Monday, May 14, 2018


The American foreign policy today has one Leitmotiv:  dismantle all that the Obama administration did or stood for. For sure, the sum of the past is not a win/win story. The many inroads into diplomacy and management inside were not always successful. Nevertheless, America was mostly a reliable partner outside and became a better model for enlightened democracy inside. Serious thought went into acting about measures and initiatives, which were often successful, sometimes failures, never without some form of upstream reasoning, open to debate.

The current agenda is only based on envy or sheer spite. The orientation of decision-making does not follow any logic or conviction. In this "America First" casserole one can find almost anything or predict any outcome, since everything is measured by reversal from the Obama administration. Science, multilateralism, aid, rule of law, independence of the Judiciary are all rolled back, not in the name of alternative merits but in the era of overall post-truth. Under Trump the lie is the rule. He started as a birther, continued as a liar and rules as a semi- despot.

The America First policy is part populist but it is also perverse, insofar as this retreat from many theaters happens without any form of clean up. In all places the toxic after-mess piles up. The many U-turns on climate, TPP, Iran deal, trade, Cuba, Middle East and internal norms regarding environment, education, justice, are causing serious damage. It is ironical, by the way, that the move of the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem coincides with the commemoration of the Nakba (catastrophe) when the Palestinians mourn the creation of the state of Israel. The deaths on the separation line between Gaza and Israel speak to the conscience everywhere. It is a cruel hardship to believe that your land has been taken away from you without appeal.  It is dramatic when you are deprived of your humanity. Now the White House sticks to its distortions, continuing to lie about the Iran deal and to sing the praises of a North Korean leader who presides over a robotic Pavlovian nightmare.

Soon the presidential elections in Mexico might lead to the victory of AMLO (Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador). Trump's policies create such a disgust in Latin America that the unwelcome outcomes there are becoming the rule. If a new elected president (Maduro lite) were to reverse the modus vivendi which was achieved between the insensitive American "bear" and the hypersensitive Mexican "porcupine" (in the words of former US Ambassador to Mexico, Jeffrey Davidow), the consequences might be serious. It is also ironic to hear the child-friendly bla bla of the First Lady, while Latin American children are forcefully separated from their parents at the southern border. Humanity, decency (the McCain comment for which the White House never apologizes), science, pluralism are thrown away. The former "shining city on the hill" becomes just like Hungary's twin city on the Potomac.

If the Korean "affair" were to be blessed with a Nobel prize, the former should go to the South Korean president, who made the rapprochement possible through a personal diplomatic initiative which was two years in the making, from the time he ran for president on. Trump is only besotted with the "now" if it allows him a prime time slot on Fox News ("the state in the state") and the praise of the usual minions. One runs for cover rather than having to imagine how denuclearization talks might proceed under the tutelage of this current mafia.

Let us imagine how third parties might really assess Don Trump's entourage of the corrupt and the Russophiles, the cheaters and the Europhobes?! We were warned after the president's inaugural address that we were entering unchartered vocabulary and behavior. We did not know it would arrive with such a speed. It is to be hoped that the Europeans will remain firm before the groundwater they stand on is polluted with the compliments of Scott Pruitt's EPA.

It is to be assumed that the Kushners and other members of the Trump syndicate who participate in the Jerusalem cheers were provided masks and earplugs so that they are not unduly disturbed by the Gaza trouble ("only Hamas is to blame": the White House).

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