Today’s Biggest Crisis — Trump’s Court Pick or Push for NATO to Pay Up?
Jul 11, 2018
RUSH: Okay. What is the biggest crisis of the day? Is it that Donald Trump is gonna destroy the country with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court? Is it that Donald Trump is gonna turn over Roe vs. Wade with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court? Or is the crisis of the day Trump’s plan to destroy NATO by calling out Germany?
It’s a tough balancing act. The Drive-Bys don’t know which one to spend the most time on. According to my analysis, they’ve spent most of their time today on NATO and Trump’s breakfast meeting with NATO leaders today, which, folks, you just have to love this. After all of these years of playing second fiddle in NATO — and let me tell you what’s been going on in NATO, just to set the table here. The guiding principle behind NATO, of course — the North Atlantic Treaty Organization — was to protect Europe from the encroachment of the Soviet Union led by various communist leaders who had as their objective supposed to have expansionism all over the world.
This organization sprang into existence shortly after the conclusion of World War II, and the United States accepted the burden because of our superpower status and our overwhelming wealth, particularly after World War II when Europe was devastated. We assumed the primary responsibility of defending Europe as we had during World War II. And as the organization evolved, it just became accepted in polite diplomatic circles that the United States would continue to bear the greatest burden, not just financially, but every other which way necessary to defend Europe if it became necessary.
Over the years, this permitted various European countries to spend less and less and less on their own defense and they were able to then spend more and more and more on ramping up their socialist democracy desires in their individual countries, thereby setting the stage for the ultimate collapse of their cultures, which we are witnessing now. All the while, the United States, for whatever psychological reasons, accepted the idea that it was our responsibility to defend, our responsibility to pay.
In diplomatic circles highlighted by left-wing populations at the State Department and liberal thinking in the diplomatic circles of the United States, the United States owed the world a lot simply because of our superpower status. It was unfair that we were so wealthy and unfair that we were so powerful. And one of the ways of ameliorating this was to acknowledge that in many ways the United States posed a problem in the world with its outsized wealth and its outsized power.
So it began to be accepted in diplomatic circles that a rival superpower to the United States was desired — as in the Soviet Union — because that was considered to be balance. That would prevent any one nation from taking over the world. So the balance of power… Absent all of this — and I’m not exaggerating here. Absent all of this in this arrangement was the idea that we’re the good guys. Diplomatic circles — in the State Department, the Department of Defense — for decades here have been populated by career leftists who have been schooled in the Ivy League (Harvard, Yale, and so forth) and they established a post-World War II order of doing things, of behaving, of United States posture.
It was all predicated on the United States could be the problem in the world if we were not checked — if our power was not checked, if our wealth was not checked — because the concept that the United States was the good guys was not a concept believed by nearly enough people within all of these arrangements in Europe and in the United States. So NATO was allowed to grow and grow and grow with many of the member nations not contributing anything to it, and it was just assumed that we would and we would look the other way because that was our responsibility.
It was one of the roles we must play because we’re so big and because we’re so powerful and because we have so many more advantages than these other poor European nations that we must bear the burden. It became a belief system, that it’s a burden the United States must bear. As it grew and as it arrangement evolved, so did the belief that the United States — more and more — presented problems for the world rather than solutions. It was a slow process, and nobody would ever use those exact words in describing diplomatic arrangements worldwide.
But that was the belief system, one of the foundational belief systems that undergirded the NATO alliance, the NATO relationship. This led to other imbalances as well. We have a trade imbalance with the European Union of $151 billion. As President Trump has pointed out, it’s nearly impossible for American farmers and certain manufacturers and other businesses to do business in Europe because of the high tariffs they charge, how prohibitively expensive it is for American products to be imported there versus the other way around.
Trump is hell-bent on changing that because, to him, this balance is way out of balance. We’ve been paying way too big a burden in not just financial ways. But we have been paying too big a burden in basically accepting all of these silly ideas that we kind of deserve to be fleeced and we deserve to be take advantage of and we deserve to be used because it’s unfair that aware so wealthy, it’s unfair that we’re so powerful.
