Alwaght- Donald Trump’s election as US president has made drastic changes in the US politics and society. Beside influencing the US home affairs, Trump policies also left big marks on the world stage. Contrary to the traditional mindset of democratic states, where systematic and collective management is cherished, the White House is now a place for meeting the personal demands of Donald Trump.
But Trump’s individualization of the White House decision-making has not only impacted the home politics. It went beyond, introducing a type of non-diplomatic and brash rhetoric, something some label “gangster rhetoric.” In mid-April, the former FBI chief James Comey called Trump “morally unfit” to be president. In his book, Comey had compared the president to a mafia don, challenging his character, honesty, and commitment to public service.
As he does with home politicians, Trump addresses the foreign leaders and institutions with an arrogant tone. Trump’s tenure of presidency bears many of examples of the imperious foreign policy remarks. His critics warn that this rhetoric has isolated Washington and cracked the once-sturdy relations with the traditional allies. Here are some examples:
Trump-Kim verbal clash and threat of decimation
The first rays of Trump’s gangster rhetoric emerged in the first year of his presidency when he got engaged in a vehement verbal confrontation with North Korean leader. Trump a couple of times threatened Pyongyang with nuclear strikes, amid attacks its leader Kim Jong-un, whom he scornfully called the “little rocket man.” During his speech at the United Nations General Assembly, Trump threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea if the latter threatened the US or its allies. “North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States,” Trump said on August 9, 2017, during a meeting from his golf club in New Jersey. “They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”
Other administration officials developed similar talking style. Nikki Haley, former US envoy to the UN, also several times talked about limited patience with North Korea and possible nuking of the East Asian nation.
However, less than a year after the war of words, Trump talked to Kim in a historic meeting in Singapore. He said at the Saturday night rally in West Virginia: “He wrote me beautiful letters and they’re great letters. We fell in love.”
Trump’s strong tone to the European and NATO allies
Other acts by Trump that could be referred to as an act of hubris are his stances on Washington’s European and NATO allies. This year, Trump repeatedly made targets from the European allies of Washington to his bitter remarks on various occasions. At a rally in Northern Dakota, Trump said the EU uses the US as a “piggybank”, adding “we love the countries of the European Union. But the European Union, of course, was set up to take advantage of the United States… and you know we can’t let that happen.”
“They send the Mercedes in, they send the BMWs in, they send their products in [and when] we sent things to them, they say ‘No, thank you, we don’t take your product. For all you free traders out there, that’s not free trade, that’s stupid trade,” he told his supporters.
Trump also lashed out at Germany for its scanty share in the NATO budget, asking it to raise its defense spending. He also criticized Berlin’s trade ties with Russia. On July 11, Trump told the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg that Washington protects Europeans from Russia while they trade with Moscow.
“We’re protecting Germany, we’re protecting France, we’re protecting all of these countries. And then numerous of the countries go out and make a pipeline deal with Russia where they’re paying billions of dollars into the coffers of Russia,” he told Stoltenberg during a bilateral ahead of a two-day NATO summit in Brussels, adding “that’s inappropriate.”
Humiliating the Saudi rulers
Trump’s gangster-style foreign policy extends to the Arab allies, mainly Saudi Arabia. Over the past few years, the US leaders used the most abasing words in describing the Saudi allies, exhibiting them like slaves to the American imperialism. The first disgracing remarks were unleashed against Saudi Arabia during the presidential campaign, when Trump called Saudi Arabia “milk cow” that should be milked to end and when the milk ends, it should be beheaded.
Other disrespectful remarks came during a meeting of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in March this year at the White House. According to a White House source, after visiting Bin Salman, Trump had asked the staff to check the chairs, or anything that bin Salman has touched or sat on, for “lice” and clean them properly. In the latest humiliation, Trump told his supporters in Southaven, Mississippi, that he talked to King Salman of Saudi Arabia, telling him “you have trillions of dollars. King, we’re protecting you. You might not be there for two weeks without us. You have to pay for your military.”
This rhetoric in dealing with Saudi Arabia is becoming normal with both the Trump White House and the US media. Being in a weak position, the Saudis support their relationship with Washington, closing their eyes to the contempt.
Gangster rhetoric to China
China is another party that has been subject to the US president’s attacks. He repeatedly disparaged Beijing for what he called “unfair” trade with the US and the wide trade gap between the two partners. Since the beginning of the year, he imposed tariffs on the Chinese products, sparking a trade war with the Asia power. At a UN Security Council meeting on September 28, Trump attacked China for what he called intention to “meddle” in the US mid-term election, scheduled for November, against him. He claimed that the Chinese respected him for his “very, very large brain”, adding he liked President Xi Jinping of China “a lot”. Use of these words, largely non-diplomatic and representing street talk, is an example of Trump’s low and bawdy rhetoric.
Haiti and African states as “s***hole countries”
The US leader also picked a fight against the migrants, including those from Africa. In January, Trump, meeting with Republican and Democratic senators, asked why the US should allow in migrants from “s***hole countries”, in reference to Haiti, El Salvador, and the African states.
Such flippancy to the world leaders, states, and international organizations is increasingly isolating the US worldwide. The world community shows signs of being fed up with Trump’s overbearing diplomacy and warns against the dangerous consequences. As a result, an anti-American global front, even with the participation of Washington allies, is in the making, with the outcomes being further isolation and shrinking US role in the world equations.