Today’s Campaign Update
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)
More fireworks than the 4th of July. – So, NATO Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison has her work cut out for her today, as President Donald Trump (I never tire of typing those three words) meets with his counterparts at the fellow NATO member nations and follows that with a one-on-one settee with the execrable German Prime Minister Angela Merkel.
The President already lit off the first volley of bottle rockets upon landing in Brussels, where the conference is being held, telling the assembled bunch of fake international journalists that…
“Germany is a captive of Russia because it is getting so much of its energy from Russia,” Trump said, taking particular aim at the proposed Nord Stream II gas pipeline, which he has previously criticised.
“Everybody’s talking about it all over the world, they’re saying we’re paying you billions of dollars to protect you but you’re paying billions of dollars to Russia.”
“These countries have to step it up — not over a 10 year period, they have to step it up immediately,” Trump said.
“We’re protecting Germany, France and everybody… this has been going on for decades,” Trump said. “We’re not going to put up with it, we can’t put up with it and it’s inappropriate.”
Ok, well, there you go. That’s the U.S. relationship with NATO in a nutshell. It actually has been the U.S. relationship with NATO for decades, but Mr. Trump is just the first U.S. president who’s been willing to state the truth of the matter publicly. His predecessors, on the rare occasions when they even raised the subject of the European nations’ failure to live up to their funding obligations, did so privately, and obviously without effect. This way, they avoided embarrassing their laggard counterparts and preserved the “international order” they were all so focused on preserving.
But Trump’s a businessman, and could not give a damn about preserving the “international order” about which EU President Donald Tusk (can that really be his real name?) chastised Mr. Trump on Tuesday:
“Dear America, appreciate your allies, after all you don’t have that many,” Tusk said, before reminding Trump that European troops had come to America’s aid following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.
“Please remember this tomorrow when we meet at the NATO summit, but above all when you meet President Putin in Helsinki. It is always worth knowing who is your strategic friend and who is your strategic problem,” he said.
But see, the thing is that President Trump correctly identifies NATO “allies” like Germany and Turkey as every bit the “strategic problems” for the United States of America that Russia represents. The first obvious fact is the stark reality that Russia presents no serious military threat to the U.S., yet Germany and the other NATO countries expect the U.S. to continue funding the majority of NATO expenses and spending tens of billions of its dollars every year defending an increasingly hostile Europe from a Russian invasion, just as it has done for the past 73 years.
The European “allies” demand all of this ongoing U.S. largess while at the same time levying draconian tariffs on imports of American-made goods and importing their natural gas from the very country – Russia – from which they contend they must have ongoing U.S. military protection.
The U.S. relationship with its NATO “allies” is almost perfectly analogous to the couple in upstate New York who recently had to sue their 30 year-old son to force him to move out of the damn house. In the lawsuit, the son contended that his parents had an obligation to just keep funding his layabout lifestyle and allow him to keep living in their home for as long as he wanted to do so.
When World War II came to a final, blessed end in 1945, Germany and much of the rest of Western Europe was in a shambles. Meanwhile, Eastern Europe had been sadly absorbed into the communist orbit of the Soviet Union, which was, along with the U.S., one of the world’s two major military powers. Western Europe needed the protection and support of the United States, and we gave it to them. This was a mutually-advantageous relationship, since it also served what were at the time the strategic interests of the U.S.
Today, the Soviet Union has been dead for 29 years. Russia remains a military power, but is also a country that hardly possesses the financial resources to mount an invasion of Crimea, much less Western Europe. It is long past time for our NATO “allies” to stop occupying a bedroom in America’s home, go out and get a job, and pay their own way. “Paying their own way” means ponying up 2 percent of their GDP (the U.S. currently spends about 5 percent) to pay for real military establishments to protect their own borders. Please note that this is not a U.S. demand – this is an obligation they all agreed to live up to when they became NATO members. They are all delinquent in meeting this contractual obligation, and they need to stop acting like spoiled children and pony up.
That’s the clear message that Daddy Donald Trump will be delivering today to Tusk, Merkel, May and the boy princes who rule France and Canada, and it’s a message they all need to heed. Because Daddy Trump isn’t going to be impeached, most likely has another six and a half years to serve in office, and he’s not fooling around.
Ambassador Hutchison is going to have a long and difficult day. But she’s tough, and can take it.
Just another day Donald Trump isn’t fooling around America.
That is all.
Follow me on Twitter at @GDBlackmon
Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.