So the way to mitigate that unfairness is to have us accept whatever complaints that the European Union and other United Nations members threw at us. For years, this has upset Trump. For years, it has bothered him. He’s been commenting on this since long before he became a candidate for the presidency. Where we are now… You know, whatever you think of the deep state where we have a collection of pointy-headed intellectuals who really haven’t done much in less except be diplomats…
They’ve mastered the art of not accomplishing anything while making the language they use sound indecipherable. It creates the illusion that only they are qualified for these specialized tasks in diplomacy and that only a certain mind-set is possible and a certain comportment. A certain psychological profile is necessary. One must be a special kind of diplomat to be involved here, and this special kind of diplomat has become the epitome of the elite, the hypereducated, super exclusive.
“We’re better than everybody else! We’re the only ones smart enough to navigate these dangerous and treacherous waters” and so forth. So they have succeeded in excluding anybody from this club of diplomats and diplomacy that does not fit the rigid definitions that they have established. They are basically, in my mind, a bunch of phonies. They do not have America’s best interests at heart because they don’t look at America as the good guys. They look at America as just another nation in the world, which may in fact be more responsible for problems in the world than solutions.
So all of this has bothered Donald Trump, American citizen, for a long time — and he’s now in a position as president to do something about it and he is. He’s dealing with NATO as he deals with everybody else. He’s not one of these pointy-head intellectuals. He does not have the pedigree from Harvard or Yale to teach you how to behave in these circles. He’s not John Kerry. He’s not one of these diplomats running around, sipping port, having cigars in the war room after a successful negotiation of giving Iran the nuclear weapon, for example, and then applauding yourself for doing that.
This kind of thing is anathema to him. But the diplomatic circles that have governed this relationship now include many in the media who think that they are the equivalent of these same elites. Columnists, TV anchors and reporters think that they are just as special and just as unique and just as elite as the people they cover. So there’s a class pretentiousness within this entire arrangement, and it believes that you — the average consumer of news, the average American citizen.
You are not capable of understanding the intricacies and the delicateness of these kinds of relationships, these geopolitical strategic relationships and the various pitfalls that exist in managing these relationships and negotiating and keeping friends close and keeping enemies closer and all of this. And it has led to what is, in the minds of President Trump, an untenable situation. We’re getting the short end of the stick. We’re getting blamed for a lot of things when we are the solution to the world’s problems. We’re the nation everybody turns to.
But there’s never any gratitude; there’s never any support; there’s always nothing but blame; the United States isn’t doing enough. And he’s kind of had it. Now, just as an illustration, I can remember way back in the early nineties — ’91, ’92 — I devolved or developed my own foreign policy as part of doing this program. I said, “You know what? Our foreign policy doesn’t make sense to me and our foreign aid doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t care how much or little money it is. Why are we giving money away to nations that do not support us, do not love us, do not acknowledge us, and do not attempt to help us? We trying to buy their friendship?”
I said, “What we need is a new way of looking at this,” and I devised what I call the excrement list. And the way you got on the excrement list is if we give you money and you don’t love us and you don’t support us and you don’t work with us — and instead you running around, criticize us and you blame us? You blame the United States, you side with the United States’ enemies? Then you’re on that list and you don’t get off of that list until a minimum three years of doing nothing but praising and kissing our rear end — and you don’t get any more money.
People said, “You can’t be serious!” I damn well am serious about this. Why should we continue to take foot in the mouth over here? Just because we’re wealthy and just because we have a higher standard of living and just because we’re more powerful, that means that it’s required that we kind of look the other way and pretend that these people are just little flies, we just bat them away. Why should we too this when they align themselves with our enemies? So this has long been a bugaboo of mine as well.
But what’s being focused now, what people are being able to see is who the diplomatic community is, what type of people they are. They are pretty much the same as the elite snobs that we see throughout this Russian collusion fight in the deep state and the administrative state. Now, it’d be one thing if they were accomplished. It’d be one thing if they actually did good things for the United States. But you take a look at their track record at what they’ve been able to pull off. They haven’t solved the Middle East after working on it for five decades.
Iran ends up with a nuclear weapon in 10 years, after getting us to give them tens of billions of dollars. We claim that we’re gonna stop Putin from taking over parts of Europe, but we don’t, and we get together with our friends at NATO, and we wring our hands over what Putin’s doing, but nobody lifts a finger to stop him any way, shape, manner. Yet these people claim that only they are qualified. I could give you other examples of this. Well, these people have lost it today because of Donald Trump’s arrival in Brussels.
