Jan 192017
 January 19, 2017  Posted by at 7:25 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

Marlon Brando screentest 1951

I’m trying, I swear, to get into the fold, but I just can’t NOT find this hilarious. On the eve of his presidency, Donald Trump tells European leaders, by not telling them diddly-squat, that he doesn’t think they matter all that much. It’s not just that his vision of the EU, and its importance, is very different from theirs, he also remembers very well what many of them have said about him in the run-up to his election for the presidency.

Europe’s leaders, with the exception of Nigel Farage and Marine Le Pen, have been ridiculing and outright demonizing Trump ever since he declared his candidacy. They’ve said similar things about him that they say about Vladimir Putin, and in the 2016 fake news avalanche they’ve thrown the two together in various ways and for reasons they claim are obvious, with quite a few Hitler quips thrown in for good measure.

Now, for some reason they all seem to think it’s important to meet with Trump before he meets with Putin, as if his view of the world, and that of his entire government, is so unbalanced it could be decided at the toss of a coin. Trump is having none of it. After having been compared to anything that’s considered worst under the sun, who’s going to blame him?

Donald Trump feels, and largely rightly so, that the principle of innocence before being proven guilty was abandoned with much fervor by many, and certainly across the EU. The result is that now he’s simply not that into them. He’s been shown no respect at all, and he has not forgotten that. And it leads to a situation that’s brilliantly entertaining.

The EU, like the Obama/Clinton cabal, have dug in their heels and then dug some more when it comes to Putin, and by -their, not his- association also to Trump. They never thought he’d be elected, and now that he has been they don’t know what to do with themselves (how about an apology for starters?).

AP reports, even if once again you have to read between all the innuendo and opinionated humbug (grow up, AP!):

Anxious European Leaders Seek An Early Audience With Trump

European leaders, anxious over Donald Trump’s unpredictability and kind words for the Kremlin, are scrambling to get face time with the new American president before he can meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose provocations have set the continent on edge. One leader has raised with Trump the prospect of a U.S.-EU summit early this year, and the head of NATO — the powerful military alliance Trump has deemed “obsolete” — is angling for an in-person meeting ahead of Putin as well. British Prime Minister Theresa May is working to arrange a meeting in Washington soon after Friday’s inauguration.

For European leaders, a meeting with a new American president is always a sought-after — and usually easy-to-obtain — invitation. But Trump has repeatedly defied precedent, making them deeply uncertain about their standing once he takes office. Throughout his campaign and in recent interviews, Trump has challenged the viability of the EU and NATO, while praising Putin and staking out positions more in line with Moscow than Brussels. “There are efforts on the side of the Europeans to arrange a meeting with Trump as quickly as possible,” Norbert Roettgen, the head of the German Parliament’s foreign committee and a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party, told AP.

In fact, eager to stage an early show of Trans-Atlantic solidarity, Donald Tusk — the former Polish prime minister who heads the EU’s Council of member state governments— invited Trump to meet with the EU early in his administration, according to a European Union official. But a senior Trump adviser essentially rebuffed the offer, telling the AP this week that such a gathering would not be a priority for the incoming president, who wants to focus on meetings with individual countries, not the 28-nation bloc.

Trump backs Britain’s exit from the European Union, casting the populist, anti-establishment movement as a precursor to his own victory. In a recent joint interview with two European newspapers, Trump said of the EU, “I don’t think it matters much for the United States.”

So far so good, but then the rhetoric starts again. Only, it does so by calling Trump’s words ‘rhetoric’:

Such rhetoric alone was enough to set off alarm bells in Europe. And Trump’s praise for Putin and promise of closer ties to Moscow have deepened the uncertainty. Trump has raised the prospect of dropping U.S. sanctions on Moscow and has appeared indifferent to Russia’s annexation of territory from Ukraine. The hacking of his opponents during the U.S. election, and Trump’s dismissal of the CIA’s warnings about Russia’s involvement, added a dose of spy drama.

Trump’s sentiments mark a dramatic shift in Republican views of Europe, just a generation after George H.W. Bush famously greeted the collapse of the Iron Curtain by calling for a “Europe whole and free.” Trump’s top national security adviser has been in close contact with the Russian ambassador to the U.S., conversations that have involved setting up a phone call between the Putin and the president-elect, transition officials have said. But Trump currently has no plans to meet with Putin, according to the senior adviser, who insisted on anonymity in order to discuss the transition team’s internal planning.

