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By Jonathan Allen
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina ̵
1; America once advocated for a “new world order.” Now it does not seem to be a world order.
The transformation took almost 30 years, but it was enclosed Friday for two moments: an exultant greeting between the Russian president and the Saudi crown prince here and the death row of the internationalist president George H.W. Bush in Houston.
It was at the opening of the G20 summit here as Vladimir Putin and Mohammad bin Salman signaled with a broklaft – half five handshakes and all scofflaw – that they will do as they wish without fear of the reappearance of President Donald Trump or any allies which would need to help sanctions.
Just a few hours later, Bush – who announced an Allied invasion of Iraq in 1991 by requiring “a new world order – a world where rule of law, not the jungle’s law, governs the nation’s behavior” – but at the age of 94.
The reasons for the conversion are complicated – a combination that includes Trump’s belief in national sovereignty, his affinity for authoritarian leaders, the relative decline in US power and possibly Trump’s personal interests – but the result is clear, says Trump critic.
“It’s profoundly disturbing that this president has become a global driving force for despots,” said Rep. Dav id Cicilline, D-R.I., Who is a member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs. “He promises them as if they are close to personal friends and then he fails to do anything to stop them or even condemn them when they commit some of the worst cruelties in the last memory.”
Putin has manipulated democratic elections over the globe, including in the United States, attached the Crimea from Ukraine, and recently renewed Ukrainian ships and sailors who worked in water that were not his.
A new CIA assessment found with “high confidence” that Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman ordered Murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi at a Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey in October.
Instead of condemning them publicly on the global planet provided by this summit – or simply confronting them – President Donald Trump chose to keep his distance from them by holding
Trump refused to blame bin Salman for Khashoggi’s death and quoted Saudi investment in American goods as a reason not to disturb the relationship between the two countries. His son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has become close to bin Salman, and Trump’s business has benefited from Saudi Arabian dollars over the years.
And while he attributed to interrupting a planned meeting with Putin here to Ukraine’s situation, the Russian Foreign Ministry suggested Trump made it because he could not afford the political optics in the period after former former Michael Cohen alleged lie to Congress for Trump’s efforts to develop real estate in Moscow while he ran to president.
Trump long denied that has any financial interest in Russia, despite having been doing business there for many years.
Regardless of Trump’s calculation, Putin and bin Salman appeared to be a bank robber who had just taken away from the century and rushed past armed guards.
“Opportunist leaders like Putin, MBS and others benefit from … emptiness created as America’s retreats from internationalism to nationalism, the appetite for an emergency president, and the greed of self-management (and potentially corrupt) one,” David Rothkopf, a visiting researcher at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a former executive director and editor of foreign policy magazine, said in a text
“Because of his ideology and the shortcomings of his character, he has transformed America’s historical role and created a space for some of the world’s worst bad actors to flourish and violate international laws and norms for conduct with impunity, “he added.
Trumps baby glove treatment by autocrats – Putin, bin Salman, North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and others – is all clearer because of his tendency to inflict economic and diplomatic pain on long-standing American allies.
“One of Trump’s most troubled instincts is to support authoritarian leaders at the expense of democratic leaders,” said senior ambassador Nicholas Burns, who served as chairman of both parties. “He is close to MBS and refuses to criticize Putin, Kim Jong-un, [Chinese President] Xi [Jinping] and [Turkish President] Recep Erdogan. At the same time, he has been irreversibly critical to [U.S. allies]. He has become a US foreign policy on his head. It weakens the United States and reduces our credibility. “
It is bad enough for proponents of the old American led liberal world order to see bin Salman and Putin flaunting their immunity from true sanctions of the leader of the free world. But there is another risk that Trumps quiescence will give the second thought that they can get away with what they want.
“Other Nations See This,” Laura Rosenberger, Chief of the Alliance for Securing Democracy and a former Foreign Policy Adviser to Hillary Clinton, said. “If we send signals that this type of behavior will not face consequences, there is no reason for others not to assume these methods.”
And she added: “This is essentially a game book that anyone can download and use if they want.”