Thursday, July 12, 2018

Sheesh. No sooner does LITD - by quoting a global-security expert - lay out the case that NATO needs to step up its own defense than Squirrel-Hair knocks over the table

A pattern is now very discernible. Trump makes a valid point about something and proceeds to elaborate on it in the most clumsy, chaotic, offensive way possible, making those who ought to be persuaded of a particular course of action disinclined to follow his lead.

Case in point: the mess he's left in Brussels:

Donald Trump unleashed havoc at NATO on Thursday, threatening to pull out if America’s allies don’t boost military spending then praising the alliance as a “fine-tuned machine.”
The president disoriented NATO leaders for the entire two-day meeting, with a whiplash performance that included chiding Germany and delivering what one official called a “prolonged rant” on spending. It fits into his defined pattern of creating chaos at major summits, such as his blow-up a G7 summit in Quebec.
Trump had upended the Brussels summit before it even began, unleashing a withering attack on Germany at a breakfast on Wednesday morning with NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg. He accused Germany of being “totally controlled” by Russia because of a controversial gas pipeline project called Nord Stream 2.

On Thursday, he arrived late  — and apparently furious — at the North Atlantic Council, NATO’s top political decision-making body, and hijacked a meeting that was already in progress with the presidents of Ukraine and Georgia. Taking the floor, he warned of “grave consequences” if allies do not quickly ramp up their spending, and threatened that the U.S. could “go our own way” if they do not meet his demands.

While some officials, including French President Emmanuel Macron, said Trump never overtly threatened to abandon NATO, others interpreted it as a clear threat.
“Sometimes tweets are more important than what is negotiated,” Macron told reporters.

“President Trump never at any moment, either in public or in private, threatened to withdraw from NATO.”
Word of Trump’s threat set off a wild game of telephone at NATO headquarters as officials and reporters tried to sort out what exactly he told fellow leaders. 
Officials in the room said Trump appeared to be grasping for the best way to word his threat and ultimately said the U.S. would “go our own way.”
After Trump’s outburst, Stoltenberg quickly shifted the meeting into an emergency allies-only session to readdress the burden-sharing issue. 

I do have to say I was tickled, in a dismayed sort of way, at the way he characterized himself in his response to a reporter's question:

One reporter, during the press conference, asked if Trump's message would change once he departed on Air Force One, perhaps referring to tweets that followed G7 talks, in which Trump turned on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Macron.
“That's other people that do that," Trump replied. "I don't. I'm very consistent. I'm a very stable genius.”
And then his utter incapacity for consistency went on full display. Just what is your stance on Russia and Putin, Mr. President?

 Trump, who is scheduled to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki Monday, blasted Germany earlier this week for its billion-dollar natural gas deal with Moscow. But on Thursday, he said he was ready to sit down with Putin.
“He’s a competitor," Trump said. "Somebody was saying is he an enemy? He’s not my enemy. Is he your friend? No, I don’t know him very much. But the couple of times I’ve met him, we’ve gotten along well…. Hopefully, someday, maybe he’ll be a friend. It could happen." 
"Competitor." As if Putin is vying for the same spot on which to put up a casino.

"Hopefully, someday, maybe he'll be a friend." Sort of like your North Korea buddy who, after you met with him, had a Lieutenant General ripped apart by ninety bullets from a firing squad, and was found to still be going full-tilt on a missile-building program, and called the meeting between his foreign minister and Pompeo "regrettable" and whose representatives were a no-show at planned talks about US soldiers' remains?

It's going to be interesting to see the shills try to spin this.

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