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The Real Threat To Europe Is Neither America Nor Russia

2017 May 29
by Ian Welsh

So, much hysteria over Donald Trump’s disdain for NATO and his dislike of Germany.

Andrea Merkel said that Germany no longer has a reliable American partner.

Oh dear. Oh dear.

Let us lay out the simple facts:

..the EU’s population is 508 million. When the UK leaves, it will be 447 million.

Russia’s population is 143 million.

The EU minus Britain has a GDP of 18.1 trillion (purchasing power parity), Russia has an economy of 3.5 trillion (ppp). Germany alone has a GDP (ppp) of four trillion.

So, if NATO dissolves, Europe should be perfectly capable of defending itself. It it cannot, it is because it refuses to actually allocate resources to defense against an opponent it outweighs.

Europe does not need NATO for defense from Russia.

Now, let us be even more brutally frank, since WWII Europe has been an American protectorate. It is that simple, some commenters will probably disagree, but I’m not going to waste time proving the obvious.  Protectorate, indeed, is a kind way of putting it.

The truth is that America withdrawing is no danger to Europe. Europe has all the resources it needs to defend itself and care for its own affairs: people, a large economy, and technology. What specific technologies it does not have it is completely capable of developing or buying.

Furthermore, NATO expansion is one of the major causes for enmity between Europe and Russia, since Russians note that NATO is far far more powerful than them, and see its expansion, when George Bush Sr. promised it wouldn’t expand, as offensive.  (I agree with them. You may be foolish, and disagree, but American foreign policy bobbleheads and “thinkers” have been quite clear about their intent.)

The real threat to Europe is not Russia, nor American disengagement, but as it has been since German unification under Bismarck, Germany.

Germany is already integrating the units of smaller European countries into its own military.

Germany (and, yes, Germany WAS the prime mover) already destroyed an entire European country, Greece, to bail out its own bankers.

Germany’s industrial policy and clout has impoverished the European “South” through enforced austerity and the imposition of the Euro, which makes German exports cheaper than they should be and the exports of Southern European more expensive than they should be.

Germany essentially runs the EU’s monetary policy at this point, a policy which has been in the self-perceived interests of Germany, and only coincidentally in any other country’s interest. (Something the French should get around to noticing, and stop kneepadding for the next German annexation of France, even if not in name.)

Germany is the actual threat to other European countries sovereignty. This might be acceptable if a German hegemon had a record of caring about what happens to non German countries, but the record is clear and visible on the ground in Italy, Portugal, Spain, Greece and even France, that it is not.

It is entirely true that the entire Eurocrat class is implicated, and that every European country has collaborators, including France (Macron is merely the latest to take the throne, and there is no question of his complicity, since he ran Hollande’s austerity program.)

Nonetheless, weirdly, the policies they promote are the ones that rebound to the benefit of Germany, and it is Germany who is widely understood, as in the case of Greece, to have the deciding vote.

Europeans should decide if a further federalized European Union, run by the Germans, for the Germans, is what they want, because that is what is on offer.

Trump should be a sideshow issue for Europeans. He is not a significant danger to them, except in the sense that he may be unleashing the Germans even further.

As is often the case, the politicians Europeans should be most scared of are their own: the collaborators who run their governments, and the German politicans who are sure that what is best for other Europeans countries is, coincidentally, identical with what they are sure is best for Germany.

(And anyone who thinks that Merkel is not essentially malign simply has not paid attention. If an evil person opposes a more evil person they do not become “good”. This is not to deny, that like many evil people, she has not done some good things.)

Look to your own house for the person who will beat and abuse and likely kill you. True at every level.


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53 Responses leave one →
  1. V. Arnold permalink
    May 30, 2017

    I think you’ve essentially covered all the bases.
    One quibble though; you say; “Furthermore, NATO expansion is one of the major causes for enmity between Europe and Russia, since Russians note that NATO is far far more powerful than them…”
    I’ve yet to hear any Russian accept that as true. The various scenarios I’ve seen have Russia over-running NATO positions in 60 – 72 hours; especially in the Baltics.
    Don’t forget Stalingrad; the Russian’s never will.
    Very few in the west truly understand Russian culture and the significance of that, in any aggression towards “Mother Russia”.

