No matter how hard White House officials try, they cannot construct a coherent ‘Trump doctrine’ that would make sense amid the chaos that has afflicted US foreign policy in recent months.
However, this chaos is not entirely the making of President Donald Trump alone.
Since 1945, the United States has vied for total global leadership. The 1991 dissolution of the Soviet Union, and the subsequent disintegration of the Eastern Bloc, gave it complete global hegemony.
The US became the force that stabilized and destabilized any region in the world, as it saw fit – which always served the interests of the US and its allies.
Political opinions and ideological strands in the US, but also globally, were formulated around this reality. Often unwittingly, we are all pushed into one of two categories: pro- or anti-American.
For decades, many critical voices warned of an uncontested unipolar world. Conformists fought back against the ‘un-American’, and ‘unpatriotic’ few, who dared break rank.
In the late 1980’s, Francis Fukuyama declared ‘the end of history’, now that the US and its western allies managed to defeat communism. He prophesized the end of ‘sociocultural evolution’, where a new form of a single human government can be formed.
It appeared, however fleetingly, that all the obstacles before the American vision of total domination have been subdued. Thomas Friedman of the ‘New York Times’ imagined such a world in his bestselling book, ‘The World is Flat’.
He wrote, with the wisdom of a sage and the triumphalism of a victorious war general, “Communism was a great system for making people equally poor – in fact, there was no better system in the world for that than communism. Capitalism made people unequally rich.”
But history never ended. It just went through a new cycle of conflicts, problems and alliances of enemies and foes. Unchecked consumerism was hardly a triumph for the neoliberal order, but a defeat of a delicately balanced planet, where global warming emerged as the world’s greatest enemy. American military power could hardly wait to rearrange the Arab world, as once promised, by former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Since then, the so-called ‘New Middle East’, has become a horrifying nightmare that traversed many countries and destabilized the entire region.
Worse still, the US economy has crashed, taking down with it the global economy and reducing some of the smallest, most vulnerable countries into abject poverty.
The rise of Donald Trump to power is, in fact, an outcome of the chaotic years that preceded his advent.
By the end of his second term, former President Barack Obama spoke of his success in stabilizing the economy and creating more jobs in a process of swift recovery, contrary to real evidence.
A US Federal Reserve survey last year concluded that nearly half of all Americans “did not have enough money to cover a $400 emergency expense.”
Americans did not elect Trump simply because they are ‘racist’, as some have presumed, but because they are desperate.
He knew how to exploit the many woes of his people with ‘Making America Great Again’ type of mantras.
For most Americans, Friedman’s ‘unequally rich’ paradigm seemed like detached, intellectual nonsense.
Expectedly, the greatest backlash to Trump’s chaotic politics emanates from the liberal and neoliberal forces in politics and economy that had assiduously defended the failing American order for many years.
They continue to rebrand the failures of the past as either astounding success, or well-intentioned but unsuccessful endeavors to make the world a better place.
Read this self-delusional discourse in the Brookings Institute to understand the complete lack of introspection.
“No American president since 1945, whether Republican or Democrat, has broken so decisively with the American stewardship of the postwar liberal global order,” wrote Constanze Stelzenmüller recently, with reference to Trump’s policies towards Europe and the rest of the world.
She opines: “In the service of the higher good of world peace, even the victorious superpower was willing to be bound to universal rules—a concession that admitted the existence of a worldwide community of humanity based on shared values rather than the principle of ‘might makes right.’”
It is a view that is largely inconsistent with history. Immediately following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the US ‘might makes right’ became the new doctrine that was championed by every US administration.
In fact, Iraq was bombed by all US Presidents since George H. Bush in 1991.
Trump represents a strange amalgamation of American military power, business monopoly and media savviness. He seems smart enough to understand that his country requires a change of course, but neither has the will, the wisdom nor skills to guide it into any other direction.
After six months in the Oval Office, he is presiding over the same old power struggle between the neoconservative-type ideologues, who want to see more interventions to rearrange the world as they see fit, and the military brass, who want the US military to reign supreme, but on a steady and predicable course.
While Trump himself rejected the idea of regime change during his campaign for office, Politico reported on June 25 that his Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, “appeared to endorse subverting the Iranian regime,” and the “philosophy of regime change.”
Meanwhile, the ideologues vs. the military brass battle, which had defined both terms of the George W. Bush administration, is back.
Foreign Policy described that ongoing fight in details in a revealing report on June 16.
