If you feel that everything seems to be going badly for some time as the war in Ukraine drags on and the intense heat spreads and prolongs and the downturn that democracy is experiencing here and there, some see worse on the horizon.
The Aspen Security Forum ended yesterday in Colorado. It’s a major annual gathering of leaders, business people, and thinkers—young and old—who speak at length about threats to world peace.
On the spot, my colleagues from the online medium POLITICO found that while the speakers were so talkative, getting them to talk about Donald Trump and the importance of his return to the White House for the rest of the planet proved impossible. In fact, it is enough to cause nightmares.
WHAT WE ADMIT PRIVATELY
According to POLITICO, some are quietly expressing concern about a Trump comeback because, as a former member of his administration anonymously admitted, “chaos is a very difficult way to govern.”
First, of course, is what would become of US support for Ukraine in its war against Russia. The ex-president claims he can put an end to this within 24 hours. A crazy claim in a conflict so brutal and complex, but one that John Bolton, his former national security adviser, responded to with the utmost scathingness on CNN last May.
“No sane person believes that Ukrainians and Russians can reach an agreement on how to resolve the conflict within 24 hours. Trump feels that foreign leaders, especially his opponents, hold him in high esteem and that he has good relations with Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un. In fact, the opposite is the case. I was in these rooms with him when he met these leaders. I think they all think he’s a ridiculous idiot.
A costly success
In foreign policy, Donald Trump boasts that he has not started any new wars. A success indeed after the Afghan and Iraqi quagmire in which George W. Bush and Barack Obama sank.
With the same enthusiasm, however, he made sure that latent conflicts did not find a solution. The famous Abraham Accords, which normalized relations between Israel and four Arab countries, were struck with complete disregard for the fate of the Palestinians, who were deprived of $200 million in humanitarian aid as a result.
The cancellation of the deal on Iran’s nuclear program proved a spectacular failure, as Tehran resumed uranium enrichment instead of making any concessions.
His “love letters” and meetings with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un led to nothing but the continuation of Pyongyang’s ballistic missile program as commercial pressures exerted on China prompted a departure from the two largest economies.
It is by no means impossible that Trump will win the next presidential election and rekindle the turmoil of his first four years in the White House. In the meantime, as attendees at the Aspen Forum acknowledged, let’s celebrate the normalcy and predictability that has brought Joe Biden back to the Oval Office for two and a half years.
AFP and Adobe Stock photos