Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Epic Battle: The “America Last” Crowd Versus The “America First” President

Was President Trump’s press conference in Helsinki a regrettable misstep?  It sure felt like it at the time.  The upshot was an isolated president in a state of serious tension with his Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, and a rich target of hysterical criticism.

Chris Strohm and Jennifer Jacobs, in a published report at Bloomberg Politics wrote, “President Donald Trump gave the go-ahead to announce new Russian election-hacking indictments before his meeting with Vladimir Putin rather than after in the hopes it would strengthen his hand in the talks, according to accounts from people familiar with the decision.”

Despite his dismal showing in Helsinki, President Trump’s policies on Russia have been the right ones and far stronger than those of his predecessors (see video embedded below).

In July of 2017, for example, President Trump visited Krasinski Square in Warsaw, Poland before going to the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany.  Krasinski Square, in 1944, was the site where members of the Polish Underground battled Nazi forces for 63 days while the Soviet Army waited on the far side of the Vistula River.  Some 200,000 people died during the rebellion.

In his speech, Trump publicly endorsed NATO’s Article 5, which calls for the alliance to defend any member that comes under attack and he called for Russia to “cease its destabilizing activities in Ukraine and elsewhere.” He also expressed support for the Polish-led Three Seas initiative, which aims to reduce dependence on Russian energy supplies to Poland and other nations and serves as a counterweight to EU influence in Central Europe. (The identical sentiment he expressed at the 2018 NATO Summit in Brussels.)

In March of 2018, Poland signed the largest arms procurement deal in its history on Wednesday, agreeing with the United States to buy Raytheon’s Patriot Missile Defense System for $4.75 billion in a major step to modernize its forces against a bolder Russia.

In Obama’s first year in office, he decided to scuttle a long-range missile defense system in the Czech Republic and Poland. Russians cheered the decision and Putin called Obama’s move "correct and brave."

In May of this year, the President terminated the United States’ participation the Iran Nuclear Plan known by the long-winded name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). 

Over the past year, military coordination between Moscow and Tehran has also intensified. Qassem Soleimani, the flamboyant head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, a branch of the Revolutionary Guards that is roughly equivalent to American Special Operations Forces, was the front man on military coordination between the two nations, especially in Syria, beginning in 2015. Contacts now go much higher. In November of 2017, the Chief of Staff of Russia’s armed forces, General Valery Gerasimov, flew to Tehran for talks with his Iranian counterpart, Major General Mohammad Bagheri, a former military intelligence expert in the Revolutionary Guards who now oversees both the Guards and the regular Iranian Army, Navy, and Air Force.

“There is good military cooperation between Iran and Russia, and, of course, there are many areas for expanding cooperation,” Bagheri declared. The two military chiefs are in increasing contacts with one another.

For decades now, the Russian bear has continually been sinking its mighty energy claws into Europe and Germany. Despite long promising to "get off Russian energy," Gazprom sales to Europe hit an all-time record last year and Europe is still the largest buyer of Russian oil.  Hence, the fiasco at this year’s NATO Summit where President Trump declared to Germany’s Angela Merkel, “We’re supposed to protect you from Russia, but Germany is making pipeline deals with Russia. You tell me if that’s appropriate. Explain that.”

You get my drift.  Our President has been tough on Russia and he’s being tough on the Pravda-like media complex threatening us right here at home.

“Let me tell you, you take on the Intelligence Community, they have six ways from Sunday of getting back at you,” Chuck Schumer said on television. “So even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he’s being really dumb to do this.”—Sen. Chuck Schumer, January 4, 2017 during an appearance on the Rachel Maddow Show

