Even though the year has just started, we’ve already witnessed yet another outrage of the European community over the way that its so-called allies at the other side of the Atlantic are treating it. This outrage was triggered by the letter that the United States ambassador to Berlin, Richard Grenell decided to send to a handful of large German companies in which he announced that Washington was contemplating the option of imposing sanctions against those companies due to the support they’ve been providing in the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. That’s when the word blackmail comes across one’s mind. The principles of free trade along with the sovereignty of the Federal Republic of Germany have been all but brushed aside by this senior American diplomat. Washington 8s determined to force the EU into buy its unreasonably expensive gas and it’s willing to use every dirty trick in the book to succeed in its business of racketeering.
So it’s only natural that local political and business circles have been rather unified in their response to this provocation. Jürgen Hardt, a member of the Bundestag for the Christian Democratic Union stated that: “It’s unacceptable unilateral worsening tone in the transatlantic relationship.”
Jürgen Hardt is a German politician of the Christian Democratic Union. He currently serves as a member of the Bundestag. In turn, one of the leaders of Social Democratic Party (SPD), Ralf Stegner demanded on his Twitter was Richard Grenell aware of the fact that the time of the High Commission for Occupied Germany has passed a long while ago.
Fabio De Masi, a former member of the EU parliament and the sitting member of the Bundestag, was so indignant that he stated that: “The American ambassador apparently felt he was the Governor of Washington in Germany.” Additionally, De Massi remains convinced that “extraterritorial sanctions” against German companies contradict the international law.
As it’s been pointed out by Der Spiegel, American ambassadors to Germany have always occupied a special place among diplomats, as they used to have direct access to the Chancellery and other key German ministries. However, Richard Grenell doesn’t enjoy the privileges that his predecessor used to enjoy, and there’s a number of reasons why he has found himself in this position. These days German political elites are trying their best to avoid the American ambassador, who found himself in a complete political isolation in Berlin because of his constant attempts to interfere in the internal affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany. The former head of the German Social Democrats, Martin Schulz, on the day of Grenell’s commissioning stated that the US representative to Berlin was behaving “like a far-Right colonial officer.”
In his first move after taking up the appointment, Richard Grenell tweeted a warning to German companies to stop doing business with Iran following Donald Trump’s decision to unilaterally withdraw from the nuclear deal, thus threatening local businesses with American sanctions.
It’s been pointed out that one shouldn’t be too surprised when he finds a senior diplomat that only speaks the language of threats to be treated as a persona non grata. People of power would avoid Richard Grenell’s company at any cost, even the sitting Chancellor, Angela Merkel keeps him at a considerable distance. German politicians, diplomats, and businessmen would typically describe Grenell as a man who fails to listen to criticism and suffers from narcissism.
The Swiss Neue Zürcher Zeitung would add that the US ambassador to Berlin should not interfere in the internal affairs of the country he’s working in, as this is explicitly stated in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. However, from the very beginning, Grenell showed that he wasn’t contented with the role of a senior diplomat, as he perceived his role rather differently. So should anyone be surprised that the German public takes his self-righteous public threats extremely negatively.
But what seems to aggravate the EU population real hard is that the behavior of the US ambassador to Berlin is hardly an exception, as a number of other American ambassadors to the region would adopt the same arrogant stance.
One can recall the recent scandal over the US ambassador to Warsaw, Georgette Mosbacher sending a letter to Poland’ prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki containing instructions what this leader of the state can and cannot say in his address to Polish public on the TVN TV-station, which is owned by the American corporation Discovery Communications.
This story was publicized by the Polish media source Do Rzeczy, which has its own sources in the entourage of the prime minister. Those sources told the publication that “the tone of the letter was extremely arrogant,” as it contained warnings that the United States would not tolerate critical remarks from the head of the Polish state about TVN and its journalists. Yet another source of Do Rzeczy confined to the general public that Georgette Mosbacher would behave herself as she if she was representing an occupying force in some third world banana republic. This source seems to be convinced that American grown accustomed to this behavior over the last three years, as Warsaw would cave in at the very sight of political pressure applied on it by Washington.
Last year, upon leaving his position of US ambassador Yerevan, Richard Mills Richard started teaching local politicians how they should govern their state in an interview with the EVN Report. In particular, he gave instructions on how the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict should be approached, while adding that Yerevan should have returned “a certain part of the occupied territories” to Azerbaijan. At the same time, it should be noted that should the Armenian public hear similar remarks from, for example, Russia’s ambassador to Yerevan, then local pro-Western NGO would be beside themselves with anger, as they would have rightfully point out that such remarks constitute foreign meddling in Armenian affairs. However, since those remarks were voiced by a US diplomat, Western media sources chose “not to pay attention” to those.
Earlier, Richard Mills, just like all of his predecessors, would repeatedly try to drive a wedge between Armenia and Russia by making all sorts of mean remarks about the state of bilateral relations between the two regional players. Additionally, the former ambassador would “advise” Armenian businessmen who were planing to do business with Iran, to first “consult in the American diplomatic mission.”
But should one be surprised by this kind of behavior demonstrated by American ambassadors, when even prominent American scientists, such as James Watson, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for DNA-related discoveries would be stripped of honorary titles at a lab after making a number of outrageous remarks about the interdependence of one’s race and one’s intelligence.
Isn’t it obvious that imperial aspirations of the US are downright reprehensible? The only question is for how long will the international community be tolerating this behavior?
Grete Mautner is an independent researcher and journalist from Germany, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”