Telling England (and Europe) the Truth

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Well, the President is now in the UK, after lobbing some American truth grenades around in Brussels. They are needed, and he reflects, as usual, the view of the American on the street.

It is tiresome protecting people who disdain to protect themselves, let alone disregard their own vital interests to pander to corporatists and foreign powers. Yes, I am referring to the Nordstream pipeline whereby Germany spends many billions of dollars to import natural gas from Russia bypassing eastern Europe – which they, no less than the US, are pledged to defend. Although it is unclear how that will work with their seven operational aircraft, less than a hundred tanks, and less than 200,000 service people – less than the Weimar Republic was allowed.

It brings to mind an old American adage:

“We, the unwilling, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, we are now qualified to do anything with nothing.”

But really, why should we? Someone said the other day that if Europe was owned by Disney, the sign would say “Yesterdayland”. It’s pretty much true, Europe as we have known it is a dying continent. It may be beyond help. In population, in economics, and yes, in military force.

The UK too tends that way, but not as much. It retains a robust memory of what it once was, and once one gets away from London, is still is, in large part, the land we all knew.

But its politics are broken, even worse than ours were after Reagan and before Trump. Corbyn’s Labour Party, much like the US Democrats, was once the party of unionized labor, now its politics often make Stalin look conservative. It is anti everything that most of us think good, not to mention anti-Semitic and anti-British, and anti-American. But it has largely put a spoke in the wheel of British governance, not because of what it believes, so much as the fear of the party by everybody else.

The Conservatives have slipped to the left as well. Jess often commented that Maggie moved the so-called Overton window to the right, and she was right. No more. The Tories make the US Republican establishment look positively conservative. Nor does it help that many British cannot seem to tell the difference between corporatist and capitalist.

Earlier this week, we looked at the current Brexit deal (here). In short what it does is make the UK a colony of the European Union – the worst of all possible worlds. It means being subject to the rule of one of the most corrupt groups in the world, without even (an ineffectual) vote in the proceedings.

UKIP (The United Kingdom Independence Party) which was the main driver that brought about the Brexit vote, more or less dissolved upon victory, with its former leader Nigel Farage going into radio and such. It seems to have thought its job was done, and the Tory government would carry out the will of the people clearly expressed. That was so optimistic as to be delusional.

It is now quickly gaining members (and the Tories losing commensurately) as what the May government has done sinks in, but it may be too late. There are two ways to forcibly retire the May government. Michael St. George details them here. Both are fraught with uncertainty.

Into this self-created mess, Donald Trump flew yesterday, doing his truth-telling act. He told the Daily Sun, the last semi conservative paper in Britain, that the Brexit deal outlined in the white paper leaves the UK subject to the EU (thus the BRINO moniker: Brexit in name only) and as such we will have to negotiate with the EU rather than the UK. In other words, the promised US-UK trade deal will likely be off. The obvious truth, but it rocked the island.

The President also said that he, like many British themselves, used to love London, but now avoids it. Sensible, since the current mayor, Sadiq Khan is doing his very best to make it still another multicultural ‘third world shithole’. He makes diBlasio look reasonable.

While this was going on, he had a very nice dinner at Blenheim Palace, where Churchill was born, and the gift of the nation to Sir John Churchill, First Duke of Marlborough, perhaps the greatest British general since William the Marshal.

Today, he will meet the Queen, which I’d guess he will enjoy, and she just might as well. She’s met every American president since Truman, and some reports say is also a Brexiteer (although as befits her job, a quiet one).

There are protests, of course, in London, encouraged by the Mayor, which have prompted both the US and the Japanese Embassies to advise their nationals to maintain a low profile this weekend. Well justified, yesterday it was reported that the former UK ambassador to the US was badly beaten in the street. The police claim it was a simple robbery attempt.

What Britain needs is a leader that the people can rally around. I, like many others, do like like Jacob Rees-Mogg, but question whether he’s up to the task, or even able to see it in its full dimensions. Trump also said last night that he thinks Boris Johnson would make a great PM. Well, Trump is a pretty good judge, although ‘great’ seems a bit far over the bridge, but in any case, do the Tories have the guts to even try to solve this mess? I have my doubts.

So, today it will be off to Scotland and then on to meet Putin.

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Mütti and the CSU

Have you been paying attention to Germany? You (and I) should be. It appears that Merkel’s immigrants are causing her problems with the Germans. About time, but perhaps better late than never. From Vijeta Uniyal writing on Legal Insurrection.

Just three months into her fourth term, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel faces the biggest crisis of her career. Her Catholic conservative Bavarian ally, the CSU, has threatened to abandon the coalition government over immigration policy.

