Original text published in French in “Contrepoints” 18 Juillet 2018. English translation by the author.
Note: Friends of Science Society is in agreement with the Trump administration’s common sense view on climate and energy policies, particularly the withdrawal from the Paris Agreement. Consequently, in the interest of continued public debate, we are pleased to present this viewpoint from Drieu Godefridi. Mr. Godefridi is a Belgian philosopher, jurist, and author of “The IPCC: A Scientific Body?” and “La Révolution Trump.”
Remarks on the meeting of Trump and Putin
by Drieu Godefridi © 2018
Given the media mayhem this meeting is causing, it is perhaps somewhat worthwhile trying to contextualize it.
Let’s start by reading this statement from the US presidency: “The joint communiqué which we have issued today summarizes the result of our talks. (…) what we have said in that communiqué is not nearly as important as what we will do in the years ahead to build a bridge across 16,000 miles and 22 years of hostility which have divided us in the past. What we have said today is that we shall build that bridge.”
These words are not from Trump but from Nixon, just after he met the dictator and tyrant Mao-Zedong, in 1972 , in what is now hailed as the greatest stroke of genius of that particular American President. A strike which restructured the interplay of the superpowers of the time. Was Mao less tyrannical or less bloodthirsty than Putin? Mao presided over, among other abominations, the “Great Leap Forward”, a ferocious fantasy that sacrificed tens of millions of Chinese men, women and children on the altar of communist egalitarianism. In comparison, Putin is a small time player. Did Nixon make less concessions than Trump? Nixon, in a nutshell, abandoned Taiwan to her fate, and recognized the unity of China. In other words, Nixon and Kissinger gave the Chinese exactly what they wanted, because they thought it would buy China’s departure from the Soviet sphere.
Let’s get to the bottom of things: what do we want? What do President Trump’s critics propose? That we treat Russia as the perpetual enemy of the West, let the fires and counter-fires of this age-old conflict burn in every corner of the globe until, ultimately, a real war flares up? Is this what we want? When Obama engaged US forces in Syria, he was both weak and irresponsible. Weak, because he drew a “red line” – the use of chemical weapons – which the Syrian regime could transgress without consequence. Irresponsible, because it created, with the anarchic Turkish, Iranian, Russian, European and American interventions, plus the support given to the ‘rebels’ directly affiliated to the Islamists, a crucible from which anything could arise, including a direct and open armed conflict between NATO and Russia. We were very close to such a conflict – open war between Russia and NATO – when the Turkish regime, a member of NATO, shot down a Russian plane (thankfully the Russian regime demonstrated the ability to refrain from a knee-jerk reaction).
Let’s not forget that Russia has as many nuclear warheads as the United States, an arsenal they refrained from using throughout the Cold War. A nuclear conflict between Russia and the United States would instantly plunge the whole of humanity into a night from which it would probably never emerge. From the point of view of the management of this nuclear reserve, the fact that the Russians and Americans talk to each other and negotiate is not a problem, but an absolute and constant imperative.
What strange conception of diplomacy is it that one should only meet friends? Trump is denounced for simply meeting, shaking hands and smiling for the media. (We would appreciate it if the press were to be as critical when the high and mighty of Europe humiliate themselves in hijab before the Tehran regime!) Is diplomacy a gentlemen’s club? Dedicated to the game of Bridge perhaps? It is a fundamental principle in business, as well as in the “realistic” conception of diplomacy, that one often gains more by meeting adversaries than friends.
And then there is the issue of Russian interference in the 2016 US election. This interference is proven; the agreement on this matter is now ‘bi-partisan’. However, as the Special Counsel and the United States Department of Justice themselves admit, there is at present no material evidence of a collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign team; and no evidence that this interference had even the slightest influence on the result (that is to say, the considerable victory of Trump in the electoral college).
This modest interference must be compared with the far-reaching interventions of Americans in dozens of countries and hundreds of electoral processes since 1945. There are Russian spies in the United States? Big deal! So there are no US agents in Russia? Espionage is confined by national borders?
Certainly, in an ideal world, there would be no such interference. In our less than ideal world, they must be brought to light and tackled. An endeavour for which US intelligence, which has the astronomical budget of seventy billion dollars per year, indeed has the means.
When I published “The Trump Revolution” last January, I sensed that this presidency would be ‘architectonic’, structuring the American future and therefore that of the West. North Korea, Iran, China, Russia: it is too early to discern what will be the world of tomorrow. What is certain is that it will be very different from the one we know, more realistic and less European, and that if the Europeans refuse to assert their power, they will be marginalized.
Dernières parutions “La révolution Trump”, https://www.amazon.fr/révolution-Trump-Texquis-essais-ebook/dp/B078SPDDNN/ — “Le libéralisme est-il conciliable avec le conservatisme ?”, Arguments — Revue européenne de science, vol. 2, n°3, automne 2017, http://revue-arguments.com/articles/index.php?id=83
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