By all accounts, this weekend's annual Munich Security Conference in Germany was a complete and total diplomatic disaster for the Trump regime. German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Mike Pence and America to schisse off with Trump's plans to attack Iran, and that there would be no European "Coalition of the Willing" for this little adventure in Tehran.
Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany delivered a strong rejoinder on Saturday to American demands that European allies pull out of the Iran nuclear deal and gave a spirited defense of multilateral institutions in a world increasingly marked by great-power rivalry.
In an uncharacteristically passionate speech, Ms. Merkel said the nuclear deal was the best way of influencing Iranian behavior on a range of non-nuclear issues, from missile development to terrorism.
Without mentioning President Trump or the United States by name in what may be her last speech to this major security conference, Ms. Merkel criticized other unilateral moves, such as Mr. Trump’s decision to pull American troops out of Syria, a suggestion that he would withdraw quickly from Afghanistan and his decision to suspend the Intermediate Range Missile Treaty with Russia, which directly affects European security.
“We sit there in the middle with the result,” she said.
Ms. Merkel spoke immediately before the United States vice president, Mike Pence, and addressed a packed auditorium with an audience that included Mr. Trump’s daughter Ivanka, as well as the Russian foreign minister and a high-ranking Chinese official, who all pointedly remained seated when the chancellor received a standing ovation.
Her reception was in sharp contrast to the polite near-silence that greeted Mr. Pence’s address. Aware of a growing anxiety among European allies that the United States administration’s erratic leadership stance was a threat to their security, the vice president came to Munich laser-focused on the Trump administration’s message.
He repeated his demand from this past week in Warsaw that Germany, France and Britain should join Washington in pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal.
“The time has come for the Europeans to leave the Iranian nuclear deal,” Mr. Pence said.
In contrast to the chancellor, Mr. Pence focused less on working together and more on a list of demands for American allies based on American interests, with a heavy emphasis on a combative approach to Iran.
“The Iranian regime openly advocates another Holocaust, and it seeks the means to achieve it,” Mr. Pence said.
The two speeches were a reminder of how far apart Europe and the United States are on a range of global issues.
In fact, the conference was such a disaster that Europe has now all but given up on any sort of productive relationship with America as long as we're infected by MAGA fever.
European leaders have long been alarmed that President Trump’s words and Twitter messages could undo a trans-Atlantic alliance that had grown stronger over seven decades. They had clung to the hope that those ties would bear up under the strain.
But in the last few days of a prestigious annual security conference in Munich, the rift between Europe and the Trump administration became open, angry and concrete, diplomats and analysts say.
A senior German official, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak on such matters, shrugged his shoulders and said: “No one any longer believes that Trump cares about the views or interests of the allies. It’s broken.”
The most immediate danger, diplomats and intelligence officials warned, is that the trans-Atlantic fissures now risk being exploited by Russia and China.
Even the saturnine Russian foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, happily noted the strains, remarking that the Euro-Atlantic relationship had become increasingly “tense.”
“We see new cracks forming, and old cracks deepening,” Mr. Lavrov said.
The Europeans no longer believe that Washington will change, not when Mr. Trump sees traditional allies as economic rivals and leadership as diktat. His distaste for multilateralism and international cooperation is a challenge to the very heart of what Europe is and needs to be in order to have an impact in the world.
But beyond the Trump administration, an increasing number of Europeans say they believe that relations with the United States will never be the same again.
Karl Kaiser, a longtime analyst of German-American relations, said, “Two years of Mr. Trump, and a majority of French and Germans now trust Russia and China more than the United States.”
Trump's damage to the US-EU relationship may never be fixed in my lifetime. The rest of the world is passing America by, as we are led by a dolt, elected by reactionary fools, and no longer deserving of anything but epithets and epitaphs.
Germany is straining under the pressure of being the world's new Western leader, as the UK and France are increasingly paralyzed. Canada and Australia have their own problems. It is Russia and China right now who are running rampant, and the 21st century will belong to them, not us.