A little more than a week ago, as President Trump completed his world mini-tour, my Ukrainian researcher emailed me. She witnessed some of the violence of Ukraine’s latest revolution and tends to be clear-eyed about the state of the things. Watching Trump’s behavior at the G7, and then with Kim Jong Un, she couldn’t shake that something profound had occurred.
“Every time I hear fireworks at night,” she wrote from Odessa, “my first thought is that it is not fireworks, so I wait to make sure. Low, loud planes make me wonder each time, too. Yet, Trump’s words [at] the G7, and after — as well as the following silence — are the most terrifying thing I’ve ever seen, heard or sensed.”
Her fear is felt by many of our allies. Across Europe and Canada, I’m asked : “Where are the Americans?” The silence from so many of our leaders, from us all, is seen as acquiescence to the president’s radical reordering of the alliances the world has relied on for seven decades of security and prosperity, and the abandonment of the values that underpinned those alliances. The Europeans I know simply do not understand how Americans can watch that legacy slip away without a fight. [Continue reading…]