Under President Trump, the US has faced one disaster after another, Europe, NATO, North Korea, and of course, the Middle East.
Let us catalog a few:
- Pakistan: Under Imran Khan, that nation has moved toward Russia, with huge investment programs already in place and military aid not far behind.
- India: That nation continues its military buildup as well, with broad technological partnership with Russia delivering new technologies like the Brahmos missile
- North Korea: Attempts to threaten North Korea into dropping its missile and nuke programs totally backfired, with North Korea approaching the ability to hit the US with thermonuclear weapons mounted on ICBMs, all coming online while Trump continues to “negotiate.”
- Israel: Trump’s slavish support of Israel has led to a 169 to 2 vote in the UN General Assembly condemning Israel for its treatment of Palestinian refugees, one of 18 resolutions against Israel including broad human rights condemnations.
- Iran/Syria: Russia’s inclusion of Iran with Turkey in the Astana Process has overshadowed and, in reality, crushed any US influence in events in Syria.
- Turkey: Economic cooperation between Russia and Syria has never been greater while Turkey now threatens to close a major US base, which represents defacto abandonment of NATO, due to Trump’s sanction threats over Erdogan’s purchase of an S400 air defense system. The S400 would only be required if Turkey feared war with the United States, a supposed ally.
- Syria: With Trump announcing publicly that the US is bringing in Exxon to steal Syrian oil, while Russia, Iran and Syria cleanse that nation of terrorists, the world now views America’s role as broadly criminal.
- Germany: Trump’s attempt to stop Nord Stream 2 through sanctions will only tie that nation more to Russia economically and threaten the US military stance in Europe, which is largely based in Germany, as well. Germany simply doesn’t trust the US as a partner of any kind.
- Venezuela: More failed regime change as the most “ham handed” CIA operation since the Bay of Pigs, failing miserably.
Past this, efforts to squeeze Russia in an arms race has led that nation to develop and, by December 2019 begin deployment of, a series of new weapons that totally turns the tables on American military dominance.
Vladimir Putin’s January 2018 announcement of a series of new strategic weapons has been more than an empty threat. With ten hypersonic vehicles with warheads up to two megaton in place and ten more to be quickly deployed, American efforts at missile defense are shattered for a generation or more.
America’s 700 plus billion-dollar defense budget, riddled with waste while the American people suffer from massive cuts in services and benefits, reeks of failed policy, failed leadership and a failure on the part of the once guiding hand of the West to repeat Reagan’s efforts against the Soviet Union.
That policy failure, one based on following more the myth of Reagan than the facts, has been suicidal. Reagan buried America in debt, destroyed America’s manufacturing base, impoverished America’s cities and flooded the nation with narcotics, the real scandal behind Iran Contra.
The issue of course is moral decline, bullying abroad, oligarchical rule well outside the law at home, dictatorship, propaganda, division, and rot.
Worst of all has been the American opinion, something hidden from the world, one held by many, perhaps even a majority, that Russian leadership around the world is preferred to that of an American government few Americans trust.
From Pew Research:
“When the National Election Study began asking about trust in government in 1958, about three-quarters of Americans trusted the federal government to do the right thing almost always or most of the time. Trust in government began eroding during the 1960s, amid the escalation of the Vietnam War, and the decline continued in the 1970s with the Watergate scandal and worsening economic struggles. Confidence in government recovered in the mid-1980s before falling again in the mid-1990s. But as the economy grew in the late 1990s so too did confidence in government. Public trust reached a three-decade high shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks but declined quickly thereafter. Since 2007, the share saying they can trust the government always or most of the time has not surpassed 30%.
Currently, 21% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say they can trust government, compared with 14% of Democrats and Democratic leaners. Throughout Obama’s tenure, more Democrats than Republicans reported trusting the government, though that has flipped since Trump’s election. Since the 1970s, trust in government has been consistently higher among members of the party that controls the White House than among the opposition party. However, Republicans have been much more reactive than Democrats to changes in political power. Republicans have expressed much higher levels of trust during Republican than during Democratic presidencies, while Democrats’ attitudes have tended to be more consistent, regardless of which party controls the White House.”
There is another problem here, that of how a minority party, the Republicans, can control government in the US. From Pew Research again:
“For more than 70 years, with few exceptions, more Americans have identified as Democrats than Republicans. But the share of independents, which surpassed the percentages of either Democrats or Republicans several years ago, continues to increase. Currently, 39% Americans identify as independents, 32% as Democrats and 23% as Republicans.”
Even with a censored press, Americans are more than aware that elections in the US are decided by money, not money which buys advertising or even smears and wild conspiracy theories but rather pays for voter suppression, vote tampering, wide patterns of gerrymandering and outright bribery of public officials, long legalized in the US under “Citizens United,” a 2005 5/4 decision by a rigged Supreme Court.
Thus, when Russia develops new weapons or makes advances around the world, Americans see it as a “safety valve” against aggression and injustice at home and abroad, done in the name of the American people, by the corrupt oligarchical rulers the same American people feel powerless to reign in.
Gordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War that has worked on veterans and POW issues for decades and consulted with governments challenged by security issues. He’s a senior editor and chairman of the board of Veterans Today, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”