STATESMANSHIP seems to be an alien word in the Trump universe. His trip to Europe to meet with our allies and world leaders has yet again embarrassed most Americans, except, of course, his loyal fan base.
He went to the NATO summit and acted “pa-macho” and treated the leaders of our allied countries like a king berating his subordinates. He rushed to have a news conference spreading fake news that took credit that our NATO allies had agreed to the increased defense spending “at levels they never thought of before”, only to be contradicted by French President Emmanuel Marcon that such claim is not what the official communique released by member states stipulated. Marcon said the communique just reaffirmed “a commitment to 2 percent in 2024.”
Ahead of the NATO summit, The Guardian reported that the European Council President Donald Tusk “warned Trump not to mix up his friends and his rivals as he meets with NATO leaders, then Russian President Vladimir Putin.”
“I would like to address President Trump directly, who for a long time now has been criticizing Europe almost daily for, in his view, insufficient contributions to the common defense capabilities,’’ Tusk was quoted by The Guardian after signing a cooperation agreement between the European Union and NATO.
“I want to dispel the American president’s argument which says that the U.S. alone protects Europe against our enemies, and that the U.S. is almost alone in this struggle,” Tusk said.
Our NATO allies came to the rescue of the United States after it was attacked on U.S. soil on September 11, 2001 and had sent their own troops to fight with the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“Dear America, appreciate your allies. After all, you don’t have that many. And dear Europe, spend more on your defense, because everybody expects an ally that is well-prepared and equipped,” the EU leader said.
Psychologist Sigmund Freud would probably agree that Trump could be projecting his anxiety on the Russia probe to Germany when he said Germany is “a captive of Russia”.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel pushed back against Trump’s tirade saying, “I have experienced myself how a part of Germany was controlled by the Soviet Union. I am very happy that today we are united in freedom, the Federal Republic of Germany. Because of that, we can say that we can make our independent policies and make independent decisions. That is very good, especially for people in eastern Germany.”
During Trump’s visit to the United Kingdom, British news media reported how Trump kept his host, Queen Elizabeth, standing in heat as she waited for 10 minutes for Trump who arrived late. The U.S. president was also reported by British media to have broken protocol when he walked ahead of the queen while inspecting troops from the Coldstream Guard and did not bow when he met her.
Trump also reportedly criticized Britain Prime Minister Theresa May on her home soil, saying in an interview with The Sun that she ignored the [unsolicited] advice he gave her regarding Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union (Brexit). Trump called this report by the British “fake news”, only to apologize for something he claimed he never did.
Trump, however, did not apologize about what he said about immigrants in Europe.
““I know it is politically not necessarily correct to say that, but I will say it and I will say it loud…I think it’s been very bad for Europe. I think Europe is a place I know very well and I think what has happened is very tough. It’s a very tough situation,” Trump said. “I just think it’s changing the culture. It’s a very negative thing for Europe.”
British Prime Minister Theresa May, who was standing next to Trump during the press conference, pushed back on the U.S. president’s assertion and pointed out that immigration has had an overall “good” impact on the United Kingdom.
Trump skipped London after knowing that he felt “unwelcomed” there, especially after he berated London’s mayor hours after seven people were killed and 48 injured last year.
As The Guardian reported “a spokesman for Sadiq Khan said the mayor had “more important things to do than respond to Donald Trump’s ill-informed tweet that deliberately takes out of context his remarks”.
On the day of Trump’s visit to the UK, 100,000 protesters took to the streets of London, launched a blimp depicting Donald Trump as an orange, snarling nappy-wearing baby flew outside the British parliament in London on Friday, and called Trump an “idiot,” “aggressive,” “racist,” “misogynist,” and “homophobic.” They expressed in more ways than one that “Trump is not welcome here.”
BUT what really concerns our NATO allies and what should really alarm the American people is the fact that Trump will meet with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin for a summit in Helsinki, Finland next week — one-on-one— with nobody to chronicle what the two leaders would be talking about that could have far-reaching global security implications and consequences.
With the news that came out on Friday, July 13, that the Mueller probe has indicted 12 Russians with high military ranks for interfering with the U.S. presidential election by hacking into the Democratic National Committee, the Clinton campaign, and a good number of state election websites stealing voter information — all to damage Hillary Clinton and help Trump win — will Trump finally confront Putin for assaulting our democratic institutions and processes? How would the American people know when no one would be there other than him and Putin??
THINK ABOUT IT.
(To be continued.)
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Gel Santos Relos is the anchor of TFC’s “Balitang America.” Views and opinions expressed by the author in this column are solely those of the author and not of Asian Journal and ABS-CBN-TFC. For comments, go to www.TheFil-AmPerspective.com, https://www.facebook.com/Gel.Santos.Relos