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Trump stuns them again

Two days that shook the world.

About Trump’s explosion at Frau Merkel’s Germany during the NATO summit, and his evisceration of Teresa May’s Clayton Brexit you can say this : It is long past time somebody carried a strong voice into the Kingdoms of Softly Softly.

America pays more for NATO, an alliance created 69 years ago to defend Europe, than do the Europeans. And as Europe free-rides off their defense effort, the EU runs trade surpluses at US expense that exceed $100 billion a year.

To Trump, and not only to him, the US are being used, straight out gouged, by rich nations they defend, while they skimp on their own defense.

At Brussels, Trump had a new beef with the Germans, though similar problems date back to the Reagan era. Now we see the Germans, Trump raged, whom we are protecting from Russia, collaborating with Russia and deepening their dependence on Russian natural gas by jointly building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline under the Baltic Sea.

When completed, this pipeline will leave Germany and Europe even more deeply reliant on Russia for their energy needs.

To Trump, this makes no sense. While he pays the lion’s share of the cost of Germany’s defense, Germany, he said in Brussels, is becoming “a captive of Russia.”

Impolitic? Undiplomatic? Perhaps. But is Trump wrong? While much of what he says enrages Western elites, does not much of it need saying?

Germany spends 1.2 percent of its gross domestic product on defense, while the U.S. spends 3.5 percent. Why? And defence analysts are wondering where that 1.2% goes. Half their blasted tanks won’t run.

Why — nearly three decades after the end of the Cold War, the collapse of the Warsaw Pact, the crackup of the Soviet Union and the overthrow of the Communist dictatorship in Moscow — is the US still defending European nations that collectively have 10 times the GDP of Vladimir Putin’s Russia?

Before departing Brussels, Trump upped the ante on the allies, urging that all NATO nations raise the share of their GDPs that they devote to defense to 4 percent.

Brussels may dismiss this as typical Trumpian bluster, but Trump is not bluffing. He is visibly losing patience. His body language says that.

Though American leaders since John Foster Dulles in the 1950s have called for a greater defense effort from our allies, if the Europeans do not get serious this time, it could be the beginning of the end for NATO.

And not only NATO. South Korea, with an economy 40 times that of North Korea, spends 2.6 percent of its GDP on defense, while, by one estimate, North Korea spends 22 percent, the highest share on earth.

Japan, with the world’s third-largest economy, spends an even smaller share of its GDP on defense than Germany, 0.9 percent. Of course their stuff works.

Thus, though Seoul and Tokyo are far more menaced by a rising China, like the Europeans, both continue to rely upon the US as they continue to run large trade surpluses with the US.

Trump says we send troops and pay billions for their defense, while they restrict our access to their markets and focus on capturing U.S. markets from American producers.

America’s situation is unsustainable economically and politically, and it’s transparently intolerable to Trump, a man who is not a turn-the-other-cheek sort of guy.

A frustrated Trump has already hinted he may accept Russia’s annexation of Crimea as he accepted Israel’s annexation of Jerusalem.

And he is earnest about reducing the US massive trade deficits in goods that have been bleeding jobs, plants, equipment, capital and technology abroad.

The latest tariffs Trump has proposed, on $200 billion worth of Chinese-made goods, would raise the price of 40 percent of China’s exports to the U.S. and begin to shrink the $375 billion trade surplus Beijing ran in one year – 2017.

Trump said upon departing Brussels he had won new commitments to raise European contributions to NATO. But Emmanuel Macron of France seemed to contradict him. The commitments made before the summit, for all NATO nations to reach 2 percent of GDP for defense by 2024, said Macron, stand, and no new commitments were made. Nobody seemed to mention Macron. But even if he is right, the US will draw down from nearly 4% to theirs – 2%.

One idea Trump floated last week was the threat of a drawdown of the 35,000 U.S. troops in Germany. But would this really rattle the Germans?

A new poll shows that a plurality of Germans favor a drawdown of U.S. troops, and only 15 percent believe that Germany should raise its defense spending to 2 percent of GDP.

While Trump’s pressure on NATO to contribute more is popular here, apparently Merkel’s resistance comports with German opinion.

Since exiting the Iranian nuclear deal, President Trump has demanded that our European allies join the U.S. in reimposing sanctions. Now he is demanding that the Europeans contribute more to defense.

What does he do if they defy him? More than likely, they will be the first to find out.

As regards Theresa May he was not as bellicose, but he was there to talk trade and he knows that May’s left foot in, left foot out approach is bad for the US in trade terms. So he made a really cunning statement when asked about Brexit –

“Well, he said, “It’s not what they voted for.”

Ain’t that the truth? Isn’t that what the millions are screaming about? Does it not sum her attitude up?

