union.  One year ago, a former undersecretary of State and ambassador to NATO wrote 

America and Europe are experiencing their most significant crisis in decades. President Trump’s recent visit to NATO and the EU was the least successful of any U.S. president in seven decades, exposing deep ideological divisions and a widening gulf of trust across the Atlantic. Last weekend’s terrorist attacks in London had the same effect. Trump repeatedly criticized London Mayor Sadiq Khan for telling citizens not to be alarmed by the attacks, when Khan actually said they should not be alarmed by a heavy police presence. Trump’s tweets did not go down well in stoic Britain, where the World War II maxim, “keep calm and carry on,” still holds.....

The heart of the problem is Trump’s view of Europe, and Germany in particular, as an economic competitor rather than a strategic partner. This is a sea change in American attitudes towards Europe. All of Trump’s predecessors dating to President Truman have prized Europe’s political and military alliance with America. Trump’s boorish behavior in Brussels and his intemperate tweets criticizing Merkel (and now Khan) have only reinforced the doubts about him in Europe

In late May, after criticism of NATO from President Trump, Angela Merkel remarked "I have experienced this in the last few days. And that is why I can only say that we Europeans must really take our fate into our own hands."

That was in May, 2017. Now, as David Corn mused on AM Joy on Saturday morning, Trump "doesn't want a G-7. He wants a G-2, maybe a G-3" (mainland China included). 

Actual "fate" is pre-determined. Otherwise, fate wouldn't be fate. But if the European Union doesn't want Europe- and possibly the globe- split up by two or three world powers, it needs to start, yesterday.

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