(EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)
Lessons from Across the Pond
What Europeans Can Learn from Donald Trump

The European Union’s foreign policy posture and the continent’s domestic policies would benefit from a dose of ruthlessness.

Published on: February 9, 2018
Dalibor Rohac is a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a columnist with The American Interest. Follow him on Twitter: @DaliborRohac.
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  • TPAJAX

    There is no European Union without an external security guarantor, and that’s the United States. Without the overarching, external security guarantor, you can’t have something as large and as efficient as Germany without it being a threat by default to its neighbors. Always been that way.

    Merkel knows this too. Without the United States there is no NATO, and there is no EU. However, she’s not very intelligent, so, unlike more intelligent leaders (Abe) she came to meet Donald asking for more handouts, and he gave her a bill as she left. By contrast, Abe knows japan needs the US in the pacific so he brought with him a bribe. He brought the pledge of billions and billions of dollars in investment and plans to buy more US weaponry. If Donald didn’t think that was sufficient well it’s at least a good start.

    • Dunsheng Bryan

      NOW, I HAVE COME ACROSS OTHER PROPHETS THAT ALL HAVE SAID AND WRITTEN THE EXACT SAME THING.
      VANGA WAS A BULGARIAN PROPHET, BLIND MOST OF HER LIFE, SHE TOO STATED THAT “EVERYTHING MELTS AWAY LIKE ICE, YET THE GLORY OF VLADIMIR AND THE GLORY OF RUSSIA, ARE THE ONLY THINGS THAT WILL REMAIN. RUSSIA WILL NOT ONLY SURVIVE, BUT WILL DOMINTATE THE WORLD.”

      “Not many people believe that Trump will be a good president,” she eventually responds. “At the beginning people will be negative, but in the end he will put things in the right place and America will be very happy with him.” It’s not the answer I was expecting, nor does it seem remotely likely, but whatever—who am I to argue with a dead Bulgarian lady?

      Also, Trump will serve two terms.

      Next up: Brexit. Should we be worried? “Brexit is not a bad thing for England,” Vanya responds. “It will be hard for two years and then the third year will be very good for England. We will be very strong.”

      It strikes me that, for a dead lady, Baba Vanga is very right-wing and reactionary and xenophobic. For example, when I ask Vanya to ask Baba about the threat from ISIS, she dismisses it and tells me that the real threat is from unchecked immigration.

      “This country has to be more careful with immigrants who come from other countries,” says Bulgarian-born Madame Vanya/Baba Vanga. Weirdly, Baba is extremely specific in identifying the precise parts of the UK (or England, as she persists in calling it), where Muslims are supposedly failing to integrate.

      “It’s Nottingham, Birmingham, North London,” Vanya says, “Those are the places that the special police need to concentrate on.”

      At this point I start scanning the room for copies of the Daily Mail, but all I can see are those infernal china dolls. Is this Vanya or Vanga talking? Revisiting my biography of Vanga later in the day, I notice that everyone in the book is white (to be fair, the book’s in black and white so it’s hard to tell.) Maybe it is Vanga talking, after all. Could it be that Vanga, beloved baba of Eastern Europe, really is a racist? Or a Nazi?

      I think Nazis won the war, with help from Putin, Boing! said Zebedee, Dennis Brown and BatteryIncluded. So now you think that just because you inserted the Anonymous seal in your cheap web site it makes it a reliable source and a “real” Anonymous Operation? Please triple your medication dose and step back from your computer. Really. BatteryIncluded (talk) 15:42, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

      Starkiller88 is a single-purpose user obsessed with the failure/repeat of the Russian spacecraft Phobos-Grunt. His months-long disruptions escalated now to acussation of me being part of Anonymous hackers waging war against he. He is obviously a paranoid person with whom it is not worth trying to explain the 5 Pilars of Wikipedia. Now, if I may, I will return to my private space station, stroke my cat and relish on the destruction reaped by my minions at Anonymopus.

      Dear Starkiller88 (aka. Bryan Dunsheng See). Stop avoiding your block and please start taking your meds again. The cat in the ceiling is ALWAYS watching you.

      VANGA: Russia Will Dominate The World!