Germany’s Interior Minister and long-time CSU leader, Horst Seehofer, wants to push for tougher immigration laws, which will include refusing entry to illegal immigrants at the border. According to German newspaper reports, if the country’s Interior Minister goes ahead with the new restrictions without Merkel’s consent, she will be forced to fire him, putting an end to her freshly-baked coalition government. Her political future hangs in the balance, as CSU leaders meet on Monday to decide the future course of action.

The standoff threatens to end the 60-year-old alliance between Merkel-led Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Bavaria-based CSU.

Catholic conservative CSU party’s new-found zeal to curb migration may have lot to do with the upcoming state elections in Bavaria, where the party faces stiff challenge from the right-wing Alternative for Germany, or AfD party. “I can’t work with this woman,” Seehofer said referring to Merkel, German newspaper Die Welt reported.

Frustrated with Merkel’s refusal to compromise on her policy of open doors for illegal immigrants, CSU’s Seehofer is seeking to create a European alliance against unregulated migration. As German business daily Handelblatt reported on Wednesday: “In a dangerous swipe at Chancellor Angela Merkel, her own interior minister is siding with the Austrian and Italian governments to forge a right-wing “axis of the willing” to curb immigration.”

“Is Merkel’s reign nearing a frustrated end?,” asked the left-wing UK newspaper The Guardian.

“Chancellor [Merkel] Needs to Turn Around,” demanded the editorial published in the German mass-circulation daily Bild‘s Sunday edition. Explaining the severity of the standoff, the newspaper wrote:

On Monday, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer will present measures to turn away asylum seekers to a safe third-country.

Chancellor, so far, has been strictly against such a move. If Seehofer goes ahead with it, Merkel will have to fire her Interior Minister. That will be the end of the government.

This is pure madness.

Angela Merkel is thereby risking the political stability of the country, the elected government, the unity of her proud party, and a new election with further rise of the radical forces. And all this for a policy that vast majority of people in Germany and her party don’t want anymore.

These are drastic words, coming from a newspaper that ran a #RefugeesWelcome campaign in the autumn of 2016, rising money and public support for Merkel’s open borders policy.

Do read it all. And yes, Merkel is a competent politician, who has been around the block a time of three but I think she let this one get out of control. I also think it is going to cost her (and her party dearly). It could blow up today, it could take a few months, or she might weather it, but I don’t think so.

The tide has turned, the migrants have been too obvious, and especially, too lawless, for an orderly country like Germany to accept.

I welcome Herr Seehofer’s initiative but would caution him that they need a different name, Germany, Austria, and Italy should not be involved with anything having Axis in its title. Just doesn’t have a good sound in these parts, however laudable.

What does this all mean? Maybe nothing, maybe anything. It could easily mark the beginning of the end for the EU, thus backhandedly solving the UK’s Brexit problem, it could easily mean the end of NATO, since a lot of British and American opinion thinks that overdue, anyway. Always remember that NATO is above all a pledge (by the victors, US and UK) to defend western Europe. And mind, NATO needs to not be quite as aggressive, Ukraine was a step too far likely.

It cannot but help but to encourage the Balts, Poland, the Visegrad countries, and yes, Italy, to further distance themselves from the Berlin-Brussels axis, which is hurting Europe in much the same ways as Obama’s presidency damaged the American heartland in favor of the coastal bubbles.

Not much for us to do here, really, except watch and see what happens, but it will affect us.

Allies and Protectorates

Carolyn Glick has an article up on her site, comparing how Netanyahu and Trudeau deal with Trump. It’s, as usual for her, factual and thought-provoking.

She starts by debunking the obviously flawed comparison of Kim Jong-un and Trudeau. One is obviously an enemy and the other an ally, however tense at the moment.

A much more apt, and enlightening, analysis would be to consider Trump’s disparate treatment of two allies — for instance, Trudeau and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Both Trudeau and Netanyahu lead U.S. allies. But whereas Trump and his advisors sharply rebuked Trudeau for his angry assault following the G-7 summit last week, Netanyahu and Trump enjoy close, intense, and mutually supportive ties. Far from attacking one another, Trump and Netanyahu consistently back one another up in their public statements.

What accounts for the disparity? More broadly, what does the disparity in treatment tell us about Trump’s expectations from foreign leaders? What does it teach us about his foreign policy outlook more generally? […]

Rather than side with Israel in its war against the Hamas terror regime, as all of his predecessors had done to varying degrees, Obama sided with Hamas and its state sponsors, Qatar and Turkey, against Israel.

