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The world according to Donald Trump

In terms of world peace, Trump’s ”junta” that is now being formed and which consists of millionaires and generals, is unsettling, writes Rauli Virtanen.

17.12.2016

Last week I started a conference lecture with an optimistic and, to my opinion, also a playful comment by stating that I hope Donald Trump will face the same fate as Richard Nixon, meaning that he would soon have to leave the White House due to a scandal or a law suit.

In fact, in the 1972 election, I was following the Nixon campaign and the Watergate scandal as a foreign correspondent. It would have never occurred to me that all that I saw then, would pale in comparison with the 2016 elections.

AFTER LIVING AND WORKING as an observer in the United States a total of 13 years during different decades, I have always relied on the survival of the optimistic and hardworking nation. Even after every crisis shaking the democracy and the legitimacy of the society, be it the Watergate or the race riots.

After George W. Bush’s unsuccessful war campaigns, the future of the U.S. seemed promising once Barack Obama was elected president.

Although Obama did not manage to make peace in the Middle East, close Guantánamo, nor stop the murderous drone strikes in different parts of the world, we will surely miss him for a long time – especially now, that we have Donald Trump.

I really cannot think of anything good to say about Trump, who will soon start his tenure. He lied his way to the Presidency.

Neither do I understand the supposedly diplomatic political leaders and citizens in various countries who believe that Trump should be given a chance since he was elected by the people. Sure, he now has the possibility, but it is immoral to accept or forgive everything he has already done.

Feigning amnesia does not make Trump a better president.

Former foreign correspondent to the U.S., Rauli Virtanen, has hard time thinking of anything good to say about President Donald Trump. / Photo: Gage Skidmore

I DO NOT WANT TO BE ALARMIST, but in terms of world peace, Trump’s ”junta” that is now being formed and which consists of millionaires and generals, is unsettling. Those who voted for Trump in the U.S. may be disappointed, but that does not save the world. The concerns are many.

The role of Russia in influencing the US elections is now under investigation. A former Exxon boss, with close relations to Russia, was nominated secretary of state by Trump. It seems that Trump’s Washington might be more interested in Russia’s economic potential including the Siberian energy fields, than the economic sanctions against Russia, the Crimean occupation, or human rights in Putin’s realm.

During Trump’s tenure, the U.S. will certainly insist that its NATO allies strengthen their efforts. Washington’s will to defend the Baltic states, for example, is already a subject of debate.

The old trade tensions between the US and China will now reach a political and military dimension. China, which is promoting very aggressive foreign policy in Asia, is dismayed by Trump flirting in the direction of Taiwan, where the future president has also had commercial projects.

IF WE WERE ABLE TO READ Trump’s mind, we would be able to predict that after Obama began the Cuban Thaw, Trump began to see Cuba as a future casino attraction where golf is being played at Trump-owned courses one day. It will not be Raúl Castro’s Cuba, but rather a return to Cuba prior 1959, the dictator Fulgencio Batista’s Cuba, which in practice was a U.S. colony.

According to the forecasts of some experts, the number of conflicts in the world may even decline during Trump’s term, if Washington chooses the road of new isolationism.

Nevertheless, the wars in the Middle East will certainly continue. If the UN and Obama administration were unable to stop them, we can hardly expect Donald Trump to make a humanitarian intervention in to an area where hundreds of thousands of civilians are targets of the bombings by Russian and Syrian armies or Saudi Arabian armed forces.

Neither do I believe that Trump’s administration is willing to invest billions of dollars in peace mediation, development cooperation or in the prevention of the root causes of the conflicts and refugee question, such as the climate change.

As long as Trump-like thinking and the fake media enhancing it are going strong; we must also persist in raising awareness against racism and xenophobia and build peace rather than walls.