The article first published in americanthinker.com on 08/29/2017.
The election of Donald Trump as the 45th American president in Novembeer 2016 resulted in a predictable wave of barely concealed anti-American sentiment in the European media and officialdom alike. The reasons are not difficult to understand. The European Union as the major European political institution is generally left-of-center and much closer ideologically to the Democratic Party elites in the United States than to the Republicans. Further, the European media are closely attuned to the mainstream media in the U.S. and look at the country through pretty much their prism. Not surprisingly, European and, especially German, elites were as shocked and devastated by Trump’s election victory as their American mainstream colleagues, and perhaps even more so, to the extent that conservative media, as such, barely exist on the continent.
What has followed since is more disturbing still because it points to new fault lines that augur ill for the West and Europe in particular. Rabid anti-American propaganda has now reached heights that has made Der Spiegel to claim on its title page that the “true face of Trump” is a KKK hood. The German Left as represented by foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel, has gone as far as demanding the withdrawal of American nuclear weapons from Germany, which, in practice, means the end of NATO. Even more serious is Angela Merkel’s seeming pro-Putin about face.
Encouraged by the asinine claims of anti-American zealots to consider herself the new leader of the free-world, she has now sided with a Russian-German project to shortchange Ukraine, Poland and the rest of Eastern Europe on energy and against the nearly unanimous bipartisan opinion of the U.S. Congress. Known as Nord Stream 2, the project not only bypasses Eastern Europe and transfers at least $10 billion into Russo-German pockets, but also mortally injures the European Energy Union’s hopes for diversifying supplies and lessening dependence on Russia. Thirteen Eastern European countries have complained vociferously, but to no avail so far. Neither has Frau Merkel been impressed by the fact that former chancellor and current Putin lackey, Gerhard Schroeder, is the the chairman of the project, which, in turn, is managed by a Stasi buddy of Putin’s.
Coming in the wake of German dictates to Eastern Europe to take migrants that Merkel unwisely invited to Europe and new efforts by the German media to blame the Versailles Treaty, rather than Hitler, for WWII, this is yet another example of Germany throwing its weight around in ways that most Europeans would rather forget.
It may be appropriate, at this point, to remember how the last such foreign-political effort by Germany to strike out on its own ended. It was called Ostpolitik and it became official German policy under the leadership of the social democratic party (SPD) in 1969-1970. In essence, Ostpolitik meant that West Germany would recognize Soviet domination in the East and the German Democratic Republic in return for a magnanimous Soviet agreement to take German loans and technology to prop their failing economy. A key aspect of it was that there was to be no talk of human rights and no support whatever for anti-regime opponents and dissidents. In effect, West Germany pledged its support for the brutal communist regimes in the interest of “world peace,” hoping eventually to achieve an illusory “change through rapprochement.” It was appeasement pure and simple. And so when the workers of Solidarity challenged the communist regime in Poland, the number of long, unhappy faces in the German foreign ministry probably rivaled those in the Soviet Politburo.
But times had changed in the meantime, and a new American president presided in the White House, who not only fervently believed that the Soviet Union was an ‘evil empire,’ but also that it could and should be defeated. Thus, Ronald Reagan set upon changing history, even as the pinstripes in Bonn continued to place their forlorn hopes on Soviet ‘reform from above.’ As early as May 20, 1982 Reagan signed the top secret National Security Decision Directive (NSDD) – 32, declaring that the United States no longer recognized Soviet domination over Eastern Europe and promised covert support for freedom movements. A long struggle ensued with America actively undermining Soviet rule on a number of fronts from Afghanistan and Nicaragua, to Solidarity and the Vatican, rebuilding its military strength, installing Pershing II missiles in Europe and using sanctions to weaken the Soviet economy.
On June 12, 1987 standing at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, overlooking the wall, President Reagan urged the leader of the Soviet Union, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” Two years later, on Nov. 9, 1989, the people of Berlin, East and West, spontaneously began dismantling the wall. The Cold War was over and so was the Soviet Union. Frau Merkel ought to be reminded of this simple Ostpolitik story.
By Alex Alexiev