Angela Merkel in Washington
by Stephen Lendman
Merkel’s meeting with Trump was strained at best, given his earlier disparaging remarks about her.
“What Merkel did to Germany is a shame,” he said. “It is sad, sad shame what’s happened to Germany.”
“I have friends in Germany. They want to leave…These are people that two years ago were telling me that it’s the greatest place on earth and now they want to leave.”
“I don’t know what happened to her. I don’t know what her thinking was, but I don’t think they are going to recover from it very easily if at all.”
He referred to Merkel’s willingness to accept large numbers of refugees from war-torn countries - displaced by US-led NATO wars, the largest numbers since WW II, people fleeing for their lives, seeking safe havens because of America’s imperial madness.
Separately, Trump said “I think Angela Merkel made a tragic mistake with the migrants. If you don’t treat the situation competently and firmly…it’s the end of Europe. You could face real revolutions.”
Fact: Desperate people fleeing war zones are refugees and asylum seekers. They’re not migrants, a term used to denigrate their humanity, downplaying their suffering.
Fact: Europe isn’t threatened by foreign arrivals, just its willingness to be subservient to US policy, continue flawed EU and Eurozone alliances doomed to fail, and harshness against its people in deference to monied interests.
Oddly, Trump declined to shake hands. They’re an odd couple, in sync on some issues, differing on others. They put on a brave face for a press conference.
Merkel’s said it’s better to talk to one another instead of about each other, adding “(s)ometimes it’s difficult to find compromise, but that is what we have been elected for.”
Trump said “our citizens must always come first.” Saying both leaders will work together on resolving conflict in Ukraine left unexplained why state of Oklahoma national guard forces are training and advising Kiev’s military, aiding its war on Donbass.
Separately a senior Trump official said he’s “very interested in hearing the chancellor's views on her experience interacting with Putin.”
Germany’s DW News
said their first meeting “went reasonably well…their public statements…underscor(ing) the(ir) palpable wish to restart (a more cordial) personal relationship…”
Trump praised Germany’s partnership with America. Berlin is willing to increase military spending, she said.
According to Georgetown University’s Center for German and European Studies director Jeffrey Anderson, “a personal reset in the relationship (is possible) as the tone was cordial, collegial and respectful.”
Trump said nothing about US/EU trade. He expressed respect for the continent’s “historic institutions,” adding balance and fairness in relations with America are needed.
He supports Brexit. Merkel is strongly opposed.
As Europe’s powerhouse, Germany wants EU and Eurozone integrity kept intact, perhaps a losing struggle longterm. Both unions are fundamentally flawed.
Trump and Merkel spoke by phone in late January. Friday they met for the first time.
Perhaps getting to know each other firsthand was all that could be expected from an initial meeting.
A Final Comment
Policies of both leaders are hardline. She’s no “last defender of the liberal world order,” as The Times described her. It’s nonexistent in Western societies and most others.
The Times got one thing right. “Whatever their differences, both leaders” intend working together cooperatively.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.