Obama insisted that Netanyahu accept Hamas’s ceasefire conditions and walk away with no guarantee that Hamas would end its rocket and missile offensive against Israel.

Obama’s embrace of Iran and effective alliance with Hamas through Turkey and Qatar were the last straws for Israel.

But Obama’s behavior had not come as a surprise. Sensing, earlier on, where the wind was blowing, Netanyahu had already been working to sidestep Obama by developing an alliance with America’s other spurned Middle Eastern allies: Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia. Like Israel, these three regimes were mortally threatened by Iran. Like Israel —  indeed, to an even greater degree than Israel — these regimes viewed the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies and offshoots, including Hamas, as existential threats.

Like many (most probably) Americans I support Israel, which is no surprise to anyone here, nor will anyone here be surprised that his opposition to Israel had a considerable amount to do with my disgust for Obama. My support for KSA and Egypt is not on that level, but they are much preferable to the Moslem Brotherhood and Iran. Continuing:

As Obama insisted Israel accept the Turkish-Qatari ceasefire offer – that is, Hamas’s ceasefire conditions — Egypt, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia all sided with Israel against Hamas – and Obama. They rejected Hamas’s ceasefire conditions and embraced Israel’s positions entirely. Their stunning public support for Israel compelled Obama to walk back his pressure on Israel.

As for Iran, the Israel-Sunni operational alliance was important for two reasons. First, it empowered Netanyahu to defy openly Obama on the Iran nuclear deal. That defiance was expressed most powerfully when Netanyahu detailed the problems with the nuclear deal in an address to a special joint session of Congress in March 2015. Second, the operational ties between Israel and the Sunni Gulf states facilitated Mossad and other operations against Iranian plans and capabilities.

As Entous notes, in Netanyahu’s first meeting with Trump, which took place in September 2016 at the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York, Netanyahu and Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer presented then-candidate Trump with Netanyahu’s vision of a new U.S. regional posture in the Middle East. Such a U.S. posture could be based on the U.S. leading the operational alliance that Netanyahu had developed with the Sunnis.

Entous writes that Trump’s campaign CEO, Steve Bannon, was “blown away” by their presentation. A former Trump advisor told Entous that the two Israelis “had thought this through – this wasn’t half-baked. This was well articulated and it dovetailed exactly with our thinking.”

According to Entous, the “advisor credited Netanyahu and Dermer with inspiring the new administration’s approach to the Middle East.”[…]

Trump’s close relationship with Netanyahu owes, then, to two things. First, by developing Israel’s ties with the Sunni Arab states, Netanyahu demonstrated that he is capable of acting to defend Israel and shared U.S.-Israeli interests, even without U.S. assistance. That showed Trump that Israel is an ally, not a protectorate of the U.S. — and that Netanyahu is a partner, not a burden, for the U.S. in the post-Obama Middle East.

Look what we have here; an American ally, actually several of them, taking the lead on a local problem, committing themselves to a solution, that they think acceptable to America, and asking us to help and perhaps lead while contributing substantially to their solution. And so they present a solution to Trump, which is not free of danger but is clearly thought through, workable, and a reasonable risk for America. That is a good ally.

Then there is Trudeau.

During the 2016 campaign, although Trump made abandoning Obama’s Iran nuclear deal and moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem key foreign policy goals, updating international trade deals was a much more significant campaign issue. And one of Trump’s central pledges to his voters was his vow to improve, or walk away from, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which President Bill Clinton had signed with Canada and Mexico. […]

Instead of seeking compromises that could advance the interests of both countries, or at a minimum limit the damage that new U.S. trade policies would cause the Canadian economy, Trudeau pretended away the issue — hoping, apparently, that Trump would disappear if Trudeau just ignored him.

Consequently, rather than engaging seriously with American negotiators — as the Mexicans are — Trudeau has added insult to injury by slapping progressive social engineering provisions regarding indigenous, gender, and worker rights onto Canada’s trade policies. Trudeau is apparently attempting to use bilateral trade to dictate the Trump administration’s social policy.

In other words, Trudeau has embraced posturing over substantive policymaking. Rather than presenting Trump with a deal that could make sense for the U.S. and Canada, Trudeau has presented himself as a progressive hero, standing up to the Left’s greatest enemy.

Given Trudeau’s behavior, it was just a matter of time before trade talks between Washington and Ottowa blew up. Canada’s leader offered Trump no alternative to confrontation.

The disparity between Trump’s treatment of Israel and Canada tells us two important things.