Why on earth would Trump NOT meet with Putin? Because of all the unsubstantiated blubber his opponents have showered over him in their attempts to derail his campaign? If anything, that would probably make him all the more determined to set up such a meeting. Moreover, there’s a lot of damage that needs to be repaired in US-Russia relations, damage done by the former administration and the press it has a love relationship with.

[..] Aides have signaled that one of Trump’s first foreign leader meetings at the White House will be with May, who became prime minister following Britain’s vote to leave the EU. The president-elect’s team is also working on early invitations to Washington for the leaders of Mexico and Canada, according to the Trump adviser. Barring other arrangements, Trump and Putin’s first meeting of the year might not come until July when the Group of 20 leaders gather in Hamburg, Germany — though Trump has yet to say whether he plans to attend international summits.

If he does, some European leaders could get an audience with him in May at a planned NATO summit and a gathering of the more elite Group of Seven in Italy. Russia had been a member of that group, but the U.S. and Europe ousted Putin after the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine. One of the first tests of Trump’s loyalties may well be whether he seeks to bring Russia back into that fold.

“If we start to equate democracies and non-democracies, allies and adversaries, this is setting a very dangerous precedent,” said Heather Conley, director of the Europe program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. She said that if Trump were to reach out to Putin ahead of the Europeans upon taking office, “it would be a real cautionary note” for long-standing U.S. allies.

Guys! You lost! You lost big. Get a grip. It’s a different world out there. Adapt accordingly or fade away. Something tells us the adaptation process will prove too much for most of Europe’s current leaders. That will necessarily mean that most won’t be leaders for long.

Europe will have to move closer to Putin as Trump does so. The war mongering posture of the past decade or so will have to go. This will be very hard to do for those leaders who have called both men everything awful in the world. Those who can’t will have to leave. Like Juncker:

Hands off EU, Trump; We Don’t Back Ohio Secession: Juncker

Donald Trump should lay off talking about the break-up of the European Union, the bloc’s chief executive said on Wednesday, pointing out that Europeans do not push for Ohio to secede from the United States. In pointed remarks on the eve of Trump’s inauguration as U.S. president, Jean-Claude Juncker said the new administration would realize it should not damage transatlantic relations but added it remained unclear what policies Trump would now pursue.

Juncker told Germany’s BR television, according to a transcript from the Munich station, that he was sure no EU state wanted to follow Britain’s example and leave the bloc, despite Trump’s forecast this week that others would quit: “Mr. Trump should also not be indirectly encouraging them to do that,” Juncker said. “We don’t go around calling on Ohio to pull out of the United States.”

Juncker, the president of the European Commission, said he had yet to speak to Trump – contrary to what the President-elect said earlier this week. Juncker said Trump had confused him with European Council President Donald Tusk. “Trump spoke to Mr. Tusk and mixed us up,” said Juncker, taking a jab at the American billionaire’s grasp of his new role. “That’s the thing about international politics,” he said. “It’s all in the detail.”

It’s clear that in many countries, growing segments of both the population and the political sphere are thinking and talking about following Britain’s example. Juncker had better address their concerns than trying to ignore and deny them, or he will guarantee to achieve the opposite of what he wants.

That Donald Trump was elected in the first place is a surefire sign that many things were going very wrong in the world. Brexit is a sign of the exact same thing. Elections and other votes coming up in Europe will be the next in line, and it doesn’t even matter who wins them; many will be far too close for comfort for the existing order.

Meanwhile, watching the spectacle unfold from a distance, we find it impossible not to be highly amused by the former world order seeing their own words and actions backfire on them. And that has nothing to do with being pro-Trump or pro-Le Pen.

Home Forums He’s Just Not That Into You

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  • #32239

    Marlon Brando screentest 1951 I’m trying, I swear, to get into the fold, but I just can’t NOT find this hilarious. On the eve of his presidency, Donal
    [See the full post at: He’s Just Not That Into You]


    The situation between incoming prez Trump and the EU could be perceived as humorous, or it could be viewed at taking a 180 degree turn as it seems as though Trump intends to establish Russia as a US ally while walking away from the EU as an ally. That’s a rather dramatic turn of events if it comes to pass.

    If you think about it, Trump pivots to whomever puffs up his ego and goes on a tweet rampage against anyone with criticism for him. He’s that simple. What’s ironic, is the original statement by Putin about Trump was in Russian lingo a huge put down but Trump took what was said in an American context, which is different, and perceived it as a compliment. Putin at some point realized it was preferable to have an idiot leader of a superpower think he likes him and simply went with it because it was self serving.