Immediately following the conclusion of the joint press conference in Helsinki, Obama’s CIA Director, John Brennan manically tweeted this which exposes the demented malice of the Obama Administration:
Brennan, who supported the Soviet-controlled American Communist Party, meets the textbook definition of a useful idiot for the Russians. At the height of the Cold War, he cast his vote in 1976 for Gus Hall, the American Communist Party’s presidential candidate. He refused to take his Oath of Office on the Bible during his swearing-in ceremony.
Brennan deplored Ronald Reagan’s description of the Soviet Union as an evil empire and joined other leftists in demanding that he pursue détente with Marxist thugs who make Putin look like a piker. During his time as Obama’s CIA Director he sanitized the concept of jihad and constantly whitewashed Islamic terrorism.
Now that he’s left the armchair comfort of the CIA he has resumed the radicalism of his youth by calling for civil disobedience and the overthrow of a duly elected president.
Treachery thy name is John Brennan.
I liked what Patricia McCarthy wrote today at American Thinker:
As for the left-wing media tools, they are equally disoriented by the successes Trump is racking up with alacrity–so disoriented that they are self-destructing before our eyes.  Any montage of the not-analysts on CNN and MSNBC throughout the last few days reveals a full group meltdown of monstrous proportions.  Their shark-jumping criticism of Trump over the Putin press conference has made their mania over the border look like a toddler tantrum.  This time they have exposed themselves for who they really are: terrified, ignorant, blinkered narcissists discovering they are completely irrelevant.  We should all be eternally grateful for the truthful analysts, like Stephen F. Cohen of the Nation, and for Trump, whose instincts are so much better than the lot of the baying hyenas on cable and network so-called news programs. 

Monday, July 16, 2018

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Russian Roulette: Putin Defeated Obama, Not Hillary, In 2016

The horde of crybabies on the Left are demanding President Trump cancel his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki after Friday’s indictment of twelve Russian military officers for interfering in the 2016 Presidential Election.

“President Trump should cancel his meeting with Vladimir Putin until Russia takes demonstrable and transparent steps to prove that they won’t interfere in future elections,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.  “Glad-handing with Vladimir Putin on the heels of these indictments would be an insult to our democracy.”

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s lengthy indictment makes the Russian president’s denials that his government wasn’t connected to the interference preposterous.

In February of this year Mueller indicted 13 Russians and 3 Russian companies, accusing them of conspiring to interfere with “US political and electoral processes, including the Presidential Election of 2016.”

Mueller has mastered the art of indicting Russians over whom he has ZERO jurisdiction.

According to the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy, “Perhaps not surprisingly given the tenor of diplomatic relations between the two countries, the United States and Russia do not have an extradition treaty. In addition, Russia is one of the countries that will not extradite its own citizens. So, assuming that the 12 defendants charged in Mueller’s recent indictment remain in Russia, there is no possibility that they will be extradited to the United States.”

In the unlikely event the accused were to appear in court, their legal counsel would demand to examine the Democrat National Committee’s servers.  They’re not going to show up, of course, so there will be no challenge to the allegations, no demand to see the evidence and no legal embarrassment for Mueller’s “13 angry Democrats” responsible for the Trump/Russia probe.

That’s a neat little trick isn’t it?

Around noon on the same day Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the indictments, CNN’s Jake Tapper told former Obama Administration National Security Council official Samantha Vinograd, “I have to say, and it’s unfair I suppose to hold you responsible for the entire Obama Administration, but you read this indictment and you think, boy, they really kind of missed the ball on this.” 

“I mean, yes, they issued that report, but President Obama said he told Putin to cut it out or knock it off, it wasn’t particularly strong and then there was all this hesitation about warning the American people for fear of looking partisan.  In retrospect, doesn’t it seem to you that perhaps the Obama Administration was at least to a degree asleep at the switch?”

“Well, I’m not here to be an apologist for the Obama administration,” Vinograd replied. “I was gone when this happened.”

In June of this year, Michael Daniel, The World’s Most Dangerous Community Organizer’s Cybersecurity Czar testified under oath before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that a “stand down” order that was politically motivated had been issued almost simultaneously with the launch of the investigation into the possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. 

Following Daniel’s testimony, Michael Isikoff, who formerly worked for NBC News and Newsweek before joining Yahoo! News as Chief Investigative Correspondent, reported on the revelation writing (and as an acolyte of the messiah it must have pained him), “The view that the Obama Administration failed to adequately piece together intelligence about the Russian campaign and develop a forceful response has clearly gained traction with the Intelligence Committee. Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA),  the ranking Democrat on the panel, said in an opening statement that ‘we were caught flat-footed at the outset and our collective response was inadequate to meet Russia’s escalation.’”

“That conclusion was reinforced Wednesday by another witness, Victoria Nuland, who served as Assistant Secretary of State for Europe during the Obama Administration. She told the panel that she had been briefed as early as December 2015 about the hacking of the Democratic National Committee—long before senior DNC officials were aware of it—and that the intrusion had all the hallmarks of a Russian operation.”

Isikoff continues, “As intelligence came in during the late spring and early summer of that year about the Russian attack, Daniel instructed his staff on the National Security Council to begin developing options for aggressive countermeasures to deter the Kremlin’s efforts, including mounting U.S. ‘denial of service’ attacks on Russian news sites and other actions targeting Russian cyber actors.”