Top White House officials, led by senior director for intelligence on the National Security Council, Ezra Cohen, want to expand the Syria war, taking the focus away from defeating ISIS to target American foes involved in that proxy war. Defense Secretary, James Mattis, wants to stay the course. The impulsive way in which Trump makes his decision, the pendulum could swing in any direction without warning or logic.
Contradictions in US foreign policy emerge almost daily.
US United Nations Ambassador, Nikki Haley, seems to be running a show of her own, independent of Trump’s administration. She recently declared that Muslim sites in Occupied East Jerusalem are part of “Israeli territory“, before stressing that she is ‘unclear of official US policy on the issue.’
While chaos and contradictions abound, Trump’s allies are simply unable to sum up the ‘Trump doctrine.’ A top administration official told the Time that it is a “combination of very good personal skills – one-on-one … defeating ISIS and … commitment to people that there are certain things that the United States isn’t going to put up with.”
While such ‘doctrine’ lacks any serious substance, previous doctrines are equally useless, for none offers a real vision that is predicated on achieving a multipolar world, which is based on mutual respect and adhering to an equitable frame of reference, such as international laws.
This chaos will continue to bode badly for the Arab world and Middle East region, in particular. Since Bush’s disastrous war in Iraq, Obama’s ‘pivot to Asia’ and the onset of the current turmoil, the region has been in flames.
Unable to offer a courageous diagnosis of the violence, the Trump administration is parroting the same old jingoism of defeating ‘Islamic terrorism.’
Lacking a vision for peace and unable to win the war, the US administration seems to have no plan, except inconsistent, self-contradictory policies – while blaming everyone else, but never once introspecting.
It turns out that the world is, indeed, not ‘flat’ at all and that history remains in motion, moving beyond the jurisdiction of a single country.
But until the US leadership – Trump’s or any other – realizes such a notion, the world, in general, and the Arab world, in particular, will continue to suffer the consequences wrought by imperial arrogance and impulsive politicians.
Originally published in 2017-07-06
About the author: Dr. Ramzy Baroud has been writing about the Middle East for over 20 years. He is an internationally-syndicated columnist, a media consultant, an author of several books and the founder of PalestineChronicle.com. His books include “Searching Jenin”, “The Second Palestinian Intifada” and his latest “My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story”. His website is www.ramzybaroud.net
Source: Counter Currents
Origins of immages: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google & Pinterest.
Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!
Donate to Support Us
We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.
“Neocons” believe that the United States should not be ashamed to use its unrivaled power – forcefully if necessary – to promote its values around the world. Some even speak of the need to cultivate a US empire. Neoconservatives believe modern threats facing the US can no longer be reliably contained and therefore must be prevented, sometimes through preemptive military action.
Most neocons believe that the US has allowed dangers to gather by not spending enough on defense and not confronting threats aggressively enough. One such threat, they contend, was Saddam Hussein and his pursuit of weapons of mass destruction. Since ...
Israel’s Maariv newspaper has revealed that the government of the Zionist state is planning to drop a political bombshell in the coming weeks by presenting a bill in the Knesset (parliament) calling for the annexation of land occupied since 1967. It is likely to have the support of the majority of Knesset members. The newspaper added that the right wing has chosen this time for the move ahead of the US presidential election; America, it is believed, will be too preoccupied to care about what is happening in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Preliminary talks about a first stage have been held, ...
In an email sent to his business partner and Democratic fundraiser Jeffrey Leeds, former Secretary of State Colin Powell wrote of Hillary Clinton, “Everything HRC touches she kind of screws up with hubris.”
Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State during Barack Obama’s first term was an unmitigated disaster for many nations around the world. Neither the Donald Trump campaign nor the corporate media have adequately described how a number of countries around the world suffered horribly from Mrs. Clinton’s foreign policy decisions.
Millions of people were adversely harmed by Clinton’s misguided policies and her “play-to-pay” operations involving favors in return for donations ...
There was a time when Russophobia served as an effective form of population control – used by the American ruling class in particular to command the general US population into patriotic loyalty. Not any longer. Now, Russophobia is a sign of weakness, of desperate implosion among the US ruling class from their own rotten, internal decay.
This propaganda technique worked adequately well during the Cold War decades when the former Soviet Union could be easily demonized as «godless communism» and an «evil empire». Such stereotypes, no matter how false, could be sustained largely because of the monopoly control of Western media ...
If Trump can defeat the oligarchy and save America, he can go down in history as Trump the Great.
Liberals, progressives, and the left-wing (to the extent that one still exists) are aligning with the corrupt oligarchy against president-elect Trump and the American people.
They are busy at work trying to generate hysteria over Trump’s “authoritarian personality and followers.” In other words, the message is: here come the fascists.
