Why Is Europe So Afraid of Fighting Back Against Trump?

Jeff Malet/Newscom via ZUMA

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.

John Bolton went on TV yesterday to make it clear that the United States will sanction European companies that continue to do business with Iran. In response, Europe expressed their very slight annoyance over this:

European officials have said they are looking for ways to help their companies escape the brunt of the U.S. sanctions. France’s foreign minister said Friday he had asked for exemptions or longer grace periods for the exit of French companies such as oil-and-gas giant Total SA and car maker Peugeot SA that have returned to the Iranian market since the 2015 nuclear accord.

….European diplomats have complained that the Trump administration pulled out of the Iran agreement when they were still eager to continue consultations and without explaining Washington’s new nuclear demands on Tehran….Despite complaints in European capitals, Mr. Bolton suggested European allies might agree to new U.S. approach once they digest Mr. Trump’s decision and face the threat of sanctions.

I realize that countries can’t afford to respond to stuff like this the same way that a blogger might. Still, surely by now the Europeans understand that Trump doesn’t respond to “negotiations” or “complaints.” As far as he’s concerned, those are just signs of weakness. Either you punch back as hard as he punches, or else he ignores you.

I wonder why they’re still treating him with kid gloves? Why not fight back and then bide their time until America comes to its senses and elects a new president?

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you'll agree is worth supporting.

payment methods

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you’ll agree is worth supporting.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate