Germany - once again - on the other side of American interest
This is an extract of the transcript of a live TV interview I gave yesterday.
ED: Our relationships with our key allies are of great importance. Is that relationship with Germany changing and what impact will it have on us in America?
WT: On the surface Eugene, it would appear that very little has changed:
Germany has been dependent on us since the end of WWII.
We gave them the wherewithal to rapidly rebuild their nation, provided for their security, and gave them a friendly, open export market for cars and machinery etc. that allowed them to become very wealthy.
This dependence on us, and Angela Merkel’s “steady as she goes” attitude, makes the surface look calm.
But, underneath, something has dramatically and fundamentally changed.
Donald Trump’s election, and Brexit, were both shocks; body blows that Germany fought openly against, and lost.
In light of this, only last week their foreign minister publicly intimated that with U.S. actions driving a wedge that maybe its time to consider Russia/Chinese positions in the future.
I was in Berlin after Brexit and our election, and the public dialogue was poisonous. I'd never seen anything like it before in Germany.
In the last week before Germany’s federal election – only a month ago – voters were told to stay home if they were not going to vote for parties approved by the Chancellor:
The lock-down on information was amazing. It was meant to block Limbaugh, Trump, and the Russians, but went too far.
Even so, the Chancellor’s party only got 32.9% of the vote; and as we talk here today she is trying to negotiate with other parties to try to get the 50% she needs to remain as Chancellor.
In this atmosphere today most Germans have a great desire to see Donald Trump fail, or somehow be silenced. They view him, and “his” America, as a very real and present danger to their business model and their carefully crafted persona that allows it to work seamlessly world-wide.
Germany’s anti-American rhetoric has been consistently imprudent, and I have said so.
They are painting themselves into a corner where inadvertently they may well - once again - be on the other side of American interests.