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July 17, 2018 · OPINION

Embarrassed by president’s performance in Europe

By Max Hall

After the recent events in Belgium, England and Finland, I felt compelled to write this letter. 

We can argue about the environment, abortion, trade, the economy, health care and any number of other issues, but as a veteran and a patriot, I’m embarrassed by the events of the past week. I don’t understand our president and his views about Russia and our European allies. When did it become patriotic to denigrate our allies and embrace our enemies?

If you have studied history at all, you know that NATO is a major reason that we have had peace in Europe for the last 70 years. Is NATO perfect? No. Are there issues? Sure. But to belittle the organization is ridiculous. And then to specifically go after Great Britain (May) and Germany (Merkel), two allies that have stood with us not only in Europe, but also in Iraq and Afghanistan, is nothing short of foolish.  

Fast forward to Helsinki. The president’s comments at the press conference were distressing. First, he supports Putin, a man that wishes nothing but ill will, not only for our country, but for all nations in the West. He has poisoned people, interfered with elections (not only ours, but others as well), caused issues in Crimea and the Ukraine, imprisoned internal opposition candidates and murdered Russian citizens. 

Then, our president takes it a step further and talks badly about our own intelligence agencies, blames the U.S. for the poor relations between our countries and again supports Putin in his allegations. The press conference could not have been more favorable to Putin, if Putin had scripted it himself. And this is our great deal maker?

I am glad to see politicians of both parties have called our president to task for his poor performance in Europe, but that’s not enough. We as citizens all need to express our concerns and ensure our voice is heard. Write your elected officials. Write the White House. Talk to your neighbors. Protest peacefully if you are so moved. But above all, vote.

As an American and a veteran, I’m embarrassed by our president’s performance in Europe. When I was in the Army, I spent almost nine years in Europe as a part of NATO, defending this country. I understand that times change, and the “Cold War” ended many years ago. For our president to not understand that these times are equally treacherous and that history repeats itself is not only unfortunate, but could prove tragic for us.
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BJ · August 15, 2018 at 5:21 pm
"To put it very simply, there were five basic, highly effective moves that allowed Hitler's rise:

First, the Nazi party allowed a coarse, uneducated leader to rise to prominence on a white privilege, nationalist wave.

Second, the conservative establishment party foolishly thought it could appease him by sharing power.

Third, that same Nazi party destroyed media credibility to silence critics.

Fourth, the Nazis literally burned the establishment congress to the ground.

Fifth, it seized authoritarian power by using unchallenged propaganda to precipitate an existential threat allegedly emanating from those outside the white Aryan race and outside the nation's borders.

It is the third stage – destroying the credibility of the mainstream media -- – that's happening right now, and the Politico/Morning Consult poll shows it's working. Whether it continues to work in the next one, two or three years is still very much an open question -- one that depends on how other Republican leaders, who rightfully distrust journalists because they tend to be overwhelmingly progressive, and the actual leaders of the dominant media forms in America respond.

But if this third stage works, and if GOP leaders allow it to stand, then the fourth and fifth stages we saw in Nazi Germany aren't all that far behind."

martinkus · August 8, 2018 at 3:28 pm
Rover 530:

I'll go along with "Schmuck"!
Rover 530 · August 1, 2018 at 8:34 pm
Trump is a lying, dishonest, perverted, treasonous, low-life, self-centered, psychologically-deficient, incompetent person who, a majority of the people voting in 2016, did not vote for President. OK, he won via the Electoral College. No problem with that. But, we have a maniac in the White House and the nation needs to legally get him out to save the United States. "Schmendrick" is kind. "Schmuck" is more appropriate.
martinkus · July 31, 2018 at 9:35 pm
Plain & simple...Mr. Trump is a "schmendrick" and poster child for the 25th amendment. He is an embarrassment!
Thomas Paine · July 30, 2018 at 4:24 pm
To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.
J Obrokta · July 21, 2018 at 12:15 am
Please know that I am not a pro-democrat or pro-republican. I vote both ways, and root to see strength in both parties because when both parties are strong we see our democracy working at its very best.

This is an article about the president that is worth reading, regardless of party affiliation. It was written by a conservative.

Jim Griffin · July 20, 2018 at 4:40 pm
I have no interest in launching or defending personal attacks and welcome your self-identification. I am OK with either showing respect or identifying oneself or both. Rover does the former well, and now you've done the latter. Bravo.

So I will add this: Trade is interdependence, not dependence.

Russia needs the money as much if not more than Germany needs the oil. Indeed, it is far more likely trends will continue and enable Germany to wean itself off oil, but it is highly unlikely Russia will cease to need the cash.
BJ · July 20, 2018 at 2:06 pm
NNT - I say welcome! Completely agreed with your description of Putin. I appreciate that you will stand by what you said/wrote. Only have time for people of principle, not wishy-washy like a certain person in the White House. If not Russia, where do you purpose that Germany get its fuel/oil? From the West such as the USA, Venezuela, Mexico, etc. would be cost prohibitive. The only other option is the Mid-East. Rock and a hard place.
nonewtaxes · July 20, 2018 at 10:38 am
I'm James Johnson Sr and I stand by what I said. Now what is your response?
BJ · July 20, 2018 at 9:01 am
NNT - In one post you sound semi-literate, then the next you use all the big words. Do you have a split personality? And nothing personal since you are an non-entity without a name.

Blaine Johnson
Jim Griffin · July 20, 2018 at 2:32 am
Personal attacks? Not possible on a party that remains anonymous. An attack is only "personal" when the party can be identified personally.

Cowards risk nothing personal when they do not personally stand behind their words. It's asymmetrical argument with only the identified party at personal risk.
nonewtaxes · July 19, 2018 at 11:04 pm

What does he owe them?

Seriously, what is your IQ BJ? The primary purpose of NATO is to protect Europe from Russia. If Europe is our ally then Russia is our enemy. Why then does Germany help to make Russia strong? Seems counter-intuitive to help your enemy.

What free pass? Its tough to be diplomatic and call Putin a lying rat bastard both at the same time.

Continue with your progressive tactic of moving off point and onto personal attacks.

Rover 530 · July 19, 2018 at 7:27 pm
Something needs to be done to drive this maniac from the White House. Trump does not have the discipline or intelligence necessary for the job. He doesn't prepare for critical events. He wings it in meetings with his international peers. He slams our allies which have been loyal to the USA and aids and abets the dangerous actions of our enemies. He got hoodwinked by the North Koreans. We all saw that coming. He didn't. Russia played him like a fool and he fell into the trap. We all saw that coming. He didn't. He regularly blasts our American institutions, law enforcement, the intelligence community, and the free press every day with his inane "tweets" because he doesn't have the guts to face them personally. He's a coward and truly proven to be un-American.

Trump is boorish, uncouth, corrupt, hypocritical, dishonest and self-centered. Perhaps he is showing the early stages of dementia. Maybe he's in the pocket of Putin so deep he can't get out. What happened to "America First"? Now, it's whatever his controller Vladimir wants and then, if it's OK, America can have the scraps. For a thousand years nations and their leaders have learned: NEVER TRUST THE RUSSIANS! Congress (Impeachment), or the VP and the Cabinet (25th Amendment) need to take action and fast. Putin has done what no Soviet or Russian leader has done. He's totally recruited the President of the United States to do whatever he wants and America is in danger. SAD!
BJ · July 18, 2018 at 10:16 pm
NNT - Seriously, what is your IQ? You complain about Germany paying money to Russia for fuel, and Russia would not hesitate to kill US soldiers, or people on a commercial airliner, yet you give them a pass because your fearful leader likes them (owes them BIG time). Your grasp of English is an insult to the language.
nonewtaxes · July 18, 2018 at 9:37 pm
it aint likely any of that money going to those countries, except maybe to the sauds, is going to be used to kill US or ally soldiers. Mexico aint never going to attack the US and now they'll have the $$ to pay for the wall
BJ · July 18, 2018 at 4:36 pm
NNT: What about America? It is one of the world's largest oil producers, and close to 40 percent of U.S. oil needs are met at home, BUT most of the imports currently come from five countries: Canada, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Venezuela and Nigeria. 60% of USA oil supplies come from where??? Talk about funding billions to foreign countries, where some of the rulers take all the profits for their personal bank account. Only Saudi Arabia is still on the nice list with Trump, waiting for approval for one of his monstrosities to be built there.
Jim Griffin · July 18, 2018 at 2:52 pm

Find someone you respect and treat with respect for discourse, as will I.
nonewtaxes · July 18, 2018 at 2:47 pm
little jimmy, use a dictionary and look up sarcasm.

Topic is trump in europe
does it make sense for germany to pay billions and billions of dollars to its enemy for fuel that it can get from its ally? What do you think russia is doing with that money, using it for humanitarian aid?

do you think it is good faith on the part of our allies to not hold up their end of the nato agreement with respect to funding?

do you think that when you try to open up a dialogue that you should begin by accusing the other party with crimes or should you brush those aside and move forward?

mmueller and the grand jury: no indictment for collusion, sounds like he's blaming russian agents so he can satisfy the cost and length of the investigation without ever having to prove a crime

maybe it aint progressive to take the news at face value but it sure is naive

ever hear of facebook little jimmy. hundreds of millions of users who provided facebook with details of their lives did so at the cost of their privacy. no amount of deleting the information is ever going to delete the information. maybe clinton can delete it but facebook wont even if it could

you call me a coward. i think you a fool and that's being generous
Jim Griffin · July 18, 2018 at 1:06 pm

Max writes an opinion piece and about ten people express agreement.

