Monday, June 18, 2018

Meanwhile, In Berlin


Representing the Putin-Trump plan for dismantling the Trans-Atlantic Alliance, we have




Crime in Germany has been declining, an inconvenient, yet not uncomfortable, fact for a demagogue who used the racially charged "law and order" to lie his way to the top some nineteen months ago.

But Trump is right that there is impatience within the grand coalition Prime Minister Angela Merkel formed earlier this year. Yet, Monday morning in the USA brings the news

German Chancellor Angela Merkel tonight accepted an end-of-the-month deadline from Interior Minister Horst Seehofer on border control.

The compromise would help de-escalate a row that had threatened to blow up the 70-year-old alliance between the two conservative parties — Bavaria’s Christian Social Union and the Christian Democratic Union — destabilising her government.

Mrs Merkel said she would hold talks with other EU countries on migration issues and report back on July 1.

Mr Seehofer said tonight he wanted to proceed step-by-step in his plan to turn back some migrants at the country’s borders.

In the USA, we have a chief executive who has imposed tariffs on those European allies (and Canada), as well as withdrawn from the Iran nuclear agreement and the Paris climate accord and moved the nation's embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. These have all been moves strongly opposed by allies and democratic nations in general, whose objections have been met by a figurative middle finger from President Trump.

His new national security adviser, John Bolton, once said "If I were redoing the [UN] Security Council today, I’d have one permanent member because that’s the real reflection of the distribution of power in the world.” His views have not changed. The President's have: he'd add mainland China and Russia.

By contrast, Merkel has worked out an arrangement, however temporary, with her chief domestic foe, preparatory to meeting with  Italian Prime Minister Conte, later French President Macron, and with the European Union at the end of the month. “In the CDU, we are of the conviction that German and European interests have to be considered together,” Merkel has said (video below from early June).

We've been doing it differently here, with a chief executive who has imposed tariffs on those European allies (and Canada), as well as withdrawn from the Iran nuclear agreement and the Paris climate accord and moved the nation's embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. These have all been moves strongly opposed by allies and democratic nations in general, whose objections have been met by a figurative middle finger from Donald Trump.

The President's new National Security adviser, John Bolton, once said "If I were redoing the [UN] Security Council today, I’d have one permanent member because that’s the real reflection of the distribution of power in the world.” His views have not changed. The President's have: he'd add mainland China and Russia.

Nations working together to come up with solutions to mutual problems may seem a novel approach because Washington has not practiced it since, roughly, the January 2017 inauguration of the "I alone can solve it" authoritarian. The concept of cooperation is almost as awkward as the concept of shame for Donald Trump and his supporters

In tweeting Monday morning "We don’t want what is happening with immigration in Europe to happen with us!" President Trump continues an ultra-nationalistic and ultimately futile approach toward the surge in refugees in the USA and Europe. Fortunately, the German chancellor, seeking a coalition- or at least cooperation- among allies, is leading the continent in addressing the issue. President Trump does not understand: but this is what leadership looks like.








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