Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Will We Never Reach Peak Stupid?

What is it with these people?

During his 17 months in office, President Trump has walked out of the Paris climate change agreement, the Iran nuclear deal and UNESCO, and effectively dismantled decades of rules-based global trade and strategic transatlantic relations with Europe.

So it is only logical to wonder if NATO might be his next target[.]

Decades of American trade and strategic trans-Atlantic relations with Europe since World War II have been "dismantled" by withdrawing from a toothless climate deal and a toothless Iran deal--both signed just three years ago?

And the withdrawal from the United Nations cultural body is part of "dismantling" the trade and strategic relationships?

In what alternate European fantasy world does that even make sense? Or am I so divorced from the concept of sophisticated European nuance that I can't appreciate it?

European relations with other Europeans are more in danger than cross-Atlantic relations (and may a vision of "Europe" as a geographic term with sovereign states win the dispute against the visions of the Germans and French who want a Europe-spanning empire on their own terms--but without military conquest this time).

God, these people are just stupid.

Trump is kind of a jerk, no doubt. But get over it. Trump Hysteria Condition clearly drives that needless worry about trans-Atlantic relations from America's end.

The worry oddly places all the blame on America, ignoring the constant sniping from Europeans about American foreign policy over the decades. Europeans can man the ef up and endure justified criticisms of their meager defense effort--as even the author agrees with in his childish effort to avoid giving credit where credit is due (back to the first link):

This time the erratic Commander-in-chief has a point. A generation after the fall of the Berlin Wall, some 35,000 US troops are still based in Germany on NATO and other missions. Nor is Germany the only country that is free-loading. On defence, Europe wants to have its cake and eat it.

American exasperation with European defense weakness predates Trump. Indeed, the pledge to increase NATO member defense spending to a minimum of 2% of GDP occurred during the Obama administration. And if Trump can finally get Europeans to take up the burden of defending their continent again, Americans will feel more strongly about defending Europe.

Trump may damn well save the American-European strategic relationship.

UPDATE: Are people this stupid?

President Donald Trump will likely declare U.S. support for NATO’s mutual defense doctrine while pressing for increased spending commitments from NATO allies at a high-stakes summit in Brussels, a senior administration official said on Tuesday.

America is obligated under the Article V mutual defense provision. The NATO alliance was entered into by treaty and is not subject to one president's whims--even if there was any actual evidence that Trump wants to leave NATO!

Are people this unclear about this basic fact? Just. Stop.

UPDATE: American CO2 emissions hit a 67-year low in 2017. America's involvement or lack of involvement in the Paris accord have no effect on our emissions.

Next year's results will be interesting to see given the economic growth finally kicking in this year. All things being equal, growth increases CO2 production. But note our per capita emissions superiority over the accord-embracing world.