Liberals and progressives wailed and whined about “an all white male cabinet,” only to be made fools by Trump’s appointment of a black male and two women, one a minority and one a Trump ...
I graduated from the exact same PHD Program at Harvard that produced Kissinger and Brzezinski before me. They gave me Kissinger’s old office at Harvard’s Center for International Affairs. I also went through the exact same Soviet/Russian Studies Program at Harvard that produced Brzezinski before me, and passed my PHD Oral/General Examinations in Soviet Politics and Russian History under Adam Ulam and Ned Keenan, respectively. R.I.P. Obama was behind me at Harvard Law School.
Brzezinski has been Obama’s mentor and foreign policy guru since Obama’s student days at Columbia. Zbig ran Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign on foreign affairs and defense, and ...
According to news reports and to this appeal by Kristoferis Voishka, the pro-American government installed in Lithuania is persecuting Lithuanians who dissent from the anti-Russian propaganda that is driving Washington’s NATO puppets to war with Russia. Unlike their puppet government, Lithuanians understand that war with Russia means that Lithuania on the front line will be utterly destroyed, a result that would not bother Washington in the least, just as Washington is undisturbed when its forces obliterate weddings, funerals, and children’s soccer games.
What is Lithuania? To Washington it is a nothing.
Kristoferis Voiska runs an alternative Internet news site in LIthuania. Not ...
The president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking at a conference entitled the “The Spirit of Turkey’s New Security,” referring to the Treaty of Lausanne, said:
“The Turkish Republic is the last state that we founded with whatever was left over from all the self-sacrifices we were able to make... We are heirs of a nation that saw its territory expand to 22 million kilometers. Shortly before the Republic was founded, we had 3 million kilometers which kept diminishing until all we had left was 780,000 kilometers. Some may be offended at my mention of Lausanne. But why does it bother ...
Has your electric garage door stopped working? Does your dog wake up in the middle of the night and begin howling? Is the weather unseasonably hot, cold, windy, dry or wet? Has your television set (or refrigerator, or sound system or home alarm) inexplicably turned on, or off?
If one uncritically viewed the corporate-controlled media and accepted at face value the statements of much of official Washington, especially the Democratic Party, one could easily draw the conclusion that the Russians did it.
A paranoid frenzy is gripping the US political and media establishment. A ruling elite that commands the world’s largest economy ...
The Supreme Court’s acceptance of a case about the allocation of voting districts will have consequences far beyond the millions of U.S. taxpayers its ruling may deprive of representation. A decision that only counts voters, rather than all persons, will undermine the very foundation of the Republic.
The American Revolution was fought over “taxation without representation,” and those who wrote the Constitution carefully apportioned taxation and representation among the states “according to their respective Numbers . . . of free Persons . . . and . . . three-fifths of all other Persons.” The authors clearly equated We, the People with ...
Forty-three years ago on September 11, 1973, the Chilean military led by General Augusto Pinochet, crushed the democratically elected Unidad Popular government of Salvador Allende.
The objective was to replace a progressive, democratically elected government by a brutal military dictatorship.
The military coup was supported by the CIA. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger played a direct role in the military plot. (Nixon and Kissinger, image right)
For details see: http://globalresearch.ca/articles/KOR309A.html and references below.
In the weeks leading up the coup, US Ambassador Nathaniel Davis and members of the CIA held meetings with Chile’s top military brass together with the leaders of the National Party and the ...
The study of world power has been blighted by Eurocentric historians who have distorted and ignored the dominant role China played in the world economy between 1100 and 1800. John Hobson’s brilliant historical survey of the world economy during this period provides an abundance of empirical data making the case for China ’s economic and technological superiority over Western civilization for the better part of a millennium prior to its conquest and decline in the 19th century.
China ’s re-emergence as a world economic power raises important questions about what we can learn from its previous rise and fall and about ...
As the Duran reported, it was only a matter of time before the ‘Putin Did It’ (see The Duran Lexicon for more) line crept back into the news in light of a re-opened FBI investigation, following the discovery more incriminating Hillary Clinton emails. Sure enough, Howard Dean, the man who ended his own presidential campaign by acting like a crazed hooligan on stage, has said that now the FBI and Putin are on the same side.
This comes days after Putin reassured the world that he really doesn’t want, need or care to meddle in the US election. Of course the usual suspects in the western ...