The report goes on to say, “One of Daniel’s staff members, Daniel Prieto, recounted a staff meeting shortly after the cyber coordinator was ordered by Susan Rice, President Obama’s National Security Adviser, to stop his efforts and ‘stand down’. This order was, in part, because Rice feared the options would leak and ‘box [Obama] in.”

Victoria Nuland, Obama’s Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs. also revealed, in response to questions by Sen. Susan Collins, (R-ME), another previously unpublicized dimension to the Russian attack. That summer, Collins said, FBI officials advised the Committee that Russian diplomats were traveling around the country in areas they were not—under diplomatic protocols─permitted to visit, apparently to collect intelligence. Asked by Collins if she believed this was part of the Russian so-called active measures attack on the election, Nuland responded, “I do. It’s fair to say that all of us in the process assumed what was done in December and January would be a starting point for what the incoming Administration would then build on.”

And we all know unequivocally who they were cocksure would ascend to the presidency.
UPDATE:  Welcome readers of Bad Blue Uncensored News.  We are grateful to Doug Ross for linking to this post. 

A Walk On The Wild Side

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Meanwhile In France…Les Keystone Kops

From a new makeover to the French national flag to an unfortunate accident during the parade in Paris, it seemed like Bastille Day celebrations in France started off on the wrong foot Saturday.

The unlucky chain of events first started with two French police motorcycles crashing during a demonstration in front of President Emmanuel Macron and other guests. They did not exchange insurance information.

Later in the parade there was an apparent glitch in the colored smoke sprayed by the French Alphajets of the Patrouille de France. Instead of the tricolor blue, white and red of the French flag, one of the jets left a trail of red smoke instead of blue, creating an awkward and embarrassing mistake.

World War II rifle for sale. Never fired. Dropped once.

The Case Of The Meddlesome Meddler

Late Friday afternoon, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced that 12 Russian nationals were indicted for hacking the DNC, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign officials in order to get emails.

The indictment alleges the Russians also stole information on approximately half a million U.S. voters by hacking a state board of election.

Rosenstein, however, made the point very clear: the indictment included no allegation that the hacking altered any votes nor affected the election result.

“There is no allegation in this indictment that any American citizen committed a crime,” Rosenstein said Friday. “There is no allegation that the conspiracy changed the vote count or affected any election result. The special counsel investigation is ongoing and there will be no comments on a special counsel at this time.”

The announcement came just three days before the President’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, exposing Rosenstein to charges of playing politics with international diplomacy.

Rosenstein said he briefed Trump about the upcoming criminal charges earlier this week and insisted the timing of the indictments was “a function of the collection of the facts, the evidence, and the law and a determination that it was sufficient to present the indictment at this time.”

“I’ll let the president speak for himself,” Rosenstein responded when asked whether Trump supported the latest step in the 14-month-old Mueller probe. “Obviously, it was important for the President to know what information we've uncovered because he’s got to make very important decisions for the country. So, he needs to understand what evidence we have for election interference.”

Earlier in the day, during a joint press conference with Prime Minister Theresa May, President Trump was asked about his visit with Putin scheduled for Monday.  He stated what he would discuss with Putin saying, “We’ll be talking about a number of things. Ukraine, we’ll be talking about Syria.  We’ll be talking about other parts of the Middle East.  I will be talking about nuclear proliferation because we are massively, you know, you know what we’ve been doing, we’ve been modernizing, fixing and buying; it’s just a devastating technology. And they, likewise are doing a lot.  And it’s a very, very bad policy.  We have no choice.  But we are massively big and they are big.  And I’ll be talking about nuclear proliferation.  It would be a great thing if we could do it.”

Trump went on to say, “It’s not only Russia and the United States, it’s other countries also.  We’re the two leaders.  I think it would be tremendous if we could do something on nuclear proliferation.  Will we be talking about meddling.  I will absolutely bring that up.  I don’t think you’ll have any ‘Gee, I did it, I did it, you got me.'  There won’t be a Perry Mason here I don’t think, but you never know what will happen.  But I will absolutely, firmly ask the question and hopefully we’ll have a good relationship.”

The President was referring to the 1957 to 1966 television series, where character Perry Mason (played by Raymond Burr) represents a series of clients in difficult circumstances and then usually manages to wring confessions from the real guilty party through skillful interrogation and every single case was solved in one hour.