    John Day

    It looks like Russia will be an entity 8 years from now.
    EU? What will bear that name in 8 years?

    Dr. Diablo

    There’s so much wrong, misleading, and opposite I’d have to go through it line by line — and every article one reads is like this. But I’ll spare you all: #Fakenews. Fake in this case because while it states some of the facts, it wildly mischaracterizes virtually all of them, while pointedly avoiding many others that wouldn’t support their narrow perspective.

    “Test of Trump’s loyalties”? What on the great green earth are you talking about? Is there a Soviet bloc somewhere? If the US trades with and neglects to nuke Russia does it necessarily follow that Trump must and will boycott and nuke Europe? Just last week we were talking to, trading with, and not nuking Russia and all was well back then. If the U.S. stops attacking 17 nations and pulls bases from a few of the 100+ nations they occupy, would the world end? Russia has the GDP of Italy and somehow they’re a threat to Europe and North America combined? What a strange and irrational insecurity worthy of a mental ward. Why would 28 united, proud, soveriegn countries give a hoot what the U.S. does or if Trump talks to them first or third or never? Are they concerned they can’t be slavish enough to please him? They have the GDP and currency equal to the U.S. And if they don’t like him and don’t want to work with him, don’t! Why the concern? Isn’t this their opportunity to follow and prove the merit their diverging values?

    As per yesterday’s chart, the EU has cruelly savaged all of Europe in service of Germany, yet they are the good guys, and Putin, who has barely pulled his nation out of the 3rd world despair is a cruel oppressor? All functional EU positions are appointed and the parliment has zero legal accountability yet Putin is undemocratic? At some point words fail me. He’s not exactly a hero, but then neither is Merkel, Obama, Bush, or Draghi, all with a dark, blood soaked history behind them. How did we get to a point where thought itself has been suspended? Was it the perpetual redefinition and hollowing of words where now war is peace, attacking is defending, right is wrong and falsehood is in the service of truth? I honestly don’t know, but it shows we need a change more than ever, and fast.

    Joe Clarkson

    <i>Meanwhile, watching the spectacle unfold from a distance, we find it impossible not to be highly amused</i>

    WW1, WW2, the Iron Curtain and the Cold War are all evidence of how dramatic and destructive widespread war (and its aftermath) has been on the European continent. There are many reasons why no further major conflicts have happened since WW2, including the Marshall Plan, the EEZ, the EU and NATO. Another good reason has been North Atlantic economic integration and trade. But by far the most important reason has been the rock-solid commitment of the US to European security. Pissing all over US and European mutual security commitments is hardly “amusing”, nor can European leaders simply “fade away” without real danger to everyone’s security.

    Even if another European war is avoided, as the world economy falls apart, Trump’s relationships with other European leaders must play an important part in mitigating the worst aspects of economic decline. I see all this squabbling contributing to a sense of great uncertainty and unease, not only for ordinary people like myself, but for the national leaders we depend on to keep conflict at bay. In war and peace, transatlantic cooperation is absolutely essential. Does Trump actually believe that? That the question can even be legitimately asked is definitely not “amusing”.

    So I find it hard to believe that anyone, except perhaps Putin, could find the deliberate ridicule of the underpinnings of European security as “amusing”. And the fawning over Putin, and Russia, who have little interest in cooperating with anyone in Europe outside of natural resource sales, are nothing to smile about either.

    Dr. Diablo might want to inquire with older eastern Europeans about the source of most of the, as he describes it, “cruel oppression” in their lives. No wonder European leaders worry that Trump will follow Putin’s lead. They remember what the Russians did not so very long ago.

    Dr. Diablo may be too young to know how anxiety inducing it can be to have massively armed nuclear powers jockeying for control of Europe, but those of us who remember “duck and cover” will always prefer that cooler heads prevail. That Trump has so far demonstrated little interest in keeping his cool should be terrifying rather than “amusing”. Like Queen Victoria might say, “I am not amused”. Nor should anyone be.



    NATO and EU were one stabilizing forces for good. But they no longer are. They are the very ones who will cause the next warfare.

