Donald Trump, the president of the USA, set off his first international trip from America on May 19. As opposed to the earlier American practice of starting official foreign tour from Canada or Mexico he did it from Saudi Arabia, at this time. Trump, who was accompanied by his wife Melania Trump and daughter Ivanka Trump, had his programme scheduled for Saudi Arabia, Israel, Italy and Belgium. Among them, his programmes organised in Riyadh the capital of Saudi Arabia, Brussels the capital city of Belgium and Taormina a tourist place in Italy were of special significance. This short article will try to shed light on the programmes held in those places and the direction the whole trip points to.
Trump in the Middle East
Two of the programmes scheduled for him in the Middle East were very important. The first programme was the meeting with Saudi authority in which Saudi Arabia reached a huge arms deal amounting to 110 billion Dollars with the US. The modern weapons like Tanks, artilleries, armoured vehicles, radar system, black hawk helicopters, ships, rockets, THAAD missiles etc. included in the package.
This is one of the biggest arms deal so far reached in the world. In addition to this, the formation of new military alliance named “Arab NATO” and arms deal amounting to 350 billion Dollars with them are in the pipeline to be completed in 10 years. The “Gulf Cooperation Council” that has been formed amongst the rulers from Bahrain, Kuwait, Omen, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates has been active for long. This council formed of the American puppets in the Middle East is in fact a kind of political alliance to serve America.
Second, Trump addressed to the “Muslim Summit” which was organised at Riyadh in presence of head of the states, head of the governments and other delegates, 55 in number, from all over the globe including Middle East. This programme seems to have been arranged to minimise the damage caused by his anti-Muslim rhetoric and indiscriminate travel ban on Muslim population to America right after he assumed presidential office in the last January. In addition, it is also clear that this programme was organised to concoct hostile approach towards Iran and Syria among the Muslim community in the pretext of opposing ‘Terrorism’.
In the course of discussing how ‘Terrorism’ should be dealt with in the very summit, Trump said, “But no discussion of stamping out this threat would be complete without mentioning the government that gives terrorists all three – safe harbour, financial backing, and the social standing needed for recruitment .… …I am speaking of course of Iran. From Lebanon to Iraq to Yemen, Iran funds, arms, and trains terrorists, militias, and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region. For decades, Iran has fuelled the fires of sectarian conflict and terror. … … … Among Iran’s most tragic and destabilizing interventions have been in Syria. Bolstered by Iran, Assad has committed unspeakable crimes. … … Until the Iranian regime is willing to be a partner for peace, all nations of conscience must work together to isolate Iran.” Trump did not talk much in his trip to Israel. What he did was to embolden Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to work as a regional watchdog against Iran and Syria in service of the US. All this shows Trump’s mission in the region.
The online Russian publication Pravda has published on May 25, 2017 interesting news in it. It writes, “Many people think of Donald Trump’s most dangerous man on the planet. Nevertheless, during his visit to Saudi Arabia he met a man, able to push it into second place on the level of danger. … … Combining shortcomings Deputy Crown Prince and the American president, a man who does not always think about the consequences of their actions, would become an explosive mix threatening to the explosive region in the world – the Middle East.” Defence Minister Mr Salman is now a de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia given his father’s very old age. Trump’s provocative address to the Muslim Summit at Riyadh, a huge arms deal between Saudi Arabia and the US and the declaration by Iran that it has built up an underground Missile factory in Iran, have made situation in the Middle East very tense. In addition, the explosive mixture made up of two ignorant giants, Trump and Salman, has made war vigorously smouldering in the region.
NATO’s Summit and Trump
Another important programme in which Trump had participated was the NATO Summit organised at Brussels in Belgium. At the time of presidential election in the US, Trump had termed NATO an obsolete institution. Besides, he did not stand by the provision of article 5 that says ‘all for one and one for all’ and sharply criticised the NATO partners of their failure in paying dues. He raised it more sharply than before in this summit. Not only that, he even scolded the NATO partners. In his speech, “Twenty-three of the 28 nations are still not paying what they should be paying and what they’re supposed to be paying for their defence,” Trump decried. The scene the NATO leaders had exchanged looks to each other at the time of his speech was astounding.
Trump asked all NATO allies to allot more money for their security. He said, “If all NATO members had spent just 2 per cent of their GDP on defence last year, we would have had another $119 billion for our collective defence and for the financing of additional NATO reserves. Over the last eight years, the United States spent more on defence than all other NATO countries combined.” He had laid emphasis on the fact that the NATO countries should be tough in ‘terrorism’ and migration. He added, “The NATO of the future must include a great focus on terrorism and immigration, as well as threats from Russia and on NATO’s eastern and southern borders.” More than half of his 8 minutes long speech was centred on the economic questions. His speech had clearly indicated that he was the ringleader of the world imperialist system and demanded from other NATO nations that they should be obliged by his decree.
