Speaking of George Friedman...

The party of Chancellor Angela Merkel no longer uses the word “friend” to describe the United States in its platform. But in fact, Merkel has blamed Trump for a rupture he has little to do with. At issue are the national interests of both countries. Germany needs for the European Union to be economically healthy enough to buy the exports on which its economy depends, but the United States, which has little leverage or stake in the European Union, sees its disintegration as a European problem.

The divergence between the United States and Germany has been growing since 2008, and there is little Trump could have done to change things.

Congratulations on at least admitting when you, or your source, sbeen touched!

Thank you, CK. I blame my source--he fucked me.

...that plunge at the end of the opinion chart strikes me as a bit more like a total sudden collapse, or fall off a cliff, than the emergence of enthusiasm for Hula Hoops or nose-rings...

When sales of Hula Hoops or nose-rings or Beatles records undergo a total sudden collapse--or a total sudden increase--geopolitical realities remain unaffected. Phony Trumpmania will have the same non-effect. The faddish politics of baizuo don't matter to the mountain of Kunlun.

Another way of looking at the contretemps between Trump and das deutsche Volk is that it really doesn't matter regardless of one's analysis, since there isn't anything going on in Europe at the present time that need worry us or them. So what if they strike the obligatory pose of baizuo vis a vis Trump? Europe is at peace--and the bogeyman Russia, with one-tenth the GDP of NATO-Europe (one-tenth!) isn't really a threat.

The other part of President Trump's trip--the Middle Eastern part--seemed to highlight an improvement of relations with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel, in a region where improved relations with our allies might actually make a difference, given that region's continuing turmoil.

Having said that, I think you do make an interesting point about the latent instability of the United States and the prospective effect of that instability on geopolitical arrangements.

So long as we're having recourse to the figure of relations between states as marriages, the United States themselves are like a marriage--and an abusive one at that. Long ago, one party to the marriage--let's think of it as the wife--decided she couldn't stand to be married to her husband anymore and she upped and left. Unfortunately for her, her husband tracked her down and beat her to a bloody pulp, until she agreed to come back. The couple hasn't exactly lived happily ever after since and one might suppose that on that basis they never will.

Touché, MacLeod.

But let's not forget Bhadrakumar's overarching point--that geopolitical constraints will compel the German government to seek a close relationship with the dis-United States, regardless of the superficies of German public opinion's disapproval of NSA overreach and Donald Trump.

Disapprobation of Donald Trump is currently a Western fad, a kind of political fashion among the bohemian bourgeoisie, about as substantive as Beatlemania. Those sorts of voguish enthusiams don't compete well with geopolitical necessities.