Just got back from Europe. The trip was a huge success for America. Hard work but great results!
— Donald trump, Sunday morning
More than four months the White house has not appointed European ambassadors do not appoint people to high diplomatic posts, and not even a hint submits that this will ever be done. Periodically officials, including Vice President and defense Minister, fly over the ocean, passing messages, and making soothing statements. They repeatedly reaffirm America’s commitment to NATO, talking about old relationships and lasting alliances. They hint and wink. But nothing has changed.
Europeans listened and pretended to believe them. One of them told me after the February speech, Vice-President in Munich: “All is true, but only until the next tweet that guy”. And suddenly last week, just two days President trump personally put an end to this uncertainty, and without a single tweet. Now we know: his messengers — people unreliable. And everything really changed.
What actually happened in Belgium and Italy? Declaring in Saudi Arabia that he is not going to “lecture” Arab leaders about human rights, trump arrived in Brussels and immediately began to lecture the closest allies of America, accusing them that they owe a lot of money NATO and American taxpayers. But it doesn’t make sense. NATO is not a club-type Mar-a-Lago, where every year paid premiums. But it was a clear and concrete sign pointing to what many have suspected all this time. Democrats traded with him, flattering him trump prefers dictators.
Several hours later, at a meeting on trade issues trump complained that Germany was “bad” because she “sells in the U.S. millions of cars”. Looks like he intends to rewrite trade agreement of the USA with Germany. But this is also nonsense: as a member of the European Union, Germany does not negotiate for its trading transactions. In addition, German companies are making “millions of cars” in the US, and make them about the same as selling. But his comments trump has shown that the days when the United States was the world leader in trade, also came to an end.
The President never in all the time of the visit demonstrated that he understands his role as leader of the Alliance. When he began to demand compliance with the Treaty on climate change, he wrote on Twitter: “the Final decision on the Paris agreement I will receive next week!” Like a movie, and people need to keep in a state of suspense, if only they watched it. Proving that he still looks at the world through the eyes of real estate developers, trump complained to the Belgian Prime Minister for European rules, which inhibited the construction of one of its Golf courses. Before shooting at the NATO summit trump pushed the Prime Minister of Montenegro, to stand in the front, because that’s what ill-mannered celebrities.
The President never in all the time his visit has not demonstrated that he understands what issues are at stake. During a speech in the headquarters of the Alliance, he did not mention article 5, which obliges all NATO members to come to the defense of one of the members of the Alliance of countries in case of an attack on her. Later, trump announced that his visit will pave the way to “peace through strength.” But it appears that he has no idea about the meaning of this phrase, uttered by Ronald Reagan in 1980-ies. “We will have a lot of power, and we will have a lot of the world,” he explained.
When the visit ended, the presidential aides rushed to explain what trump had in mind. The national security adviser Herbert McMaster immediately announced that trump supported article 5. But this time no one even pretended to believe him.
As a result of the visit of the American influence in Europe, which was always through mutually beneficial trade and military alliances, very much shaken. Us-German relations underlying the transatlantic Alliance for more than 70 years, today fell to a new low. On Sunday, Chancellor Angela Merkel told a sympathetic audience that Germany no longer relies on America after what she “experienced over the last few days.” The Russian government has long been seeking to expel from the continent, the United States, could not get enough. TV in Moscow said that trump has turned NATO into a “house of cards”.
A huge success for America? If it was a success, I’d hate to see failure.