The way he’s speaking to them — what he’s accusing them of doing and being, what he is accusing them of not doing and of not being — and promising them that all of this is gonna end. There is a massive crisis panic attack happening all over Washington today, at the State Department, in the news media, anywhere there are these people who think they are the gifted, special elites, the experts in diplomacy who really believe that Donald Trump is going to turn the world against the United States. These people are predominantly liberal, and therefore they’re laden with guilt.
The United States is the problem. We must act like we’re the problem. We must acknowledge we’re the problem. We must let our, quote, “friends” and our enemies know, “Yes, we understand that we don’t have any moral authority here to determine right and wrong, and so we must pay for this excess here or pay for that,” and Trump’s had it. He’s not doing this anymore, and this episode at NATO today? This may be as big an earthquake as any that has happened in the Trump presidency in terms of how it’s affecting the so-called establishment, the ruling class, the elites.
We have Trump on audiotape from his meeting with European Union leaders today, and when I listen to some of the things Trump said about amounts of energy that Russia, for example, is funneling into Germany? I went and looked it up, and he’s absolutely right about the numbers that he used today. He single-handedly, singularly called out Germany as doing an end run around all of NATO by having a secret agreement with Putin to have a direct pipeline natural gas pipeline into Germany, thereby bypassing friendly other NATO member states. Trump called Merkel out on this, and now the world diplomatic family is beside itself, and it’s great.
RUSH: The Drive-By Media today and the Democrat Party and even some of the Republican establishment are going nuts. “Oh, my God! Oh, my God! Donald Trump’s gonna destroy NATO. Oh, my God! It’s the end of the world peace. Oh, my God! This guy’s an idiot. Oh, my God! We’re all at risk. Oh, my God! We’re all gonna die if Kavanaugh doesn’t kill us first. Oh, my God! Oh, my God!” Let me give you the facts. If you had been paying attention — as, for example, I have for the last 50 years or so ever since the end of World War II.
Ever since the beginning of the Cold War, right up until Trump’s presidency, folks — do not doubt me on this — one of the core missions of the Drive-By Media and the rest of the Democrat Party has been to get the U.S. military out of Europe and to kill NATO the American Military. The Democrat Party wanted no part of military deployments during the Reagan administration in the eighties to deal with the Soviet Union’s encroachment.
They wanted no part, for example, of Star Wars, strategic defense. They have been on a mission to get the U.S. military out of Europe on the belief that the U.S. military is provocative and thus dangerous and is not a force for good in the world. Part of the left’s argument was always we were spending too much money keeping troops in Europe and that we were spending too much money on NATO, and that our allies were not paying their fair share so we should pull out.
This has been a mantra of the Drive-By Media and many Democrats up until Donald Trump got elected. Once Trump was elected and took up that argument and started pointing out that our allies need to step up and do more, the media and the rest of the left have turned on a dime and now NATO is the most important thing in the world; we need to spend even more on it. I mean, it’s actually hilarious, the 180 that they are doing here just to oppose Trump when he’s actually doing what they’ve demanded all along.
Now, I imagine that many of you you are scratching your head say, “Wait a minute. Wait a minute, Rush. I don’t remember the Democrats saying get out of NATO.” They didn’t say get out of NATO. They said get the military out of NATO. The United States military for many on the left, for many years, is a central focus of evil. It’s a provocative, unnecessary addition to the soil on various countries around the world. “We needn’t be there! We needn’t deploy. Get the millions…” They never want to bust up NATO per se.
They love these alliances where they get to play diplomat all day, which means not solve anything. You get to act really smart, really brilliant, really special, really elite, but you never solve diddly-squat. It was always get the military out. But for those of you who do not believe me that the left wanted the military out of NATO — and some of them even did go so far as to say that the United States ought to get out, until Trump came along — I want to read to you from an op-ed from the New York Times back in 2003, five years ago.
This in the middle of this Obama administration, September 13, 2013, five years before Trump came on the scene. It’s by Andrew J. Bacevich. “Time for the U.S. to Leave NATO — In Lord Ismay’s classic formulation, NATO’s founding purpose back in 1949 was ‘to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.’ Sixty-some years later, the verdict is in: mission accomplished. The united and democratic Germany of the 21st century poses no security threat whatsoever. Meanwhile, the implosion of the Soviet empire has yielded a Russia that no longer possesses the military or ideological wherewithal to threaten Europe.”