I offer a few paragraphs from the news with two "facts": Trump publicly asked the Russians to help get the DNC emails (he did so in public, easily verified) and now a US federal grand jury voted to indict Russians for doing just what Trump asked within hours of his asking publicly that they do so.

No "liberal" opinion from me. Simple quotes from the news.

You are silent as regards the editorial and ten other commenters, but two quotes from the news and this draws you out to attack me personally and call me names.

Let's face it: Crazy stalkers. Anonymous snipers. You won't stand behind your insanity by attaching your real name. Who would?

No other explanation. You are a crazy stalker who has lost his grip on reality. The way I see it, we simply disagree on issues. The way you express yourself, it's all about ad hominem attack enabled in part by your hiding under a white hood.
nonewtaxes · July 18, 2018 at 10:59 am
last tag little jimmy
Jim Griffin · July 18, 2018 at 7:00 am
It's like being in a pissing match with skunks!

No need for an actual reply with argument. You disgrace yourselves sufficiently with your own words.
nonewtaxes · July 18, 2018 at 5:36 am
Dear Little Jimmy,

I just misread what you said. I aint never concerned about making a mistake. I most surely aint never concerned about what a small minded person like you thinks.

Maybe if clinton ran a secured server for her campaign like she should have done during her time in government he dnc would have been a little safer.

Too bad there's no rehab for you. Youre a small minded person. The only treatment is more cool aid. At least itll put a smile on your face and give you the illusion that you know what's going on.
Jim Griffin · July 18, 2018 at 5:12 am
Trump said it publicly on that date -- we all saw it.

Now a Federal indictment proven to the satisfaction of a grand jury -- definitely not Moscow -- observes that later that same day the Russians hacked the DNC accounts after Trump asked in public.

NNT, you remain the hooded laughing stock of this community. If you can mistake a US grand jury for the Intelligence Directorate in Moscow -- which you did -- you have greater mental challenges that we knew, but there's rehab for that. Get help.
nonewtaxes · July 17, 2018 at 10:19 pm
from the news??.... just keep drinking the cool aid jimmy. Now you believe the Main Intelligence Directorate in Moscow?? If you read, in the news, that the world was flat you'd believe it.
Jim Griffin · July 17, 2018 at 8:04 pm
Why would he think Russia did it? Because he asked them to do so.

From the news:

"In a July 27, 2016, speech, then-candidate Donald Trump called on Russian hackers to find emails from Hillary Clinton, his Democratic opponent in the U.S. presidential campaign.

“Russia, if you’re listening,” Trump said, “I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.”

Hours later, the Main Intelligence Directorate in Moscow appeared to heed the call — targeting Clinton’s personal office and hitting more than 70 other Clinton campaign accounts. That’s according to a grand jury indictment Friday charging 12 Russian military intelligence officers with hacking into the Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party as part of a sweeping conspiracy by the Kremlin to meddle in the 2016 U.S. election. The indictment says July 27 was the first time Clinton’s personal office was targeted."
BJ · July 17, 2018 at 6:35 pm
nonewtaxes - Reading much SyFy lately? Don't you mean Defcon 4? Why do you care about Classified emails when our Current resident of the White House just spills the beans verbally every chance he gets? Personally, I'd like all of our troops right here in the USA, not overseas, when the stuff hits the fan.
nonewtaxes · July 17, 2018 at 6:06 pm
Too bad you don't see that our ally germany will be buying billions and billions of dollars of energy from russia so that russia can build billions and billions of dollars of war equipment with which to kill nato soldiers.

Trust the FBI???? The FBI has treasonous characters in it who may have tried to use fbi resources to interfere in the election on the side of clinton. Clinton head of state dept who oversaw the sale of 20% of US uranium to russia. It was the fbi who refused to bring charges against clinton for acts that almost anybody else in the IC community would have lost their clearances and probably would have been jailed. Lets all send c emails on our private server.

It was under obama that russia expanded its reach, not under trump.

Its tough to start a conversation with somebody when you call him the scourge of the earth and a man to be dealt with. You'd be at defon 4 and the lack of funding to nato by our allies would become evident as the red army pushed through the fulder gap.

martinkus · July 17, 2018 at 4:13 pm
Mr. Trump is a "schmendrick" and poster child for the 25th amendment.
MizTree · July 17, 2018 at 12:23 pm
I called Representative Garrett's office to ask that Congress make it clear that no interference in our democracy from Russia will be tolerated in the future. I feel that we need to investigate possibilities not for just what has actually happened but also for what they will try if they find us not vigilant. Apparently, the young lady has had a rough day and was so thankful when I offered to spell my name. If you want to contact your Rep or Senator, this is an easy way.
Kay G. · July 17, 2018 at 11:12 am
Thank you for writing this. The outrage is spreading not only in our country, but across other nations as well. It's inexplicable... or is it?
BJ · July 17, 2018 at 9:29 am
Embarrassed, yes! Shamed, yes! Angry, yes! Charge Trump with TREASON - the crime of betraying one's country!
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