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.
[wpedon id=”4696″ align=”left”]
With rare exception, the question of whether the atomic bombs were necessary to end World War Two is debated only deep within the safety of academic circles.
Could a land invasion have been otherwise avoided? Would more diplomacy have achieved the same ends without the destruction of two cities? Could an atomic test on a deserted island have convinced the Japanese? Was the surrender instead driven primarily by the entry of the Soviets into the Pacific War, which, by historical accident, took place two days after Hiroshima—and the day before Nagasaki was immolated?
But it is not only the history of the ...
The U.N. Organization was established in 1945 for the very security reason – to preserve the peace in the world. We believe that the governmental bodies and administrative structures of the U.N. have to be composed by the proved democratically oriented politicians and magistrates but above all this requirement has to be applied to the post and function of the U.N. Secretary-General. Nevertheless, in the history of the U.N. there is at least one (extremely) problematic appointment to the post of the U.N. Secretary-General: Kurt Waldheim from Austria.
On the official website of the U.N. about its fourth Secretary-General one can ...
The negotiations on Brexit are attracting a lot of attention. In particular, the possible erosion of the rights of around three million EU-27 citizens living in Britain is a major cause for concern.The European Parliament resolution adopted on 3 October states that “the withdrawal agreement must incorporate the full set of rights citizens currently enjoy, such that there is no material change in their position”.The main author of this text, Mr Guy Verhofstadt, the EP Brexit Coordinator, argues that such an approach – not to lower the level of citizens’ rights – is “the goal of democracy”. But why was ...
The weapons are foreign, the fighters are foreign, the agenda is foreign. As Syrian forces fight to wrest control of their country back and restore order within their borders, the myth of the “Syrian civil war” continues on. Undoubtedly there are Syrians who oppose the Syrian government and even Syrians who have taken up arms against the government and in turn, against the Syrian people, but from the beginning (in fact before the beginning) this war has been driven from abroad. Calling it a “civil war” is a misnomer as much as calling those taking up arms “opposition.” It is not ...
Since the disintegration of Yugoslavia in the nineties, its former constituent republics have been mired in a state of perpetual conflict.Nowhere is this more apparent than the contested state of Kosovo.In 1998, Albanian separatists in the Serbian province of Kosovo i Metohija began a campaign of attacks, with the express objective of creating a unified, ethnically homogenous, Greater Albanian state. Spearheaded by an organization known as the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), which is widely regarded by many nations, including the United States, as a terrorist organization, ethnic Albanian militants attacked Serbian security forces, and terrorized civilians in a brutally violent ...
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford
“For Russia, the war in Afghanistan is a domestic issue, with a direct impact on the drug trade and terrorist attacks on Russian cities”.
If the United States were not a superpower, it would be the joke of the planet, a nation whose government tells the most outrageous and ridiculous lies -- and may actually believe them -- and whose corporate media report those lies as gospel truth. The latest whopper comes from the mouth of James “Mad Dog” Mattis, the U.S. Secretary of Defense, who claims the Russians are providing weapons ...
On March 23rd, Gallup headlined “South Sudan, Haiti and Ukraine Lead World in Suffering”, and the Ukrainian part of that can unquestionably be laid at the feet of U.S. President Barack Obama, who in February 2014 imposed upon Ukraine a very bloody coup (see it here), which he and his press misrepresented (and still misrepresent) as being (and still represent as having been) a ‘democratic revolution’, but was nothing of the sort, and actually was instead the start of the Ukrainian dictatorship and the hell that has since destroyed that country, and brought the people there into such misery, it’s now by far ...
Ridvan Haqifi (left) and Lavdrim Muhaxheri (right), two ISIS Kosovo Albanian commanders. | Photo: ISIS propaganda videoAlbert Berisha, a former Kosovar jihadist who travelled to fight in Syria, appeared before a Pristina court on Monday to recount his version of the story and maintain his innocence.Berisha, who graduated in political sciences from the University of Pristina and holds a Masters degree from the University of Tirana, was arrested in 2014 and is charged with participating in terrorist organisations. This crime is punishable with a minimum of five years in prison.Berisha said he went to Syria from October 6 to 20, ...
