Trump doesn’t like being compared to Obama, but this time it’s impossible not to see the similarities.
Both candidates represented a promising break from the past and swore to reverse the failed policies of their predecessors, and each were elected out of the desperation that most Americans were feeling at the time, whether real or imagined. They “talked the talk” and said all the “right” things, but once they got into office, they didn’t exactly “walk the walk” that they were supposed to. Obama promised a new era of relations with the Muslim World, while Trump said that he’d do the same vis-à-vis Russia.
Neither of them, however, ended up fulfilling their campaign promises in this regard due to the heavy and intrusive pressure exerted on them by the permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies, or “deep state”. The Obama Administration will infamously go down in history for orchestrating the theater-wide Color Revolutions popularly known as the “Arab Spring”, while Trump’s team is already on target to be the most anti-Russian one that the US has ever seen.
At the same time, though, the writing was on the wall the entire time about what was poised to be their most controversial actions, with candidate Obama proclaiming on many occasions that he was open to negotiating with Iran and ultimately concluding a nuclear deal with it, while candidate Trump never lost the opportunity to tell the world just how much he loves Israel and would do anything in support of its interests. It’s with this overall backdrop in mind that one should interpret the two headline-grabbing events that took place earlier this week.
The first one of relevance is the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) decision to ban Russia from the 2018 Winter Olympics, which many suspect was caused by American “deep state” pressure on the organization. This form of institutional Hybrid War is designed to enact maximum psychological damage on the Russian population by globally humiliating them. Most people are rightly disgusted at this decision, but their reaction also indicates that they truly believed that the games were apolitical in the first place, just like the Nobel Peace Prize is supposed to be. That, however, is an inaccurate determination, no matter how righteous it is to wish that this was the case.
Both the Olympics and the Nobel Peace Prize theoretically embody globe peace, harmony, and cooperation, but are in reality oftentimes manipulated for self-serving purposes by the Western countries that exercise disproportionate influence over their activities and decision-making competencies. The same can be said for the UN – for as noble of an idea as it is, the “politically incorrect” fact of the matter is that it doesn’t usually work the way that it’s supposed to because there’s no universal enforcement mechanism for coercing all parties to recognize its decisions, which is why the US and Israel usually flout them at will.
This brings the analysis around to discussing what just happened on Wednesday after Trump unilaterally recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Unlike the Olympic scandal that could have reasonably caught a few people off guard who might have still sincerely believed in Trump’s ability to pull off his campaign promise to repair relations with Russia, the same “innocence” can’t be feigned when it comes to his policy towards Israel. Trump’s slogan of “America First” could easily be understood as synonymous with “Israel First”, that’s how enthusiastically he campaigned on behalf of promoting its interests. Coupled with the President’s suspicion of the UN, international law, and global bodies in general, it’s no surprise that he would carry through on his campaign promise to recognize Jerusalem.
Nevertheless, there were some people who imagined that Trump would never do such a thing because they had always conceived of him as a peacemaking president, and just like Obama, they viewed this politically inexperienced individual as a blank canvas on which to project all of their desires. In hindsight, this wasn’t a wise move despite whatever the explanation may have been for justifying this at the time. Trump did indeed raise everyone’s hopes that he was going to reform the US’ strategy towards Russia, but when it came to Mideast affairs, he was characteristically candid about what he wanted to accomplish, especially concerning Israel.
As I wrote at the time in my 11 November, 2016 Sputnik forecast titled “Here’s What Trump’s Foreign Policy Will Look Like”, “Washington will always do everything in its power to promote Tel Aviv’s interests, and this is one of those geostrategic constants which will likely never change in American foreign policy.” Anyone who ever thought differently doesn’t have a solid enough understanding of the symbiotic state of US-Israeli relations, whereby the US exploits Israel’s geostrategic location as a unipolar outpost in the energy-rich Mideast while Israel leverages its powerfully lobby to ensure continued military and financial support from the US for its continued existence.
Previous US Presidents like Obama who toyed with manipulating public perception in order to paint themselves as “pro-Palestinian” were just throwing carrot stubs at Muslim Arabs this whole time and misleading the desperate masses into indulging in their own wishful thinking fantasy that the US was a “neutral party” to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. It never was and never will be, and all that Trump did by recognizing Jerusalem was remove the deceptive mask of American foreign policy and show its true face to the world. In fact, it can even be argued that Trump did the same vis-à-vis his “deep state” potentially pressuring the IOC to ban Russia from the upcoming Winter Olympics.
The Olympics aren’t neutral, just like the UN isn’t, nor the Nobel Peace Prize and especially not the US’ role in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, though saying otherwise had hitherto been seen as “politically incorrect” and therefore supposedly suitable grounds for condemnation by anyone who was triggered through their cognitive dissonance as a result. No one should feel guilty or apologize for the severe indignation that they’re expressing against the US or Trump because of the IOC and Jerusalem decisions, but part of the reason for their fury might also have to do with their own disillusionment after finally having their wishful thinking debunked in the most sobering and incontrovertible way possible.
Trump’s disappointed many people, especially his supporters abroad, but he’s also fulfilled the dreams of many others who pined for the day when they would see Russia kicked out of the Olympics and the US recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, let alone in the same week as one another and no matter how unfair both of these decisions might be to many. It’s an uncomfortable political truth, but there are a lot of people – especially in the US – who hate Russia and love Israel, whether having arrived at these conclusions either on their own or due to mass media manipulation, and failure to accept this reality is yet another delusion that some people will have to painfully overcome sooner or later.
DISCLAIMER: The author writes for this publication in a private capacity which is unrepresentative of anyone or any organization except for his own personal views. Nothing written by the author should ever be conflated with the editorial views or official positions of any other media outlet or institution.