Make America Small Again Part 5

In October, it was revealed that Trump’s former security adviser Michael Flynn was involved in a plan to kidnap Turkish Islamic dissident Fethullah Gülen and fly him to Turkey. In return, Flynn would receive $ 15 million. US $ from the Erdogan dictatorship. Until then, Erdogan had tried in vain to have his old religious ally extradited from the United States. Flynn himself pleaded guilty in December to lying to the FBI when questioned about his relations with Russia. At the same time, he declared his willingness to cooperate with Congress’ special investigation into the Trump administration’s relations with Russia. The investigation into the criminal activities thus brought a closer look to the president, who was quick to declare that Flynn’s activities during the election campaign were fully legal. It was Flynn himself who, during Trump’s election campaign, had stated the cheers: “Lock her up” (referring to her in jail), citing Hillary Clinton’s mail server. Now it was Flynn himself who stood with his foot inside the prisons of the superpower. (Ex-Trump aide Flynn investigated over plot to kidnap Turkish dissident – report, Guardian 10/11 2017; Donald Trump: Michael Flynn’s actions during transition were lawful, Guardian 2/12 2017)

In November, the Institute for Policy Studies revealed that the 3 richest men in the United States, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffett, were richer than the poorest half of the United States population. The 3 billionaires accounted for a total of $ 248.5 billion. US $. While neoliberal in i.a. Denmark clapped its hands on rising inequality, the major economic journals were concerned about the development because it could trigger a public revolt against rising inequality. Analyzes showed that 80% of Trump’s tax cuts would benefit the 1% richest, and Forbes Magazine found that 2017 had been another record year for US billionaires. (Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffett are wealthier than poorest half of US, Guardian 8/11 2017)

Trump announced in early December that the United States would move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Acc. the president was merely a recognition of the realities: that Jerusalem was the capital of Israel. The UN and the rest of the world disagreed. Acc. The 1948 divisional plan had to give Jerusalem a special status, and according to. Security Council Resolution 242 of 1967 was East Jerusalem illegally occupied territory – by Israel. The United States’ unilateral decision therefore triggered global condemnation – except for the radical right wing in Israel. Palestine interrupted its relations with the US government, declaring that the superpower would no longer have any role to play in enbolto future peace process. The Arab League was urgently called in to discuss the situation and eventually decide to recognize Jerusalem as Palestine capital city. One step they relinquished. On December 20, the matter was discussed in the UN Security Council following a draft resolution that annulled the US decision. According to listofusnewspapers, fourteen out of the Security Council’s 15 members voted in favor of the resolution, which the US then vetoed. Then, Turkey and Yemen decided to present the same resolution in the General Assembly 2 days later. It made the superpower act even more desperate. Its ambassador Nicky Haley threatened that the United States would take note of the countries that voted for the resolution, and the day before the vote itself, Trump directly threatened those countries that would vote for the United States to deprive them of financial and military support. The United States had a long tradition of putting financial and diplomatic pressure on states to get them to vote in a specific way in the General Assembly or the Security Council, but never before had the superpower threatened so openly. So much bigger was the defeat on December 22 when 128 countries voted to declare the US embassy move invalid, while only 9 voted against. The United States and Israel were almost totally isolated in the world on a question both countries had declared was important. The only countries to abide by the superpowers’ bullying methods and voted against were 4 small states in the Pacific, the old Central American dictatorship states Guatemala and Honduras as well as the African country of Togo. However, there were also 33 states that failed to vote and 24 that failed. However, an analysis of the geographical location of these states was interesting. While Asia – including South Korea, North Korea, Japan and the Arab League – voted in favor (with a few failed states), the other continents were divided. 10 Pacific States (including Australia) abstained. Israeli diplomacy among the small states seemed to have given way. This was also the case in Africa, where 16 states did not appear or vote blank. In Europe, there were 13 states that did not show or vote blank – all Eastern European. On the American continent, there were 15 states that remained or voted blank – including Canada and Mexico. The superpower’s immediate neighbors did not dare to go out with it for fear of, that Trump would forge them out of the ongoing NAFTA free trade negotiations. In Israel, the country’s foreign minister called the UN a congregation of liars, threatened to cancel Israel out of the UN and declared that the United States could instead move in and take over the UN building in Jerusalem. (Trump threatens to cut aid to countries over UN Jerusalem vote, Guardian 21/12 2017; UN votes resoundingly reject Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as capital, Guardian 21/12 2017)

Make America Small Again 5