More than a few observers, including the majority of mainstream media ma-vens, responded to Donald Trump’s conduct at the G7 summit by wringing their hands and crying “the horror!” But when we calmly consider what actually transpired in Quebec, it is not so obvious that Trump’s performance there spells disaster for the world.
What precisely did Trump do? According to CNN Trump “blew up an international gathering with some of America’s closest allies with a combination of erratic behavior and hugely impolitic statements.” The result: the US is about to lose its central global role, which will lead to a “major reorientation of allies and partnerships worldwide” such that the world will be “shaken and changed” in ways “not necessarily beneficial to the United States.” In other words, CNN is basically predicting that Trump’s boorishness at the G7 will precipitate the collapse of the American empire. We should be so lucky!
What specific actions by Trump threaten such earth-shaking consequences? First, the US president suggested that Russia might rejoin the G7. Obviously much of the Establishment is not pleased by such a statement. But would this small step toward ending the new Cold War really be the end of the world?
Then, CNN reports, “Trump arrived late for a gathering of G7 leaders focused on gender diversity on Saturday morning. They started the meeting without him.”
The horror! Trump arrived late for a gathering focused on gender diversity! Can you imagine a meeting on gender diversity beginning without Donald Trump? The mere thought sends shivers up and down my spine.
Next, CNN tells us, Trump held a “wide-ranging news conference” in which he insisted he had a wonderful time at the G7 and got along well with everybody, including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, French President Emmanuel Macron, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
By now we have finished CNN’s report of Trump’s “blowing up” the conference with “erratic behavior and hugely impolitic statements” — yet we learn from CNN’s own account that all Trump actually did was extend an olive branch to Russia, show up late for a gender propaganda session, and say nice things about his colleagues. How any of this amounts to “blowing up” the event and precipitating the collapse of so-called Western civilization remains unclear.
It was only after the G7 that Trump finally did something that could conceivably be called “hugely impolitic”: he reacted to Justin Trudeau’s announcement that Canada would retaliate against US tariffs by tweeting, “PM Justin Trudeau of Canada acted so meek and mild during our G7 meetings only to give a news conference after I left saying that, ‘US Tariffs were kind of insulting’ and he ‘will not be pushed around.’ Very dishonest & weak. Our Tariffs are in response to his of 270% on dairy!” Trump’s advisors Larry Kudlow and Peter Navarro piled on, calling Trudeau’s words “a stab in the back” and threatening the Canadian leader with “a special place in hell.”
Trump and his minions made those remarks from Air Force One en route to Singapore, where Trump met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and succeeded in reducing tensions in Asia, at least temporarily. Trump’s critics savaged the American president for making an enemy of Trudeau, the leader of America’s closest ally, and then immediately making friends with Kim, America’s most dangerous enemy. Weeks after the summit, more stories of Trump’s allegedly bizarre behavior at the G7 leaked to the press. According to CBS, Trump, angered by Angela Merkel’s insistence that he sign a commitment to a “rules-based international order,” threw two Starburst candies at Merkel and snapped “Here, Angela. Don’t say I never gave you anything.”
Beneath the superficial veneer of Trump’s “erratic” wackiness, it seems there are really two issues that bother the Establishment. First, Trump is too friendly to Putin’s Russia. The Establishment wants to push Russia back into the state of abject servitude it endured during the 1990s, when NATO puppet Boris Yeltsin presided over the looting of his country by a gang of mostly Zionist international banksters and oligarchs. Putin put an end to most of that nonsense and set Russia on the road to genuine sovereignty. The West, which covets Russia as a prospective colony for raw materials extraction, and is surrounding Moscow with first-strike nuclear weapons aimed at forcing unconditional surrender, will never forgive him for that.
The second important issue is Trump’s looming trade war. The real significance of the Trump-Trudeau twitter battle was not the cartoonish personal spat, nor the precise details of US and Canadian dairy, auto, steel, and aluminum tariffs. Instead, it was the prospect that Trump is in the initial stages of following Peter Navarro’s advice and starting a global trade war that could repatriate American industry and radically reshape the global economy. Within a few weeks of the G7, the US had slapped billions of dollars worth of tariffs on goods from the EU, India, China, Turkey, Canada, and Mexico — and those countries had retaliated with anti-US tariffs of their own.
What does this mean for the future of the world? First, a reduction in US global influence. What we are seeing is not a true worldwide trade war, in which every country levies tariffs against every other country equally. Instead, it is a US-versus-the-world trade war. It will reduce US trade with most of the world’s biggest economies. In response, those countries will turn to non-US partners to substitute for lost US trade.
Trump’s trade war will tend to marginalize the US psychologically and culturally as well as economically. Trump is already an unpopular figure in the eyes of world public opinion, and the economic shocks he is provoking will only make him that much more hated. Indeed, the stereotype of the loud, arrogant, corrupt, hyper-materialistic, morally-intellectually-and-esthetically challenged “ugly American” has rarely been embodied more perfectly than by the current US president. As the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khamenei says, the world should be grateful to Trump for revealing “the true face of the US.”
At the end of the day, Trump’s G7 performance, like the rest of his presidency, will tend to diminish America’s standing on the world stage. But is that really such a bad thing? CNN, like the rest of the Establishment, thinks it is, “The US has been a steadying force in international affairs for decades.”
But the US empire has exacted a terrible price for its “coalition building” and so-called “peacekeeping.” According to reliable statistics cited by André Vltchek and Noam Chomsky in their book On Western Imperialism, American military and CIA interventions around the world have murdered roughly 60 million people since WWII. That is about the same number as died in the worst-ever war that preceded the bloody postwar “pax americana.” As the Roman statesman Tacitus said, “They make a wasteland and call it peace.”
If the US empire stopped murdering millions of people in the name of peace, would world war break out? I for one am not persuaded that such is the case. On the contrary, I think traditional civilizations, and notably Islamic civilization, would benefit from the retirement of the arrogant American hegemon.
So if Trump, whether through design or (more likely) incompetence, precipitates the demise of the American empire, we will God willing look back on the June 2018 G7 summit as a milestone along the path to a better world.
You’ve just listened to and read a piece authored by Kevin Barrett. He is a journalist and radio host who has written analytical articles on the various political issues.