First, when Trump criticizes American allies for expecting the United States to defend them and pay for the privilege, he isn’t doing it to blow off steam. Trump believes that for alliances to be meaningful, they have to be alliances between independent states that come together to pursue common interests.

Yep, and quite a few American allies, including the UK, would be very wise to take heed of what is said here. This is a good read on Trump’s policy, and it is one backed by just about all of red state America. We are practical down-to-earth people. We have built the world’s most powerful economy backed by the world’s most powerful military in about 200 years, and we are proud of both and are unwilling to see our work undone.

I’d guess that if things do not change soon, America’s emphasis in Europe will change to the Visegrad countries and the Balts, to the detriment of western Europe and possibly NATO itself. Americans don’t really believe in the welfare state, still less do we believe we owe Europe much of anything. If anything, we resent that three times in the last hundred years, we’ve had to help save Europe from enemies of their own creation. “The Long War” some (not inaccurately) call it.

As long as the EU and Germany want to posture like world leaders while antagonizing we who pay the bills that allow them to do so, well, they can expect chilly weather in Washington, just like Trudeau can.

We like allies, we’re not that fond of unruly protectorates.

Carolyn sums up with this:

Trump’s actual doctrine is that the U.S. will help its allies and foes when they pursue goals the U.S. shares. And the U.S. will spurn allies – and enemies — who expect America to do their bidding as they mistake posturing for policymaking, and attitude for work.

Yep.

Do read her article at Unlike Netanyahu, Trudeau expects America to work for him. There is much that I didn’t cover.

 

 

A Big Week

So the G7 today in Canada, then on to Singapore for the Nork summit, and then the IG report drops. Quite the week coming up. We’ll talk about the G7 today, although I find Europe increasingly irrelevant.

Benny Avni has a pretty good piece up at the New York Post so we’ll base off that.

Well before his threatened steel and aluminum restrictions on European countries (as well as on Canada and Mexico), Trump slaughtered some of Europe’s most sacred cows.

He withdrew from the Paris accord on greenhouse-gas emissions and broke away from the Iran deal. Europeans strongly believe the former will save the planet. (It won’t.) They also hope the latter will tame the Islamic Republic. (Again, nope.) As important, they want their continent’s economies to have access to Iranian markets.

Then Trump offended the Euros’ collective sense of decorum by moving the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

But on that, as on other issues, Europeans are far from united.

And strangely, America pretty much is, at least the part of America that hasn’t run screaming in terror to their safe spaces. We seem to have become far more level-headed with Trump in the White House, which I think goes with having a President that at least appears to listen to us, and take us seriously.

What I see in Trump is a man who uses all applicable tools, trade, aid, defense policy, the military itself, tariffs, even Twitter to help the US win. It’s a worldbeater, especially in a world of globalist technocrats who focus on process, not results. What we are doing now is the American way, best described by Great Satan’s Girlfriend, in my article Hyper Puissance, The American Way, and Donald Trump

Which may funnily enough hinge on a factor that is flat out tough to factor in:

Unbridled free inquiry.

“Courtney, free societies have, in general, a decided advantage when it comes to creativity and innovation, including in the military realm. However, it’s a bit more complicated than that”

All the cool kids know how Great Satan’s indispensable ally just to the east of Durand line sold access to that ditched sexed up chopper of Abottabad/Abottagood infamy. Theft of high tech and reverse engineering are the fortunes of unfree regimes and will directly impact the Diffusion of Military of Power.

Stuff that makes the West the Best — Wonderbra, BvB, individualism, scientific inquiry, rational critical thinking, democracy with it’s inherent capitalism, political freedom, dissidence and open free wheeling debate functions as kryptonite in Smallville in regards to autocrazies, despotries — and by extension — to their acquisition, development and deployment of military power.

And central to that common sense, what stops a criminal regime, like Iran, is military force, and plenty of it. Why did you think we are having a summit in Singapore next week with Whoa Fat because Trump has great hair? It’s B2s and CBGs, and Infantry in the south, and above all a President not afraid to use them. It’ll work on Iran too, or they’ll die, which is another way of saying they’ll work, just messier.

In addition, Europe is far from united, Britain would be leaving, if it had any leadership at all, Italy is tending that way, the Visegrad countries are cleaving closer and closer to the US, not the Brussels-Berlin Axis, and the Balts care more about defense than anything, and that is done by Americans and Brits.

Meanwhile German Chancellor Angela Merkel, long presiding over Europe’s largest economy, recently said the continent can no longer rely on America and should instead defend itself.

Well, good luck with that.

