A lot of people have been rejoicing at United States President Donald Trump’s recent decisions. In less than a week, the president announced he is withdrawing the United States from the nuclear deal with Iran and then moved the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Many Americans are excited, and many Israelis are experiencing a boost in national power, prestige and morale. But in Europe, the reaction is anger.
“RIP the Trans-Atlantic Alliance, 1945–2018” was the headline on Foreign Policy on Friday. “The alliance was already a corpse, but Donald Trump drove the last nail into its coffin when he decided this week to withdraw from the nuclear deal with Iran.”
The cover of Spiegel, Europe’s most popular magazine, portrayed Mr. Trump as an obscene gesture toward the rest of the world. Former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt wrote in the Washington Post, “Trump’s decision to blow up the Iran deal is a massive attack on Europe.”
Many agree with the Europeans’ basic premise, that the Iran deal was great and only a moron would end it. Those who are glad the Iran deal is canceled tend not to care about Europe’s response. After all, to adopt a phrase from the days of the Iraq War, engaging in foreign policy without the Europeans is like going hunting without an accordion—you leave behind only useless, noisy baggage.
Here at the Trumpet, we are adamant that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran was a disaster. Editor in chief Gerald Flurry characterized it as deadly . But that does not mean Europe’s outrage is just noise. In 2014, when Europe was outraged by the U.S. National Security Agency monitoring the communications of top European leaders, Mr. Flurry wrote:
Most Americans don’t realize how violently our allies are condemning our foreign policy. They are too absorbed and distracted with sports, entertainment and domestic issues to be interested.
But this is something everyone should be concerned about. What makes the German-American split especially important is this: It is exactly what biblical prophecy told us would happen!
Europeans have detested many of Donald Trump’s boldest decisions. The 2016 climate change accords signed in Paris would have been disastrous for the U.S ., but when Trump canceled the pact, Europe was outraged. The Financial Times called it “a blow to Germany’s collective solar plexus.”
President Trump has attacked Germany for unfair trade. Again, he’s correct . But that does not mean the Germans are happy about it. Trump made another great move in relocating the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem . Every other country in the world can choose where its capital is. Why should Israel be any different? But this is another move that Europeans regard with anger.
And now, Iran.“The Iran decision has resonated among European leaders as none of Trump’s previous follies has,” wrote Foreign Policy . They’re wrong to portray it as a folly, but they’re right about its importance to Europeans. Bild wrote, “[I]t would be most unwise to underestimate the long-term damage to the trans-Atlantic relationship caused by Washington’s assault on Europe. Strong voices are now demanding that Europe stand up for its sovereignty by being more confrontational with Trump.”
“The West as we once knew it no longer exists,” he wrote. “Our relationship to the United States cannot currently be called a friendship and can hardly be referred to as a partnership.”
“The U.S. has chosen a path of confrontation with Europe …,” Spiegel wrote in another article . “In the seven decades of the postwar trans-Atlantic relationship, there has never been such a violation of European interests, never such deep-seated discord.”
Some of these same commentators are warning that this epochal shift will mean big changes for Europe.
A Remilitarized Continent
“Europe has lost its protective power,” wrote Spiegel. For decades Europe has relied on America for its defense. Now Europeans are realizing that if they want to have their own separate foreign policy, they can’t be an accordion—they need to be a shotgun.
This is part of the reason for such outrage. When Europe has needed muscle to get its own way—such as with the breakup of Yugoslavia —it turned to the U.S. Now, it is realizing that America isn’t going to do its bidding anymore. It needs to build its own muscle.
Those who have long wanted Europe to bulk up are happy about this development. Foreign Policy wrote that “perhaps Europe’s leaders needed the shock.”
“Europe may begin laying the foundations for a more independent military and diplomatic strategy,” it continued. “All talk of a unified European army has long vanished, but [French President Emmanuel] Macron has invited the defense ministers of 10 European nations to Paris next month to discuss his plan to create a battle-ready force of up to 100,000 troops. Everyone I have spoken to has felt that the split with Trump has given a serious boost to the plan.”
“It’s no longer the case that the United States will simply just protect us,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday. She reiterated her statement that “Europe needs to take its fate into its own hands.”
Mr. Trump’s actions may help Europe find the unity it needs to do this. Spiegel noted all the disagreements dividing the European Union, of which there are plenty, and added, “But they do agree on one issue: Donald Trump. Lately, the American president has emerged as a great unifier of Europe.”
Chairman of the European Security Conference Wolfgang Ischinger said, “It is another dramatic wake-up call for the European Union to finally get a grip on itself. For the European project, I cannot imagine a better motivation than this shock from Trump.”
An Economic Confrontation
After Mr. Trump announced the cancellation of the Iran deal, the United States ambassador to Germany tweeted, “German companies doing business in Iran should wind down operations immediately.”
With the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action canceled and U.S. sanctions reinstated, European companies that continue to do business with Iran will face financial penalties three to six months from now.
Bild called it a “massive assault on the sovereignty of European states and the European Union.”
Spiegel grouped Europe and Iran by writing, “By reimposing sanctions, Trump is hitting the Europeans and Iran where it hurts.”