  2. V. Arnold permalink
    May 30, 2017

    Further; those numbers are just that, numbers. GDP and population are meaningless, IMO, based on what the world is witnessing in just Syria and reading reams on Russian history.
    It’s a mistake to judge Russia with statistical hokem-pokem.
    The world’s largest wheat exporter = Russia.
    In any event, one must look far deeper than just numbers.
    To be clear; it is agreed, Russia is no threat to the west, period.

  3. Hugh permalink
    May 30, 2017

    I get this a lot. Just because one group is wearing black hats doesn’t mean that the other side isn’t wearing black hats too. So people lay into the Republicans ignoring that the Democrats are just as bad. Ditto Trump and Merkel. US, German, EU, Russian, and Chinese kleptocracies, etc.

    Two notes: First, when we talk about Germany we should distinguish between its rich and elites on one side and its people on the other. German workers have been screwed over too by the Hartz reforms –although they probably are doing relatively better than their other European counterparts. I sometimes wonder if Merkel let in Syrian refugees to create a cheap labor supply. Maybe someone who follows this more closely could weigh in.

    Second, I still prefer nominal or better real GDP to the PPP measure. PPP tends to magnify the GDP of poorer countries relative to richer ones. You can’t buy much, but what you can buy (say some agricultural products) is relatively cheaper since almost nobody can afford anything more expensive. Russia’s nominal GDP, for example, is only about a third of its PPP GDP.

  4. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    May 30, 2017

    I thought it was Angela Merkel as in Angela Dorothea Merkel?

    What a beautiful middle name. There’s No Place Like Home. There’s No Place Like Home.

    Wherever or whatever home is.

  5. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    May 30, 2017

    Russia will only last as long as Putin lives. This is what happens when you put all your eggs in one leader’s basket. Russia will go the way of Tito’s Yugoslavia once Putin perishes. No one could ever fill his prodigiously diminutive shoes.

    Currently, Russia is a Rentier State with nukes and it uses those nukes as Blackmail. Energy in the form of natural resources, i.e. oil & gas, is what keeps Russia in The Game. Absent that, Russia’s not much more valuable than the Middle Eastern Kingdoms. Its nukes gives it the edge. Without Oil & Gas, Russia is nothing but a country replete with Serfs & Feudal Overlords.

    Russia, and the Middle Eastern Kingdoms, know this, that Oil & Gas are the only leverage they have and in the case of Russia its nukes, and are doing everything they can to mitigate it now and in the future. They’re trying to diversify and secure a foothold for the time when the Oil & Gas run out, but since they’re crooks, they only know their crooked ways. They are incapable of True Innovation & Entrepreneurship and so they will always be tied at the hip with the only thing that ever gave them any value and therefore power — the energy reserves beneath their feet.

    Time is not on their side. In fact, Time isn’t on anyone’s side but especially not their side.

    Just For You, Vlad

  6. May 30, 2017

    ——-First, when we talk about Germany we should distinguish between its rich and elites on one side and its people on the other.—–

    Thank you. First thought that went through my mind. Very important.

  7. jackiebass permalink
    May 30, 2017

    It has been obvious to me that Germany has controlled the EU for decades to the benefit of Germany. The idea of the EU sound good but the individual countries are too different to unite as one. It will eventually go down as a failed experiment. Probably it was created because of past European history where Germany became too powerful. The hope was that this would neuter Germany. Actually it did just the opposite by making Germany more powerful.

  8. V. Arnold permalink
    May 30, 2017

    Whatever TSMB is smoking; I don’t want any.

    TSMB
    They are incapable of True Innovation & Entrepreneurship and so they will always be tied at the hip with the only thing that ever gave them any value and therefore power — the energy reserves beneath their feet.

    Yeah, right you are; Russia (USSR) was first to orbit a satellite; first to put a man in space; first to put a woman in space; first to space walk an astronaut.
    Nah, they can’t inovate worth shit.

    So, do you enjoy putting your gross ignorance on display; for the whole bloggosphere?
    Just askin… :-0

  9. anonymous coward permalink
    May 30, 2017

    I no longer wonder what living in the McCarthy period would have been like.

  10. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    May 30, 2017

    Russia (USSR) was first to orbit a satellite; first to put a man in space

    So, you’re telling me, basically, that Russia is still the Soviet Union? If so, Trump truly is guilty of Treason and should removed from office and executed immediately.

