Streetwise Professor

June 6, 2018

Putting Germany First

Filed under: History,Politics,Russia — The Professor @ 1:24 pm

Angela Merkel is set to challenge Donald Trump’s America First agenda at the G-7, presumably to the strains of Deutschland über alles.

This is just another illustration of Germany’s utter lack of self-awareness, because criticizing America First is rather jarring coming from Merkel and her country’s political elite, which espouses Germany First in all but the slogan.  But actions speak louder than words.

Consider the record of the last few weeks.  The German elite threw an absolute tantrum at the prospect of an anti-EU government in Italy, and strongly backed the Italian president when he rejected such a government.  The German budget minister, Guenther Oettinger said “The markets will teach the Italians to vote for the right thing.”

This was yet further evidence of German tone-deafness, because the backlash against his remark, and the real possibility that the Italian reaction would be to have another vote that would strengthen the populists even more, unleashed another market meltdown. This forced the EU, led by Jean-Claude Juncker, to go into damage control mode and force Oettinger to apologize and to get German politicians to put a cork in it generally, lest they do even more damage.

Oettinger, in other words, had committed a gaffe.  That is, he said exactly what he really believed–and you know that the German establishment believes exactly the same.

Another case in point.  Completely oblivious to the optics of Germany and Russia cooperating to benefit at the expense of the Poles (e.g., the three partitions, Molotov-Ribbentrop), Merkel and Germany are unwilling to give the time of day to the Poles’ objections to the Nord Stream II pipeline. Germany has also been extremely critical of Poland’s democratically elected government, and is leading the charge in the EU to cut aid to Poland (and Hungary) for “violating the rule of law.” Like the Italians, the Poles apparently just got it wrong when they voted and are in need to Teutonic guidance.

Altogether now: “Deutschland, Deutschland über alles, Über alles in der Welt . . . ”

I’ve already mentioned in a previous post the obliviousness of Germany’s anger at Trump for interfering with its ability to do business with a state that has vowed-repeatedly-to exterminate Israel.  Yes, Angela did criticize Khamenei’s characterization of Israel as a “cancerous tumor” that Iran would eliminate, but again, actions speak louder than words.  Germany’s preferred policy–a continuation of the JCPOA, with a bonanza of European (and especially German) investment in and trade with Iran-would do far more to assist Iran in realizing its objective than Merkel’s words will impede it.

Merkel is apparently of the belief that she’s not advancing German interests.  Oh, no! She’s the defender of the “liberal international order”:

Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany told Mr. Obama that she felt more obliged to run for another term because of Mr. Trump’s election to defend the liberal international order. When they parted for the final time, Ms. Merkel had a single tear in her eye. “She’s all alone,” Mr. Obama noted.

What self-sacrifice!

Tell me: just exactly where does Iran fit into the “liberal international order”? Russia? China? All of these are avowedly opposed to that order, and say so at every opportunity.  All are clearly revisionist powers. But in her hatred for Trump (and likely for the US generally), Merkel is more than willing to reach out to them.  Subjectively, Angela is all about the “liberal international order.” Objectively, quite the opposite.

You may dislike Trump’s America First/MAGA agenda and rhetoric.  But it does have one thing all over Merkel’s: honesty.

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  1. When Merkel rose to the highest position in the German government, media types referred to her as Germany’s Margaret Thatcher. But the bloom came off the rose a long time ago. She rose to power because the Kohl-gate scandal — of Helmut Kohl bribing just about everyone in sight to stay in government – decapitated the Christian-Democratic Union (CDU) that she came to lead. She has stayed in power since then by abandoning every Centre-Right policy the CDU ever espoused and moving continually to the left. (Perhaps life in East Germany was not so bad for Merkel, as at least one of her biographers has written.) Arrogant, supremely self-assured, but totally unable to understand the long-term implications of her policies, Germany’s current leader is the worst chancellor of Germany since 1945. She has severely damaged her political party, thereby reducing the seriousness of political discourse in a major Western democracy: allowing over 1.3 million migrants (the vast majority Muslims who have no interest whatsoever in integrating to a Western culture) has quite possibly ruined any prospect for domestic harmony in Germany for many decades to come and directly contributed to the rise of German nationalism: her economic and migrant policies have fractured the EU and led to the great increase in anti-EU politicians and parties. Merkel is a one-woman wrecking machine and, even today, shows no hint of relaxing her attitudes/policies. She ridicules Trump, but the US president is actually achieving some positive results as the head of government. The same cannot be said for Merkel.

