By Dimitris Konstantakopoulos
Hope dies last. The same is happening with self-deception. The identification of the mainstream Western establishment (and most of the so-called Left in the West), with neoliberal policies and, in particular, NATO’s war against Russia, has renewed in the US and internationally the hopes that perhaps Trump and the (international) current he represents can offer a solution. Times of despair and confusion are the most fertile ground for the policies of fraud and demagoguery.
As far as Ukraine is concerned, Trump, as usual, has said everything in order to win from everywhere. He has said, among other things, that if he had been president there would not have been war, that if he had been president he would have already threatened Russia with nuclear strikes and that negotiations need to be started because Biden is taking us to nuclear war. He has also expressed appreciation for the way Putin is acting, implying that he is a strong leader in Russia, just as Trump himself would be for America.
There is a small difference between Russia and the United States. One of the main reasons that the former has needed a strong state has been the constant threat and aggression with which it has been confronted from the West. Russia has suffered more than ten invasions from the West during the last centuries (through Ukraine and Belarus, incidentally). A “strong state” in the United States will serve primarily to consolidate American sovereignty worldwide (that is the meaning of America First and MAGA).
There is no more important and probably fatal strategic mistake than to confuse the role of different nationalisms. American nationalism is an imperial phenomenon, while the Russian “nationalism” of our era is mainly Moscow’s answer to what it understands (correctly) as permanent and unacceptable western aggression.
Trump’s great success has been his capacity to present himself both as a sort of pacifist (appealing to those tired by the “never ending wars”) and as a belligerent (the meaning of the “America first” slogan is that America will push everybody else, Europe, Russia, China to second, third or tenth place, but the only way to do this is by threatening or launching wars).
The lack of coherence in Trump’s messages does not bother him. On the contrary, it is his political method par excellence. He needs irrationalism because he has no rational solution to propose (for the same reason Fascists and Nazis in the past needed irrationalism and fraud. Nobody would vote for them if they knew what they would do). But, of course, the only reason Trump can successfully use incoherence and irrationalism is the fact that the Democratic Party – unfortunately also its “Left” – has surrendered unconditionally to the western oligarchy and – in particular – to the extremist “War Party” in the West.
In reality we have no reason to believe that Trump would have behaved in a very different way to that of Biden, when faced with a Russian military intervention in Ukraine. But all this is hypothesis. To judge Trump, it is much more important to analyse not what he says or what we suppose he would do, but what he has done while he was President. After all, Trump is not a newcomer. He and his administration have ruled the US for four years. Here is a quick reminder of their policies:
1. Trump did not make the slightest concession or change regarding NATO’s goal to include Ukraine, nor did he do anything to implement, during his four years in office, the Minsk agreements or to stop Kiev’s military pressure on the Donbass population. He continued supporting the policies which have finally provoked the present extremely dangerous conflict.
It was under Trump’s presidency that the United States began to deliver lethal weapons to Ukraine for the first time. It was under his administration that the US and NATO built the formidable war machine Russians are now confronting.
During all the time that Trump’s administration was helping the building of the Ukrainian war machine, the President was creating the impression, or was accused by his opponents, as being a friend or even an agent of Moscow! This case is somewhat reminiscent of the “friendship” between Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Russia, which was terminated by the former attacking the latter. We cannot exclude that this historic precedent may have inspired the global power centres which manipulate today’s politicians, including the Presidents of the United States.
The result of the impression that Trump was somehow a friend of Russia was that he acquired a” peace-loving ” profile, while negative impressions were created about Russia by Western popular strata that remain opposed to the Far Right. ‘Well done!’, as the Americans would say.
2. Three months after taking power, in April 2017, Donald Trump launched a missile attack on Syria, where Russian troops are stationed, and then sent his Secretary of State Tillerson to Moscow to say to the Russians “either with us or with Assad.” With the attack he tested Moscow’s nuclear reflexes for the first time. He did the same with Beijing, through the threats to North Korea.
