Make America Small Again Part 14

In mid-December, Donald Trump called his Turkish colleague Erdogan. The clear purpose was to have Erdogan halt a planned Turkish invasion of Syria with the aim of crushing the Kurdish army YPG/YPJ that had crushed IS in the country in previous years – partially supported by the United States. But the conversation turned out to be completely different than planned. Rather than pressure Trump on Erdogan, it was Erdogan who put pressure on Trump: “why are you still in Syria when IS is 99% eradicated,” the Turkish dictator asked. Trump couldn’t even get that answer from his security policy adviser John Boltonthat sat next to him, and Trump ended up promising that the United States would withdraw its forces from Syria with immediate effect. That decision was taken by everyone in government, in Congress, and among the United States allies with astonishment. But there was also one that took the consequence. The day after, Secretary of War Marine Secretary James Mattis met with Trump to try to explain to him that it was a very poor decision. Trump ignored Mattis, who then handed in his farewell petition. Mattis’s reasoning was that if the United States withdrew from Syria, where superpower may well be, in violation of international law, no allies would be able to trust that they had US protection. The consequence was that Trump was more than ever isolated: to his Republican counterparts in Washington and to the US allies. Trump acknowledged Mattis’ farewell request to advance on 2 months to 31/12. (Matti’s resignation triggered by phone call between Trump and Erdoğan, Guardian 21/12 2018)

According to ebizdir, relations between Turkey and the United States were further aggravated in January 2019 after Trump threatened to “crush Turkey financially” if Turkey attacked the United States’ Kurdish allies. Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu replied again by declaring on TV that Turkey is not afraid and not intimidated by threats. At the same time, Secretary of State criticized Trump for using Twitter for sensitive diplomatic negotiations. In August 2018, the United States imposed sanctions on 2 Turkish ministers and at the same time imposed duties on Turkish steel. The consequence was that the Turkish Lira lost 20% in value in the foreign exchange markets. However, neither of the two regimes would give in to the conflict, and when the United States launched a coup attempt in Venezuela at the end of January against the elected President Maduro, Turkey stood on Maduro’s side. (Turkey will not be intimidated by Trump, says foreign minister, Guardian 14/1 2019)

After a few days, the chaos in the White House in December spread to Congress and the stock exchanges. Trump could not get Congress support for a $ 5 billion US $ construction permit for the building of several walls between the United States and Mexico. When the federal appropriations expired on December 23, public servants could then choose to work for free or stay home. The Wall Street stock exchange reacted on December 24 with severe price declines – the most violent in the country’s history on Christmas Eve. The country’s “infallible” president again responded by blaming the crisis on the National Bank. Finance Minister Mnuchin convened the directors of the country’s largest banks to form a working group to prevent a financial collapse like the one that hit the country in 1987. The dysfunctional regime in Washington threw the world into an ever deeper crisis. In Tokyo, the stock market fell on the 25th. with over 5% and around the world, many feared that there would now be no adult between the dysfunctional president and the bag of codes that could trigger global nuclear war. Only after the longest shutdown of state administration in U.S. history did Trumpo bow after 5 weeks and accept a new budget law. And only when air traffic in the country began to stall due to lack of air traffic controllers. (US markets: Mnuchin to convene crisis team amid White House chaos, Guardian 24/12 2018)

In late December, papers were published that revealed the hidden austerity measures in U.S. immigration policy. There were a number of hidden administrative tightening measures that make it much more difficult to enter the country. Human rights organizations and associations of lawyers appealed to the courts to overturn the administrative tightening. (Trump’s invisible wall: how his 2018 immigration policies built a barrier, Guardian 25/12 2018)

In 2018, it was revealed that the right-wing Koch brothers, billionaires from the United States, supported the radical right wing in the UK. Over the previous years, they had provided $ 300,000 in support to the right-wing Spiked group. Over the years, the Koch brothers have invested hundreds of millions of dollars politically to promote hate and right-wing groups in the United States. Trump’s former chief adviser Steve Bannon also frequently participates in events organized by the European Radical Right. The US’s covert intervention in Europe aims to undermine trade, environmental and women’s movements and empower like-minded darkmen. (How US billionaires are fueling the hard-right cause in Britain, Guardian 7/12 2018)

Make America Small Again 14