Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
DOUBLE YOUR DONATION!
We don’t run corporate ads. We don’t shake our readers down for money every month or every quarter like some other sites out there. We provide our site for free to all, but the bandwidth we pay to do so doesn’t come cheap. A generous donor is matching all donations of $100 or more! So please donate now to double your punch!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Bang, Bang to Trump

Photo by Matt Brown | CC BY 2.0

Can you smell the whiff of smoke? You surely can. But the gunfire? Not yet. But it must start soon if the battle has any chance of success.

President Donald Trump has to be faced down. Not only because of his sabotage of the Iran nuclear deal but also because of his attack on Europe’s export of steel and aluminum which breaks all the rules on tariffs set by the World Trade Organisation.

This man should not be allowed to get away with his gross disturbance of the world political and economic order.

Donald Tusk, the President of the Council of the European Union, said boldly last week, “Who needs enemies when you have friends like this?”

Who indeed? Trump is, as David Goodhart wrote in Foreign Affairs, “a living fossil, the sort of ‘ugly American’ common enough in earlier eras”.

Trump is leading America into a dark tunnel where there is no sunlight and no daylight at the end.

His unilateral ending of the Iran nuclear agreement could easily lead to war between Israel and Iran, between Iran and Saudi Arabia and even between the US and Iran. The Middle East, already devastated by wars that the US and the UK started, will become a moonscape of destruction.

Iran, instead of being just an antagonist of the US will become an enemy, strong enough to give the US a large and regular dose of political and military pain.

Does America, even many of those who voted for Trump, want to confront Iran? The polls say “no” by a good margin.

For nearly 80 years America and Europe have for most of the time run in a three-legged race. This had disadvantages, but most of the two electorates have wanted it this way, and still do. Trump doesn’t. His irrationality can only be explained by his determination to undo all the good things Barack Obama did.

This is not a good enough reason to break up the JCPOA nuclear deal with Iran that Europe, Russia and China so value. Europe must call a halt to this.

Retaliation is the only way. Sanctions, the weapon that brought Iran and white South Africa to the negotiating table, must be introduced against the US.

Europe is both strong enough to do this and strong enough to go for the long haul. Europe has 500 million consumers compared with the US’s 300 million. It will also have the quiet support of Russia and China.

Politically Europe is more than ready.

Before Trump announced earlier this month that he was abrogating the Iran deal, polls in Germany and France showed how popular Obama was and how unpopular is Trump. Days after Trump’s election a survey found that 75% of the French held a negative opinion of him. The then president, Francois Hollande, said Trump’s “excesses” made him want to “throw up”.

A survey reported that 92% of Germans disapprove of Trump. According to a Pew survey 25% of Germans trust Putin compared with 11% who trust Trump.

Economically, Germany has the power to face down Trump, especially when supported by the rest of the EU. The US only buys 9% of German’s exports. The EU overwhelmingly trades with itself. On the other side of the coin, German companies employ 700,000 people in the US.

Europe’s squeeze should probably begin with sport, just as President Jimmy Carter did at the time of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The US withdrew its contingent from the Olympics in Moscow. It badly upset the American athletes who had trained for years. But it was broadly popular in America.

Sport boycotts quickly call the populace’s attention. At least half of Americans have only a crude idea why the Iran nuclear agreement is so important. So to hit the US with a boycott of US tennis matches and American players in Europe will hurt.

So it will with rowing at Henley and ice hockey in Sweden. It is likely that Russia, also a signatory of the Iran agreement, could be persuaded to ban the US from the football World Cup in Moscow next month.

Germany and other European investors in America should be made to withdraw some of their investments and lay off American workers (with good termination payments). New investment should be halted.

European car, drug, machinery and high tech manufacturers should be given government direction and help to invest more in Canada, Japan, China, India, South East Asia, Africa and Latin America, all of which – apart from the last – have booming markets.

The EU (and Russia) should rely more on themselves for rocket development and space exploration.

Where possible trade with Iran should be sheltered from US sanctions.

The list can easily be made longer. I doubt if Trump will be able for long to resist the pressure to change his mind from an electorate already turning against him.

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
October 19, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jason Hirthler
The Pieties of the Liberal Class
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Day in My Life at CounterPunch
Paul Street
“Male Energy,” Authoritarian Whiteness and Creeping Fascism in the Age of Trump
Nick Pemberton
Reflections on Chomsky’s Voting Strategy: Why The Democratic Party Can’t Be Saved
John Davis
The Last History of the United States
Yigal Bronner
The Road to Khan al-Akhmar
Robert Hunziker
The Negan Syndrome
Andrew Levine
Democrats Ahead: Progressives Beware
Rannie Amiri
There is No “Proxy War” in Yemen
David Rosen
America’s Lost Souls: the 21st Century Lumpen-Proletariat?
Joseph Natoli
The Age of Misrepresentations
Ron Jacobs
History Is Not Kind
John Laforge
White House Radiation: Weakened Regulations Would Save Industry Billions
Ramzy Baroud
The UN ‘Sheriff’: Nikki Haley Elevated Israel, Damaged US Standing
Robert Fantina
Trump, Human Rights and the Middle East
Anthony Pahnke – Jim Goodman
NAFTA 2.0 Will Help Corporations More Than Farmers
Jill Richardson
Identity Crisis: Elizabeth Warren’s Claims Cherokee Heritage
Sam Husseini
The Most Strategic Midterm Race: Elder Challenges Hoyer
Maria Foscarinis – John Tharp
The Criminalization of Homelessness
Robert Fisk
The Story of the Armenian Legion: a Dark Tale of Anger and Revenge
Jacques R. Pauwels
Dinner With Marx in the House of the Swan
Dave Lindorff
US ‘Outrage’ over Slaying of US Residents Depends on the Nation Responsible
Ricardo Vaz
How Many Yemenis is a DC Pundit Worth?
Elliot Sperber
Build More Gardens, Phase out Cars
Chris Gilbert
In the Wake of Nepal’s Incomplete Revolution: Dispatch by a Far-Flung Bolivarian 
Muhammad Othman
Let Us Bray
Gerry Brown
Are Chinese Municipal $6 Trillion (40 Trillion Yuan) Hidden Debts Posing Titanic Risks?
Rev. William Alberts
Judge Kavanaugh’s Defenders Doth Protest Too Much
Ralph Nader
Unmasking Phony Values Campaigns by the Corporatists
Victor Grossman
A Big Rally and a Bavarian Vote
James Bovard
Groped at the Airport: Congress Must End TSA’s Sexual Assaults on Women
Jeff Roby
Florida After Hurricane Michael: the Sad State of the Unheeded Planner
Wim Laven
Intentional or Incompetence—Voter Suppression Where We Live
Bradley Kaye
The Policy of Policing
Wim Laven
The Catholic Church Fails Sexual Abuse Victims
Kevin Cashman
One Year After Hurricane Maria: Employment in Puerto Rico is Down by 26,000
Dr. Hakim Young
Nonviolent Afghans Bring a Breath of Fresh Air
Karl Grossman
Irving Like vs. Big Nuke
Dan Corjescu
The New Politics of Climate Change
John Carter
The Plight of the Pyrenees: the Abandoned Guard Dogs of the West
Ted Rall
Brett Kavanaugh and the Politics of Emotion-Shaming
Graham Peebles
Sharing is Key to a New Economic and Democratic Order
Ed Rampell
The Advocates
Louis Proyect
The Education Business
David Yearsley
Shock-and-Awe Inside Oracle Arena
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail