No Way To Treat Our Friends …

grenellRichard Grenell is yet another slap in the face by Trump to our European allies, particularly Germany and its Chancellor Angela Merkel.  Before I delve into his most recent faux pas, let me tell you a bit about Mr. Grenell.

First, he was nominated to be the U.S. Ambassador to Germany by Donald Trump in October 2017, although he was not confirmed by the Senate until late April 2018.  Why, you may ask?  Because the democrats in the Senate had concerns over his fitness for the position.  Turns out, they were right to be concerned, but I will get to that in just a moment.

Grenell once served as an aide to John Bolton, the recently named national security advisor and a known warmonger famous for his desire to bomb both Iran and North Korea.  Grenell is also a contributor to Fox News.  As a spokesman for the U.S. mission to the United Nations during the George W. Bush administration, Grenell worked on sanctions and restrictions against Iran in response to Iran’s nuclear ambitions.  Since the inauguration of Donald Trump, Grenell has been an outspoken critic of the Iran nuclear deal … you know … the one that Trump reneged on last month.

But all of that aside, the democrats had another good reason for concern where Grenell was concerned:  he is a xenophobe … an outspoken critic of women, especially those who hold power in government.  As a commentator on Fox, he has mocked Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Albright and others.  During his confirmation hearings, he was asked about his seeming aversion to women in politics.  He pulled a Roseanne Barr and said …

“There are times where what was intended to be humorous turned out to be not so humorous.”

Sorry, but not good enough.  Remember, if you will, that he was nominated to be the Ambassador to Germany … the most populous nation in the EU, and also a nation who just happens to have a female chancellor.  To add insult to injury, Trump has more than once criticized Chancellor Merkel and has made clear his disdain for her.  Ultimately Grenell was confirmed by the Senate, sworn in and traveled to Germany to begin his new job.

Now, let’s clarify for just a brief second what, exactly, the job of an ambassador is.

“All ambassadors officially represent the U.S. government on behalf of the president in treaty negotiations, immigration discussions, foreign aid projects and humanitarian aid programs. Ambassadors supervise and lead all foreign service employees in the country where they work. As the chief executive of the U.S. embassy, an ambassador also monitors the activities of all U.S. personnel who work for any federal agency in their jurisdiction. The ambassador and his/her staff also aid Americans traveling in the country and provide security for U.S. citizens during emergencies and natural disasters.”

The starting salary for U.S. ambassadors, by the way, is $126,148, and the maximum is $189,600.

Richard Grenell arrived in Germany to take up his post on May 8th, just under a month ago, and already he has stirred ire and contention on both sides of the pond.  So far, he has criticized Germany’s NATO spending, calling it ‘woeful’, and criticized Chancellor Merkel’s immigration policy.  But the worst was his interview a few days ago with … of all things … Breitbart!  And here is what he said that has stirred the political pot …

“There are a lot of conservatives throughout Europe who have contacted me to say they are feeling there is a resurgence going on.  I absolutely want to empower other conservatives throughout Europe, other leaders. I think there is a groundswell of conservative policies that are taking hold because of the failed policies of the left.”

WittigTo put it into context, consider if Germany’s ambassador to the United States, Peter Wittig, when he first came to the U.S. in 2014, had said that Barack Obama’s policies were failures and that he was looking forward to helping more republicans win congressional races.

Ambassadors are intended and expected to be completely neutral in the domestic politics of the countries in which they serve.  Period.  We do not send ambassadors to other nations to choose sides and campaign for candidates or policies.  They are there to represent the U.S.

Grenell didn’t stop there, though.  Grenell named immigration, tax cuts, and cutting red tape as major conservative issues to focus on as part of a winning strategy. He then went on to say he’s a “big fan” of Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who has sharply criticized German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s immigration policies. Last year, Kurz’s party also formed a coalition with the far-right Freedom Party, which was founded by Nazis.

It almost feels as if Trump has planted a ticking time bomb in Germany.

A German Foreign Ministry spokesperson said yesterday that Grenell would have to “explain what he meant” during his first official visit on Thursday. One German politician, Lars Klingbeil, tweeted to Grenell …

I know you are still quite new at your post, but it is not part of the job description of an ambassador to interfere in the politics of his guest country, Mr @RichardGrenell #thankyou — 6:00 AM – Jun 4, 2018

Another, Omid Nouripour, said Grenell’s comments “give the impression that the new US ambassador still hasn’t adjusted to his new role. At least the Russians make an effort not to be seen to be meddling in other countries’ affair. [sic]

trump-merkelTrump has already created an atmosphere of distrust among our allies by pulling the U.S. out of the Paris Accords, pulling out of the TPP, reneging on our commitment to the Iran nuclear deal, criticizing our allies, and just last week placing unwarranted tariffs on Canada, Mexico and the EU.  He has insulted Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel on more than one occasion.  And now the ambassador he sends to Germany has offended at least half the nation.  I have to ask … is total mass destruction of planet earth his intent?  He loves to take credit for things, especially big things.  Does he figure to start WWIII and then take credit for having had the biggest button?

34 thoughts on “No Way To Treat Our Friends …

  1. Martin Schulz, formerly leader of Germany’s Social Democratic Party and prior to that President of the European Parliament, asserted the following in the German a couple of days ago: “If a German ambassador in Washington said, ‘I’m here to strengthen the Democratic Party,’ he would be thrown out immediately.” The situation is in fact far worse than characterized by Schulz. Grenell is advocating NOT for the main opposition party (which would be bad enough), but for anti-system parties. He has embarked on a project of “disruption” similar to what we are experiencing here in the U.S. This is the same project in which the Russian government has engaged during the past several years in Europe. The aims may be somewhat different — Grenell and his masters in the U.S. have an ideological inclination toward the far-right populist parties emergent in Germany and elsewhere in Europe, while the Russian government simply wants to disrupt European politics and destabilize the EU. Nonetheless, it is dangerous and shameful that the U.S. is supportive of this endeavor.
    https://mitchellpsmith.com

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the additional info. You are quite right … his actions are unconscionable and personally, I think he should be expelled, and Trump should be told not to send another until he can find one who will treat his host country with respect and neutrality. I strongly suspect he was following orders from his boss.

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      • This is where Trump is going to fall. He fails to realise that The World is not his corporation and that the USA does not hold the dominance which was part of the Cold War game…..It happens to nations…look at Britain & France…broken as world powers after two World Wars….That’s history folks
        The other most salient point is that assume
        1.We compare him with the ‘towering’ dictators of the 20th Century… Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot etc…does he hold an entire nation in his thrall?……Nope, so he’s not in that league.
        2. Is he one of the active presidents imposing beneficial change across the board….Nixon, LBJ, Clinton, Obama …Nope he just pulls things down.
        3. Does he have the charm or gentle paternal streaks or folksiness of Eisenhower, Reagan, Bush jnr?…..Ha!
        4. Does he has the aura of dignity of Ford (oh yes he did, following Nixon….tough call), Carter or Bush snr?……HA HA!
        In short he is that manifestation of other people’s angers and fears….. Himself…..a small person who by chance was placed in a situation far beyond his capabilities.….He does not have control, only reactive responses, trying to catch up with ‘The Game’

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Just another Drumpf appointee … what can anyone expect?
    ‘Richard Grenell is yet another slap in the face by Drumpf to our European allies, particularly Germany and its Chancellor Angela Merkel.’
    … please, take a look!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It would seem that Trump thinks of the worst possible choice for a particular nomination and then nominates them. This disaster in the making is then confirmed by our forward thinking Congress. Apparently Richard Grenell never read his job description or received a trumpian version. Trump is country by country eliminating our allies and isolating our country more and more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Definitely so! Think about Scott Pruitt for head of the EPA … the man sued the EPA numerous times when in Oklahoma! And DeVos for Secretary of Education … she who does not believe in public schools. And Jeff Sessions, the proven racist for Attorney General. The list goes on and on of candidates who were the least qualified individual in the nation for the job they were placed in. And Congress said … not a word.

      I loved Benjamin’s letter 🙂

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  4. I would love to sit in on the G7 discussions in Quebec City this week. I fervently hope that none of those leaders mince words with the Idiot-in-Chief. It won’t be long before the USA stands alone in the world. Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree … I hope they let him know in no uncertain terms that he is their equal, not their superior, not their boss, and not even their friend anymore. I’m saddened by it, but I do not want the EU nations nor Canada nor Mexico to give in to his bullying tactics. You are right … we will be alone, but I don’t know how long we will stand. Once the economic hardship starts being felt in the pockets of his supporters, I think he will find himself drowning. The thing is, though, I don’t know if Pence will be any better. If this goes on for too long, we may have a hard time re-establishing alliances. 😥

      Liked by 1 person

      • Personally, I don’t think either Trump or Pence would have a chance in 2020. I also believe that a new administration can mend fences with traditional allies and trading partners. I don’t think Trudeau will kowtow to Trump – he tried to use his Trudeau charm on Trump and it did not work. I figure the gloves will come off at the G7 summit. I heard on the news today that your Treasury Secretary returned from Whistler, B.C. where the G7 finance ministers met this week, to argue in favor of exempting Canada from the tariffs. They also reported that his arguments got little traction because Canada is ideologically a national threat to the USA. Umm… BEWARE!!!! The Canucks are coming!

        Liked by 1 person

        • I hope the gloves DO come off. Trump is so outclassed as to be a toad amongst a pride of lions. Did you hear what he is said to have said to Trudeau on the phone? Apparently when Trudeau asked Trump exactly how Canada poses a threat to the U.S.’ national security, Trump replied, “Well, didn’t you burn down the White House during the War of 1812?” What a stupid idiot!!!

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  5. I want to see him declared persona no grata and shipped back to the U.S. Given how Trump seems to have taken to appointing exactly the wrong people for their posts I’m more firmly of the belief that the destruction of the USA is his mission. I just can’t decide who for, Russia or the 1% richest.
    Cwtch

    Liked by 1 person

    • My thoughts are that he will likely be sent back home if he opens his mouth again. And he should be. Germany should tell Trump not to even bother sending a replacement until he can find a true diplomat, someone who can do his job without critiquing his host country. Yeah, it’s a toss up who is pulling the puppet strings at this point. Perhaps both.
      Cwtch

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Yes, basically all German parties that can be taken seriously have uttered their frustration, anger etc. So you could say that this ambassador is not very popular in Germany at the moment. I would love to be a little mouse at this first official visit! I am sure it won’t be a warm welcome.
    (By the way, I did try to “like” this post … but it WordPress did not let me… again… – but please feel liked this way! 🙂 )

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I would love to be privy to that meeting too! What I’d really like to see is Germany expel him and tell Trump not to send anybody if he cannot send somebody who will do his job without being disrespectful to his host country and its politics. Might happen, if he opens his mouth again!

      I don’t know why that happens sometimes. Hugh occasionally has the same problem. Thanks for ‘liking’ it anyway! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Dear Jill,

    Ambassador Grenell is a clone of President Trump and should not have been confirmed for any diplomatic post. Of course conservatives who are totalitarian in nature with anti-immigration attitudes would be contacting him, as he is one of their own.

    US diplomats are supposed to be fighting for pro-democracy causes. I hope Secretary of State yanks this guy from Germany. If he cares about our image around the world, he’d do what is right vs. catering to the president.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree … I believe Trump sent him there intentionally to cause problems for Chancellor Merkel, since Trump has made it clear that he does not care for her. I suspect that if he opens his mouth again, Germany may wrap him up and return him to us, and they would be well within their rights to do so.
      Hugs, my friend!!!

      Liked by 1 person

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