    Yesterday was Memorial Day here in America. Americans were/are told to mourn and remember those who had sacrificed their lives for “Freedom.” Think of all the countless lives, American or otherwise, that were sacrificed fighting Russian Communism during the Cold War. Korea & Vietnam come to mind. And for what? For this? For an Oval Office Backchannel to The Kremlin so Russia can dictate terms to its Quisling Trump?

    Or maybe THAT Russia of yore you hold in such high esteem is as much a bygone fiction as THAT America of yore Donald Trump holds in such high esteem.

  11. V. Arnold permalink
    May 30, 2017

    The Stephen Miller Band

    Your infantilised level of education is telling; please do not respond to my posts further.
    It’s embarrasing at the least…

  12. Dan Lynch permalink
    May 30, 2017

    The saying is that Germany lost the war but won the peace.
    .
    Because the Anglo elitess never had a problem with German fascism, only that, as George Carlin put it, “The Germans were cutting in on our action. They wanted to rule the world. Bullshit, that’s our effing job!”
    .
    At heart the German model was about corporate control of trade. Trade cartels that served and protected the interests of German industry, only since then it has evolved to serve the needs of multinational corporations. That’s what we’re seeing with the free trade deals and with the Eurozone — they serve the interests of multinational corporations.
    .
    Someone mentioned that Russia may change when Putin is gone. That may be true, but it may not be the kind of change you imagine. Russia is becoming more nationalistic. What if Putin’s successor is a hot-headed nationalist — how would such a person react to Western provocations?

  13. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    May 30, 2017

    Dan, in his last paragraph, underscores why Germany is, and will always be, vastly superior to Russia. Germany has managed to bounce back from two devastating defeats, and this last bounce back was accomplished without the aid of a military & weaponry, for the most part. Good or bad, like it or not, Germany is regaining power, has regained power, intelligently through innovation and hard work, not via the barrel of a loaded gun, i.e. a nuclear arsenal.

    Lenin knew this, of course. The only way Communism could have taken root and hold and perhaps defeated Capitalism was Germany. The Capitalists knew it too and hence their support of the onerous Hitler and Fascism.

    Russia, for the Communists, was always the wrong place to start, but it was Lenin’s only option. Bricks kneaded with the blood of peasant serfs make a poor foundation.

  14. tony permalink
    May 30, 2017

    Is that some sort of liberal racial essentialism?

  15. juliania permalink
    May 30, 2017

    Telling Europe that Germany is their enemy is like telling the United States that Washington, DC is their enemy. And lest you point out that the EU is an economic union which doesn’t give the enrolled states the same status democratically speaking as does the US Constitution, I will just point out that sadly since the decision of the Supreme Court that money is speech, neither does the US government.

    I am not saying you are incorrect, Ian, but that we in this country need to be aware that we are all in the same leaky boat and we’d better start bailing.

    And even the Russian Federation has had similar oligarchical issues to face. I don’t know if they have overcome them, but they do seem to be trying.

  16. May 30, 2017

    The Russians are plenty innovative these days, at least in my contacts with them. What they lack, however, is the economic infrastructure to reward the innovators. Intellectual property theft is rather common, among other problems. Why spend time coming up with something truly great if the kleptocrats are going to just take it from you?

    Of course, we’re also seeing that no one in the US gives a damn about plagiarism anymore, at least if committed by a Trumpite, so maybe we’re on that same path to only reward the kleptocrats…

  17. Myron permalink
    May 30, 2017

    Stephen Miller Band,

    i know you’re a retarded faggot with no understanding of recent history but a russian was the only person to, recently, solve one of the million dollar millenium math problems. and he turned down the cash prize

    kill yourself my dude

  18. May 30, 2017

    Not sure the International Bankers and Insurers, the Military Media Drug Oil Industrial Complex, will allow the Untied States walk away.

  19. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    May 30, 2017

    Ed, exactly, therefore Russia, in its entirety, isn’t really innovative these days. Germany is.

    I agree with you that the spreading Kleptocracy affects everyone everywhere at this point and it’s The West that helped Post Soviet Russia set up its Kleptocracy. It was glad to help. Larry Summers was right there in the thick of it.

    Then Putin came along and said “they’re my Oligarchs, not The West’s Oligarchs,” and so we have factions of Global Oligarchs squaring off. The Mafia Wars with all the old tricks of the trade still at hand and some new ones too.

