New York Times hand-wringing over European reaction to Trump Iran deal cancelation
The New York Times is really upset that Europeans are upset with President Trump leading from the front and canceling the Iran deal (that the Iranians never even signed). The headline for the article by Steve Erlanger expresses the tone: "Europe, Again Humiliated by Trump, Struggles to Defend Its Interests."
The problem, you see, is not doing business with a genocidal regime (again), nor is it the hundreds of thousands of people murdered in Syria. Nope, the problem is that Europeans are upset, and we can't upset the Europeans as they count the profits on fat contracts with the mullahs, enriched by a hundred-some billion dollars shipped to them by Obama's deal.
It is by now a familiar, humiliating pattern. European leaders cajole, argue and beg, trying to persuade President Trump to change his mind on a vital issue for the trans-Atlantic alliance. Mr. Trump appears to enjoy the show, dangling them, before ultimately choosing not to listen.
Trump is a mean sadist, you see. And it is going to be a disaster, just like the nuclear war with North Korea that they warned against.
Instead, he demands compliance, seemingly bent on providing just the split with powerful and important allies that China, Iran and Russia would like to exploit.
Except that a little later, it seems that Trump has read the power dynamics accurately:
"The allies are certainly sick of this but don't seem to have an alternative," said Jeremy Shapiro, a former career State Department official now at the European Council on Foreign Relations.
"The Europeans are invested down a path of trying to please the president, not out of belief but more hope against hope that they will convince him," he added. "And they only pursue this at such a level of embarrassment because they don't have an alternative."
In the moral universe of the New York Times, normalizing and strengthening the Iranian tyrants bent on provoking Armageddon by "wiping Israel from the map" before taking on the "Great Satan" is fine, but upsetting the Europeans who want to get rich doing business with them is truly appalling. Even though the Europeans can't do much but go along.
Richard Baehr emails: "The New York Times has Guardian/BBC envy."