President Trump Acts Like The Ugly American At NATO Breakfast On 11th Of July 2018

 

On the 11th of July 2018 the republican President Donald J. Trump began his reality show at the NATO breakfast as he was flanked on both sides by the US NATO Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchinson and the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. He acted like the belligerent drunk at the end of the bar who has been barking off about all his grievances when all the others present were just trying to enjoy their drinks and the comradeship. His offensive behavior was off the charts to where it should embarrass every American with any sense of decency and knowledge of history.

NATO has these summits where they can debate important issues while presenting an image of strength to aggressive expansionist players like Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. President Trump continues to berate many of our allies for not paying their fair share into the running of NATO when he has already won on this issue. Most of the NATO countries will be paying 2% of their GDP towards NATO’s expenses by 2024.

There exists the worry that the president will head over to Finland to meet one-on-one with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin without even a note-taker around the 16th of July 2018, where he will extend the hand of US friendship while he acts in a way counter to US and NATO’s national security interests.

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His has continued to isolate the German Chancellor Angela Merkel for his ire and his bullying diatribes. It could be that President Trump’s suffers from misogyny when he is dealing with strong female leaders.

They are not one of the guys like the authoritarian heads of state that he seems to prefer as he cozies up to Turkey’s head of state, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at NATO.

The GOP in the US Senate joined their colleagues to pass a declaration for its support of NATO by an overwhelming majority before President Trump set foot in Brussels, in a feeble attempt to dull the blunt words of their leader at the helm, who continues to look, act, and walk like a Russian asset as he implements President Putin’s number one goal of creating a wedge between the USA and our allies in NATO.

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Here’s the rest of the story…

On July 10, 2018, the New York Times’ staff has published the following news item, “NATO Summit Live Updates: Trump Calls Alliance ‘Delinquent’ on Military Spending” 

Excerpts:

“President Trump met NATO’s secretary general and criticized alliance members on defense and energy policy.”

• “President Trump is in Brussels for the start of a seven-day, three-nation European trip that highlights the ways he has utterly transformed United States foreign policy. After the NATO summit meeting, he travels to Britain and then to Finland to meet with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.”

• “Mr. Trump got the NATO meeting off to a confrontational start Wednesday morning, telling the secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, that other nations must spend more on defense and that Germany was “captive to Russia” on energy.”

• “Mr. Trump has upended generations of American diplomacy, antagonizing and belittling traditional allies over issues like defense and trade, while refraining from criticizing Russia, a traditional adversary.”

President Trump lectured NATO’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, on military spending and energy security during a breakfast on Wednesday at the residence of the United States ambassador to Belgium.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

In combative start, Trump belittles allies, especially GermanY


“Mr. Trump kicked off his meetings on a contentious note, calling allies “delinquent” for failing to spend enough on their own defense and attacking Germany as a “captive” of Russia because of its energy dealings.”

“Many countries are not paying what they should, and, frankly, many countries owe us a tremendous amount of money from many years back,” Mr. Trump said at a breakfast with Jens Stoltenberg, the NATO secretary general, at the residence of the United States ambassador to Belgium. “They’re delinquent, as far as I’m concerned, because the United States has had to pay for them.”

“He singled out Germany for particularly sharp criticism, saying the country was “totally controlled by Russia” because of its dependence on Russian natural gas. The United States spends heavily to defend Germany from Russia, he said, and “Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russia.”

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“In March, Germany gave approval for Gazprom, the Russian energy titan, to construct the Nord Stream 2 pipeline through its waters, a $10 billion project.”

“Germany is a captive of Russia” because of the oil and gas issue, Mr. Trump said. “I think it’s something that NATO has to look at.”

“Mr. Stoltenberg countered that “despite differences,” NATO was about uniting “to protect and defend each other.”

“But Mr. Trump shrugged off the collective defense principle, saying, “How can you be together when a country is getting its energy from the country you want protection against?” — Julie Hirschfeld Davis

U.S. soldiers during a military exercise with allied troops in Poland in June.CreditLaetitia Vancon for The New York Times
“American presidents have long pressed other NATO nations to increase military spending. But Mr. Trump’s insistence that they owe money to the organization or to the United States misstates how the alliance works, and the figures he cites are misleading.”

“NATO has a budget to cover shared costs and some equipment that is used in joint operations, and all 29 member countries contribute to it according to their gross national income. None of the allies has failed to pay its contribution.”

“Mr. Trump’s complaint is that, while NATO has agreed that each member country should spend at least 2 percent of its gross domestic product on defense, most of them do not. But none has failed to comply with that agreement, because the 2 percent figure is a target to be reached by 2024.”

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“According to NATO, all member countries have significantly raised military spending since 2014, and eight of them are expected to meet the goal in 2018.”