    Robert Mercer: The Big Data Billionaire Waging War On The Mainstream Media or Fake News Is Being Replaced Even Faker News

    With links to Donald Trump, Steve Bannon and Nigel Farage, the rightwing US computer scientist is at the heart of a multimillion-dollar propaganda network.

    Later, when Trump picked up Mercer and Cambridge Analytica, the game changed again. “It’s all about the emotions. This is the big difference with what we did. They call it bio-psycho-social profiling. It takes your physical, mental and lifestyle attributes and works out how people work, how they react emotionally.”

    Bio-psycho-social profiling, I read later, is one offensive in what is called “cognitive warfare”. Though there are many others: “recoding the mass consciousness to turn patriotism into collaborationism,” explains a Nato briefing document on countering Russian disinformation written by an SCL employee. “Time-sensitive professional use of media to propagate narratives,” says one US state department white paper. “Of particular importance to psyop personnel may be publicly and commercially available data from social media platforms.”

    Yet another details the power of a “cognitive casualty” – a “moral shock” that “has a disabling effect on empathy and higher processes such as moral reasoning and critical thinking”. Something like immigration, perhaps. Or “fake news”. Or as it has now become: “FAKE news!!!!”

    How do you change the way a nation thinks? You could start by creating a mainstream media to replace the existing one with a site such as Breitbart. You could set up other websites that displace mainstream sources of news and information with your own definitions of concepts like “liberal media bias”, like CNSnews.com. And you could give the rump mainstream media, papers like the “failing New York Times!” what it wants: stories. Because the third prong of Mercer and Bannon’s media empire is the Government Accountability Institute.

    Bannon co-founded it with $2m of Mercer’s money. Mercer’s daughter, Rebekah, was appointed to the board. Then they invested in expensive, long-term investigative journalism. “The modern economics of the newsroom don’t support big investigative reporting staffs,” Bannon told Forbes magazine. “You wouldn’t get a Watergate, a Pentagon Papers today, because nobody can afford to let a reporter spend seven months on a story. We can. We’re working as a support function.”

    Welcome to the future of journalism in the age of platform capitalism. News organisations have to do a better job of creating new financial models. But in the gaps in between, a determined plutocrat and a brilliant media strategist can, and have, found a way to mould journalism to their own ends.

    The only thing worse than disorganized Oligarchy is organized Oligarchy. Putin organized Russia’s fledgling Oligarchy, and it’s a dangerous animal indeed. Organized Crime — crude but effective so long as Putin lives, but it’s toast when he kicks the bucket and that may be sooner than you think.

  20. May 30, 2017

    It’s a little odd to argue that the EU has the resources to resist Russia (it does) but then argue that most EU countries’ real threat is Germany, which is a large contributor in many ways to the capacity to resist Russia.

    The problem of German economic dominance stems principally from the construction of the Eurozone and the carelessness of the French who pushed for it. They thought that the contradictions in the Eurozone design would eventually lead to a political situation in which they could force Germany into a different kind of economic straightjacket. Germany under Schröder pre-emptively avoided that straightjacket via the austerity-based Agenda 2010. Schäuble has merely pursued the same aim.

    The German elite also believes it is doing everyone a favour and that the real culprit for the suffering in the EU south is an entrenched set of habitual economic relations expressing itself as a collusion between established business and established labour, preventing the development of a local “Mittelstand”, that fabled pillar of the German economy. Europeans are all to live by exporting custom pencils in a variety of colours, you see.

  21. Pelham permalink
    May 30, 2017

    Given all those advantages, it appears Europe should most certainly be able to defend itself against Russia.

    Then again, there may be other factors. GDP doesn’t necessarily correlate well with even potential military capacity or capability, given factors such as terrain and the disadvantages of defense. Things may have changed since I last encountered any discussion about this, but from what I understand, Russia’s military and tank forces are fully capable of sweeping through Western Europe — a fairly tiny geographical area that’s hard to defend and ideal for motorized onslaught — within a week.

    This is one reason that even the US has refused to rule out the possible first use of nuclear weapons in the event of a conventional attack in Europe. And while I agree with Ian about the provocative nature of expansion NATO right up to Russia’s borders, thus breaking a US promise, it’s fair to say that one reason for the expansion may have been to provide a further buffer for the vitals of Western Europe and a larger geographic area for any invading Russian forces to contend with.

  22. Dave Trowbridge permalink
    May 30, 2017

    I see one mitigating factor; I’ll share it here via anecdote.

    Some time back friends of mine hosted a German exchange student and later visited her in Germany. One day she took them to see the Brandenburg Gate. The male half of the couple was a military history enthusiast and was overcome by the weight of history the Gate represented to him, to the extent that he began to sing “Deutschland, Deutschland uber Alles, at which point the young woman shoved him in the chest a hard as she could and shouted “NEVER do that!”

    As a nation Germany has done a lot of hard work acknowledging and accepting responsibility for what they did and the suffering they caused. I have hopes that the generation this young woman represents will continue that work in the context of the European Project.

  23. May 30, 2017

    The German public as such does not want to dominate Europe and doesn’t see itself as doing so. Rather, it suffers from a bad case of Besserwisserei — imagining that one knows better all the time. After all, the südliche Urlaubsländer (southern vacation countries) can’t possibly have any concept of work, now can they?

  24. Way I see it permalink
    May 30, 2017

    This is simple: The real threat to Europe is non-Europeans.

  25. May 30, 2017

    This is simple: The real threat to Europe is non-Europeans.

    Which non-Europeans?

  26. bruce wilder permalink
    May 30, 2017

    Russia is a remarkable country and people, and Putin a truly remarkable leader. People, who can only see Russian politics thru the lens of a simplistic manicheism, where every figure is good or evil and that is all you need to know really should just shut up.

    Russia has a small population and vast natural resources, but its social and institutional capital was depleted by the long twilight of communist senescence. Putin, a Napoleonic figure without the hubristic ambition for world conquest, has been holding things together rather skillfully. And, Russian economy and society has been rebuilding steadily. Whether it will be enough for the society to hold together after he goes is impossible for a non-expert to judge, may be for anyone to judge.

    My prediction would be that Putin will depart the scene circa 2024 and upheaval will be brief. After that, the challenge will be border control, not internal stability per se. China will want central Asia and eastern Siberia. Russia will be one of the few countries to benefit from global warming, but its resource curse will be the envy of others. Watch Kazahkstan, if you live into the 2020’s.

    Germany’s current lack of military capability is its one saving grace. The German Army is just sad. It isn’t just that the EU, for all its economic numbers lacks overall solidarity; the EU umbrella has undermined national solidarity through out Europe. The populist reaction is evidence of this and we faraway observers should take note, and not just that there is a reaction but that its detailed character is so varied.

    The EU “constitution” was (unconsciously?) modeled on Bismarck’s North German Confederation: an almost purely bureaucratic state with only ceremonial outlets for democracy, dominated by a core coalition assembled by manipulation for its ineffectual character. It is fundamentally incompatible with the British model of a rentier state. More worrisome is the Visegrád Group, a stable coalition in the East, hostile to Russia and very right wing. This is the coalition that will try to take over if Germany’s misleadership causes France, Spain, Italy to edit.

  27. Synoia permalink
    May 30, 2017

    Historically, a unified, or unifying Germany has always been followed by a large European War.

    30 Years War
    Franco Prussian War
    WW I
    WW II

    The only way the EU will break up is after another Franco-German War.

  28. Hugh permalink
    May 30, 2017

    Just a few correctives:
    Russia has limited force projection capabilities. Even a direct intervention in Eastern Ukraine would have stretched its resources. And while it could occupy most of the Baltics in a matter of days, it would have difficulty holding them, let alone dealing with a NATO response.

    On paper, Russia has a huge number of tanks, but most of these are Soviet-era, obsolete and not much more than scrap. It is replacing older models with newer ones in Western Russia and Central Asia.

    Germany spends about 2/3 what Russia does on its armed forces each year. The difference is that this represents about 1% of German nominal GDP and 5.3% of Russia’s. The US spends about 3.2% of its nominal GDP for the Pentagon, or about eleven times what Russia does in absolute terms. And the Pentagon budget is not the full amount of US defense spending.

    However, it remains unlikely that Europe in the form of NATO can develop a coherent, effective defense policy in the absence of American leadership or under German leadership. The EU/EZ is an example of what you get under German leadership, and it is a slow motion train wreck.

  29. Synoia permalink
    May 30, 2017

    Hugh

    “The EU/EZ is an example of what you get under German leadership, and it is a slow motion train wreck.”

    That statement is so unfair t the Germans. It is much faster than that.