Many media persons commented on Trump’s haughty speech. Raf Casert and Verginia Mayo had written in AP from Brussels, “The president’s assertion immediately put NATO under new strain and did nothing to quiet questions about his complicated relationship with an alliance he has previously panned as “obsolete.” Notably, he also did not offer an explicit public endorsement of NATO’s “all for one, one for all” collective defence principle. … … Fellow NATO leaders occasionally exchanged awkward looks with each other during the president’s lecture. … … But European allies hoping to hear Trump return that commitment and come to their defence in case of attack, possibly by an increasingly aggressive Russia, were left disappointed.” Right here, in Financial Times published on May 26, Andrew Moravcsik writes an article entitled, “Europe pays its fair share whatever Donald Trump says. US criticism of its NATO partners rests on an outdated notion of global power.” Trump’s rude and arrogant behaviour was annoying everyone in the summit. All this sheds light on how he presented himself in NATO Summit and the role he played in it.
European rulers are sceptical of US dealing because the US demands with NATO allies to pay its share of expense but does not make any commitment to fight against the aggressor in line with the provision of article 5. In addition, the situation has become even more serious as of the controversial relation between Trump and Putin. Everyone could simultaneously see in their face the reflection of their helplessness and anger both against American hooliganism. Neither they seemed fully prepared to accept US denigration nor dared they disregard it. They were forced to show unity although they had sharp difference with the US. Right here, an online publication business insider on May 28 quotes Angela Merkel as saying, “The times in which Germany could fully rely on others are partly over. I have experienced this in the last few days. We Europeans really have to take our destiny into our own hands.” Merkel said it during her election campaign at Munich on Sunday. Hence, all this clearly shows that there is sharp contradiction between American establishment and the European head of the states and is sharpening further.
G7 Summit and Trump
The last and the most important programme in which the US president Trump had participated was the G7 Summit held among the leaders of seven most developed countries. America, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Japan make this G7. In daily Sabah, an online publication from Turkey, Dr. Tristen Naylor of the G7 Research Group, says “The talks in Taormina Sicily will offer the first real opportunity for the international community to force the US to show its hand on protectionism and environmental policy”. This quote very well clarifies about how much importance the imperialists had attached to that summit.
There were mainly four questions to be discussed in Taormina Summit. They were: trade, climate change, migration and ‘terrorism’. The G7 leaders failed to arrive in unanimity in other issues except ‘terrorism’. Strangely, two communiqués were brought to public. The first one was 15-point communiqué published on ‘terrorism’ on May 26 and the other was 39-point communiqué published next day on the remaining agendas. Even the second communiqué prepared on refugee and migration problem and trade was very much ambiguous. Trump showed verbal support to other points in the communiqué but did not put his signature on climate change agreement reached in Paris summit in 2015. He fled the scene saying that he would take position on it after a week. The US had agreed with Paris resolution on climate change before.
Hence G7 summit also was not an easy deal either. Though there was a single communiqué on migration, refugee and trade there was no internal unity on these issues among them. Though they had supposedly shown similar position on other rivals like Russia and China, but the G7 leaders failed to develop unity in the main issues discussed in the summit. G7 summit witnessed such a contradictory situation in which Trump stood at one pole and the rest six at the other. The difference that had emerged in NATO Summit continued in G7 as well.
The contradiction among the imperialist powers surfaced from NATO to G7 summit has become rampant. Russia, though not a part of these events, has reacted on it. Newsweek dated June 03, 2017 quotes Putin as saying, “If Sweden joins NATO this will affect our relations in a negative way because we will consider that the infrastructure of the military bloc now approaches us from the Swedish side, we will interpret that as an additional threat for Russia and we will think about how to eliminate this threat.” On the other, China has lodged a strong opposition on the joint communiqué issued by G7 summit. The Global times on May 28 writes, “China strongly denounced the communiqué released after a G7 summit, saying it interfered in the East China Sea and South China Sea issues in the guise of international law, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said early Sunday.” In the same manner, on May 29, the online publication independent wrote news under the heading, “Donald trump acted like ‘a drunken tourist’ on Europe trip that led Angela Merkel to proclaim end of US alliance. President took harsher stance against European allies than against leaders of Middle East in Riyadh.” All this elucidates that the world has now undergone multipolar contradictions and they are sharpening dangerously than before.
Hence, on the one hand, the contradictions among the imperialist forces have been sharpening and, on the other, North Korea is threatening nuclear attack upon America. Moreover, the United States military has successfully staged its first-ever missile defence test involving a simulated attack on May 30 by an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), as concerns mount over North Korea’s advancing missile and nuclear programme. Also, the exercise the arrogant duo Trump and Salman have been working to trigger war in the Middle East has been mentioned earlier. On account of these contradictions, the possibility of war being kicked off in the Middle East or North Korea or both and all of the imperialist forces including Russia and China being pulled in war cannot be denied. Hence, the black cloud of the Third World War is looming at present in the horizon.
In the on-going era of imperialism and proletarian revolution, the intensification of contradictions among the imperialist powers is favourable for proletarian revolution. Although the objective situation is getting favourable, the subject condition of the revolutionaries is very weak all across the world, including Nepal. In this situation, the communist parties that uphold Marxism-Leninism-Maoism as their guiding principle must lay emphasis to build up subjective strength. This is the task every revolutionary communist party must assume at present.
June 3, 2017