Saudi Arabia believes that the talks in the Kazakh capital Astana could lead to a stable ceasefire, according to the statement made by the Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir. He expressed hope for reaching a ceasefire saying that the Astana talks are worth testing. He also confessed that so far the negotiation process has not resulted in the halt of fighting and transition to a peaceful settlement.Al-Jubeir also mentioned that if the talks succeed, the way of political means should be studied more closely. He refused to comment on the agenda of the talks, pointing out that its possible success ...
The conflicts that engulfed the former Yugoslavia still remain unresolved in the political arena and open to Western political shenanigans and covert meddling from Turkey and Saudi Arabia in Bosnia and Kosovo. Orthodox Christianity faces many attacks and only a naïve individual would claim that America and the hands of Turkey and Saudi Arabia are clean.
Central Bosnia in 2016: Flags of the ISIS
America and other Western nations did little to stop Turkey invading Cyprus in 1974 and creating a de-facto nation and altering the demographics of northern Cyprus and using this area for military purposes.
Irrespective of the rights and wrongs ...
War is not an anomaly, nor an exception to the rule, it has always been with us and it might always be. Militarism and its practice in war are subcategories of waste (the harmful things we produce such as pollution and bombs) and domains of accumulation themselves. They are also prerequisites for the expansion of capital and its market economy. Much is done to portray war as an inherent attribute of human fallibility or an unintended consequence. However, mainstream concepts associated with the promotion of the market economy are weapons of the ruling class. They are all laced with poison. ...
Peter M. Tase (PMT): Cuales son algunos proyectos de gran importancia para la región que usted ha facilitado durante vuestra trayectoria como representante de la CAF (Development Bank of Latin America)?Dr. Rubén Ramírez Lezcano (RRL): Conozco en profundidad a la organización desde distintas perspectivas habiendo sido Viceministro de Economía y Canciller Nacional del Paraguay y, luego, funcionario de la CAF (Development Bank of Latin America) por muchos años, en los cuales tuve la oportunidad de desempeñarme como Asesor del Presidente primero, posteriormente como Director – Representante de CAF en la oficina de Panamá, con responsabilidades para Centroamérica, El Caribe y México, y ...
US and NATO forces invaded Afghanistan more than 16 years ago in October 2001. It’s has been a continuous war marked by US military occupation.
The justification is “counterterrorism”. Afghanistan is defined as a state sponsor of terrorism, allegedly responsible for attacking America on September 11, 2001.
The war on Afghanistan continues to be heralded as a war of retribution in response to the 9/11 attacks. US troops are still present and deployed in Afghanistan.
The legal argument used by Washington and NATO to invade and occupy Afghanistan under “the doctrine of collective security” was that the September 11 2001 attacks constituted an ...
On January 17, Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada (parliament) passed the bill No. 4128 on new amendments regarding the subordination (denomination) of religious organizations and the procedure of state registration of religious organizations with the status of legal entities. The relevant law No. 2673-VIII was signed by President Poroshenko on January 28 and came into force on January 31, 2019.Though the bill was designed to simplify the process of changing the religious subordination of a religious community, it actually introduces a new, more complicated scheme of registration and reregistration for religious organizations of all confessions including Protestants.So, reregistration becomes not just a ...
The refusal of the United Nations to qualify the recent US airstrike against Syria as an act of aggression makes the Organization irrelevant – something Russia has been trying to prevent. It has become vulnerable to scathing criticism after demonstrating its impotence and inability to act. The continued paralysis is an eloquent example of the UN’s disengagement and lack of political will to fulfill its duty. The Organization’s image has suffered great damage. It still has a chance to rectify it by launching an investigation into what really happened in Syria.
Article One of the UN Charter states that one of the purposes is ...