The idea was that NATO had accomplished its mission. Let’s own that. Let’s turn it over to Europe and let’s let Washington focus on more important priorities. This is what the Democrats were saying. This is the New York Times. Well, hello, Donald Trump. Here comes a guy that’s going to try to put this in play. Five years later, the nation elects Donald Trump, and he’s basically saying the same thing: It’s time you people in NATO…
After we have protected you, after we’ve saved you, after we’ve rebuilt you after World War II, after we saved you from destruction in World War II, it’s about time you started fending for yourself. Now the same diplomatic community that five years ago was on that same page has thrown that all overboard, done a 180, and claimed that Donald Trump is destroying world diplomatic alliances. So, once again we have utter psychological failure here. We have people getting exactly what they have wanted on the conservative, Republican side.
We’re getting judges appointed that they have strived their whole lives to get appointed. We’re having policy implemented like tax cuts, any number of things that they have worked their whole lives to have implemented. Now they’re being implemented, and they don’t like it because they don’t like the guy doing it, because Donald Trump’s not sophisticated enough, Donald Trump is not sensitive enough, Donald Trump is whatever he is.
Now the left, which has been striving to get us out of NATO for all of these years… Here comes Trump laying the groundwork for this to possibly happen, and because he’s doing it and not their precious Obama — who would have never done it, by the way — or Hillary — who would have never done it, by the way — now that Trump is doing it, it’s unacceptable. We’re dealing with people here that are entirely, 100% irrational. Now let’s go to the audio sound bite of the breakfast in Brussels today that is reverberating around the world.
Our first sound bite comes from the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Perfect name for a European elite. Jens Stoltenberg and Trump had a breakfast meeting, and Jens Stoltenberg has his staff on his side of the table. There’s no food on any of the plates. It’s a breakfast that wasn’t even served. On Trump’s side of the table you’ve got Trump, you’ve got Mike Pompeo, you have Kay Bailey Hutchison as ambassador, and you’ve got John Kelly chief of staff all the way down at the end. Not a one of them said anything. It was all Trump and Jens Stoltenberg, and here is the first sound bite…
STOLTENBERG: After years of cutting defense budgets, they have started to add billions to their defense budgets. And last year was the biggest increase in defense spending across Europe and Canada in a generation.
THE PRESIDENT: Why was that last year?
STOLTENBERG: It’s also because of your leadership, because of your carried message, and, uh… and, uh…
THE PRESIDENT: They won’t write that, will they?
THE PRESIDENT: But that’s okay.
STOLTENBERG: I have said it before, but the thing is that it really has. Your message is having an impact.
RUSH: Okay. So let me put this in perspective. For the consumption of people watching, Trump engineers the NATO secretary general commending his leadership. That’s what just happened here, and this ticks ’em off even more when they saw what came next. But again, in case you were having trouble hearing that Stoltenberg said, “After years of cutting defense budgets, they have started to add billions to their defense budgets,” meaning other NATO nations, “and last year was the biggest increase in defense spending across Europe and Canada in a generation.”
Trump said, “Well, why was that last year?” and Jens Stoltenberg, secretary general of NATO said, “It’s because of you, it’s because of your leadership, it’s because of your carried message.” Trump said, they won’t write that, but that’s okay.” Stoltenberg: “I have said it before, but the thing is, it really has. Your message is having an impact.” So the NATO secretary general saw it to his advantage to kiss up to the president of the United States.
The NATO secretary general thought it would help him out to praise Trump for getting all of these NATO nations to up their donations, contributions to their own defense budgets, which is… There aren’t any dues paid to NATO in this sense. The “dues” that Trump talks about, every member nation has to pledge to spend a certain percent on its national defense. We have to pledge to spent 4% of GDP on it. They have to pledge 1 or 2%, depending on the country.
Many of them haven’t been spending any, including Germany, has been spending nothing! And this has been Trump’s big bugaboo. So for the past year and a half Trump’s been on these people to up their own defense spending — i.e., protect yourselves for a little bit here. And Jens Stoltenberg exalts to President Trump (impression), “You have done it. We have increased the spending, and it’s all because of your leadership.” So Trump engineers praise, he engineers his leadership being commended, and then this…
THE PRESIDENT: We’re protecting Germany, we’re protecting France, we’re protecting all of these countries, and then numerous of the countries go out and make a pipeline deal with Russia where they’re paying billions of dollars into the coffers of Russia. On top of that, Germany is just paying a little bit over 1%. Whereas the United States in actual numbers is paying 4.2% of a much larger GDP. So I think that’s inappropriate also. Now, this has been going on for decades. This has been brought up by other presidents, but other presidents never did anything about it because I don’t think they understood it or they just didn’t want to get involved. But I have to bring it up because I think it’s very unfair to our country; it’s very unfair to our taxpayers.
RUSH: Now, he’s right. It’s always been given lip service. A lot of presidents have come along and talked about the unfairness. Never did anything about it. Trump, after just having been exalted and praised, then unloads on these people and particularly Germany, and this is what has Christiane Amanpour sniffing the vapors today. John Kerry can barely keep his horse face off the floor, he can’t buy it. Chris Stirewalt at Fox News says Trump is apparently no different than a bird flying over NATO and dropping a bunch of droppings all over these people. They just can’t accept what is happening here!
But the singling out of Germany, this is about a specific pipeline that is called Nord Stream. And what has happened here, is all of Europe has become totally dependent on Russia for natural gas and in some cases oil. The pipelines to European countries come straight from Russia — some of them through Crimea, other places. What Angela Merkel did was cut a secret, special deal with Putin where she gets a direct pipeline of natural gas right into Germany that does not go through any of the other NATO countries.
She made a sweetheart deal with Putin, excluding other NATO countries, and Trump has called her out on this and is claiming that by doing this, she is putting herself at great disadvantage with Putin in a geopolitical and diplomatic sense because now Germany has become so dependent on Putin. Now, everybody thinks at a Trump loves Putin because Putin helped Trump steal the election.
I’ve seen the Drive-By Media saying, “Trump’s criticizing Merkel but he hasn’t criticized Putin pick up what do you mean he hasn’t criticized Putin?” He’s basically told the Germans that this bad guy now owns ’em! If that’s not criticizing Putin, I don’t know what is! It’s certainly the proper characterization of Putin. In addition, Germany is getting their natural gas at a much sweeter price than the other NATO nations are getting their natural gas from other pipelines from Russia, and Trump called her out on it. That’s what just happened in this bite.
RUSH: Now we turn to the audio sound bites with Christiane Amanpour, who I am convinced thinks she is a diplomat. She is the foreign correspondent for CNN, and I’m convinced that she thinks she is actually a State Department diplomat. No! State Department is too small. She is a worldwide diplomat. She is a diplomatic expert. She’s not just a journalist. She’s much, much, much, much more than that. So on New Day today, they had her on there, CNN did, and wanted her opinion on Trump lashing out at Angela Merkel to get Christiane Amanpour’s reaction to it.
AMANPOUR: The facts and figures don’t add up. Yes, the president is raising this pipeline issue. It’s got nothing to do with military spending. Ever since 2014 when Russia changed the rules of the game, Russia changed the rules of the game. Let’s say that again. Russia invaded another country and annexed it, changing rules of the game; that was Angela Merkel who took the lead in standing up to Putin and became the leader of the West allies in Europe along with President Obama, and that is when they decided to up NATO’s defense spending. It was then, at the summit in 2014, that they decided to up NATO’s defense spending.
RUSH: They may have “decided to” but they didn’t do it. They may have “decided to” but didn’t follow through with it. And you notice always in the mix here, President Obama! “When Angela Merkel took the lead in standing up to Putin and became the leader of the West allies in Europe. Standing up to Putin. She stood up to Putin!” Now she has an exclusive, secret, direct pipeline deal with Putin, excluding all of her other NATO member nations. This also convoluted because it misses the point.
She says the numbers don’t add up, “the facts and figures.” They do add up. Trump has been… it’s not just on the natural gas numbers and the percentage of natural gas from Russia that Germany’s gonna get. It’s upwards of 70%. Trump’s point about the questionable ties between Russia and Germany is worth noting too. The former German chancellor, somebody by the name of Gerhard Schroder, got a golden parachute from public service from Putin who controlled Gazprom years ago.