Wait till the journos put that remark to May, “President Trump says your Brexit is not what they voted for.” The only thing she can do in reply is stutter.

Truth has that effect sometimes. It chokes the vocal cords and any tortured reply is laughed at.

{ 16 comments… add one }
  • Pensioner Pete 14/07/2018, 6:18 am

    There is an old saying ‘the truth hurts’, and Trump is telling the truth and it is hurting the Europussies, hurting so bad they are squealing like stuck pigs. Too bad, so sad, suck it up pussies.

    • Popular Front 14/07/2018, 7:18 am

      The Euroweenies have been bludging off the USA since 1945 and in the case of the French in particular insulting them to their faces whilst doing so. DJT could easily do what the Romans did in Britannia, they told the locals to ‘look to your own affairs’ and went home, never to return. That action led to centuries of warfare. Europe?

      • luk1955 14/07/2018, 8:54 am

        No Euro country is more deserving of moozie scum than France. I’ll be snickering when sharia law gets imposed in France in the next 5 years. Those stinking bastards are no one’s friends.

  • Phil 14/07/2018, 8:29 am

    Trump argues that the US contributes the lion’s share of UN defence spending but if it wasn’t for American imperialism around the world the UN wouldn’t need to spend so much on defence. America has instigated more wars since WW II than all other countries combined.

    • DT 14/07/2018, 9:42 am

      I disagree.

    • nev 14/07/2018, 10:35 am

      And so do I disagree. Totally.
      Standing for your rights and those of your Allies against belligerents is not starting wars.

    • Neville 14/07/2018, 7:40 pm

      Not so, Phil.
      But .. since you made the assertion, how about you provide evidence please, and references, to support your statement/s. Verifiable evidence, not your usual run-of-the-mill biased news, ‘alternative’ truth, and ideological mouthings.

      • Phil 14/07/2018, 8:05 pm

        Happy to oblige Neville. Go to this wikipedia site. It will show that the U.S. has been involved in 38 wars since WWII and not once was American soil ever threatened.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars_involving_the_United_States

        Can you provide verifiable evidence to dispute my opinions?

        Haven’t you ever wondered why the U.S. is interested only in having wars with oil rich states these days?

  • Albert 14/07/2018, 10:03 am

    I recently heard Julie Bishop describe Trumps style as somewhat undiplomatic. At the time I thought you beauty at last someone is dumping the ago old practice of backside kissing, pretended friendship and smiling while laying on the bullshit with a trowel in favour of telling it the way it is and if you don’t like it then stiff.

    • Popular Front 14/07/2018, 11:10 am

      Hear hear Albert. We Aussies like plain speaking and no bullshit.

  • Joe Blogs 14/07/2018, 10:22 am
    • nev 14/07/2018, 11:54 am

      And I agree JB. Do you mind if I add some parody to the PC crowd.
      News Today: The mad pink pussy hatters have come to worship at the feet of the Islamic mayor of Londonastan and to pwotest their pwotest wiff their bloons and blow up dolls. To pwotest for peace and Islam, for free speech and against it and no Trumps and no Brexit …….and every one was there man…….. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6S9dCGwB8M
      MEANWHILE……….The 17.4 million (and growing, as a new poll shows a 15% increase in those wanting Brexit) who voted to LEAVE the EU have been furious in recent days over May’s deal to sign us up for the EU, just with limited power and more regulation, but pretending it is still Brexit.

  • Rossco 14/07/2018, 10:32 am

    I like the boy. Listen to all his advice to the EU.
    Spend more on defence
    Correct the trade balance with the US
    We make the best military and aeronautical equipment in the world. No one is even near.
    Yep that’s what he’s saying. Buy our military gear and all is good.

  • clarion call 14/07/2018, 11:09 am

    The cowardly Eurocommies don’t want the truth be told. It might frighten the natives who are awakening from their self-induced slumber. And while they were asleep the Muzzies were slipping in the front door by the millions. Now they don’t quite know how to get rid of them. Suck it up you dopey Europies. There’s a heavy price still to pay.

    • Joe Blogs 14/07/2018, 4:24 pm

      CC
      They’re slowly, ever slowly, inching from denial into anger. After that, the nature of the final phases of grief for the loss of their cultural norms will be interesting.

      • Tom 14/07/2018, 4:46 pm

        The former Yugoslavia showed us how thin the veneer of civilisation really is. I think what we’re about to witness in Europe will make Yugoslavia in the early 1990s look tame by comparison, both in scale and ferocity. And Western Europeans will have no one to blame for what’s coming but themselves and the current crop of sorry so-called leaders they continue to vote in.

        The longer they delay addressing the elephant in the room, the more extreme will be the measures necessary to solve the problem. Unless they meekly surrender and all buy themselves a prayer mat.

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