To get to the truth about election meddling they need to interrogate The World’s Most Dangerous Community Organizer, Crooked Hillary and Slimeball Comey.

Barack Obama sold out our Eastern European allies on missile defense. He slow-walked aid to Ukraine and did little more than shrug when Crimea was annexed. He said "never mind" on his own "red line" in Syria and turned a blind eye to Putin’s intervention there, in large part because of his obsessions with getting the Iran deal. The Russian meddling in our elections started on Obama’s watch─and not just our elections but those of many of our allies. When Mitt Romney famously said Russia was our No. 1 geopolitical foe, Obama mocked him for it as did countless liberal journalists who are now converts to anti-Russia hawkery.

Throughout his presidency, Obama consistently underestimated the challenge posed by Putin’s regime. His foreign policy was firmly grounded in the premise that Russia was not a national security threat to the United States.

During a 2012 presidential debate, Obama disparaged his opponent, Mitt Romney for exaggerating the Russian threat, “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because the Cold War’s been over for 20 years,” Obama quipped. This breezy attitude prevailed even as Russia annexed Crimea, invaded eastern Ukraine, intervened in Syria, and hacked the Clinton campaign and the DNC.

Obama’s response during these critical moments was cautious at best, and deeply misguided at worst. Even the imposition of sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine was accompanied by so much appeasement and restraint elsewhere that it didn’t deter Russia from subsequent aggression, including the risky 2016 influence operation in the United States. Obama, confident that history was on America’s side, for the duration of his time in office underestimated the damaging impact Russia could achieve through asymmetric means.

We should never let these facts slip into our collective amnesia despite the Democrat media complex’s constant attempts to rehabilitate Obama’s foreign policy failures.

UPDATE:  Welcome readers of Bad Blue Uncensored News.  We are honored again today by Doug Ross who linked to this post and we thank him.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Peter Strzok: “[The] White House Is Running This”

The day before the 2016 Presidential Election, November 7th, disgraced FBI agent Peter Strzok texted, “OMG, this is fucking terrifying.”

During the fierce grilling of Strzok yesterday, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) asked, “What was so terrifying about those same American people you trusted to “stop” him in August not stopping him in November?  What was so terrifying about that agent Strzok?”

“I was not referring to the American electorate at all.  The American electorate I respect in their decisions and their right to vote is absolutely a cornerstone of our democracy, so at no time did I insult or call into question the judgment or the power of the American electorate. What I was expressing in that text is my personal belief and my personal sense of how I saw and what I believed in the potential upcoming Administration,” said Strzok.

In response to his lover’s [Lisa Page] question, “Not ever going to become president, right, right?”, Strzok texted, “No, no he’s not, we’ll stop it.”

Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) used his time during the testimony to ask, “…you were both rooting for Hillary Clinton to win and you both detested Donald Trump did you not?”

STRZOK: I think that’s fair to say.

CHABOT: And in fact, as we learned you apparently found Donald Trump’s supporters detestable too. Those around Loudon, Virginia as we’ve already heard you called ignorant hillbillies. And that you visited a southern Virginia Walmart and could smell the Trump support. Now, I have to say that when I read those communications and when I hear them here between the two of you, specifically, what you had to say about Trump supporters, it reminded me of something Hillary Clinton had said about Trump supporters. She found them—what did she call them? Deplorables? I would submit it was your and Hillary Clinton’s smug view of Donald Trump’s supporters that was truly deplorable. Don’t you think that the American people when they’re paying your salaries, when they are paying for a fair and unbiased investigation from none other than the FBI that they deserved a whole lot better then what those comments I just referred to reflect?

STRZOK: Congressman, two things. One, I absolutely regret the appearance of some of those texts and wish I would have said, phrased or not said at all some of the things I did. Two, I disagree completely with your attribution to my views of Trump supporters. I never said that. I expressed no such thing. There are millions and millions and millions and millions of Americans who I deeply respect and honor that voted for Mr. Trump.

Chabot pointed to Strzok’s inference that Loudoun County is taken from a scene in the 1972 film Deliverance. [Cue the banjo music]

Strzok was deploying his government down-speak of rural America; the tug of war between the forgotten men and women of “flyover country” and those ensconced in the comfortable armchair seat of power and wealth in Washington and the Left Coast.

During the afternoon session of the hearing, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) made the smarmy, smirking equivocator read out loud his text messages.