“Mr. Trump tweeted on Monday that the United States accounted for 90 percent of military spending by NATO countries, but the alliance says the real figure is about 67 percent. And most American military spending is not NATO-related.”

Mr. and Ms. Trump before departing for Brussels. CreditSamuel Corum for The New York Times

NATO struggles to deal with its biggest critic: Trump

“Even before the meeting between Mr. Trump and Mr. Stoltenberg, NATO leaders were trying to figure out how to be polite but firm with a United States president who disparages multilateral alliances, and dispenses with the usual platitudes in favor of lashing out on Twitter.”

“Generations of United States policymakers have seen NATO as a bedrock of Western security, but Mr. Trump describes its members mostly as a bunch of freeloaders, riding on the coattails of American military spending without holding up their end of the deal.”

“NATO countries must pay MORE, the United States must pay LESS,” Mr. Trump tweeted on Tuesday, before departing for Brussels. He also reiterated the claim he has used to justify tariffs he recently imposed: That unfair practices are to blame for the U.S. trade deficit with Europe and other regions of the world.”

“Privately, leaders of other NATO countries wonder if the president just wants to goad them into raising military spending and strengthen the alliance, or if he would prefer to abandon it. Either way, his approach, using overt threats and insults, is a far cry from the usual diplomatic give-and-take, and his counterparts are wary of provoking Mr. Trump.”

“Aside from military spending, NATO allies are more at odds with American policy than they have been many years, disagreeing on issues like his withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris climate accords, and the trade war he has started.”

A NATO exercise in Latvia. CreditInts Kalnins/Reuters

With an eye on Russia, Baltics fear cracks in a security bulwark

Perhaps nowhere is European fear about American intentions more pronounced than in the Baltic States — Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Long ruled by the Russian giant to the east, these small nations gained their independence in the early 1990s with the collapse of the Soviet Union, and they see a very real danger in Russia’s assertiveness under Mr. Putin.

The countries joined NATO in 2004 to ward off that threat, and the alliance has recently stationed troops in the Baltic States as a kind of tripwire for any Russian incursion.

“But when asked two years ago, before he was elected, whether the United States would defend the Baltic countries against a Russian attack, Mr. Trump equivocated. “If they fulfill their obligations to us,” he said, “the answer is yes.”

From left: The European Council president, Donald Tusk; the NATO secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg; and the European Commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, in Brussels on Tuesday. CreditFrancois Lenoir/Reuters

As Trump snipes at Europe, a European snipes back

“With heads of state taking care not to poke Mr. Trump, Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, has emerged as the Continent’s most prominent and pointed critic of the president.”

“Mr. Tusk, one of the leaders of the European Union, has no formal role in NATO, but the two groups have a large overlap in membership. On Tuesday they signed a statement of cooperation.”

“Mr. Tusk has made clear that he is paying close attention to the summit, he has a megaphone, and he’s not afraid to use it. Tweaking and refuting Mr. Trump, often slyly and sometimes quite directly, his comments are widely seen to reflect what other European leaders are thinking but are unwilling to say publicly.”

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“The United States “doesn’t have and won’t have a better ally than EU,” whose members combined spend more on defense than Russia, he tweeted on Wednesday. “I hope you have no doubt this is an investment in our security.”

“In June, after Mr. Trump’s angry exit from the Group of 7 summit and his broadside at Justin Trudeau, the Canadian prime minister who played host to that meeting, Mr. Tusk tweeted, “There is a special place in heaven for @JustinTrudeau.”

“He used sharper language in May, after Mr. Trump withdrew from the Iran agreement and announced trade sanctions. Mr. Tusk tweeted, “with friends like that who needs enemies.”

Idle thumbs? Meeting rooms will be a Twitter-free zone

“Mr. Trump enjoys sending Twitter barbs at his adversaries, but he will be restrained during the NATO summit meeting.”

“In NATO’s new building, in the massive high-tech meeting room, no mobile phones are allowed — not even for a president. Even if they were permitted, they probably would not work, because NATO jams signals in the building to prevent eavesdropping or hacking.”

NATO headquarters in Brussels. CreditVirginia Mayo/Associated Press
A show of solidarity with Ukraine

“NATO leaders are set to meet with their Ukrainian counterparts on Thursday to show solidarity with Kiev, in the face of the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014, and Moscow’s continuing military support of rebels in eastern Ukraine.”

“The meeting is pointed reminder from the West of the principle that one nation should not violate the territorial integrity of another, before Mr. Trump’s meeting with Mr. Putin in Finland. Talks on resolving the dispute in Ukraine have essentially stalled, and Western diplomats do not expect significant progress on the issue at the Helsinki summit meeting.”