What was the impact of the 1945 Yalta Conference on Yugoslavia? The key result of the conference for Yugoslavia was that it endorsed and ratified the 1944 agreement between Josip Broz Tito and Ivan Subasic. The end result was that the American, British, and Soviet governments installed a dictatorship in Yugoslavia.
The Allied task was the illusory and chimerical objective of uniting the prewar, monarchist Yugoslav Government-in-Exile based in London headed by Peter II Karadjordjevich with Tito’s de facto anti-monarchist, Soviet-style, Communist government in Belgrade. This was the major issue that was discussed at plenary meetings and foreign ministers sessions at ...
Andrew Bacevich has written a series of books on the topic of U.S. imperialism and U.S. military power. His latest work, America’s War for the Greater Middle East [the GME War] is the latest in this series and as with the previous works is clearly written and logically presented. It covers more narrowly than the previous works the military aspects of U.S. military endeavours in the Middle East (greater – as in including East Africa and Afghanistan et al). Generally he succeeds well and this work is a good ‘primer’ for anyone interested in a quick historical overview of U.S. ...
The American aristocracy want inequality of rights, with two basic polar-opposite classes: the ‘elite’, with themselves at the top of everything, and everybody else below them, as subjects to be ruled by them, in such ways as they (themselves, and their fellow ‘elite’) can agree to do. They are convinced that they have earned their high status, in one way or another, and they compete ferociously amongst themselves, to rise even higher within the aristocracy.Many of the aristocrats think that they are ‘elite’ because they are the richest; many think instead that the ‘elite’ are the smartest or the most ...
By now all international media resources; newspapers, magazines, TV channels, and internet social media, are busy reporting the gruesome murder of Jamal Khashoggi; a Saudi reporter, who was loyal to the regime until he turned against Muhamad bin Salman (MBS) and his suppressive policies.
Once MBS was announced crowned prince in 2015 and started his war against Yemen, critic Khashoggi found it safer for himself to leave Saudi Arabia. He moved first to UK and later to USA. In his writings Khashoggi harshly criticized the policies of the young prince. Eventually he was lured to the Saudi consulate in Turkey, where ...
NATO was always more about offense than defense, about America controlling the policies of Alliance members, increasing their numbers, pressuring them to stress militarism more than they’d chose otherwise – and selling them lots of US weapons.When founded in April 1949, Soviet Russia was a North Atlantic Alliance enemy in name only, ravaged by WW II – needing years after Stalin’s April 1953 death to regain pre-war normality, peace essential to restore it.Washington controls NATO, covering 75% of its budget, calling the shots, installing subservient Alliance officials to serve its agenda.At a time when no US enemies exist, they’re invented ...
A Biography of Kurt Waldheim (Austria) – A Fourth U.N. Secretary-General
The “Non-Citizens” of the Baltic States: Α European Scandal Nobody Speaks about!
Syria: It’s Not a Civil War and it Never Was
The Continued Conflict in Kosovo: The Outright “Criminalization” of the Pristina Government
The U.S., Not Russia, Arms Jihadists Worldwide
What America’s Coup in Ukraine Did
Former Kosovar Jihadist Recounts Syrian Odyssey
Saudi Arabia Reacts to Preparation for Astana Talks
Bosnia, Cyprus and Kosovo: America and Islamism in the Balkans
A Liberal Democracy, a Market Capitalist Economy and the Permanent Wars
Entrevista Con El Dr. Rubén Ramírez Lezcano, Candidato Del Gobierno Paraguayo A Presidir La CAF
The 2001 War on Afghanistan is a Profit Driven “Resource War”
Serious Drawbacks in Ukraine’s Adopted ‘Church’ Bill
UN Response to US Attack on Syria: Noble Words, Empty Deeds
Yalta, 1945: The Impact on Yugoslavia
America’s War for the Greater Middle East – A Military History
What America’s Aristocracy Want
International Hypocrisy: Reprimanding the Saudi Kingdom
Provoking Moscow: NATO Needs Enemies to Justify Its Existence
FOLLOW US ON OUR SOCIAL PLATFORMS