In a moment of pure prosecutorial prowess, Rep. Gowdy laid out the case for Strzok’s unencumbered bias:

“About two weeks ago, FBI Agent Peter Strzok was interviewed for more than 10 hours. We learned that Agent Strzok has a most unusual and largely self-serving definition of bias. Agent Strzok, despite the plain language of his text and e-mails, despite the Inspector General's report and despite common sense, doesn't think he was biased.”

He thinks calling someone destabilizing for the country isn't bias. He thinks promising to protect the country from someone he hasn't even begun to investigate isn't bias. He thinks promising to stop someone he is supposed to be fairly investigating from ever becoming president isn’t bias.”

“He thinks talking about an insurance policy to keep someone from becoming president isn't bias. But that's for one of the folks he was investigating. He has a different set of rules for others that he’s investigating.”

“Agent Strzok thinks saying someone he is allegedly investigating should be elected President 100 million to zero before he ever interviews. He doesn't think that's bias. Agent Strzok thinks pronouncing someone innocent before bothering to interview more than 30 different witnesses isn’t bias.”

“He thinks claiming you can smell the Trump supporters isn't bias, but he doesn't say a single solitary word about being able to smell the support of any other candidate. To him, that isn’t bias.”

“The moment Special Counsel Bob Mueller found out about Peter Strzok's text and e-mails, he was kicked off the investigation. But that was a year and a half too late. The text and the e-mails may have been discovered in May of 2017, but the bias existed and was manifest a year and a half before that, all the way back to late 2015 and early 2016.” 

This country is deeply divided and while what Strzok and his lover did is deeply troubling, it is clear part of the impetus for their contempt of Trump can be laid at the feet of Never Trumpers.  Have a listen:
STRZOK EMAIL:  And hi. Went well, best we could have expected. Other than [REDACTED] quote: “the White House is running this.” My answer, “well, maybe for you they are.” And of course, I was planning on telling this guy, thanks for coming, we’ve got an hour, but with Bill [Priestap] there, I’ve got no control….

PAGE EMAIL REPLY:  Yeah, whatever (re the WH comment). We’ve got the emails that say otherwise.

It would be interesting to know what is in the emails that apparently clarify how the Obama Administration divided responsibility for running the Trump-Russia investigation. 

Thursday, July 12, 2018

England In Turmoil

In June of 2016 the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union.  Chief among the reasons for leaving were hostility towards immigration, dislike of Brussels bureaucrats, concerns about retaining sovereignty, an anti-elite mood, a feeling of being left behind by globalization and a long history of Euroscepticism.

Sound familiar?  
After the Brits shocked the world, Prime Minister David Cameron resigned soon thereafter.  Theresa May ascended to the office of Prime Minister.  Right out of the chute, May hired Obama lackies to “help” her Conservative Party write a platform to implement Brexit.

She has managed to take only baby steps.  Suspicion of Berlin and Brussels is what brought down Margaret Thatcher 30 years ago.  May (a Remainer) appears to be beholding to the financial sector, trade unions and the Germans instead of delivering what the people voted for.

President Trump could voice support for a “clean break” with Brussels during his visit to the United Kingdom and could also criticize the Chequers Plan which triggered the resignations of David Davis and Boris Johnson.

Boris Johnson, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, resigned this past Sunday saying, “Brexit is dying, suffocated by needless self-doubt.”

In his letter of resignation, he accused the Prime Minister of “reducing Britain to the status of an EU colony.”

At issue is the Chequers Plan, Theresa May’s “attempt” to strong-arm her Cabinet into backing a “softer” Brexit which would allow the UK to control tariffs and pursue an independent trade policy and continue to pretend it is within the EU customs territory.

The only serious suggestion must be a leadership change. No. 10 may have calculated that the Brexiteers do not have the numbers to win, but the reality of leadership contests is that they can spin out of control. Whatever path is taken, the Chequers proposals need to be overturned. If a further climbdown takes place on migration, as some expect, Brexit would indeed be a mockery and undermine the legitimacy of British democracy.

The British people voted to leave the EU not because they were tired of immigrants stealing their jobs, but because they were tired of European bureaucrats in Brussels, taking orders from Berlin, chipping away at the centuries-old British tradition of self-government.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

NATO Summit: Trump Dresses Down Chancellor Merkel

The European Union has used hefty U.S. defense spending and its willingness to send American troops into harm's way to protect Europe for 69 years. It is in effect a kind of social welfare subsidy: we spend money on arms, they build ever-more generous welfare states.