  30. Charlie permalink
    May 30, 2017

    The Steve Miller Band equals a very cleverly disguised neo-liberal Clintonite. Every site seems to have one these days.

  31. May 31, 2017

    I say “covfefe” to all that!

  32. May 31, 2017

    > Which non-Europeans?

    The American non-Europeans, according to Merkel.

  33. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    May 31, 2017

    Russia has a small population and vast natural resources, but its social and institutional capital was depleted by the long twilight of communist senescence.

    It was that same Communism, prior to its stultifying calcification, that made Russia great, if great is what the Soviet Union could even have been called.

    People change with the times. Surely Americans 200 years prior are not the Americans of today. Same holds true for Russians. Hell, we don’t have to go back 200 years. Americans of 60 years prior are not the same as Americans today. Same for Russians, so shut the hell up about how remarkable the “Russian People” are and how remarkable Putin is.

    The Russians, some voluntarily but most involuntarily, have put all their eggs in Putin’s basket and that basket is going to fall from on high and all those eggs are going to be smashed. What was formerly one of Russia’s strengths and worked in antiquity, an omnipotent leader, will be its ultimate and permanent downfall.

    As far as remarkable is concerned, all people are remarkable in their own right, and The Russians aren’t any more remarkable than the Aborigines of Australia, and maybe even less remarkable in my opinion.

    Bruce, if Russia & Putin are so remarkable, please, I implore you to implore the Russian Oligarchs who have set up permanent residence in The West, and skipped to the front of the line with their ill-gotten gains, to head back to the paradise that is Russia before I ascend to power. Because once I do, if they’re not gone, I’m going to kick their asses back to their remarkable forbidding & foreboding paradise. They are not welcome on MY TURF. They, along with all The Rich, are not welcome and the sooner we all get on the same page on this and quit serving The Rich regardless of their Nation or Ethnicity, the sooner we can socially & societally evolve.

    FYI, I’m glad to know I’m a “faggot.” Classy. Smart & Polite. I expect nothing less and nothing more. I won’t be killing myself anytime soon. If you want me dead, you’ll have to do itself.

  34. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    May 31, 2017

    For Peter.

    Wise words, even if you don’t believe in God or in Gods. Think of Putin when you read the words. Think of Trump. Think of many leaders the world over. Where have all The Cowboys gone?

    When people in leadership positions do not engage in self-criticism and self-supervision they do not want to admit any fault, even for the problems that are directly due to their own wrong decisions, and therefore they keep accusing and laying the blame on others. When the wrongs and mistakes are highlighted, they perceive it as a threat to themselves and wish to silence those who highlight them. In short, they become tyrannical. Leaders who lay personal claim to achievements that have been granted by God Almighty as a result of concerted efforts from society will become deluded into thinking that everything begins and ends with their own person. This delusion of seeing themselves as the beginning and end is actually an implication of claiming to be a deity.

    The grim end of a person who dares to make such a claim is stated as follows in one hadith qudsi: (God Almighty says) “Pride is My cloak and greatness My robe, and whoever competes with Me with regard to either of them, I shall throw him into Hell.”

    [1]A person who sees himself as great and thus takes pride in it will be considered to have attempted to be a partner with God regarding these attributes. The Almighty Lord gives the warning that He will throw such a person into Hell.

    ~ Fethullah Gülen

  35. Ivory Bill Woodpecker permalink
    May 31, 2017

    Actually, God has no pride. Pride is a sin–indeed, the deadliest of the Seven Deadly Sins, but God has no sin, therefore…

    Meanwhile, enough is enough! I have had it with these covfefe snakes on this covfefe plane!

    Just take a quote from real life, from movies or TV or books or song lyrics, whatever, and substitute “covfefe” wherever the Spirit of Covfefetude moves you.

    And let its creator be known as “Preznit Covfefe” hereafter.

  36. May 31, 2017

    Somehow the idea of John Malkovich going into himself and just repeating “Covfefe” over and over again seems where this is headed.

  37. Stratocumulus permalink
    May 31, 2017

    @Myron – WTF?…”retarded faggot”…not cool…not cool at all, dude…try coming up with something else next time that’s not homophobic please…..

  38. Willy permalink
    May 31, 2017

    Charlie,

    The Steve Miller Band equals a very cleverly disguised neo-liberal Clintonite.

    Why?