Because of American dominance of the financial system, it is very hard for large European companies to avoid American sanctions. A huge percentage of foreign trade requires U.S. dollars as an intermediary, even when the trade doesn’t include American companies. European companies that make deals with Iran now risk being shut out of the international payment system.
European trade with Iran has increased ninefold since the Iran deal came into force. The last time sanctions were imposed, Europe agreed to join with the U.S. Now Europe feels it is being forced into sanctions—at economic gunpoint.
The reimposition of sanctions provides Europe with additional motivation to avoid the dollar, to wean itself off of the American-influenced financial system, and to search for allies to build a new one.
Why Such Hatred for Trump?
“This conflict has the potential to escalate into a real confrontation between Europe and the United States,” wrote Spiegel. “In a worst-case scenario, Trump could force Europe to make a choice between the U.S. and Iran.”
Shockingly, many in the media seem to be rooting for Europe to choose Iran.
When it comes to actually setting foreign policy, cooler, more rational heads will probably prevail. But what does it say about the state of trans-Atlantic relations when Europe’s media wants to choose the No. 1 sponsor of terrorism over the world’s most powerful democracy?
The hatred being whipped up in Europe goes beyond a rational disagreement between nations with different interests and views of the world.
Spiegel’s front cover showed Mr. Trump as a middle finger to the world. Past covers include:
Donald Trump slicing the head off Lady Liberty
Donald Trump as some kind of subhuman ape
Donald Trump as a baby riding a nuclear bomb with a baby Kim Jong-un
Donald Trump as a meteor about to destroy the world
Donald Trump as a tsunami destroying Washington, D.C.
Donald Trump as a golfer, hitting a flaming planet Earth
They hate him—in a unique way. Europe has disliked presidents in the past, most notably George W. Bush. But even he was not attacked like this. Spiegel’s least-flattering covers of him portrayed him as a cowboy or a soldier.
When discussing the Iran deal, President Trump’s European critics don’t see America’s decision as a rational one that they happen to oppose. Of course, there are downsides for Europe with America’s cancellation of the deal. But a rational discussion of the pros and cons is nowhere to be found in the European press. Instead, Mr. Trump is simply portrayed as canceling the deal because he’s a madman. Even the Atlantic ran an article discussing the downsides of the Iran deal and calling for its cancellation. When you are a critic who make the Atlantic look pro-Trump, you know you’re pretty extreme.
“Trump is only proficient in destruction,” wrote Spiegel’s editor in chief. “And that’s what he does.”
Just about all of the articles pointing out the growing division between Europe and the U.S. put the blame squarely on Mr. Trump’s shoulders. None seem to ask why Europe is so passionately devoted to causes that are so bad for America. Why is it so upset about the Iran deal and the climate change accord? Why respond so irrationally and emotionally—with insults, not reasoned arguments?
This is something I want to explore in a longer Trumpet print article. But this is a trend we should be concerned with. Europe is becoming a virulently anti-American power—and it’s working to unify against America.
The European politician we watch most here at the Trumpet is former German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, who has called Mr. Trump “the violent madman in the White House.”
“Guttenberg went after American President Donald Trump—in a way a world leader never does to another leader in power!” wrote Mr. Flurry last October.
Regarding Guttenberg’s comments about Mr. Trump, Mr. Flurry wrote, “He is talking about a man who got over 60 million votes. Is he just criticizing one man? I believe what he is saying says a lot about his attitude toward America.”
“Listening to Mr. Guttenberg and the way people are responding to him, I have to say that it looks like the relationship between the U.S. and Germany is already dead!” Now the European media is saying the last nail is in the coffin. Mr. Flurry concluded his article with the following:
A strongman is coming on the scene. Daniel 11 says he is going to come in by flatteries. He really knows how to speak the right words. …
Prophecy tells us in detail just what this strongman is going to do. It also says that he can’t even imagine the damage he will wreak on America—but at a certain point, his mind is going to change. (Read about this in Chapter 2 of my booklet on the Prophet Habakkuk.) We are watching for that mind change. Perhaps, to some degree, it is already happening!
These things might be the best indication that Baron Guttenberg could be the man we are watching for.
Listen to him. He’s talking like a man who has ambitions to rule Europe! In some ways, he talks like a man who already leads Europe!
Winston Churchill had insight into Germany like nobody else in his time. He said this in 1924: “The enormous contingents of German youth growing to military manhood year by year are inspired by the fiercest sentiments, and the soul of Germany smolders with dreams of a war of liberation or revenge.”
Watch Germany. I believe we are seeing more than just dislike for one man in the White House. There is evidence of a desire for revenge. After all, history would have played out very differently if it hadn’t been for America’s intervention in World Wars i and ii.
You wouldn’t think human beings would think that way, but if you understand biblical prophecy, you know that there is an evil spirit being involved who can inspire some very ugly emotions. And the Bible is clear that America’s German “lovers” are going to betray America.
Daniel 8:25 says of this man: “And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes [Jesus Christ!]; but he shall be broken without hand.” This man is going to have tremendous power for a short time—but then he is going to be broken by Jesus Christ Himself!
The fact that we are seeing these prophecies about to be fulfilled before our eyes shows how close we are to that magnificent outcome! That is the magnificent hope in Bible prophecy!
So watch closely what is happening in Germany. ▪