The Daily Beast's foreign correspondent, Christopher Dickey, didn't pull any punches when asked what most Europeans think of GOP presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz and their recent statements about NATO and dealing with ISIS.
After playing footage of former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton and Sec. of State John Kerry responding to Trump's assertion that the United States should rework our relationship with NATO, along with Ted Cruz and his constant threats to use carpet bombing to deal with ISIS, here's how Dickey responded to Chris Jansing's request for comment.
JANSING: What's the concern that you're hearing Chris, over on this side of the Atlantic and what would the possible repercussions be if there was serious conversation about the United States basically strategically changing the face of NATO?
DICKEY: Well, I don't think anybody really thinks that the United States is going to do that, but this feeds into a whole sort of malaise, to use the French word, about American reliability. Are the American people you can count on? Europe has counted on the American alliance as part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization ever since World War II. Now it's looking at a situation where a demagogue is running for president and says it's just too expensive, that maybe we should pull out and it isn't good at fighting terrorism anyway.
Well, okay. But it is good at helping to contain Russia, which is evermore aggressive. So when Hillary Clinton talked about Russia, or Putin particularly, feeling like it would be Christmas in the Kremlin, she's exactly right. When Trump says it's not good at fighting terrorism, okay. That's right. It's not a terrorist fighting organization, but there are other organizations that are developed and need to be developed more, but not by getting out of NATO.
It's a typical populist non sequitur. It sounds good to people who don't know anything about Europe and don't know anything about NATO, and frankly, don't know anything about terrorism, will say, ah well, that Mr. Trump, he sounds pretty good. But he doesn't to anybody who's got half a brain.
Well, these are frightening times in Europe for a lot of reasons. The economy is not in great shape, particularly here in France. The terrorism threat has been growing. There are wars all over the place, little wars that sometimes Americans don't even notice. You've got the push by Russia into Ukraine and the threat to the Baltics. All this going on makes people very, very nervous, and they'd like to think that their American friends would be reliable friends.
But now, they see what looks very much like a circus to them. […] Europeans look at this and they don't just scratch their heads. They shake their heads as though they're looking at the doom of the world. They really see it as an incredibly negative thing and then when you've got Ted Cruz on the other side saying we're going to carpet bomb places, well, good luck with that Ted.
That's not going to take care of ISIS, but that is going to cause a horrific blowback against America around the world. So I think that they are looking at a situation where they believe they are reasonable people, Europeans, and they are looking at an American political situation that is extraordinarily unreasonable, theatrical and dangerous.