Sunday, November 4, 2018


The announced departure of the German Chancellor, coming after Brexit, is another blow to European values and ambitions. The populist derailment continues to create havoc. Trump, Putin and the Mitteleuropean crazies will rejoice, just as some did in the past when the Kaiser got rid of us the First World War as a bonus.

Without the United Kingdom and now losing Angela Merkel the EU is becoming more vulnerable. Only President Macron can try to steer the European project further, but his chances look slim. In reality the former Atlantic world is disappearing fast, battered under the selfish nationalistic shock waves coming from Trump and contaminated by Putin's Machiavellian touch of evil.

Western Europe may well be reduced to a sort of Eurasian archipelago under a Chinese/Russian board of  trustees. President Xi's grandiose new Silk Road ambition, together with Putin's energy policies (encouraged by, i.a., Germany's former chancellor Gerhard Shroeder, chairman of the Russian Oil giant Rosneft)), are reversing the projection of Mercator's map of the world. Like it or not, if the United States can do it alone, Europe cannot. With Trump, who has only a transactional outlook, Western Europe might end on its own. The American commitment to NATO can no longer be trusted since this loony president is devoid of any philosophical/strategic or moral fiber. He is only skilled as a consummate liar who gets away with "histrionics by repetition." He is of the same mettle as the former Idi Amin who ruled by exaggeration. Other leaders look pale in comparison. Under Trump, matinee entertainment has displaced enlightenment.

Trump already hijacked the mid-terms by his own knack for triangulation. If the Republicans win, it will be his doing alone. If they lose, he will blame them--not himself--for the loss. Until Tuesday he will shamelessly use the "caravan" for all the ills to come, accusing the Democrats of being complicit in letting in a fifth column of rapists and terrorists.

One has to be in Trump's America to fully understand the possible irreversible downfall of a great power. Mike Pompeo, secretary of State and certified Clinton hater, wrote a kind of elegy of Trump's genius in Foreign Affairs. He swooned over the highlights of the administration:  Iran--a debacle, and North Korea--a farce.  He stayed clear of even more embarrassing issues: the MBS/Jarred Kushner hotline, the "Russian bear" in the room, the latest Pyongyang cold shoulder, the Middle East peace plan or the Chinese and Russian aloofness toward an American president, too amateurish to be taken at his word.  In fact, America lost Latin America, Western Europe, Australia and Africa...speaking of accomplishment!

Chancellor Merkel could talk to Putin, Trump cannot. There is the difference. Europe had to cope before with unrest and brutal change in the East. Helmut Kohl found in President George W. Bush and the American administration support, diplomatic skill and historical know-how. Angela Merkel can likewise take a courageous and bold stand, but now without American support. Her successor will need clout and luck to measure up against the hostile headwinds East and West. The French president is brilliant but as happens with most things French, they mesmerize but do not last. International affairs are not seasonal!

No comments:

Post a Comment