Okay, for those thinking the European protests against Trump are merely against Trump, you’re wrong. It is against the US.
Trump said Russia is not a threat, they are a competitor. On that he is correct.
Then he pushes NATO to spend more money on weapons to defend against Russia militarily.
This is not lost on Europeans. Only on Americans.
In Europe, they have been facing rising problems with increased crime and major stresses on housing, employment, healthcare systems. All of their social support programs and worker rights. Many in the US want to claim this is an illustration of the failure of Socialist models. No, it is not.
Their systems are under strain because of the influx of immigrants and refugees from the Middle East. That influx began after US “humanitarian interventions” which destroyed homes, communities, and gave rise to widespread terrorist activity in their home countries. Those people did not want to leave their countries or they would have done so long ago. Now there are open slave markets in Libya, where there was no military conflict happening on any large scale before the US stepped in.. and then abandoned Libya.
The fact is, the receiving countries systems were not scaled to handle this level of need. In many European countries, they already had relatively minor stresses in the same social areas to begin with. Now those same systems are under severe strain.
Meanwhile, they are dealing with the threats of economic sanctions because of the US. Those sanctions cause more economic stress and job losses. Let’s say you own a business and you trade with another business which accounts for a significant portion of your revenue. Then the government steps in and says you can no longer trade with your partner business. What happens to YOUR business? That’s how sanctions work. Find another partner? Who says the government will not do the same thing again? Or impose tariffs which affect that arrangement and reduce your business again? Europe has been dealing with the effects of US sanctions for years. Sanctions against Russia, NK, Venezuela. Now threatening against China. Each sanction destroys jobs and possibly entire industries in not just the sanctioned country but the partner country.
So, while these countries are seeing major real stresses on their way of life, real dangers coming from eroding access to housing, food, healthcare, etc, they see their governments agreeing to spend more on weapons and “defense” against an imaginary threat. They see the US trying to block Europe from buying oil and gas from Russia with the goal of selling them US oil/gas at higher prices. Which they can less afford because of the sanctions and tariffs mentioned above.
Where crime is concerned, we have many examples of how destroying economies and increasing stresses on existing infrastructure leads to increased crime. In the US, look back at the urban decay of the 70’s. Look at Detroit. Did they have massive drug and violence problems when they were the center of the US auto industry? Take away jobs or even keep the number of jobs static, flood the area with more people, what happens? Unemployment increases. Food becomes more scarce, prices increase. Rent increases, home become unaffordable. People become stressed and hopeless, drug and alcohol use rises. With Detroit and urban areas here, there was a mass exodus from those places. Where are Europeans going to go?
Yes, many Europeans hate Trump. They also hated Reagan and Bush Sr and Clinton and GWB. They supported Obama’s rhetoric but fully realized the refugee crisis was the result of his foreign policy. Do you recall the protests at major economic summits? No, then you were watching MSM who barely mentioned it, if at all. They are protesting Trump because he is there. Because he is in office NOW. That’s ALL. Many of those people protesting Trump actually protest against the government leaders who are US puppets and holding their own countries back.
One of the most interesting points to mention is this. While NATO seems to agree to increase defense spending, that does not in any way obligate them to spend that money with the US. They can buy from anyone. Brazil, India, China. Yes, they can buy from Russia, as NATO member Turkey is doing. What effect does that have on international relations? It brings Russia and Europe closer together, reducing the need for weapons.
THAT could truly be the best outcome from all of this rhetoric. For all of them to decide the weapons are no longer necessary at all.