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Posted by on May 11, 2018 in Europe, Germany, International, Politics | 0 comments

American Waterloo

Hilariously, I was listening to Erick Erickson on All Things Considered, on NPR, with some inside-the-beltway journo and the obligatory, obsequious* NPR moderator.  And Erickson ticked off the misconstruction that Trump has created, and noted that Trump had paid “no consequences.”  And I wondered why those dead, unarmed Palestinians weren’t “consequences” — the current Kent State of affairs in Israel was, arguably, kicked off by Trump’s off-the-rails decision to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem.  Or that pulling out of the Paris Accords AND the Iran deal hadn’t destroyed our credibility on the world stage. But he’s a media darling and I’m a mere humble blogger, so who am I to speak, after all?

But then this:

Time for Europe to Join the Resistance
Spiegel Online [Germany]

… It is impossible to overstate what Trump has dismantled in the last 16 months. Europe has lost its protective power. It has lost its guarantor of joint values. And it has lost the global political influence that it was only able to exert because the U.S. stood by its side. And what will happen in the remaining two-and-a-half years (or six-and-a-half years) of Trump’s leadership? There is plenty of time left for further escalation…. Clever resistance is necessary, as sad and absurd as that may sound. Resistance against America.

[* remember, the “Tea Party” congress of 2011 had, by April 12, introduced bills to cut off all funding to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, after “activist” James “plea bargain pimp” O’Keefe released secret camera footage of NPR personnel saying bad things about the Tea Party. Thus doth NPR and CPR and PBS walk over egg-shells to make certain that the Tea Party is ever-assuaged.]

No consequences Mr. Erickson? Have any of these at last, any sense of decency? Any sense of decency whatsoever?‡

[‡ No. They are all victims. Victims who call anyone else a “snowflake” but victims nonetheless, as I wrote about at length last week.]

When our European partners realize that the great Western alliance and common cause that proceeded from the aftermath of World War II has faltered and that the sole remaining superpower CANNOT be trusted and must be silently resisted, no one can possibly argue that there have been “no consequences.” Yes, the Toddler-in-Chief doesn’t see it, but, frankly, his concept of object permanence is subject to real debate, so that doesn’t actually count in the world of adults.

And, alas, it is the world of adults in which an Erick Erickson is accorded a “place at the table” not for his measured opinions or his sterling track record — he was on the “Saddam has WMDs and aids Al Qaeda” bus that has murdered hundreds of thousands of innocents, displaced millions more to refugee camps and dangerous attempts to enter Europe and whose ONLY consequence “Americans” talk about is the four thousand US troops killed in accomplishing all that misplaced slaughter.

Even Hammurabi decreed that the harshness ought to be proportional: an eye for an eye; a tooth for a tooth.

We take ten eyes for an eye. Ten teeth, and, if possible, a baby for every tooth.

And we spend years negotiating agreements that can be casually tossed in the trash without bothering to wonder if in future any agreements can be made, since we clearly lie like rugs and our words aren’t worth the pixels they’re written in.

No consequences?

No. No PERCEIVED consequences for the purblind, perhaps.

Even did you not agree with the agreement, the loss of American credibility and international trust was not worth the shoot-one’s-self-in-the-foot consequences of its abrogation.

I believe that last week’s arrogant decision to abrogate the Iran “deal” was the almost-worst foreign policy blunder of the 21st Century. (The worst was invading Iraq.) I am reminded of the moment when the Athenian League ceased to be an alliance of equals, and all League members became involuntary payers-of-tribute and automatic military vassals in any Athenian (mis)adventure:

President Trump has adopted a tone that ignores 70 years of trust. He wants punitive tariffs and demands obedience. It is no longer a question as to whether Germany and Europe will take part in foreign military interventions in Afghanistan or Iraq.

But at least we got …

Arlington National Cemetery Maintenance -- The National Archives PD

We got bupkis (no, not “bumpkins” autocorrect), as the Der Spiegel editorial points out:

He isn’t curious. His preparation is nonexistent. Strategy and tactics are both foreign to him. Trump is only proficient in destruction. And that’s what he does. He backed out of the Paris climate agreement while promising a “better deal for America.” But nothing came of the promise, neither a plan nor meaningful talks. In Trump’s Washington, the only thing that matters is dismantling the legacy of his predecessor, Barack Obama. Trump also promised to improve Obama’s health care plan, but the details are complex and bothersome. So Trump destroyed Obamacare and has done nothing to replace it.

But the saddest paragraph I’ve read in my lifetime is also in this Der Spiegel editorial.

The most shocking realization, however, is one that affects us directly: The West as we once knew it no longer exists. Our relationship to the United States cannot currently be called a friendship and can hardly be referred to as a partnership.

The cover of the magazine in question

Sad, because I’d say the exact same thing were I in their shoes. Which I envy in a way.

Their shoes are supple and comfortable.

Ours are filled with bullet holes (from our beloved guns).

Seems pretty consequential to me.

Courage.

cross-posted from his vorpal sword

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