Shortly before US President assumes his office, the world is holding its breath. EU politicians especially fear the worst. Meanwhile, they are making light of the current state of the world – a critical balance.
What will happen when a crazy real estate tycoon takes over the White House? Is the “end of the West” near then, as former foreign minister Fischer fears – and many with him?
Nobody knows. Trumps assumption of power is not creating much hope. However, the situation after the campaigns of the Neocons under W. Bush and the US retreat under Obama is anything but good.
Let’s remind ourselves: Bush’s Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld had tried to divide the EU into “old” and “new” Europeans. In Washington, French wine was poured away, champagne was frowned upon.
Under Obama, these childish provocations might have been over. But Europe and the EU weren’t a priority under the celebrated democrats either – Obama’s main focus was Asia.
The “West” has not been doing great lately either. In truth, the “community of values” has been dissolving for years – here is a short, not politically correct summary of the state of the world before Trump:
- European policy: Obama cared little about the EU. “Fuck the EU”, declared his Commissioner for Europe Nuland. The Brexit took place during his term of office – the US did not stop the Brits from going through with it.
- Trade: Obama first negotiated with the pacific region, not with the Europeans. The TPP agreement was supposed to become the blueprint for TTIP. Washington was not ready to make any commitments.
- Economic policy: Under Obama, the US forced their laws upon the world. Sanctions for Iran, environmental constraints, VW Dieselgate, record penalties for European banks – pure economic nationalism.
- Foreign policy: Obama was seeking a new beginning with Russia, but ended up with a new cold war. Europe is suffering from this the most, while US companies are continuing trade. Only the Iran deal was a success.
- Defense policy, Nato: Under Obama, the US were in a permanent state of war, especially with drones. The nato didn’t play a big role. It retreated unsuccessfully from Afghanistan – a disaster.
- Terror: For the first time, a terrorist organization has organized itself on a state level. The “Islamic State” is worse than Al Kaida and is targeting Paris, Brussels, Berlin – and the US.
- Refugees: Obama watched impassively how all “red lines” in Syria were crossed. He first let Turkey handle the refugee drama, then Europe. The US hardly took up any Syrians.
The Europeans therefore have many reasons to be angry with Obama and to emancipate themselves from the US. Instead, they are closing their eyes about the new reality and glorify the “West” – just like during the cold war.
Please wake up, this is the 21st century, the 80s are over! By the way, back then it was a certain Reagan that sent the Europeans (and myself) onto the barricades.