LINK: Continue reading the main NYT story

7 comments

  1. This POTUS is a disaster, plain and simple. I may not understand all the ins and outs of this NATO stuff, but I can certainly tell when a person is a real butt-hole. He’s so busy pointing the finger at everyone else, he forgets the ones pointing back at him.

    • Dear Nan,

      It is my thinking that President Trump as a Russian asset is looking for an excuse to exit NATO. This would be President Putin’s first wish.

      As the NATO member countries have agreed to increase their defense spending to 2% of GDP as requested by President Trump but he is demanding 4%.

      The goals keep changing. He is playing to his base at the expense of acting in the US best national security interests.

      Hugs, Gronda

  2. “Mr. Stoltenberg countered that “despite differences,” NATO was about uniting “to protect and defend each other.”

    “But Mr. Trump shrugged off the collective defense principle, saying, “How can you be together when a country is getting its energy from the country you want protection against?”

    Exactly! If Russia is really an enemy of the Western world, then why does most of Europe trade, bank and buy oil from such an evil empire like Russia? So what is it that our NATO alliance protecting and defend from… at this point I’m more inclined to think from Trump, LOL!!

    In a way, NATO is an anachronism without the USSR, obsolete and irrelevant in this day and age. We are becoming more of a global village, where nations are interdependent of one another in trade, energy, human resources, knowledge, technical development and spiritual unity.

    We need to put aside petty differences and come together as one ppl, no borders, no tariffs, no tyrannical gov’ts… and no religion too (as the song goes). We are all one race – human.

    • Dear 1EarthUnited,

      While most Americans can agree with the points that NATO should be modernized to meet today’s changing world and that the member countries should be required to contribute more monies towards its defense, there is no way that most Americans think that the USA should withdraw from NATO.

      NATO was created at the behest of the USA in 1949 to form an alliance among the USA and European countries to act as a bulwark against Russia’s expansionist goals which still exist.

      Russia’s President Putin would love to weaken NATO as it is acting as a deterrent.

      That Germany buys energy from Russia doesn’t keep Germany from acting if Russia decides to get aggressive towards a NATO member country. I’m willing to bet that Germany is smart enough to diversify while working towards it becoming more energy independent. As per NYT, Germany gets 9% of its energy from Russia, and Germany started this trade in the early 2000s before Russia started its expansionist ways.

      Hugs, Gronda

  3. “NATO was created at the behest of the USA in 1949 to form an alliance among the USA and European countries to act as a bulwark against Russia’s expansionist goals which still exist.”

    American University professor, Peter Kuznick, destroys the WWII myths that have underscored US foreign policy since 1945. How the Cold War really began: Truman’s insecurities & paranoia toward the Soviets after WWII created a fundamental rift between the West and Russia. Amazing lecture about a true American hero who was wiped out from the American history books: Henry Wallace. Must watch!

  4. Dear 1EarthUnited,

    The American University professor, Peter Kuznick has some interesting theories which make for interesting discussions.

    I do not buy his first claim as I am the survivor of parents who had 1st hand knowledge of WWII who would dispute the claim that the USA along with her allies did not win WWII.

    I do wish that the US had not dropped the atomic bombs.

    As for Russia, the reality is that before war broke out to where the US became involved, Russia had signed a deal with the Nazis to divide certain countries like Poland.

    I have no problem with President Trump trying to make nice with President Putin but not before Russia gives up on its expansionist activities to lay claims on Crimea in 2014 and Georgia in 2008. President Putin can work out a deal with Crimea to have permanent access to its ports for its military strategic purposes without annexing this territory.

    Hugs, Gronda

    • I certainly would not challenge survivors who had first hand knowledge of the Great War and live to tell about it. I’m sure Americans and the Allies played a crucial part in the outcome. However, it is generally acknowledged throughout Europe, and most the Western world that Russia sacrificed the most and did much of the heavy lifting against Germany.

      Don’t forget how the Soviet Union saved the world from Hitler:

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/05/08/dont-forget-how-the-soviet-union-saved-the-world-from-hitler/?utm_term=.2ab160f835da

      As for Russia making deals with Germany, WWII was a tumultuous time. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain also tried to appease Hitler by signing the Munich Agreement, permitting Nazi Germany’s annexation of portions of Czechoslovakia.

      http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/education/resources/chamberlain-and-hitler/

      Russia’s “expansionist activities” laying claims on Crimea in 2014 and Georgia in 2008 is debatable, and not as black and white as the Western press would like us to believe. Further insight and research is necessary.

      I totally agree with you that dropping the A-bomb was not only unnecessary, but an immoral decision by Truman. As the cliche goes – history is written by the victors.

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