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Hullabaloo


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

 

The British Empire sends its sympathies

by Tom Sullivan

Donald Trump didn't have the guts to exit the Paris Climate Accord and say so, in person, to the faces of real world leaders.

The G7 summit ended a few days ago without the United States in the person of President Donald J. Trump pledging its commitment to the Paris accord, and without an affirmative U.S. commitment to Article 5 of the NATO charter that pledges allies to mutual defense.

"I will make my final decision on the Paris Accord next week!" President Trump tweeted on Saturday. This is Donald Trump we're talking about, the man who makes decisions based on the opinions of the person with whom he last had a conversation.

ExxonMobil CEO Darren Woods sent a letter to Trump urging him to keep the United States a part of the accord. Other business leaders, fossil fuel companies among them, have urged Trump to remain, including, "IT firms Intel and HP, the Dow Chemical Company, sportswear maker Nike, hotel chain Hilton, auction website Ebay, and food giants Mars and Mondelez, maker of Oreo's," reports Deutsche Welle:

Finally, and not least importantly, Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, who both act as close advisors to the president, have reportedly urged Trump to stay in the climate deal. White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, on the other hand, is pushing for an exit, along with Scott Pruitt, the director of the Environmental Protection Agency, who doubts that carbon dioxide emissions are a primary contributor to climate change.
Axios reported Saturday that Trump privately told several people, including Pruitt, that he plans to leave the accord.

"I'm quite certain the president is wide open on this issue as he takes in the pros and cons of that accord," Defense Secretary James Mattis told CBS on Sunday. Meaning there is no telling what he might actually do or who might talk to him about it last.

The upshot of the president's Tour de Chance is that under Trump the United States has exited the stage as a world leader. What's left is a petulant adolescent armed to the teeth. From this side of the Atlantic, Trump-in-Europe seemed more interested in measuring his manhood than in doing the job for which he was hired: in this instance, mastering complex policy issues and reinforcing historical alliances that have stabilized the world for nearly seven decades. The impression Trump left was not one of strength or resolve, but lack of seriousness and preparation. That he found time on his trip to block a comedy writer on Twitter puts exclamation point to that impression.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel described the G7 talks as “six against one” and “very difficult, if not to say very unsatisfactory.” In a speech upon her return from the summit she said:

The times in which we could completely depend on others are, to a certain extent, over. I’ve experienced that in the last few days. We Europeans truly have to take our fate into our own hands.
The Hill reports that after Trump's European meetings, a former U.S. envoy to NATO concluded the same:
“This seems to be the end of an era, one in which the United States led and Europe followed,” Ivo H. Daalder told The New York Times. "Today, the United States is heading into a direction on key issues that seems diametrically opposite of where Europe is heading."

“The president’s failure to endorse Article 5 in a speech at NATO headquarters, his continued lambasting of Germany and other allies on trade, his apparent decision to walk away from the Paris climate agreement – all suggest that the United States is less interested in leading globally than has been the case for the last 70 years.”
The British Empire sends its sympathies.