Germany is currently one of NATO’s worst deadbeat members, investing a mere 1.22 percent of its GDP in the military. That’s well below the alliance’s agreed-on 2 percent. America spends more than 3.5 percent of GDP on the military. The US is by far the most muscular NATO member, as it has been since the alliance’s inception.

Germans have grown fat under America’s military umbrella. They and other Europeans developed a see-no-evil, hear-no-evil attitude, which is increasingly untenable in a growingly hostile world.

Demanding more European funding for defense was one of Trump’s early mantras. Yet this year Germany is, at best, expected to up its military budget to 1.5 percent of its GDP. The only Europeans that contribute their required share are Greece, Estonia, Britain and Poland. The rest slouch toward Germany.

How will Europe, then, “defend itself” — let alone contribute to global security?

Will its carriers sail the Pacific, where Europeans hope to surpass America in exports to Asia, but where China threatens to dominate and limit freedom of navigation? And what if, God forbid, a future nuclear-armed Iran turns its ire on one of the continent’s capitals?

We’ve written about how important the control of the sea is, the main one here. What has always been true is what Sir Walter Raleigh said back in the early 17th century and remains true:

Whoever commands the sea, commands the trade;

whosoever commands the trade of the world

commands the riches of the world,

and consequently the world itself.

There’s only one answer there, and it is the United States, before that it was Great Britain, since at least the Armada. That’s why the world is as it is, and why Europe is making itself increasingly irrelevant.

The Round up

Lots going on, let’s just look around today.

Bruce Bawer has written an excellent column on the Tommy Robinson fiasco for Gatestone.

  • The swiftness with which injustice was meted out to Tommy Robinson is stunning. No, more than that: it is terrifying.

  • Without having access to his own lawyer, Robinson was summarily tried and sentenced to 13 months behind bars. He was then transported to Hull Prison.
  • Meanwhile, the judge who sentenced Robinson also ordered British media not to report on his case. Newspapers that had already posted reports of his arrest quickly took them down. All this happened on the same day.
  • In Britain, rapists enjoy the right to a full and fair trial, the right to the legal representation of their choice, the right to have sufficient time to prepare their cases, and the right to go home on bail between sessions of their trial. No such rights were offered, however, to Tommy Robinson.

The ban on talking about Tommy’s case has been lifted, which is too little too late. The damage has been done to Britain’s reputation as a member of the free world. #FreeTommy.

Warsclerotic has a pretty good write up (I think) on the somewhat clarifying mess in Syria. Well worth reading.

Russia, too, is dealing with a public relations problem. It is trying to link a withdrawal of Iranian forces from the Syrian border with a withdrawal of US forces around al-Tanf–this was the location where Russian mercenaries got the snot beat out of them by US forces back in February. Without some sort of face-saving deal, Russian prestige will suffer and the Iranians will start thinking the Russians are looking for an exit. And they are.

What had started out as a venture to procure a Mediterranean port and supporting logistics facilities and airbases to project Russian naval power into the Eastern Med has become an oozing ulcer, costing Russia cash and lives.

None of this just happened. Leon Hadar has an interesting article in The National Interest called Trump’s Strategy for the Middle East Is Working. In it he juxtaposes the way Middle East crises used to work and the deft change of calculus made by Trump (I’m using Trump as a metaphor for his administration because guys like Mattis and Bolton and Pompeo have watched the Middle East for a while).

Ireland voted last week to allow pretty much-unrestricted abortions in the first trimester. As we know, from both the US and the UK, intentionally violating the right to life echoes around a countries morality and damages it in manifold ways. Too bad that Ireland decided to join the cesspit of Europe on this one.

In the US (which never voted for abortion), on the other hand, for the first time, it looks like there may be a real chance to overturn Roe v. Wade, the monstrosity that made abortion legal nationwide. That’s still a long shot, but more and more states are restricting abortion, often to where the heartbeat is detectable, my understanding is that is about 6 weeks. Not enough, but trending the right way. More here.

And we’re number 1 again. So says Bloomberg and the Switzerland-based IMD World Competitiveness Center. The Runners-up are Hong Kong, Singapore, Netherlands, and Switzerland.

Also: The US economy will remain strong for the next three years, 71% of global CFOs believe.

And: The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta is forecasting economic growth will exceed 4% for the current 2nd quarter of 2018.

A NorK terrorist general is in New York talking to the State Department about the upcoming (maybe) summit.

So, overall, the British Isles are sinking into the quagmire, but the eagle continues to climb.

Yeah, OK, #MAGA

Another Late Edition of the Week in Pictures

And so, a couple days late.

Thomas the Tank Engine in his Goth phase.

Of course

Mostly, but not entirely, from PowerLine and Bookworm, as usual

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