3. Trump is the first U.S. President to legitimise the use of nuclear weapons, with his speech to the U. N. General Assembly in 2017, when he threatened North Korea – a country of 25 million people – with extinction. In vain, the American newspapers sought the author of this speech, which was made after Trump’s one-hour meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu. Mr. Netanyahu is the historic leader and the original financier of the present generation of American neocons who designed and launched the Middle Eastern wars. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Clean_Break:_A_New_Strategy_for_Securing_the_Realm.) Let us also note at this point that Mr. Netanyahu appears also as a friend of Putin’s Russia, only it was his country that sent out the first equipment to the Azov militia! After all, given the decisive influence of the Lobby in the US and the EU, it would be very difficult, if not impossible, for the US and EU to adopt the anti-Russian hysteria policy of recent years, without the Lobby’s agreement.
4. It was under Trump, in 2018, that a new US strategy was adopted in which “terrorism” (Islam, or at least its radical version) was replaced by Russia and China as the main opponents of the US. This is the strategy already being implemented against Moscow and Beijing. As Michael Klare wrote, we transited under Trump from Obama’s “wars that never end” to preparing for “cataclysmic conflicts.”
5. During the Trump administration, the INF treaty banning highly destabilising medium-range nuclear weapons in Europe was repealed, as was the “Open Skies” Treaty. The START Treaty on the control of strategic nuclear weapons would have been abolished if, in the meantime, Biden had not taken power in the United States.
6. Under the Trump administration, the United States has embarked on a massive programme of modernisation of its nuclear forces, which Biden is continuing, with the exception of a few cuts in the missile systems that are planned to be developed.
7. Under the Trump administration have been designed the gigantic NATO (+its allies) exercises See Breeze, with war against Russia as their scenario, which took place in the summer of 2021 with the scenario of war against Russia, which took place in the summer of 2021. Under Trump, the encirclement of Russia with NATO troops and bases continued.
8. Donald Trump launched the trade and “ideological” war against China, the later by speaking of the “Chinese virus” (and also by supporting the ridiculous theory that climate change is a myth invented by China).
9. Trump’s administration denounced the agreement of the United States and Iran, paving the way for a major war against that country. The Trump administration ordered also the assassination of the Iranian leader Soleimani in an attempt to start the Great War against Tehran, which has been the burning desire of Israel and American neoconservatives for decades. Trump also satisfied Israel’s and Netanyahu’s most extremist demands concerning Jerusalem, Golan etc. He also maintained a very close relationship with Netanyahu through his son-in-law Kushner. In spite of being himself a Christian (of the “casino variant”) he encouraged his own daughter to change her religion and become a Jewess in order to marry Kushner. His daughter did not wanted to in the beginning, but finally agreed to it.
10. According to revelations by the US press, the leadership of the US armed forces, fearing that Trump was capable of launching a nuclear war against China during the “interregnum”, when he had lost but was still president, went so far as to contact the leadership of the Chinese army to assure it that they will not execute a nuclear strike against Beijing, even if the President gives such an order.
11. It is worth noting at this point that Trump’s “like-minded” ally Boris Johnson distinguished himself in the provocations against Moscow, such as when he personally approved, in the summer of 2021, the route of a British warship which entered the territorial waters of Crimea.
12. The choice of people like John Bolton and Michael Pompeo as National Security Advisers needs no comment. They are more extremist than extremists.
13. US under Trump tried to overthrow Maduro and have imposed sanctions to a record number of countries.
This is the true account of Trump’s tenure. As for the Republicans, they voted by a large majority all Biden’s bills on Ukraine.
It is therefore advisable not to entertain many hopes that the western extreme or radical right will end, on its own initiative the war with Russia which is – in reality – the beginning of WWIII. Of course, any differentiation of any western politician or western political party can be tactically useful to provoke some cracks in this (Un)Holy Alliance pushing humanity to its termination. But, as things stand today, an end to the war against Russia could only come about if powerful forces within the big western Capital itself, combined perhaps with an uprising of the European peoples who are paying dearly for the cost of NATO’s campaign, were to impose a change of policy. Let us hope such a revolt of both sectors of the western ruling classes and popular forces will be produced.
PS.:We consider a serious symptom of the intellectual decline of our world, that too few people take into consideration the personal history of the people on whom they issue judgments. Speaking of Trump, his intellectual mentor was Roy Cohn, who was Joseph McCarthy’s chief counsel during the years of his anti-Soviet and anticommunist which-hunt in the US. As for Trump’s ex-wife Ivana, she has said that the ex-President used to read Mein Kampf before sleeping.