Op-ed: What price separation from Europe?

  • By Cal Thomas
  • Sunday, June 4, 2017 10:56am
  • Opinion

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has had enough of President Trump. Speaking last Sunday in a Munich beer hall, Merkel suggested that Europe may no longer be able to rely on the United States as a faithful ally and that the continent “really must take our fate into our own hands.”

I had three reactions to this. The first was: You ingrate. We bailed you out twice in the 20th century at enormous cost in blood and treasure. After World War II, the Marshall Plan rebuilt your nation, even though your people elected Adolf Hitler and brought the destruction on yourselves.

My second reaction was: Good! It’s about time Europe started paying its own way and stopped relying on its U.S. “sugar daddy” for protection while nations focused on their own economies.

Then a third thought occurred to me: This is precisely what Russia’s Vladimir Putin wants to happen. Separating Europe from the United States would give him more opportunities to expand Russian territory and engage in other ventures not in the best interests of Europe, or America.

What irritates Merkel and even her opposition in the September election, apparently, is President Trump’s refusal to accept “climate change” as fact and to assure Europe the U.S. will honor the Paris Agreement signed by President Obama. Trump has called climate change a “hoax,” but during the G-7 meeting in Brussels he used less acerbic language in conversations with other leaders. Some media reports quoted a “White House adviser” as saying the president’s views are “evolving” on the issue. The adviser added the president will do what’s in the best interests of the U.S.

For conservatives, “evolving” has come to mean one’s mind is about to change to a position opposite the one he once fervently held. Last December, Politico reported that Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, who believes in climate change, wants to use her position as an adviser to her father to change his mind.

Europe has often been on the wrong side of issues (Merkel’s open border policy to Muslim immigrants being just the latest), and this time appears to be no exception. A poll published in February by FG Wahlen for German public broadcaster ZDF, found 78 percent of Germans “very concerned” about the policies of President Trump. That was 20 percent more than those concerned about the policies of Putin.

More evidence that a majority of Germans are making bad choices came from an event featuring Merkel and former President Barack Obama. For reasons that appear to have nothing to do with his accomplishments (he received the Nobel Peace Prize, an indulgence in wishful thinking), most Germans still admire Obama, as evidenced at an appearance with Merkel in Berlin last week.

Whatever electoral benefit Merkel might gain from her statements about Trump, neither Europe nor the U.S. can afford a rupture in their Atlantic partnership. If “climate change” is the main cause of the tension, then a debate about it should take place with climate scientists from both sides participating, something that is rarely if ever seen because climate change fanatics behave like cult members, ignoring all contrary evidence and intimidating and silencing opposing views.

While Merkel probably won’t carry through on her threat — she needs America, as does the rest of Europe to keep Putin at bay — just the suggestion of a separation could be enough for Putin to try and seize more territory and solidify Russia’s annexation of Crimea and his occupation of parts of Ukraine.

The partnership between Europe and America for the last 70-plus years is too important to let emotions and personalities divide us.

Readers may email Cal Thomas at tcaeditors@tribpub.com.

More in Opinion

(Juneau Empire file photo)
Opinion: Alaska House makes the right decision on constitutionally guaranteed PFD

The proposed amendment would have elevated the PFD to a higher status than any other need in the state

Rep. Justin Ruffridge, a Soldotna Republican who co-chairs the House Education Committee, speaks during floor debate of a joint session of the Alaska State Legislature on Monday, March 18, 2024. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Rep. Justin Ruffridge: Creating a road map to our shared future

Capitol Corner: Legislators report back from Juneau

An array of solar panels stand in the sunlight at Whistle Hill in Soldotna, Alaska, on Sunday, April 7, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Renewable Energy Fund: Key to Alaska’s clean economy transition

AEA will continue to strive to deliver affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy to provide a brighter future for all Alaskans.

Mount Redoubt can be seen acoss Cook Inlet from North Kenai Beach on Thursday, July 2, 2022. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Opinion: An open letter to the HEA board of directors

Renewable energy is a viable option for Alaska

Sen. Jesse Bjorkman, R-Nikiski, speaks in opposition to an executive order that would abolish the Board of Certified Direct-Entry Midwives during a joint legislative session on Tuesday, March 12, 2024 in Juneau, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Sen. Jesse Bjorkman: Making progress, passing bills

Capitol Corner: Legislators report back from Juneau

Priya Helweg is the deputy regional director and executive officer for the Office of the Regional Director (ORD), Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs, Department of Health and Human Services, Region 10. (Image via hhs.gov)
Opinion: Taking action on the maternal health crisis

The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate among high-income countries

Heidi Hedberg. (Photo courtesy of the Alaska Department of Health)
Opinion: Alaska’s public assistance division is on course to serve Alaskans in need more efficiently than ever

We are now able to provide in-person service at our offices in Bethel, Juneau, Kodiak, Kenai, Homer and Wasilla

Sara Hondel (Courtesy photo)
Opinion: Alaskan advocate shines light on Alzheimer’s crisis

In the heart of the nation’s capital next week, volunteers will champion the urgent need for legislative action to support those affected by Alzheimer’s

Most Read