US President Donald Trump is getting quite carried away with starting fights; he is becoming the Shame of the Nation and World for that matter.

After recognising Jerusalem al-Quds as the capital of the usurper regime of Israel to detract attention from the defeat of Daesh and the failure of the Kurdistan project he is now trying to provoke everyone else in sight, with the enthusiasm of the teenager who’s just discovered an idea others have known about for centuries.  Trump is so far unique amongst US presidents in using his Twitter account to conduct a parallel policy without using the proper channels. He chose to make his first tweet of the New Year an attack on Pakistan, declaring that the US should not have given it so much aid because it was harbouring the alleged terrorists. He then threatened to cut funding to the Palestinian Authority on the grounds that it is not negotiating for peace in the Middle East, after he himself had done the one thing he knew would harm such negotiations by recognising Jerusalem al-Quds. It didn’t stop there. Seth Here’s more on Trump’s wrong and selfish presidency in the White House, from an article by Ferris, an investigative journalist and political scientist, who is an expert on Middle Eastern affairs.

After North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un delivered a predictable New Year message which suggested he would talk to South Korea but not to the US because it was threatening him, Trump responded by characteristically tweeting: “North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!”  This is the same Donald Trump who promised to end US involvement in costly foreign wars. He also promised to make other NATO countries pay a bigger share of the costs of existing operations. He has discovered that both of these things are more difficult than he first thought. So now the policy has subtly changed.

Trump is still trying to save money by getting NATO states to foot more of the bill. But he is doing this by provoking new conflicts with countries he has threatened to cut off aid to. The US won’t pay for those conflicts, because it has already announced it will not be spending more money on those countries. Therefore Trump will balance his own budget, and make America financially superior, by making everyone else pay for wars he has started.

If his allies don’t like that, they can try and prevent these wars through diplomacy. But again, such diplomacy would not involve the US because it is ceasing to act as an honest broker.

Trump will create a mess and everyone else will have to clean it up, or break their alliance with the US, which no one is going to do because it remains the least BAD alternative for most states. Such actions will doubtless reconfigure the global order, as Trump wants. According to his logic, it is other countries that will have to bear the cost of doing this while the US does what it wants without having to agree anything with anyone. Finally we know what he always meant by Let’s Make America Great Again. But can such a policy ever work, in a world which is growing increasingly tired of the antics of the first president to make Nixon look reasonable and George W. Bush intelligent?

Trump’s attitude towards other countries is typical of someone brought up to believe in American Exceptionalism. This is the same World outlook that Trump used in defeating Hillary Clinton. In his view, the US rules the world both politically and economically through some inherent superiority in its nature. Other countries are just exotic irritations, one who suck off US aid and never contribute anything of their own, as they have nothing to teach the automatically superior US of A.

Consequently, Trump does not see any need to have a financial arrangement with countries which take away American jobs and siphon off US cash without being able to give anything in return. Even if they house bases and missiles, these countries start attaching conditions to their presence the US might not like, which is seen as ingratitude. Therefore the way to bring them to heel, under the heel, as Trump deems fit; it is to cut off the aid so they come running back to the US and renounce things like sovereignty and markets of their own.

The US has had a succession of presidents who seem incapable of understanding that the rest of the world doesn’t see the US that way. Each country believes it has its own value, and can form its own partnerships based on recognition of that value. No matter how poor and economically dependent any country is, it will at least make a show of making its own decisions, particularly when threatened by its alleged friends. Furthermore, in most of the developing world, rulers are beholden in practice to foreign political and economic interests rather than their people. Every tin pot ruler loves to strengthen their own position by getting the people on their side, as they often do if their countries’ friends attack them. Even if they derive no long term benefit from this, they can be entangled in a blaze of glory and thus achieve a lasting fame which transcends the problems of actually running their countries.

