French economy minister Bruno Le Maire, in response to U.S. threats to apply secondary sanctions to European companies trading with Iran, asks: Est-ce que nous acceptons que les USA soient le gendarme économique de la planète ? La réponse européenne doit être clairement non.
“Do we need to accept the USA as the economic policeman of the planet? The European response clearly must be no.”
Mais bien sur. The U.S. stands in violation of an agreement not just confirmed by Iran, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany but by the United Nations Security Council. The U.S. is now the international outlaw, demanding that others abandon their legitimate trade arrangements with Iran in order to indicate their continued submission to U.S. imperial fiat.
The abrasiveness and inconsistency of Trump himself. The contradictions within his staff and their multiple announcements on foreign policy. The manifest deference of the U.S. president to a very backward support base and the Israel Lobby. These have little appeal in European capitals where leaders generally want peace in the Middle East, no more refugee floods, and adherence to a modicum of consultation within the Atlantic Alliance before Washington does something crazy.
Trump responds: Screw you free-loaders, avoiding your 2% NATO expenditures! We like the Saudis and Israelis more than you, and they both want confrontation with Iran. Who cares about your auto manufacturing deals or airline deliveries? You’re…