      I suppose I should speak with you about this. The editor you know as Starkiller88 has recently appeared on RationalWiki, mostly to make edits related to the Fobos-Grunt space mission. Dianaa didn’t know anything about this, so I figured I’d ask you: What the hell is “Phobosgate?” No one on RW knows what he’s talking about, and I’d rather hear about it from a perspective other than Starkiller’s. Thanks, RoninMacbeth (talk) 17:42, 5 October 2017 (UTC)

      @RoninMacbeth:, That individual was banned from Wikipedia long ago, after he suffered a psychological breakdown (and denial) when Fobos-Grunt mission failed at launch. Just before that, he also created an autobiography here, so his real name was revealed. He volunteered elsewhere in the internet about suffering of mental disorder(s), and of being infected with computer viruses by Wiki editors (such as myself), as well as attempting his murder through lethal kittens -I am not joking. Just like you, I have been contacted by other users from other forums, where he has been banned as well for strange behavior. He is trully mentally unstable, and extremely persistent. He cannot understand Fobos-Grunt crashed and that was its end. He sort of thinks it is some kind of conspiracy against him. Don’t waste your time. He is not rational. BatteryIncluded (talk) 19:21, 5 October 2017 (UTC)

      RUSSIA…HOPE OF THE WORLD! | Prophecy In The Making.

      PROPHETIC SIGNS I SAW TODAY THAT POINT TO DISASTER!!! | Prophecy In The Making.

      YES, I AM FAMILIAR WITH BABA VANGA’S PREDICTION ON A PERSON SHE CALLED VLADIMIR AND HOW RUSSIA WOULD BE IN GLORY AFTER THIS PERIOD OF WAR. THIS IS WHY ALL OF WHAT’S BEING SAID AND WRITTEN REGARDING RUSSIA RIGHT NOW IN WESTERN MEDIA OUTLETS IS ALL A FULFILLMENT OF THESE PROPHECIES, BECAUSE RUSSIA WILL BE KEY DURING THIS PERIOD OF WAR AND POST WAR TIMES!

      Baba Vanga was right about Donald Trump.

      ONE LAST THING GETTING BACK TO THE SONG TO WHICH TRUMP DANCED TO.
      IF YOU’RE A TRUE CHRISTIAN AND LIVED YOUR LIFE LIKE A CHRISTIAN, YOU’LL NEVER GET TO SEE ST. PETER SAYING, “I DID IT MY WAY!”
      CONTINUE TO PRAY THE MOST HOLY ROSARY! GOD BLESS.

  • D4x

    Must be exhausting for The American Interest’s columnists to find ever more creative citations of old frames to flog Russia, Iran, and China as the “authoritarian regimes” & “autocratic threats” that threaten “liberal democratic order” in the EU, while including the editorial diktat to denigrate President Trump’s social skills. Preserving the 16-25 year legacy of failed American foreign policy is blinding you. The biggest threat to the EU and any future stability in the ‘Middle East’ is the wolf inside the henhouse: the would-beCaliph embedded in NATO: Erdogan’s Turkey. TeamMacron, TeamPutin, andTeamTrump know it. Merkel knows it although not sure if she has a team. Even the Swedes and the Swiss know it.

    This unholy alliance between the postmodern Wilsonians and pretend conservative centrist/realists at AEI & other cantons of neverTrumpLand, dwelling in their crannies of credentialism, need a huge TIME-OUT. Grab some popcorn with your soy lattes, read some Luttwak, and watch the clash of hegemons and history happening in real time. It is 627 CE all over again,but on the Euphrates River in Syria, not the Plain of Nineveh in Iraq. Putin a would be ally but for the drumbeat of hysteria in the U.S. Congress + media + analysts/columnists like Rohac. Really: read Luttwak.

    • Tom

      Turkey doesn’t present as much of a threat, though. The only place it can really cause problems is the Middle East. And that is it. (Well, if Europe grows a spine on border control anyway.)
      Russia can muck around anywhere from Vilnius to Vladivostok, and the Chinese are running around pretty much everywhere.

  • FriendlyGoat

    What Europeans can learn is that the USA threw its own reliability out the window.

    • Micah718

      Looks like somebody missed the point of the article.

    • Gary Hemminger

      Remember, less than 2% growth is the new normal the Obama administration told us, while they were piling on regulation after regulation, trying to cripple the fossil fuel industries and any brown jobs. Now we see that 3-4% growth is possible with tax cuts and regulatory reform. who wants to go back? Not me, that is for sure. but I am sure FriendlyGoat would like to go back. And there are many like him that simply love the job killing agenda of the democrats. I prefer the incompetence of the Republicans to the job killing democrats.

      Obama had the domestic paranoia of Nixon and the foreign policy chops of Carter. Terrible combination. And I voted for the guy twice. Now I know what I voted for: Domestic spying on his political enemies. He is going to go down in history as a liar (you can have your doctor) and an enabler of Iran, as well as someone who weaponized the IRS, the DOJ, and the FBI. Great legacy.

      As for the Europeans, it is a dead culture. Southern part of Italy will be fully islamic in 40 years. Rest of Europe will follow. Germany will be ruled by Turks within 50 years.

      • FriendlyGoat

        1) We have to ask whether your last-paragraph predictions about Europe are in America’s interest.

        2) We have to ask whether they are hastened by us proclaiming “America First” and telegraphing our newly-minted disinterest in just about every nation except Israel.

        3) We have to know that fair-minded people everywhere could be excused for their disbelief that the United States of America could possibly have flipped itself to following nothing but the mercurial pronouncements of one Donald Trump.

        4) I’m glad you voted for Obama twice. Sorry you no longer know why. They “got ya”, Gary.

        • ვეფხისტყაოსანი

          I more or less agree with you, I think.

          What we need is realpolitik; our choice in the last election was between grandiospolitik and irrealpolitik, and grandiosity beat out unreality.

          • FriendlyGoat

            From what we know, it is hard to make the case that Russia’s Putin government preferred for Hillary Clinton to be elected in America. That, to me, is a hint about reality and unreality. The grandiosity guy was seen as a chump, for good reason.

          • SeaAyeA

            Russians preferred Trump? Do you have any evidence of that, or are you simply believing without evidence what someone else told you? Think about that, Comrade. Thus far, the only EVIDENCE that we have shows at least an indirect collusion between the Clinton camp and a foreigner ex intel agent, Steele, and his PAID Russian sources AGAINST trump.

          • FriendlyGoat

            I am speaking of the reports of political social media intervention, acknowledged by Facebook and Twitter, from Russian and/or other outside-America sources during our last campaign. With or without collusion, this stuff, in the main, appears to have been either for Trump or against Clinton.

            https://www.christianpost.com/news/hillary-clinton-satan-fighting-jesus-russia-facebook-ads-205210/

          • SeaAyeA

            Yeah and that’s not proven to be the Russian government, or even necessarily Russians! The only one claiming to have Russian government connections was Steele, and he was not working for Trump but rather for team Clinton and the FBI of all institutions. Terrible.

            I can use a Russian IP address and DNS address to set up accounts or pay for things in rubles. I trade on the FOREX. I actually do have rubles anyway. Most importantly, the talk about fb ads or tweets is shifting the goalpost because that’s not the claim that initiated the investigation of some suppose it collusion between Donald Trump and specifically Russian government actors. Such collusion has not even been defined let alone substantiated. Do you really believe $100,000 or even $1 million of ads could compete with the Clinton billion Dollar campaign warchest? These claims are just getting crazier and more laughable by the day

          • FriendlyGoat

            You are among the laughers at what you consider the laughable, I presume. I’m just taking the realistic approach that Russia appears to have preferred Trump to Clinton for Russia’s own reasons. I believe it is because they see Trump, the “strong man”, as a guy who they can actually outmaneuver and outdeal in their view of the long game.

          • SeaAyeA

            That’s not an argument. You’ve got a case of the feels. I’m talking about evidence. Where is the evidence? I do have at least some evidence to the contrary because of the Clinton/Steele debacle. Oh, and the fact that Russians (whether they’re Putin’s besties or not) have been paying the Clinton Foundation, and even Bill directly, a lot of money. They are a political family. Donald Trump comes from a business family. You have more reason to be suspect of Russian money heading to the Clintons than you do some rich oligarch buying a nice apartment.