This latest stunt will not simply create conflict between the US bloc and countries Trump doesn’t want to spend money on. It will divide his allies, just as the Jerusalem al-Quds decision will, into the so-called “moderates” and “intransigents”. These so-called moderates will back the US regardless, and get aid, the intransigents won’t and will have to fend for themselves. The geopolitical consequences of this shift are presently incalculable, but Trump will not be concerned, as any alteration of the world order simply proves him right, in his own eyes, if it is the consequence of his own logic.

If Trump wants to accuse Pakistan of being a bad country there are several things he can pick on. For example, it has a nuclear programme, just like North Korea. Trump won’t pay any attention to the fact that the country was sponsored to be the bad guy in its region to control other countries, and the West gave it the very things it is always complaining about, so this accusation would stick. But instead he accuses Pakistan of harbouring terrorists, as if this is a breach of the aid conditions. At a time when the country is increasingly less useful to Western ambitions, its main geopolitical purpose is to do just this, but it would cease to have any influence if it said so. This is the one allegation Pakistanis will not accept, and the one which will drive them into the arms of other sponsors, thus putting other Western countries, and particularly the ones with visible Pakistani communities, in a corner they will try and avoid being in.

Similarly, the Palestinians are not going to be lectured on “lack of respect” by the country which played a large part in dispossessing them and leaving them to the mercy of the usurper regime of Israel and its Zionist backers, whose Palestinian population have been treated a second class citizens ever since its establishment. Respect is a very important factor in Arab and Muslim communities in general, which are very ancient and cultured and expect recognition of these facts. This is why Palestinians once regarded the US support as respect for themselves and their claims, not the other way round.

Trump recognising Jerusalem al-Quds as the capital of the Zionist regime negates one of those claims, and therefore frees Palestinians from any obligation they might have felt to support the US, aid recipient or not, particularly when the US is the greatest friend of their greatest enemy, Israel. Once again this will change the configuration of relations in the Arab world, and have a knock-on effect on other countries individual states and groups are allied with. Nor is Kim Jong-Un going to care how big Trump’s nuclear button is, and if he even has one. It is even debatable if US military leaders would let Trump near such a button. Nonetheless, Kim Jong-Un knows that the survival of his government depends on firm control, and that this can only be exercised by convincing his own citizens of how powerful he and their country are. This is why he needs nuclear weapons far more than Trump, and Trump is doing more to support Kim’s reputation as a leader than could have ever been hoped for. If Trump’s allies are bankrupted by wars he has started over countries he is not going to give any more aid to this makes the US even more dominant. The rest of the West will apparently have no choice but to accept America’s lead but pay for the privilege on-their-own. The only way out would be to find new partners, new markets, which would pit current allies against each other and create more problems than it would solve, at least in the short term.

In effect, this is how the US operated in World War Two, by joining in late and then indebting its allies with the Marshall Plan Aid in its wake; there were alternative mechanisms available. Those debts were eventually repaid, and the EU has replaced the US as the world’s largest trading bloc. It makes a lot of sense for the US to adapt this historic model to new circumstances, and try and achieve another reconfiguration of the world on US terms, which is what the Cold War was all about—debt slavery, beggar-thy-neighbour, etc.

However Trump is the last person to understand that this creates a vacuum into which a new nation, or group of nations, can fill the leadership role the US has long been given by force. He cannot conceive an America without Exceptionalism! In his view, the US only has to snap its fingers and everyone will fall into line behind it. If he spent more time, or any, meeting the populations of countries which have suffered US dominance for generations he would discover the same level of resentment that Eastern Bloc people once had for the Soviet Union, and we all saw how that turned out. Trump causes conflicts and makes others pay to sort them out.

Trump may destroy America, and a lot of its allies with it, but he will escape more or less intact. As his business record shows, he will think the suffering of others is worth it. People wondered when he was elected what difference it would make to have a businessman with no political experience in one of the most powerful job on earth. 2018 will be the year when we all come to terms with what that difference is!

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Jan 11, 2018 09:16 UTC
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