The WSJ points out that the German love affair with Barack Obama didn’t last the night:
One day after his speech before an adulating Berlin crowd last week, Barack Obama said more NATO troops would allow the U.S. to cut its presence in Afghanistan. The “billions of dollars” saved, he told CNN on Friday, could “finance lower taxes for middle-class families.”
(The) Secretary General of the opposition German Free Democrats, Dieter Niebel, responded to Mr. Obama by telling the Bild am Sonntag that “Under no circumstances will the German taxpayer pay with more money and more troops for Afghanistan for tax cuts in the U.S.”…
Which at least makes a kind of sense. You don’t ask a country to invest more of its blood and treasure so that you might spend a little less. No, real allies do what they can within the resources they have sufficient to accomplish the mission. Which made the response of Erwin Huber, chairman of the center-right Christian Social Union of Bavaria, seem just that little bit less gracious:
“(It) is the opposite of solidarity and partnership when one side is to make more sacrifices and the other gains an advantage from it.”
Tell us about it. We used to have these allies, for gosh, I don’t know. Decades? Spent significant portions of our GDP to protect them – exposed our own island homeland to nuclear annihilation by extending our nuclear umbrella over them! - while they in turn skimped on their own defense in order to built elaborate social support systems.
The 44th president may well have spoken recently in Germany, and it might well be that his election will make for soft cooing noises where previously we have heard harsh voices grating. Pretending not to notice when a trusted friend has stiffed you on the tab. Color that “progress” if it suits your fancy.
Just don’t expect the facts on the ground to change.