On Tuesday, March 7th, Russia’s top parliamentarian dealing with the Ukrainian refugee influx into Russia — dealing, that is, with the people who have fled Ukraine as a result of U.S. President Barack Obama’s 2014 coup overthrowing Ukraine’s democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovych — presented the first-ever comprehensive number of asylum-applicants from Ukraine who have received asylum there after that February 2014 coup. The Russian government had never before publicly provided a number, but does have an established system of processing refugees, including assignment of official refugee status, which «allows the recipient various social benefits, including unemployment compensation» and so each Ukrainian refugee has ...
For the first time since WW II, overt fascists hold real power in Europe. Radicalized ultranationalists. Anti-Semites. Hate-mongers.
Cold-blooded killers. Whitewashing high crimes. A puppet regime. America’s newest colony.
Mocking democratic values. Violating fundamental rule of law principles. Unaccountably.
Western leaders won’t explain. Nor will the media. Hard truths are buried.
Ukraine’s government usurped power forcibly. Putschist rule has no legitimacy.
Especially regimes waging war on their own people. Murdering them in cold blood. Committing horrendous human rights abuses.
Tolerating no opposition. Ruling by intimidation. Force-feeding neoliberal harshness on impoverished people. Making life unbearable overall. More on this below.
On December 4, Wall Street Journal editors published ...
Professor David Ray Griffin is a tenacious person. He has written a number of carefully researched books that demonstrate the extraordinary shortcomings in the official account of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon and the subsequent anthrax attack. He has provided the mountains of evidence completely ignored by the US government’s account and the presstitute media.
In his recently published latest book, Bush and Cheney: How They Ruined America and the World , Professor Griffin demonstrates how 9/11 was used by the Zionist Neoconservatives, the Cheney/Bush regime, and the military/security complex with the complicity of Congress and ...
War with Russia appears increasingly likely as the US and its NATO satraps continue their military provocations of Moscow.
As dangers mount, our foolish politicians should all be forced to read, and then re-read, Prof. Christopher Clark’s magisterial book, ‘The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914.’ What is past increasingly appears prologue.
Prof. Clark carefully details how small cabals of anti-German senior officials in France, Britain and Russia engineered World War I, a dire conflict that was unnecessary, idiotic, and illogical. Germany and Austria-Hungary of course share some the blame, but to a much lesser degree than the bellicose French, ...
The edifice of the post-1991 world order is collapsing right before our eyes. President Putin’s decision to give a miss to the Auschwitz pilgrimage, right after his absence in Paris at Charlie festival, gave it the last shove. It was good clean fun to troll Russia, as long as she stayed the course. Not anymore. Russia broke the rules.
Until now, Russia, like a country bumpkin in Eton, tried to belong. It attended the gathering of the grandees where it was shunned, paid its dues to European bodies that condemned it, patiently suffered ceaseless hectoring of the great powers and irritating baiting of the East European small-timers alike. But something broke there. The lad does ...
In the spirit of the New Cold War and following on its success in snuffing out South Stream, the US has prioritized its efforts in obstructing Russia’s Balkan Stream pipeline, and for the most part, they’ve regretfully succeeded for the time being. The first challenge came from the May 2015 Color Revolution attempt in Macedonia, which thankfully was repulsed by the country’s patriotic citizenry. Next up on the destabilization agenda was the political turmoil that threatened to take hold of Greece in the run-up and aftermath of the austerity referendum, the idea being that if Tsipras were deposed, then Balkan ...
American foreign policy seems to be designed to infuriate everyone, friend and foe alike, though we realise the word “friend” is a euphemism for “useful for American interests.” In a futile attempt to reassert its world hegemony the American ruling class has ripped up or is forcing changes to, free trade agreements with Canada and Mexico, with the EU and Pacific nations, ignores the World Trade Organisation rules, has reneged on the agreement it forced down Iran’s throat at the point of a gun with regard to a supposed nuclear weapons development, imposed economic blockades on Iran and Russia that ...
Neocon 101: What do Neoconservatives Believe?
Reviving the Greater Israel Scheme
Countries Destroyed by Hillary Clinton
Russophobia – Symptom of US Implosion
The Anti-Russian Warmongering
Lithuanians under Police State Attack and the World under Washington’s Attack
Appeasing the Butchers of Humanity
The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming!
Voting Discrimination in America
Chile, September 11, 1973
China: Rise, Fall and Re-Emergence as a Global Power
Here’s your ‘Putin Did It!’ Survival Guide…
Obama’s Ukrainian Coup Caused 2.5 Million Ukrainian Refugees into Russia
Ukraine: Fascist Dictatorship Masquerading as Democracy
How the US Became a Warmonger Police State
Do We Really Want War with Russia?
A Hybrid War to Break the Balkans?
American Foreign Policy Infuriates Everyone