    Dr. Diablo

    Age may indeed be the critical factor here. Russia is the enemy, taking over all of Europe? Making Europe attack each other instead of cooperating? How clever they are to get Europeans to obey when none of them credit the Russian perspective and there are still no lines of influence between Europe and Russia! To believe Russia is the enemy you’d have to be over 50 years old, because half the population on earth doesn’t even remember the Soviet Union. They’re something in the history books, like the Napoleonic wars. At what point is persistence of vision finally updated?

    The older eastern Europeans may indeed remember Communism as the source of their cruel oppression, but the younger ones, who also matter, only remember the EU as the source of their oppression and despair. What has the EU done for Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Greece? They are overwhelmingly the poorest per-capita states yet they pay the EU bailouts for Germany and France. Decades of involvement that was supposed to turn them to modern states find them still treated as extractive colonial states, unimportant, unrecognized, disrespected. They are the catastrophe. And it’s not that the Warsaw era wasn’t an oppression, but that oppression ended long ago and we cannot go back. This oppression is happening RIGHT NOW, to honest people who are dying in Greece, Italy, Spain, even in France, Britain, and Sweden. This oppression and catastrophe we CAN do something about, because it’s happening right now, and like the Warsaw or Nazi eras, it is also being denied and supported by apologists of all sorts, who are happy to let the other guy die for the greater good. Well I say if the other guy dies, it isn’t good, greater or lesser, it’s unequivocally bad, it is unjust, and I won’t overlook it because there was once a time, long before I was born, that was worse. Tell that to the population freezing to death in unheated flats tonight how great the EU is, while their leaders take more pay and expenses, send another Trillion to the banks, and cut off more trade, more access to energy and raw materials, that would employ and feed them all.

    I don’t have to remember the anxiety of nuclear standoff, because I’ve lived the anxiety of the existing European war, in Serbia, in Ukraine, because I’ve watched the 20-50% unemployment stretch on for years while the people flee to nowhere and commit suicide in hopelessness and despair to support a handful of men in Davos who are already too wealthy. I’ve had the anxiety not of worrying about a mere standoff, but watching them attempt to cause pan-European nuclear war by proudly, openly attacking Libya, Syria, and Egypt, knowing Russia would get involved. I’ve watched them attempt to start a European nuclear war in Ukraine, over and over, month after month, to justify NATO and permit a counterattack, I’ve watched NATO member Turkey ambush Russian planes then shoot down the ambulance helicopter in defiance of all international norms. I’ve watched them assassinate 2, 3, 4 Russian diplomats, bomb Russian embassies, and call the Russians aggressive in the middle of multiple peace negotiations Russia alone was promoting.

    Why would I need to remember some far-off danger only old men recall? It was only this week Israel shelled Damascus, only this week Nuland was attempting to re-start the civil war in Cyprus, and only this week both the US and Germany set up an official ministry of truth that avows Russia — who no one talks to and everyone hates — is so influential that they fixed the elections in the U.S., Germany, France, Britain and Italy. Luckily, I don’t have to fear the past, because for better or worse, it is gone. However, when a new attempt to start WWIII with Russia occurs every day and twice on Sunday — which will inevitably make all Europe the nuclear battlefield — it would be foolish not to fear and oppose it. We are today’s men with today’s challenges. Now is the time that needs us. Let’s focus our efforts here.

    Joe Clarkson

    However, when a new attempt to start WWIII with Russia occurs every day and twice on Sunday — which will inevitably make all Europe the nuclear battlefield

    That statement’s well into tinfoil hat territory, Dr. Diablo. There are problems with the functioning of the EU and certainly with the Euro, but to assert that anyone is attempting to start WW3 is way over the top.

    WW3 will probably start by accident. Someone will make a serious mistake about another party’s intentions. Reaction and counter reaction will escalate until missiles fly.

    The specific event that will start it will be something like the annexation of Crimea or the Donbass, war spreading from the Balkans or a series of assassinations. But the underlying cause will be egregious misjudgment about what constitutes a real existential threat or what level of provocation can be gotten away with.

    I think Putin has pretty good judgement. He’s gotten away with some serious provocations without coming close to starting WW3, but I worry that he will misjudge what Russia is free to do with Trump in office (especially if there really is any kompromat). Say what you want about Obama, but WW3 didn’t start on his watch.

    I also worry what kind of lashing out Trump might do if he has a real falling out with Putin. Trump’s not a forgive-and-forget kind of guy.

    The last people to worry about are the oligarchs at Davos. They may wallow in their rentier riches, but the very last thing they want is WW3 destroying their outrageous comforts.

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