U-Turns... Russia Beware
By Finian Cunningham
May 12, 2016 "Information
billionaire big-mouth US presidential candidate
Donald Trump appears to be the favorite contender
for the White House among ordinary Russians,
according to some polls.
His appeal abroad is due to various factors. Trump’s
has a rakish persona whose iconoclasm can at times
seem amusing. He has clearly upset the US political
establishment with his politically incorrect fiery
talk, including members of his own Republican party.
Trump has also
said things that appear to be progressively radical.
In particular, he has voiced favorable comments
in the past about Russian President Vladimir Putin,
and has vowed to improve foreign relations
between Washington and Moscow. He also
slammed the US military alliance NATO as being
property magnate and former reality-TV star has
therefore understandably garnered positive interest
among Russian citizens. Trump may have said some
obnoxious things against immigrants and Muslims,
but on the other hand some of his views appear
to set him refreshingly apart from conventional
Washington politics, which invariably disparage
Russia as a global threat.
Donald come up trumps to thaw frosty relations
between the US and Russia?
with Trump, who as of last week has become the
Republican’s presidential presumptive nominee, is
that he can’t be trusted. As a former business
associate said of him to the Washington Post, Trump
will saying anything if he thinks it will clinch a
deal. In other words, the would-be president is a
consummate self-serving player.
has shown Trump making a series of lightning-fast
U-turns and rhetorical pirouettes almost befitting
the Bolshoi Ballet.
newly elected mayor, Sadiq Khan, Trump
said he would make an “exception” to his
proposed temporary ban on Muslims entering the US
by allowing the British politician a visitor visa.
Khan won a
stunning electoral victory last week when he became
the first Muslim mayor of the British capital – one
of the most prestigious cities of the world. The
working-class son of an immigrant busman later said
that he would like to visit the US to liaise
with American mayors on municipal projects, but that
he feared he would not be permitted entry if Trump
became president in the November election to the
White House, because of his “religious faith”.
previously sparked international furore with his
proposal to ban all Muslims entering the US –
following the terror attacks last year in Paris
which were committed by Al Qaeda-linked jihadists.
to the London mayor’s comments, Trump had to make an
embarrassing partial retraction of his outlandish
Muslim ban. He congratulated Khan on winning the
London mayorship and said there were “exceptions
to every rule”.
not the only slippery stroke by The Donald in the
space of a few days. He also quickly walked back
comments that he would increase taxes on the
super-rich and that he supported increasing the
minimum wage for low-paid workers. He subsequently
said he wouldn’t increase taxes on the wealthy, and
that he did not support a federal minimum wage,
after appearing to say the opposite on both counts
only days earlier.
spinning and counter-spinning was so agile and
contorted that it’s not clear what his exact policy
position is on these economic matters.
goes for his foreign policy. Trump may
talk about NATO allies having to fend
for themselves in the future and of withdrawing
American military protection from overseas
deployment, however, he has also warned
in contradictory fashion that he will escalate US
militarism in the world.
Trump’s views seem to be ad hoc and contrived
to gain votes. In short, he is a demagogue, not
someone who has a principled manifesto for “making
America great”. Becoming CEO in the White House is
perhaps his biggest business venture to date, and he
appears to be willing to pull out all the stops
in order to clinch that deal.
to a mercurial mix of contradictory policies based
on expedience and self-serving ambition.
But it also
illustrates how Trump has a superficial
understanding of how American power really works
in the world. Trump may appeal to some voters
by saying that he will get NATO allies and other
partners to pay more. The assumption being that
America is a benevolent chivalrous protector, when
the reality is that Washington uses NATO as a
vehicle for imposing its hegemony on the rest of the
world. There is no way that Trump will get the US
to withdraw from NATO and its overseas garrisons
because they are crucial to US power projection.
To a degree,
the rise of Trump can be seen, indirectly, with some
satisfaction. The self-financed mogul, who made his
fortune from wheeler-dealer property business, is an
epitome of failed American capitalism and the
two-party political charade under Republicans and
hilarious to see the American political
establishment disconcerted by The Donald, as he
makes a mockery of the system. Last week, US
President Barack Obama castigated Trump’s
presidential ambitions by affecting a pose
of seriousness and gravitas, saying that being
Commander-in-Chief was “not a reality-TV show”.
pontifications from Obama and the US establishment
in Washington and the media over Trump are
nauseating. Washington’s reckless warmongering
in the Middle East and towards Russia and China
disqualify it from making any lofty pronouncements
that, Trump is no alternative, even by accident. His
flip-flops and contradictions show that he would be
less than a pragmatic, imaginative leader, and
simply one that would be ruthlessly unscrupulous.
a few weeks ago, Trump’s campaign team came up with
attack ad on Democrat contender Hillary Clinton
in which Russian leader Vladimir Putin was portrayed
as a villain laughing at a Clinton White House.
snide attack, Trump had lavished praise on Putin
as a great leader.
is that Trump’s anti-establishment image is just
that – an ersatz image for marketing the next
president of the US. His candidacy is more a sign
of how degenerate and dangerous US politics have
It can be
reasonably argued that all American presidents
within recent living memory, since John F Kennedy,
have been nothing but puppets for corporate masters
and US military might upon which predatory American
Notwithstanding occasional progressive-sounding
soundbites, a President Donald Trump will turn
out to be just one more pathetic pernicious puppet
in the White House. But this maverick – who views
everything in grubby dollar signs – could prove
to be even more reckless than all other