It seems to be paying off with friendly policies in Berlin. I mean, there’s all kinds of tight deals that the Germans over the years have been making with Russia. So the numbers do add up. They can do all the fact checks they want, but Trump’s numbers as announced today vis-a-vis Germany and Russia add up. Here’s more Christiane Amanpour pulling the wig out…
AMANPOUR: Let’s just call a spade a spade. The president says it’s unfair to the U.S. and to the taxpayers. But NATO’s budget is determined on the size of each individual economy. That’s why the U.S. spends more. The U.S. wants to spend more of domestic GDP on its own military. Europe thought that Europe was safe after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Service after Russia changed rules of the game that they realized they had to spend more, and Jens Stoltenberg told President Trump and that’s exactly what they have been doing.
RUSH: That’s right. That’s what Trump engineered Jens Stoltenberg doing: Praising Trump. Stoltenberg said that the reason member nations have been increasing their percentage of defense spending is because Trump required it, not because Putin “changed rules of the game.” Christiane Amanpour wants to give the opportunity the credit here. Putin invades the Crimea; nobody does anything about it, that changed the game. So Russia was allowed to change rules of the game, and that’s when Obama and Angela Merkel decided that NATO member nations would start spending more on defense.
No, no, no, no!
That did not happen.
She’s dead wrong about this, and Jens Stoltenberg admitted today that it was Trump’s leadership. Now, he is going out of his way to suck up. I don’t doubt that. Because, folks, they’re a little… I don’t know if the word “scared” is right. But they know that they’re dealing with a different person in Donald Trump, and they know they remain totally dependent on us for defense. They haven’t spent anything on their own defense. I don’t care what this GDP argument is. Of course we’re gonna spend more. We have more!
We spend more on our own defense because we defend not just ourselves, but the rest of the freedom-loving world. We always have. We’ve accepted that responsibility, because of the cost-benefit to defending freedom. We’ve accepted that since the modern era, postwar era especially. But even though these member nations have smaller GDPs and therefore smaller percentages to spend on defense, they still haven’t been making the pledges. They haven’t been. It’s not that NATO gets a bunch of money.
Again to stress here, there are no dues. You know, NATO doesn’t have a treasurer, although it might, because every organization has a treasurer. If they have a treasurer, he’s getting paid for doing nothing. NATO does not collect dues. The NATO organization promises — every member nation promises — to spend a certain percentage of its GDP on national defense within its own borders, and that’s what has not been happening for years.
Because it’s been assumed the United States would move in if any NATO nation were attacked and defend ’em, which we would do. But now with the balance of trade… We’ve got a $151 billion trade deficit with Europe. Our farmers, agricultural commodities and products and other manufacturing products cannot fairly compete in the European Union because of the massive cost increases to get them in there. Trump is demanding that that change too. Finally, one more Christiane Amanpour sound bite…
AMANPOUR: One also has to remember what the president of the European Council said yesterday, Donald Tusk, in perfect English. “Mr. President, appreciate your allies. After all, you don’t have very many right now.” Now, that also is a dig! That is a dig, but he’s stating a fact, that this is not the most popular administration in the history of the world.
RUSH: So? So? What does that have to do with anything? See, that’s the difference. Trump is not out after popularity. Trump is out to fulfill campaign pledges and promises: “Make America Great Again.” But that is another thing. You have somebody like Obama who was totally absorbed with popularity — approval rating, popularity, polling results, what have you, all these surface indications. But it’s a new day, and it’s a new world, and they just don’t quite know how to deal it because… Folks, all that’s happening here, it’s really not complicated.
I probably could have really condensed this discussion. What we have here is real world common sense meeting a bunch of academic, overeducated eggheads with no practical, real life experience, up against somebody with nothing but that. And it’s difficult to find the overlap because the overeducated egghead academics who have this basic attitude of arrogant condescension simply cannot relate to working people. They don’t want to relate to them. Working people serve the purpose of bees and ants and so forth.
But down there and over there and certainly not in our clubs! So they never interact with ’em. There’s not a whole lot of respect for them. There’s no individuality. They’re all just part of a mass bunch of, quote-unquote, “workers.” Trump comes from there, and he is informed about justness and fairness and right and wrong from that perspective when they don’t have much experience at all. Remember, these are the people… I’ve told you, these are the people that not too long ago would not let professional golfers, the best in the game, join their clubs. Because since they were paid to pay the game, it meant they were working class, and therefore beneath your standard, ordinary club member.
It was not that long ago.