    Comment by Ben — June 6, 2018 @ 4:24 pm

  2. Did you mean to say that Iran, China, and Russia are all irredentist powers? They all have self-aggrandizing territorial ambitions.

    One question: how does one rationalize a Germany over all attitude for Merkel in light of her clear program to destroy Germany by accepting wholesale Muslim immigration and then refusing to enforce the law as they run riot over the indigenes?

    Also, has anyone noticed that China is become a perfect Fascist state? Racial nationalism, crony capitalism, lebensraum expansionism, aggressively militaristic, single party, murderously opposed to individualism. Their military almost goosesteps. All they lack is the straight-arm salute.

    Comment by Pat Frank — June 6, 2018 @ 6:28 pm

  3. I have to admire the chutzpah of the europeans in simultaneously attacking Trump on Iran AND asking for sanctions at the same time:

    On one hand they have said multiple times that the EU must “overtake” the US (what a laugh riot these people are), on the other they’re too disunited and incompetent to really do anything about it.

    Do you people want to be allies or foes? Make up your mind already.

    No wonder these people loved Obama, they share the same penchant for holding 15 different, entirely contradictory ideas in their heads as he did.

    Comment by WZ — June 6, 2018 @ 9:54 pm

  4. Arrogant, supremely self-assured, but totally unable to understand the long-term implications of her policies

    A typically German combination, dare I say? And the delightful Theresa May is playing along as her appeaser.

    China is become a perfect Fascist state

    Quite so: which makes the enthusiasm amongst greens for Chinese “climate leadership” all the more revealing.

    Do you people want to be allies or foes?

    Chiefly, they want to be the ones squatting on top of their local dung heap. To the extent that they make the EU more squalid by the day (which is an achievement, of a sort), they’re at least partly succeeding.

    Comment by Fen Tiger — June 7, 2018 @ 4:27 am

  5. Merkel will have suckled America-hatred with her mother’s milk in the old DDR (funny name, less funny in reality).

    This atavistic hatred and jealousy is shared by most of the western Europe “liberal” Elite.

    Can’t get over the fact that the US had to help them out in two world wars? that became global hegemon just as they burned their own dominance in a welter of blood and mud? Promoted freedom over regulation?

    Whatever, it’s been going on for decades, and until Trump most US politicians dragged their country leftwards trying to appease the libtards (to the horror of us more right thinking types, who are not jealous of and do not hate America).

    Finally in Trump, in the Visegrad group and unpredictably, in Italy we have governments who seem to respect their own people. It’s a radical departure. Perhaps it’ll catch on?

    Comment by Cuffleyburgers — June 7, 2018 @ 7:00 am

  6. Merkel was the turd in the punchbowl that actually turned the UK away from EU and passed Brexit, so she did one thing right(without actually knowing she did it). Her govt minions are now striking out at Italy, and if we know one thing, we know that arrogant Italians really, really doesn’t like to be told what to do. I expect and even more fractious EU alliance once Italy has another of their ‘election’ cycles. It would be one good thing if Germany was the anchor of western Europe, and they acted like the leader of a gang of poly-lingual states, but she is clearly not up to the task. Of course, she played no part in the American election, and Trump has nothing but disdain for her, so I say we just leave her alone, to cry with Trudeau and Macron. They are a force of nothing. The combined GDP of Germany, France and Canada is about $7.6 Trillion. The US GDP is over 18 Trillion. Well, lets just say they get their panties in such a wad they decide they would rather trade with Iran, and not the US. Is there something, anything that we get from Canada, France or Germany that we can’t get anywhere else? I know we have a big oil/gas trade deal with Canada, and that would impact both sides almost equally, but beyond Champagne, is there something that we can’t produce or buy outside of those nations? I – don’t – think – so.

    Trump is doing exactly the right thing with trade. If they don’t want to abide by US trade agreements, we will tear them up, or find trading partners elsewhere. Canada is playing a dangerous game with the US. I say let them feel the burn for a few months. Our economy is going gangbusters. Canada – not so much. Turns out, socialism isn’t very productive. Who knew?(the rest of the entire planet)

    Comment by doc — June 8, 2018 @ 7:57 am

  7. “Angela Merkel is set to challenge Donald Trump’s America First agenda”

    Little did she know that most of her energy would have to be spent challenging Donald Trump’s Russia First agenda. Brilliant move!

    Comment by Ivan — June 9, 2018 @ 1:45 pm

  8. But they will win the World Cup this year. People need to remember Merkel is an East German at heart

    Comment by Jeff — June 15, 2018 @ 6:41 am

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