The Germans Are Calling Us Fascists, Is America Great Again Now?
Spoiler Alert: WE ARE. It only took 70 years, but we are now so evil that mainstream German politicians are calling for the expulsion of our Ambassador Richard Grenell for behaving "like a high commissioner of an occupying power." Before everything went to shit, American diplomats would practice actual diplomacy, quietly bolstering our relationship with the host country and pressing US priorities. Not so Grenell, who tweeted a threat to sanction German companies within hours of his appointment last May.
As @realDonaldTrump said, US sanctions will target critical sectors of Iran’s economy. German companies doing busin… https://t.co/pdYjAJ3C6f— Richard Grenell (@Richard Grenell) 1525804948.0
Things did not improve with time. Grenell parroted Donald Trump's unconcealed loathing for the leader of the free world -- Angela Merkel, obvs -- appearing frequently on Fox to give Tucker Carlson an update on "elites in Berlin" and their lamentable failure to secure the border from hordes of scary immigrants. In one such interview in November, Grenell harshly criticized the sitting German government and suggested that the country needed a change of leadership as in Austria, where a rightwing anti-immigrant party took power in 2017.
Does Germany regret accepting a million migrants? - Tucker Carlson 11/28/18 www.youtube.com
Normal everyday Germans are clamoring for leaders who want to have safe and secure borders and and orderly process.
Advocating for leadership change in a diplomat's host country is very NOT ON, not to mention being a violation of Article 41 of the Vienna Convention, which requires overseas diplomats "not to interfere in the internal affairs of that State." So Grenell was off to a cracking good start!
Germany's Der Spiegel reported that by January, nobody wanted to be seen with our man in Berlin:
Anyone who doesn't absolutely need to meet Grenell avoids it. "I have no interest in people who are going through Europe with a wrecking ball," says former Green Party co-chair Cem Özdemir. He is one of several prominent politicians who keep their contact to the American ambassador to a minimum.
In conversations with parliamentarians, the ambassador apparently pushed hard for invitations to visit lawmakers in their constituencies. Many said no. Who, after all, wants to be seen in their home district with Grenell? And those who did invite him, didn't all have the best things to say about the experience.
The only people who willingly consort with Grenell are anti-immigrant loons from the far-right Alternative for Deutschland party. which seems to suit him fine.
Embassy staff made it clear to the ambassador that it would be counterproductive to set up an official meeting with the AfD. But Grenell isn't shy about consorting with the right wing. In early September, he was a guest at an annual dinner held by the Achse des Guten, or Axis of Good, a blog run by the journalists Henryk M. Broder and Dirk Maxeiner that sees itself as a counterbalance to the allegedly left-wing mainstream media. It offers an intellectual home to Islamophobes, Merkel-haters and EU-skeptics.
Broder later attended Grenell's Halloween party dressed up as a Muslim woman in a burqa, because LOL, GET IT? SCARY!!!
Yesterday, the German government announced it will not be able to meet its NATO pledge to increase military spending to two percent of GDP. And instead of quietly pressuring the German government not to renege on its commitments, Grenell instead publicly berated his hosts, saying:
NATO members clearly pledged to move towards, not away, from 2% by 2024. That the German government would even be considering reducing its already unacceptable commitments to military readiness is a worrisome signal to Germany's 28 NATO allies.
And just in case there was someone in Germany left who didn't already loathe him, the US Embassy in Berlin drove home the point with a tweet.
Ambassador Grenell in @AP on #Germany’s defense #budget plans: “reducing its already unacceptable commitments to mi… https://t.co/QkjnT3DuE2— US-Botschaft Berlin (@US-Botschaft Berlin) 1552939448.0
DIPLOMACY, HOW DO IT GO? Apparently it GO "be as big a dick as possible, in every forum, as loudly as you can." And, as promised, the US will be respected again. Or at least we'll be able to insert ourselves in local politics. Which is exactly the same thing, right? Because now minority parties are shouting for Angela Merkel's government to quit letting foreign interlopers humiliate the country and give Grenell the boot. Politico EU reports:
[Deputy speaker of Germany's Bundestag, Wolfgang] Kubicki said it is intolerable that "the U.S. ambassador would once again interfere in political questions of the sovereign Federal Republic."
"If a U.S. diplomat acts like a high commissioner of an occupying power, he will have to learn that our tolerance has its limits," Kubicki said.
The Social Democrats' parliamentary manager Carsten Schneider weighed in too, saying: "Diplomatically, Mr. Grenell is a complete failure. This entire thing seems like the behavior of a naughty schoolboy."
So this is all going great. The Land of the Free has dispatched its official representative to inveigh against immigrant invaders in Germany. And German politicians are rightly trying to kick us out for stoking rightwing, xenophobic hatred while trying to destabilize their government.
MAGA!!! MAGA!!! MAGA!!!
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.