It’s fairly recent that that dividing line kind of evaporated.
RUSH: Now, just to be thorough here, Christiane Amanpour was wrong on every single point she made in these three sound bites. She was completely wrong about NATO spending from the start of the 29 NATO nations pledged to spend 2% of their GDP on defense. Germany has never, ever spent 2% of their GDP. They still are not. She is completely wrong. In fact, she is intentionally wrong on this. She’s going out of her way to make Trump look like the bumbling fool and the idiot. She is dead wrong.
Germany is currently paying less than 1.2% of its GDP on defense, and since it’s a percentage of GDP, it’s got nothing to do with the size of the economy. It’s a percentage of the economy. So the size of the economy, they say, “Well, the United States is much larger. Of course they’re going to be paying less!” No, no. It’s a percentage of the GDP, and that’s why it’s made equitable. It’s like look at tax rates if you have trouble understanding this — and she’s right. Trump doesn’t have many allies. Who wants the kind of allies that are gonna stab you in the back all the time?
That has been what’s going on here for all of these years, and we have been acting like, “Well, we kind of deserved to be stabbed in the back because we’re so unfairly big and we’re so unfairly wealthy. We understand why there’s deep resentment for us and so, yeah, we know we’re being stabbed in the back, but that’s the price that we have to pay.” That’s why Obama was running around promising all these people that the days of American superpower dominance are on the wane, that we had realized how unfair this was and that the United States was so powerful.
Remember Obama’s apology tour around the world in his first term? That’s what this was all about, and Obama was there to transform the United States and to cut it down to size in certain ways to be more palatable to these other nations around the world who just think it was an unfair set of circumstances because of our size and our wealth. Trump comes along throwing everything upside down because that doesn’t compute with him. He doesn’t think we have any excuses to make.
He doesn’t think we have to apologize for anything. There’s nothing wrong with being great. There’s nothing wrong with American wealth, nothing wrong with America being a superpower. We’ve earned it, it’s merit-based, and we’re the good guys. We try to do good things as a result of it. But to the American left, we don’t. To the American left, we use our power to plunder and steal other people’s resources.
That’s why we need to open our borders, don’t you know, because the Central American people are so poverty wracked, and they are so downtrodden, and it’s because of us. Ditto people in Mexico. This is the way the left looks at things, and Trump simply doesn’t subscribe. But Christiane Amanpour was dead wrong about everything she said — I mean, factually incorrect about everything. Now, back to the phones. This is Allen Alan in Chicago. Great to have you with us. How you doing?
CALLER: Rush, it’s a pleasure. Yeah, she is incorrect. Europe’s economy is actually larger than ours. It has about 460 million people. Russia has an economy smaller than California with 140 million people. NATO stands for North American Take Over. It’s not an alliance anymore, and one of the problems that we have — and this is our fault, and it was particularly under Obama — is we license one LNG [liquefied natural gas] port. We are the Saudi Arabia of natural gas and soon will be of oil. Obama sat back and did not license a port that would ship this natural gas to Europe — and he also, as an aside, shut down the ABM. [anti-ballistic missile program] We are in part our own enemy, but Europe is not an ally. Europe looks out for itself and I’m glad Trump is doing that for us now.
RUSH: Now, explain a little bit more detail. People hearing you saying that Europe is not an ally are gonna say, “Wait, that’s outrageous.”
CALLER: Oh-ho-ho. France continues to trade with Iran. Don’t forget, Reagan warned the Germans under I believe it was Helmut Kohl or Schmidt, “Do not get into this agreement with the Russians. They will use natural gas as a weapon against you,” and guess what? That’s exactly what they’ve been doing.
RUSH: Well, there’s no question about that. I mean, Angela Merkel has just made Germany 70% dependent on Vladimir Putin, and Germany is not exactly in the tropics. So they’re very vulnerable. But you have to ask, “So why do this? Why undercut NATO?” Why do you think Merkel at this? Do you have a thought on this?
CALLER: She’s looking out for herself, and we have to begin to do that for ourselves. The Germans are… You know, they’re spending 1.25% of GDP alone they have an economy more than twice that of Russia’s and about 60% of the population. They can afford freedom if they want it.
RUSH: That’s a good point: “if they want it.” All right, Alan. I appreciate the call. Thanks very much.
