It is now the conventional wisdom in Germany that the US can no longer be wholly relied on. This is bad news for everyone
Angela Merkel’s matter of fact statement that Europe can no longer wholly trust Donald Trump’s America – adding that this had become clear to her during the meetings on his European trip – is on one level unsurprising. Is there anyone who met the president on his recent foreign tour who felt better able to trust him as a result? There may be those, like the Saudis, who feel they got what they wanted from him, but not even they can feel they can rely on him. There is a horrible irony in the reported remarks of a “senior administration official” after the G7 meeting, that: “This was a summit in which the goals and priorities of the United States and the president really were felt deeply … Mr Trump has changed the way many people around the world are thinking of these issues.” Yes, he has.
The change did not come overnight. It has been brewing ever since the election. In terms of internal German politics, Mrs Merkel was merely stating the obvious. The scorn and anger of mainstream German coverage of the Trump government is almost shocking: the magazine cover that portrayed the president as a terrorist who has beheaded the Statue of Liberty is only one example. The chancellor is fighting an election and she needs to protect her flank against the SPD to her left. She has said earlier that Europe must rely more on its own resources, too. But even if what she said was not itself a significant development, it was still one of those remarks which by their very ordinariness illuminate a significant change. It would not have been commonsensical five years ago.
Link : The Guardian view on Mrs Merkel’s speech: ominous common sense | Editorial