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Hullabaloo


Sunday, January 15, 2017

 
We don't need no stinkin' allies

by digby


Donald and Nigel bffs forevuh


















Trump is an imbecile and doesn't understand what he's saying. People around him, specifically Bannon and Flynn, do.
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump called NATO obsolete, predicted that other European Union members would follow the U.K. in leaving the bloc and threatened BMW with import duties over a planned plant in Mexico, according to an interview with Germany’s Bild newspaper that will raise concerns in Berlin over trans-Atlantic relations.

Quoted in German from a conversation held in English, Trump predicted Britain’s exit from the EU will be a success and portrayed the EU as an instrument of German domination with the purpose of beating the U.S. in international trade. For that reason, Trump said, he’s fairly indifferent whether the EU breaks up or stays together, according to Bild.

Trump’s reported comments leave little doubt that he will stick to campaign positions and may in some cases upend decades of U.S. foreign policy, putting him fundamentally at odds with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on issues from free trade and refugees to security and the EU’s role in the world. On Russia, he suggested he might use economic sanctions imposed for Vladimir Putin’s encroachment on Ukraine as leverage in nuclear-arms reduction talks, while NATO, he said, “has problems.”

“It’s obsolete, first because it was designed many, many years ago,” Trump was quoted as saying about the trans-Atlantic military alliance. “Secondly, countries aren’t paying what they should” and NATO “didn’t deal with terrorism.”

While those comments expanded on doubts Trump raised about the North Atlantic Treaty Organization during his campaign, he reserved some of his most dismissive remarks for the EU and Merkel, whose open-border refugee policy he called a “catastrophic mistake.”

In contrast, Trump praised Britons for voting last year to leave the EU. People and countries want their own identity and don’t want outsiders to come in and “destroy it.” The U.K. is smart to leave the bloc because the EU “is basically a means to an end for Germany,” Bild cited Trump as saying.

“If you ask me, more countries will leave,” he was quoted as saying.

While Trump blamed Brexit on an influx of refugees he said that Britain was forced to accept, the U.K.’s number of asylum applications in 2015 was a fraction of the 890,000 refugees who arrived in Germany that year at the peak of Europe’s migrant crisis.

With Merkel facing an unprecedented challenge from the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany as she seeks a fourth term this fall, Trump was asked whether he’d like to see her re-elected. He said he couldn’t say, adding that while he respects Merkel, who’s been in office for 11 years, he doesn’t know her and she has hurt Germany by letting “all these illegals” into the country.

In line with his threats against other automakers, Trump said Bayerische Motoren Werke AG would face a 35 percent import duty for foreign-built BMW cars sold in the U.S. BMW should scrap plans to open a new plant in Mexico and build the factory in the U.S. instead, he was quoted as saying. BMW plans to start building 3 Series sedans at San Luis Potosí in 2019.

Other Trump comments, according to Bild:


  • The Bush administration’s decision to invade Iraq may have been the worst in U.S. history
  • Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, is a natural talent who will bring about an accord with Israel
  • Trump plans to keep using social media including Twitter once he’s in the White House to sidestep the press and communicate directly with his followers
  • People entering the U.S. will face “extreme” security checks, possibly including some European nationals

So he is pretty much telling all companies who want to sell their products in the US that they can't build plants anywhere but here in the future. It's not about sending jobs overseas.

This trade war's going to be a lot of fun. Fasten your seat belts exporters!

And the rest ... oof. It sure sounds like the far-right line being pushed by Russia and the likes of Nigel Farage and Marine LePen. Jettisoning NATO and slamming Merkel for Germany's immigration policies and basically just popping off without understanding the ramifications of these actions is very dangerous. This would be a wrenching change, ill-considered, without concern for the instability it will instantly create. Maybe those white working class folks who decided the election knew this was what they were voting for but I doubt it.

I wrote about Trump's worldview many times during the campaign. It's not as if we didn't see this coming. I guess I had hoped that he would sober up after he won. I was wrong.

This piece from last May laid out his basic ideas.