Tuesday, 17 January 2017

freundschaft ist magisch

The president-elect’s recent interview with the European media (Bild and the Times of London—the former not exactly a bastion of journalism with the reputation of being tabloid press) praising Brexit and calling NATO obsolete have been causing much consternation, especially in Germany. Perhaps the good cop/bad cop routine with cabinet appointees not of the same mind meant to assuage fears is another pathetic prop or ill-advised piece of theatre to distract from more fundamental issues—which frankly no one needs or has time for: it didn’t take Sarah Palin long to see through Trump’s job-creation claims as gimmickry—or to divert attention from other opposed but equally laden agendas.
The individual points argued here I’d defer to the readers (Germany’s resolution to abandon nuclear energy was already public sentiment and was not engineered to make Europe dependent on Russia oil and gas, and I think that world security is of far more weight and consequence than of fooling some of the people all of the time), but it is nonetheless interesting to recall that from the opposite end of the political spectrum, Germany’s last chancellor became quite chummy with the leader of Russia. It is hard to say if this relationship influenced any of his policy decisions before vacating office in 2005 for his successor Angela Merkel, but Gerhardt Schröder took on a special project with a Gazprom subsidiary right after retiring from government, defended Russia’s actions in Ukraine—likening it UN intervention in Kosovo, and has been seen partying with Mister Putin. Maybe Mister Putin is just fun to pal around with and as a private citizen Herr Schröder could do whatever he wants but I wonder if certain things weren’t set in motion based on this friendship—and it’s better to cultivate that rather than animosity, unless the price of that bond becomes too dear. Incidentally (and it’s rather hard to draw these comparisons with some who led a grand party coalition with the Greens for seven years and assembled a pretty astute cabinet of ministers) but now that I think about it, Schröder is four times divorced and once sued a newspaper for intimating that he dyed his hair. I’d wager that Trump, despite the vast political chasm, would be far less critical of the former chancellor than he is towards the current.