U.S. Vice President Mike Pence spoke Friday at the Munich Security Conference, only to be repeatedly met with dead silence and apparent indifference from world leaders.
Failed leaders such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel had sought to convey their displeasure with the Trump administration’s “antagonistic behavior,” as The Washington Post put it, by trash-talking President Donald Trump in their own speeches and remaining silent during the VP’s speech.
Watch how they reacted when Pence announced “greetings” from Trump, who at the time had been busy at the White House declaring a national emergency:
This speech was reportedly made at an award ceremony for the first recipients of a scholarship set up in honor of the late Sen. John McCain. It was one of two speeches Pence made at the conference.
However, if world leaders thought that their petulant antics would inspire America to change its tough but fair policies, then they thought wrong, as evidenced by the content of his second speech, particularly his comments in regard to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
“At President Trump’s urging, in the past two years, the number of NATO members spending at least 2 percent of their GDP on defense has doubled, and the majority of NATO members now have plans in place to meet their financial obligations by 2024,” he said
True. Last month NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced that the alliance’s members had agreed to invest an additional $100 billion in defense spending over the next two years.
“President Trump has been very clear. He is committed to NATO … but at the same time he has clearly stated that NATO allies need to invest more,” Stoltenberg said at the time on Fox News.
“We agreed to do more to step up, and now we see the results. By the end of next year, NATO allies will add $100 billion extra toward defense. So we see some real money and some real results. And we see that the clear message from President Donald Trump is having an impact.”
Excellent, but as Pence noted Friday, more is still needed.
“The truth is, many of our NATO Allies still need to do more. And the United States expects every NATO member to put in place a credible plan to meet the 2 percent threshold. And, by 2024, we expect all our allies to invest 20 percent of defense spending on procurement,” he said.
“We’ve also made it clear that we will not stand idly by while NATO Allies purchase weapons from our adversaries. We cannot ensure the defense of the West if our allies grow dependent on the East,” he continued, taking issue with NATO members who purchase weapons from China.
The VP also slammed other world leaders for, one, “undermining” Trump’s sanctions on Iran, and two, refusing to withdraw from former President Barack Obama’s nuclear pact with Iran.
“[T]he time has come for all of us to act,” he said. “The time has come for our European partners to stop undermining U.S. sanctions against this murderous revolutionary regime. The time has come for our European partners to stand with us and with the Iranian people, our allies and friends in the region.”
“The time has come from our European partners to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and join us as we bring the economic and diplomatic pressure necessary to give the Iranian people, the region, and the world the peace, security, and freedom they deserve.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the defacto leader of the European Union whom most blame for the migrant crisis in Europe, reportedly pushed back against Pence, arguing that the deal with Iran is somehow needed to keep the terrorism-affiliated nation in line.
“The only question that stands between us on this issue is, do we help our common cause, our common aim of containing the damaging or difficult development of Iran, by withdrawing from the one remaining agreement? Or do we help it more by keeping the small anchor we have in order maybe to exert pressure in other areas?” she reportedly said.
It’s unclear what she meant, since it’s been shown that the nuclear only helps Iran.
Listen to Pence below:
Pence concluded his speech by noting that the world’s problems can be resolved through American leadership.
“[W]hile the challenges before us loom large, with renewed American leadership on the world stage, together we’re demonstrating every day that we can make the future of the free world brighter than ever before,” he said.
“And as we rise to meet these challenges in the days ahead, we should never underestimate our power to change the world for the better. For when we’re strong and when we’re united, there’s nothing we can’t achieve together.”
As of Sunday morning, public sentiment seemed to be on his side versus that of migrant-friendly Merkel and her Iran-loving European allies:
— E L Palmer (@Source_Persil) February 16, 2019
Merkel is a reincarnated version of Hitler.
— Elizabeth Kern (@wildcat05) February 16, 2019
Shame on Germany, France and the UK to support this barbarian regime which oppresses 80 Milion Iranian.
— رو به میهن (@_4Iran) February 17, 2019
The same Merkel who let 1 million people in without a plan and most of these people suffered because there was no plan. Alot of terrorists used this as way to get into the West.She has proven to be a bad policy maker.Why trust her now?
— Western Culture Alliance (@WCA_1) February 17, 2019
Merkel should stop buying so much Russian oil and gas. She is doing Putin’s bidding…
— Brett Far (@13Bladerunner) February 17, 2019
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