  39. Hugh permalink
    May 31, 2017

    I’ll have my cuppa covfefe decaf macchiato’ed.

    Wait, no I won’t. I hate covfefe. I guess that makes me negative covfefe.

  40. May 31, 2017

    > Why?

    Because some reads what he scribbles.

  41. V. Arnold permalink
    May 31, 2017

    Willy
    May 31, 2017

    Nah, he’s an ignorant barking asshole.

  42. Ian Welsh permalink*
    May 31, 2017

    There are a number of combinations of European alliances which an hold off any likely Russian attack. It simply is not an issue if Germany, the major state near Russia’s border, doesn’t want it to be and is willing to army properly and put together an alliance.

    Russia is not going to invade, in any case. It does not, actually, have the capability against any resistance, and even the places it could overrun it cannot hold. (The Baltic States, absent a big pushback are an exception, but then, a brief look at a map tells you how viable their sovereignty is.)

    Since Russia cannot, in fact, conquer most of Europe, Russia is not a significant threat. Germany, on the other hand, thru economic and political means, can.

    That German citizens simply believe they know best for everyone else in the Eurozone and are willing to use their power to impose what is best is, er, exactly the point: they think they should be in charge and are willing to force that on other people.

    I fail to see any substantive difference between that and what I said, especially when it comes to actual actions.

    (Most Europeans, especially the English, were very clear that they were ruling and conquering other nations because they knew how to run their societies best. It was a civilizing movement.)

    Crazy.

  43. Charlie permalink
    May 31, 2017

    Willy,

    Why? How about why not? Nearly every scribble ascribes some portion to unsubstantiated pretensions of Russia ruling the world, with a game show host’s help, of course.

    On the Germany question, someone riddle me this. Given Europe is highly dependent on LNG for heating, how does creating antagonism with both Russia and the US keep the gas on? Unless, they are turning coal into diesel again, I don’t see how their energy needs are being met. Even given renewables.

  44. V. Arnold permalink
    June 1, 2017

    Charlie
    May 31, 2017

    Germany does not use LNG (liquified natural gas) for general energy supplies; it uses natural gas delivered by pipe-line.
    The U.S. is unimportant in this, but Russia remains very important. Merkel is not alienating Russia; quite the contrary.

  45. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    June 1, 2017

    The Gülen quote above applies equally to Hillary Clinton who was in California yesterday playing the Blame Game with various Democratic Party Apparatchiks pretending to be Journalists.

    In Election Blame Game, It’s Time For Hillary Clinton To Take Her Share

    She whines that the Democrat Party was bankrupt and in a shambles. The audacity of this crook. She is a crook every bit as much as Donald Trump is a crook. She and her husband ARE the Democrat Party, so if IT was/is in a shambles, it’s on THEM.

    Instead of shoring it up, THEY neglected it and put all their energy into their Foundation.

    Obama is equally to blame. He, unlike Trump, did have more of a Mandate and he squandered it. The Democrat Party disintegrated under his auspices. Since he has always been CIA from Womb to Oval Office, I have to believe it was by design. Trump was/is by design, and that, my friends, is extremely unnerving because it shows just how psychotic The Rich really are.

    All of this was so easily avoidable if you were The Democrats, and yet the Democrat Party went out of its way to ensure a Trump victory by laying down and walking away. It did its part. Obama effectively campaigned for Trump and so too did Hillary because that is the effect of their legacy the past eight years.

    I say Death to The Democrat Party once and for all. Good riddance. Do not let it pretend to be, once again, the Knight In Shining Armor that comes galloping in to save the day in 2018 and 2020 with crotchety Joe Biden decked out in a flashy pair of Designer Depend® leak-proof underwear.


    The Clown & The Crook

  46. Synoia permalink
    June 1, 2017

    That German citizens simply believe they know best for everyone else in the Eurozone…

    Yes, that view of the world has killed millions of people.

  47. Hugh permalink
    June 1, 2017

    TSMB, what Trump and Clinton have in common is that they cannot fail. They can only be failed. So that she stood for nothing, was endlessly corrupt, had a sense of entitlement the size of the Milky Way, and had/has the biggest tin ear in American politics is irrelevant. It was the Russkies and Comey (whose name sounds suspiciously like Commie. A coincidence? I think not /s) who cost her the election. Meanwhile Trump has exited the Paris Accords (which were a lot weaker than they sounded). That flushing sound you hear is more of America’s leadership going down the crapper. But he was claiming that this would create millions of jobs (the coal industry employes 50,000 in the US), reverse a transfer of wealth outside the country, and result in a 3-4% growth rate. None of this is remotely going to happen, but when it doesn’t, Trump isn’t going to man up. He’s going to A) say everything happened just the way he said, even when it manifestly, obviously doesn’t, and B) blame everyone in sight other than himself.

  48. different clue permalink
    June 1, 2017

    @Hugh,

    Based on your comment, I will assume that Trump has announced US’s withdrawal from the Paris Accords.

    If so, this should inspire conservation-minded people to “paris up” both at the state level and at regional levels and at local levels and individually-personally.

    And perhaps the Sister City concept could be extended to Sister Conservation Cities. People and jurisdictions which have “parised up” could salutationize eachother with “yours in Paris”. And invoke the “spirit of Paris” to learn and weaponise and disseminate various energy-conservation methods and approaches.

    If life hands you lemons, make lemonade.
    If life hands you melons, make melonade.
    If life hands you demons, make demonade.

    Yours in Paris,

    Drain the Trump!

  49. Peter permalink
    June 1, 2017

    It was splendid news today as Trump’s words sucked the oxygen out of the Warmers of the World movement in Europe and the US. France’s Macron is offering sanctuary to the displaced climate scientists of the US so the actual climate change refugee crisis may begin. He also believes that Putin and Trump are colluding to destroy his world as they monopolize the benefits of GW while everyone else suffers.

    All the mouthpieces of the warmer’s cause are frantic and lost now that they face a real catastrophe for their agenda and the whining and hand-wringing will continue.

  50. different clue permalink
    June 2, 2017

    @Peter,

    I understand your comment to mean you have your doubts as to whether the Earth’s net-net surface-level heat load is increasing or not. In fact, I understand your comment to mean you have no doubts that it is not increasing.

    If your opinion on this matter is correct, have you considered the tremendous contrarian investing opportunity which is lying spread out before your feet? If indeed the global is not warming and will not warm, then it follows that the various major ice formations are not melting and will not melt. It therefor further follows that the sea level is not rising and will not rise.

    And that is where your contrarian investing opportunity comes in. Growing numbers of people are under the impression that the ice formations are already melting now. They are under the further impression that sea levels are already rising. They are beginning to act on these impressions. Some people are tiptoeing out of coastal beachfront oceanside real estate.
    As the tiptoe becomes a massive sprint, seaside land prices will fall and then fall further. At some point, seaside land will be so cheap that even you can afford to buy ( or borrow and buy) a lot of it, most preferrably in places like South Florida and Coastal Louisiana.

    When you have bought as much land as you can afford to borrow the money for, and all the people who have been leaving or staying away realize how wrong they were, and they want to come back; you or your heirs will be in position to make a fortune, selling or re-selling back to these people land they should never have sold and left to begin with.

    So buy seaside land, Peter. You will be planting the seeds of a future family fortune.

  51. Hugh permalink
    June 2, 2017

    Peter’s views have nothing to do with reality, either the physical process of global warming, its causes, or that Trump, or the US, somehow comes out a winner on this. As I have said, Peter is useful because he gives us the fact-free propaganda line of the hard right. You may think that no one seriously believes the kind of blather that Peter spouts, but this is untrue. To be fair, Peter has his counterparts on the left as well.

  52. different clue permalink
    June 2, 2017

    @Hugh,

    But if Peter actually beLIEVES his stated views about man made global warming, then he really should consider this as his big contrarian investing opportunity. As should every Climate Skeptic. I am doing my best every which way I can to point that out to the Climate Skeptics. If they really beLIEVE their skepticism, then they should really SEE the contrarian investing opportunity laid out before them. I really truly want them to invest everything they have, and everything they can, in betting on global no-warming in the present and future.

    We really need to start creating social systems for getting Skeptics inland and Accepters near the coasts in touch with eachother. We need to facilitate an exchange of populations. We need to help millions of Accepters near the coasts and millions of Skeptics away from the coasts exchange houses, properties, assets with eachother so that we can get all the Accepters living away from the coasts, and get all the Skeptics to live along the coasts.

    And if the Skeptics turn out to have been right after all, then they can have the last laugh and we can have a good cry. But first we have to get those populations exchanged.

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