So welcome to the epoch of two-and-a- half minutes to Midnight. The Doomsday clock has never ever been so close to midnight. Even in the worst days of the US -USSR confrontation, the Doomsday clock had not been beating so dramatically.
Considered populist during his presidential campaign, Donald Trump since the first days of his presidentship proves that he is not. Now many the world over are having doubts about Trump being a harmless populist rather than an unpredictable activist.
Trump during his presidential campaign gave many promises that were looking as traits of his epatage image, populist declarations, whatever, but not the realistic pre-election campaign promises. But what is happening is that all of them appear to be put into action one by one. The withdrawal of the US from international organizations no longer seems unrealistic. And being realistic, his promises are about to spread panic.
Cutting UN funding
The draft order entitled ‘Auditing and Reducing US Funding of International Organisations’ and obtained by The New York Times, even though it is being kept on hold by the Administration is quite shocking. And in case of the UN even dramatic. The draft order is to terminate funding to the UN and its bodies where Palestine holds its membership and to all international organizations recognizing its statehood. The tragedy here is multidimensional. Firstly, his intentions pose existential threat to the UN. Secondly, it is an open blackmailing of the most preeminent international organization. Thirdly, this order nullifies years of attempts to settle the Israeli-Palestine conflict on the basis of an internationally recognized two-state solution.
The UN appears to be in a very strange situation regarding this order in case it is finally signed. In case the UN yields to Trump, it will lose its credibility in the eyes of the international community. In case it does not yield to Trump’s pressure it has to face enormous, hardly resolvable financial crisis and crisis of credibility.Maria Dubovikova
The UN appears to be in a very strange situation regarding this order in case it is finally signed. In case the UN yields to Trump, it will lose its credibility in the eyes of the international community. In case it does not yield to Trump’s pressure it has to face enormous, hardly resolvable financial crisis and crisis of credibility. Trump is putting the final charge to blow up the rest of the shaky remains of the world order founded by the international community following the World War II. And thus setting the stage for uncontrollable chaos in the world.
The Palestine issue is another bloody red mark. Together with the racist and discriminating order not to let citizens of seven Muslim countries into the US, it reveals the outlines and course of the new US Administration’s Middle Eastern policy. In case Trump stays in office for the whole presidential term, we are heading towards the extreme regional turbulence, to shake the foundations of the whole international community.
The resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict that has been simmering for over 60 years, lies exclusively in the two-state solution. With Trump, this issue takes on totally new and dangerous dimensions. On December 23, 2016, the Security Council has unanimously voted for the 2334 resolution reaffirming that Israel’s Settlements have no legal validity and constitute flagrant violation of international law. The resolution that gave hope, is now turning to be useless rubbish, especially regarding Trump’s attitude towards the institution and the existing rules. The further development of the conflict is directly depended on the deeds of the American administration. What Trump is doing now with the conflict can be compared to the taking out of the safety pin from a grenade. In case the US moves its embassy to Jerusalem, also bringing to life one of Trump’s pre-election promises – this would be compared to the toss of the grenade. Explosion will be imminent. The stated position on the Palestine matter will significantly damage the existing ties with Arab allies as well, pushing them more and more to minimize their dependency on Washington and make them look for new partnerships. The Muslim world, in case the xenophobic and Islamophobic course continues, at is probable, will turn its face against the US.
Another significant worry stems from Trump’s position on Iran. The Iranian nuclear deal was somehow the guarantee of stability and certitude that Iran will fulfill its obligations and the country will not join the club of nuclear powers.
And at the first signs as Iranians were banned from traveling to the US, was the symmetrical response by Tehran which banned American citizens’ entry to Iran. This promises to lead to further deterioration of the situation and collapse of the deal that was reached after a lengthy and tedious process. Any uncontrolled developments around the Iranian nuclear program can result in enormous global catastrophe.
Despite all expectations that these were idle talk from Trump, he really intends to go ahead with what he has planned. He is not used to follow someone’s rules. He has got used to establish and impose his own. Alliances and international organizations serving non-commercial causes do not exist in business, so for Trump there is no need for the US to take part in them if they put limitations on his intentions, and especially if they do not bring evident profit and instead grabs US money. In Trump’s world everything is counted in dollars. The term of value exists mostly when it refers to the dollar, with rare exceptions for some Christian values the current administration intends to promote.
Moving back to a bipolar world
He will build an alliance with Russia if he considers this to be a profitable deal. After Saturday’s phone call it is turning from possibility to probability. And it is looking like Trump intends to move back to the bipolar world, but where the poles are not confronting, but cooperating in dealing with global challenges together. Just because it is profitable and less expensive.
With the notorious Christian rhetoric, renunciation of support for the LGBT community, of NGOs dealing with abortions, Trump is moving closer to Russia where the Church has started to drastically influence social and political life.
He will bring American factories and plants back home, damaging the existing global economic system, just because this according to him, will be better for the home politics and home economy. He will kick out all the immigrants, if this gives jobs for the Americans and permits to cut state expenses. And this can be proclaimed racist, discriminative, inhumane. For Trump it is not. Nothing personal. Just business. But for the rest of the world – it is a countdown to Doomsday.
Maria Dubovikova is a President of IMESClub and CEO of MEPFoundation. Alumni of MGIMO (Moscow State Institute of International Relations [University] of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia), now she is a PhD Candidate there. Her research fields are in Russian foreign policy in the Middle East, Euro-Arab dialogue, policy in France and the U.S. towards the Mediterranean, France-Russia bilateral relations, humanitarian cooperation and open diplomacy. She can be followed on Twitter: @politblogme