HONG KONG The listing of countries and international institutions the new U.S.president and his cabinet have affronted in simply three weeks China, Germany, Mexico, Australia, France, Iran, the United Nation, the European union countries and others should indicate how far this administration is willing to go in talking tough with the rest of the world. In response, the world should now get tough with America, and let it know that the global majority will no longer be pushed around.
The protests in London Monday against the British governments decision to offer U.S. President Donald Trump a full country visit should set the U.S. on notice that people around the world are not going to stand by and allow their governments to give America a free pass despite its unacceptable actions. Governments around the world should be emboldened and no longer fearful of standing up to America unlike the U.K. government, which has once again ignored the voice of the people( remember Iraq war ).
Despite the talk about Americas soft power, it has acted more like a bully in the international arena. Trump is simply the most recent and overt face of that. Do not forget that his immediate Republican predecessor, George W. Bush, with great arrogance and ignorance, unleashed a catastrophe in the Middle East. The 2003 intrusion of Iraq continues to destabilize the region virtually 14 years later.
This bullying is a natural byproduct of American politics. Trumps Republican colleagues acted little better during the campaign or during verification hearings for his nominees. Senator Ted Cruz, during the primaries, talked about bombing the so-called Islamic State back to the Stone Age, despite the potential for collateral damage to innocent people. Nor is this purely an issue with Republican. Even former President Barack Obama, a decent man which is likely to view Americas experience with a measure of humility, still launched a destabilizing intervention in Libya, tacitly supported a bloody Saudi intervention in Yemen and relied on a program of targeted droning strikes around the world a program now in Trumps hands.
If the U.S. moves its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, U.N. members should threaten to move the headquarters out of New York.
The outrage around Trumps comment on Fox News that the U.S.was not so innocent is an example of how American exceptionalism has distorted any reasonable dialogue in the U.S. You can disagree with the political point he attempted to attain, but the idea that the U.S.has influenced elections, invaded countries and killed people should not be controversial. Its a known fact and surely a view that the countries of the world holds.
But the implication that America isntinnocent was perhaps the only commentary to unite both the American right and left in their criticism of Trump: a collective denial at the heart of its aberration of the facts of history. Even liberal media outlets leading the anti-Trump campaign has not been possible to bring themselves to say that, for once, he had spoken the truth.
This behavior has been emboldened because the U.S.has, for too long, gotten a free pass from the countries of the world. The Iraq war was a catastrophe, but it was one the world largely forgave as soon as Bush left office. Americas main allies, especially NATO member states and others like Japan, have played a key part in perpetuating this and thereby doing a disservice to the U.S.
If a Muslim ban is reimposed, legislators, tycoons, athletes and academics should refuse to attend events on American soil.
Its time the world rescinded this free pass through tough talk, civic action and political sanctions in a coalition of the mindful. Devoted the myriad routes the U.S.could use its power and privileges to upend international politics, the world should be specific: sanctions will be imposed because of a specific policy and will only be rescinded when the policy is repealed.
For example, if the U.S.really does tear up the nuclear deal with Iran and impose new sanctions unilaterally, Europe and China should refuse to follow suit. Other countries should be free to trade with Iran based on their national interests, and the international community should stand together on this.
If the U.S.decides to withdraw from the Paris climate change agreement, the rest of the world, led by China and the EU, must continue without it. If the U.S.really does move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, the membership of the U.N.should threaten to move the headquarters out of New York or at least host Septembers General Assembly in a different city. At a minimum, envoys should shun Trumps speech.
Imagine if top tennis players boycotted the U.S. Open, like cricket and rugby players did with tournaments in apartheid South Africa.
If the U.S.really does try to reimpose the travel banning on people from a few cases Muslim-majority countries, the worlds legislators, tycoons, athletes and academics should refuse to attend seminars and events on American clay. Global events should look for places outside the U.S. If the U.S.really does place substantial tariffs on Mexico or China to further its own domestic political aims, the world should consider alternatives to the dollar as the worlds reserve currency.
These sanctions are provocative. However, Western countries, led by the U.S ., have long believed that these sanctions economic, political or social, either by governments or societies can change both governments behavior, although they were harm ordinary people. At the very least, it is a statement that a countrys actions are beyond the pale. The world has tried these tactics before against apartheid in South Africa, for example.Imagine if top tennis players boycotted the U.S. Open, like cricket and rugby players did with tournaments in apartheid South Africa.
American politicians and diplomats need to be sent a message that, as much as the world needs and wants a strong and stable U.S.playing its rightful role, the U.S.needs the support of the rest of the world as much, if not more. If push comes to jostle, the world can and must construct a new world order that does not treat the U.S.as the first among equals.
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