          • FriendlyGoat

            All arguments are “an argument”. I will acknowledge the interesting possibility you raised that “Americans Against Unions”, and “Americans for Church in State”, and “Americans for Low Taxes at High End”, and “Americans For Corporate Deregulation” all disguised themselves as vague Russians for their manipulation of social media incognito. Could have happened, but SOMEBODY inserted a lot of crap to influence voters and left foreign-source trail markers behind which are findable, found in the thousands and acknowledged by the social media corporations. Everyone paying attention to the reports now knows about this and none of it is refutable as not having happened.

          • SeaAyeA

            Look, I’m not trying to beat you up here. You’re not the one who originally made these claims, and you’re certainly not the one responsible for producing the evidence. However, you need to ask yourself questions regarding those who made the claims, and you need to ask yourself why there is no evidence more than one year after the fact. Indeed, as the year has rolled on by weve found out more disturbing details about Clinton-DNC shenanigans and this fusion GPS/ex-British spy with Russian contacts, Steele! On Trumps side, absolutely nothing has come close to touching him, and general Flynn got into trouble for dealings with turkey, not Russia, and Manafort? Manafort is a shady dude involved half a decade ago moving large amounts of money around with Tony Podesta, yeah John podesta‘s own brother and their lobbying firm lol. Hmm.

          • FriendlyGoat

            You’re not beating me up here. I’m not spending my time as a cheerleader for the Mueller investigation and have no particular expectation for what that whole effort may ever yield.
            I simply observe that what Romney once called America’s greatest geopolitical foe appears to have really wished to see Hillary Clinton defeated. To me, that means something.

          • Unelected Leader

            You left out Obama chiding those remarks by Romney, and really poking fun at him for saying so. Oh, and Romney was wrong. He should’ve said China. That would’ve at least been more accurate

          • FriendlyGoat

            So you’re bragging on Obama for correcting Romney, or what? Romney actually was the standard-bearer for the GOP just five years ago, remember?

          • Unelected Leader

            Bragging? No, no lol. Check it out. He’s got more wrong here than jus Russia, and to think this was late 2012 just before the rise of ISIL which he surely knew about. Not to mention his Libya disaster and just four years later supporting hillary who voted for the Iraq war and ran the Libya disaster for him.
            https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=T1409sXBleg

        • Tom

          1. They aren’t. But that’s really irrelevant to whether they’re true. (I suspect not, but that’s another matter.)
          2. Probably not. Also assumes facts not in evidence.
          3. And?
          4. Maybe you should consider the possibility that Mr. Hemminger might be onto something.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    American Culture is mankind’s “Bleeding Edge” culture. And Western Culture is the creator and maintainer of Modern Civilization. All other Cultures (Leftist Culture, Islamic Culture, etc.) are parasitic in nature, enjoying the fruits of Modern Civilization if they have something to sell (Oil, Labor, etc.), but being incapable of competing in the free market. For example: Despite over 40 years of foreign investor led development in China. I challenge anyone to name a Single Chinese World Wide Brand Name, like: Sony, Toyota, Samsung, Kia, Intel, Apple, Microsoft, etc…

    What the World most needs now is a reaffirmation of Western Culture, and for America to lead by example. Show the world that Western Culture is the only route to American Levels of Affluence. Let inferior Cultures be affected by the “If you can’t beat them, you should join them” school of thought.

  • InklingBooks

    Quote: With his abrasive manners and his “America First” rhetoric, Donald Trump has not made many friends in Europe—and for good reason. The U.S. President’s idea of America’s interests is crude, often clouded by mercantilist dogma, and only rarely accompanied by a strategy and a follow-up.

    You lost me with your opening paragraph. Say what you will about some aspects of Trump’s personality, he is a management genius. He knows how to make plans and carry them out effectively. That’s how he became a billionaire in the high stakes world of commercial real estate. And are you really so stupid that you can’t see that what you call “mercantilist dogma” is for Trump just the starting position for negotiation? Unlike Obama, the guy knows how to bargain and deal.

    I doubt I will understand how some people seem unable to grasp even the most obvious of facts. G. K. Chesterton got it right when he referred to those who “could read before they could see.” Someone can, of course, read endless comments much like yours. But anyone with sense can see the opposite is true.

    –Michael W. Perry, editor of Chesterton on War and Peace

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