Looking at today’s America, one would be hard pressed to say that the gods were not interested in destroying this great country. For who can argue that this once proud and noble nation has not fallen into the depths of madness in recent years? After all, what is madness but a self-delusion run amok, far removed from any semblance of reality?
Clashing on many points of detail in the build up to the 2020 elections, leading factions from both sides of the political aisle are using unheard-of humiliating and obscene rhetoric against each other in a manner unworthy of a civilized nation. At the same time, both Republicans and Democrats seem to agree that America wields godlike moral authority to condemn, threaten and police other nations that themselves want nothing more than to be on good terms with the United States.
The bipartisan “swamp” believes that it has the right to impose America’s military might upon the world as a global police force and that creative diplomacy itself is now a thing of the past.
Countries that have the courage to openly disagree with this policy are called rogue states and subjected to all kinds of sanctions. Nowadays, even U.S. allies cannot escape this fate, along with humiliations when the queen of Ukraine’s Maidan Revolution, Assistant Secretary of State in the Obama administration Victoria Nuland, had insulted the whole European Union with an obscene expletive.
Of course, America did not go mad overnight. Ronald Reagan ended the Cold War with the U.S.S.R., while George H.W. Bush at the end of his presidential term spoke of building new global security architecture from Vancouver to
Vladivostok. This idea gave many of us hope that America had a vision for the road to a better world.
Regrettably, Bill Clinton began to move the country in an entirely different direction by starting NATO’s expansion. One would find it increasingly difficult these days to find a single foreign policy success initiated by either Democrat or
Republican administrations since then. Those who disagree with this statement are welcome to think of one right now.
No matter which standard one may apply to judge U.S. foreign policy since 1992 we encounter the most dismal results: America’s “democracy building initiatives” and militaristic regime change operations in the Middle East have created ungovernable states wherever they have been applied.
The Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs Costs of War Project details the budgetary and human costs of U.S. actions over the past 25 years: Over 801,000 people, including 335,000 civilians, have been killed as a direct result of the fighting, plus many more indirectly; the number of war refugees and displaced persons amounts to a staggering 21 million. The 19-year U.S. and NATO nation building of Afghanistan turned this country into major opium and heroin production that benefits Taliban and other terrorist groups.
The U.S. federal price tag for the post-9/11 wars has passed $6.4 trillion while the U.S. government is enmeshed in military activities in 80 countries.
President Trump won the 2016 elections because the American people were fed up with Pax Americana’s hypocrisy. They voted for an end to the “forever wars” that were careening the United States toward another world war. Mr. Trump demonstrated the right policy instincts in calling for good relations with Russia and China, while calling out the military industrial complex, fake news media and deep state that has run a parallel government for decades.
This led to a coup attempt via unleashing the manufactured scandal of Russiagate, designed to overturn the election under the narrative that Trump was a puppet of the Kremlin. While this claim has now been irrefutably proven a hoax, the swamp and the media don’t want to let it go. To make matters worse, a COVID-19 pandemic, impending economic troubles and domestic turmoil threatening race riots across America are being used by Mr. Trump’s enemies to take him out. According to the latest polls they are succeeding.
Mr. Trump no doubt has made many mistakes, but his view that America should return to its historic traditions as an agro-industrial nation using intelligent protection and encouraging other nations to do the same should be appealing not only to his electoral base but to all Americans who care more about the well-being of their families rather than running the planet.
Therefore, I believe that Mr. Trump still has a chance if he starts following the message of the great John Winthrop, who wanted America to be as “a city upon a hill”- leading not by force like a new British Empire, but by example. By being a prosperous full spectrum economy, staying out of foreign entanglements, and helping the weak to grow and stand on their own feet, America’s own security and self-interest is best assured.
Instead of cultivating powerful enemies, Mr. Trump should make a new effort to have a G3 (U.S.–Russia–China) summit, plus a separate G5 one, including the U.K. and France, during the annual U.N. Security Council session in September in New York which all five leaders are expected to attend?
Why not use these meetings to turn things around and pledge to bring peace to America and the world to avoid sleepwalking into World War III?
There is a feeling that when it comes to foreign policy Mr. Trump is pretty lonely and his hands are tied by the “adults in the room.” So while we are at it, why not invite folks with Mike Flynn’s vision to join Trump’s team and get back to the original 2016 foreign policy agenda that was hijacked by Congress with its dismal 25% approval–71% disapproval ratings, and the deep state?
Edward Lozansky is president of American University in Moscow.