Listeners to my show know that I pay special attention to issues involving Germany since my mom was born in that country and I continue to have many friends and relatives in the country. When I last visited Germany, I returned to the radio show to talk about the migrant crisis and the anger it provoked among residents of the country against their leaders - Angela Merkel in particular.
These comments actually predated the election of Donald Trump - in part over American concern over illegal immigration. And Merkel has recently been threatened with irrelevance as a leader over her open borders policy, so much so that she has agreed to tighter border security.
Germany is back in the news as President Trump roared into the latest NATO summit in Brussels and immediately criticized Germany for becoming increasingly energy-dependent on Russia. Trump pointed out that nations like Germany increasingly depend on the US to bear the brunt of funding NATO - as protection against Russia - while increasingly funding the Russian economy.
The anti-Trump media always portrays his signature bluntness as a loss for international relations, but President Trump's criticism of Germany for becoming more energy independent on Russia actually echoes the concerns of the Obama Administration, as this excellent column on commentarymagazine.com points out.
Germany’s drift toward Moscow—there is no other way to describe it—began long before Trump came on the scene.
Start with the Nord Stream II pipeline, which provided the immediate context for Trump’s barb. The project—a joint venture of Gazprom, the Vladimir Putin-linked energy giant, and several European firms—would allow Russia to deliver some 55 billion cubic meters of gas directly to Germany.
...The Trump administration, like its predecessor, is opposed. As Richard Grenell, the American envoy to Germany, told me recently, “The U.S. shares widespread European concerns about projects like Nord Stream II that would undermine Europe’s own energy diversification efforts.”
This seems to be a pattern in the reporting of President Trump's approach to international relations:
1) President Trump says something blunt.
2) Pundits tell us that it hurts America in the eyes of other countries.
3) The concern expressed by President Trump actually turns out to be a real concern.
Therefore, I think the reaction of the American people is the same in every instance: why weren't our leaders previously talking about these issues?