Bill Richardson. Grab audio sound bite No. 10. Former ambassador to the United Nations (for, I think, the Clintons) and former governor of New Mexico. He was on CNN this morning, and the infobabe anchorette Poppy Harlow said, “The president says this, Governor, as he heads to Russia and a Monday sit down with Putin. Does he have a point? Is this a smart strategy, what Trump is doing with NATO?”
RICHARDSON: It’s very… I believe very questionable strategy. Uh, NATO is very important to the United States. Germany’s the strongest partner we have in NATO. I don’t understand the president’s tactics. I think he wants to get leverage over Germany on trade, on tariffs. But the important message here is — is one of saying to Russia, “Look, uh, you’re the most important relationship for us and Europe.” This is not — should not be the case —
RICHARDS: — that NATO is diminished by some of the president’s remarks.
HARLOW: Mmm-hmm. Mmm-hmm.
RICHARDS: So I’m — I’m — I’m very troubled by this attitude and this effort to basically (snickers) undermine NATO.
RUSH: See, who is undermining NATO? This is why these people have it ass-backwards. Pardon my French. NATO is undermining NATO! That’s what all this is about. Trump’s not undermining anything. Trump’s simply calling it out. Do we have time for the next Richardson bite? We do. Cram it in there right now.
RICHARDSON: It doesn’t have a basis in fact. Uh, NATO countries host 28 American military bases. There are 40,000 American troop… Uh, European troops in Afghanistan. They help us — NATO helps us against radical Islamic countries, against Soviet [sic] expansionism. Uh, they are very much a part of the most important security alliance since the Cold War that America has.
RUSH: Now, he’s saying in that bite that on Trump is lying when he says NATO benefits Europe more than the United States. Anyway, we’ve gotta take a break here. We are coming up to the bottom of the hour. But you can see the diplomatic community here is pulling its hair out over things they can’t ever imagine happening, and Trump just keeps doing it.
RUSH: I am Rush Limbaugh, documented to be almost always right 99.8% of the time. It’s phenomenal. There’s nobody who’s right more often than I am — and to show this in action, Christiane Amanpour, as we have documented, was virtually incorrect in everything she said when asked to analyze Donald Trump’s calling out Germany for not spending enough of a percentage of it’s GDP on NATO. She said (impression), “Oh, they’ve been spending two, 2.25% for years. Germany has been totally up to speed for years and they have been following the law, been doing everything properly.
“The president is not nearly as popular here as some of these other world leaders are,” da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da. Germany hasn’t spent more than 1.2% of its GDP on NATO. But that’s not what I wanted to focus on. Headline: “Trump Is More Popular Than Most NATO Country Leaders (Who Think They’re Better Than He Is).” This is by Raheem Kassam at Fox News. “America is a nation obsessed with political approval ratings like no other. But the U.S. media seems ignorant to the fact that President Trump is currently one of the most popular leaders of a major Western nation in the world today.
“Guffaw if you like, but those who are both regarded and regard themselves as ‘better’ leaders have lower numbers than [Trump] — and while his are trending up, some of theirs are in free fall. When Barack Obama left the world stage, having commanded a mid-40s average approval rating over the course of his presidency, the New York Times declared German Chancellor Angela Merkel to be the liberal West’s ‘last defender.’
“Less than two years later, after an election upset and an ensuing struggle to form a government, Merkel is horribly bruised and close to being ousted by her coalition partners in Germany. Both for having encouraged mass inward migration to her country, and failing to come up with a solution once the Germans figured out it wasn’t working for them. … [H]er approval rating stinks. In 2013 Merkel attracted an over 70% approval rating… By early 2016, she found herself in the mid-40s, most recently attracting a rating of about 50%. …
“But Trump’s rating fits broadly into the average since Obama took office — especially when you factor in the backdrop of an often hysterically hostile media, a major FBI investigation, as well as an intransigent opposition party. Merkel has none of these excuses, yet her popularity has plummeted while Trump’s has steadily risen.” This is popularity within their own country, by the way.
We’re not talking about, you know, “What does Germany think of Trump and what does Europe think of Trump, what does France think of Trump?” This is popularity within these leaders’ own countries. Trump is more popular than most of these people, and yet Christiane Amanpour was saying (paraphrased) “and, of course, Trump is the most unpopular world leader in years at NATO” and so forth. They simply just are making it up as they go.