And then, from the safety of their left-leaning think tanks, universities and EU bureaucracies, they complain about American “militarism”, “imperialism” and “aggression”.

It's getting tiresome, but it bears repeating. NATO's 28 members are required by the treaty that established the mutual defense organization to spend 2% of their gross domestic product on defense.

In 2016, President Obama's final year in office, the U.S. spent 3.6% of its GDP on defense, Greece 2.4%, the U.K. 2.2%, Estonia 2.16% and Poland 2%. Everyone else was below 2%. Everyone.

And note that those that are pulling their weight are among Europe's poorest nations. The others should be ashamed, but shame is in short supply in Europe these days.

President Trump entered the summit committed to harshly criticizing the alliance members for continuing to shirk the agreed upon 2% target of GDP spending on defense.

During a breakfast meeting at NATO Headquarters the President said, “I think it is very sad when Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia. We are supposed to be guarding against Russia and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russia.”

“We are protecting Germany, we are protecting France, we are protecting all of these countries and then numerous of the countries go out and make a pipeline deal with Russia where they are paying billions of dollars into the coffers of Russia. I think that is very inappropriate.”

“It should never have been allowed to happen. Germany is totally controlled by Russia because they will be getting 60-70% of their energy from Russia and a new pipeline. You tell me if that’s appropriate because I think it’s not. On top of that Germany is just paying just a little bit over 1% whereas the United States is paying 4.2% of a much larger GDP. So, I think that’s inappropriate also.”

“Germany’s plan to increase its defense expenditure to the NATO target of 2% of GDP by 2030 was not good enough,” Trump said. “They could do it tomorrow.”

Right on cue, the lefties began to tweet:  Schumer and Pelosi posted identical tweets:

“President Trump’s brazen insults and denigration of one of America’s most steadfast allies, Germany, is an embarrassment. His behavior this morning is another profoundly disturbing signal that the president is more loyal to President Putin than to our NATO allies.”

Sen. Diane Feinstein tweeted, “NATO countries have fought alongside Americans for almost 70 years. His insults weaken our security and undercut our national interests.”

The most ludicrous tweet came from NBC’s Andrea Mitchell who claimed:

“Can only imagine what @SecPompeo, COS Kelly, US NATO Ambassador Hutchison thinking watching them look down awkwardly as @realDonaldTrump harangues NATO Secretary General saying Germany is captive to Russia. Unreal. Putin wins.”

My favorite Twitter parody account summed it up best:
The President’s criticism of a German deal with Russia on energy relates to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline Germany hopes to build on the floor of the Baltic Sea.  Eastern European countries vehemently oppose it fearing it could potentially cut them off from critical energy supplies and make Europe helplessly dependent on Gazprom, the Russian-state gas exporter.

As you might expect, the arrogant Frau Merkel pushed back saying, “I have experienced myself how a part of Germany was controlled by the Soviet Union. I am very happy that today we are united in freedom. Because of that we can say that we can make our independent policies and make independent decisions. That is very good, especially for people in eastern Germany.”

“Germany does a lot for NATO,” she said.  “[We] are the second largest provider of troops; the largest part of our military capacity is offered to NATO and until today we have a strong engagement towards Afghanistan. In that we also defend the interests of the United States.”

Is that so?  Well…

After the end of World War II, much of Europe lay in ruins. In Germany, it has been estimated, 70% of housing had been obliterated.  Factories and workshops were rubble; fields, forests and vineyards ripped to pieces. It looked as though Germany would never rise again.

The Marshall Plan (officially the European Recovery Program, ERP) was an American initiative to aid Western Europe, in which the United States gave over $12 billion (approximately $120 billion in current dollar value as of June 2016) in economic support to help rebuild Western European economies after the end of World War II.

Poland’s Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz suggested the President has a point on the Nord Stream pipelines. “Some countries are too close” to Russia, he said on a panel at a parallel event to NATO, accusing the pipelines which transit gas to western Europe under the Baltic Sea of funding Russia’s military buildup.

Poland and Ukraine also fear that Russia may be diversifying its gas routes into Europe to be able to exploit its grid for political reasons.

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also took a pop at Germany, complaining that Merkel’s government withdrew its patriot missile system from Turkey’s Syrian border. When German Defense Minister Ursula Von der Leyen responded that it was a rotation and Germany stayed 3-4 years, Cavusoglu said: “Italy has been prolonging, like a real ally.”

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