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Wen Yang: How does Trump choose his enemies?


By Wen Yang    Source: CGTN    Published: 2018-7-19

US President Donald Trump kept tossing bombs all through his Europe trip. He called the European Union a “foe” of the US soon after the NATO Summit and implied he would trust Russian President Vladimir Putin rather than his own intelligence services after the meeting with his Russian counterpart.

He also shrugged off the critics as he later wrote on Twitter: “I would rather take a political risk in pursuit of peace than to risk peace in pursuit of politics.”

Trump is not a traditional politician; he was once a businessman. He doesn’t behave differently just for the sake of it, he acts differently because he believes his motives are correct. While everyone criticizes his bold remarks, fewer people criticize how his words contradict his mind. Every time Trump labels a country or person an enemy, people are willing to believe him.

So, it’s necessary to decipher the map in Trump’s head that leads him to choose his enemies.

“I think the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade. Now, you wouldn’t think of the European Union, but they’re a foe,” Trump said.

What he said was actually right. Trump wants to “make America great again” not to “make the West great again.” His only objective is to safeguard US interests as the West declines, and according to him, the US is the only hope in saving Western culture from an apocalyptic “flood” of destruction.

In his eyes, Europe is unable to deal with the invasion of Muslims, or to stay calm under the threat of Russia. With a low military presence, it doesn’t even have the willingness to protect itself; it just depends on the US for military support and holds the US back. Such a friend is unable to help the US, and even worse, will pull the US down with it as the flood waters rise.

Trump’s mission is to save the US from the impending flood. But fellow passengers can also be enemies if they are not helping the ark stay afloat, or may cause it to sink. They can be perceived as an enemy, maybe worse than the flood itself.

According to conservative thought, the population growth and cultural invasion of Muslims, and the economic and trade invasion of China are the floods that will signal the end of the Western world.

Trump is “fighting” the Muslim issue on two levels – Internationally and domestically. He is attempting to control its roots, the Middle East. Regardless of international objections, the Trump administration has been encouraging Israel’s militarism and has intensified its confrontation with Iran.

The situation in the Middle East might further deteriorate or might turn into a war. However, Trump doesn’t care about the instability of the region because he knows Europe will take the brunt of it, not the US.

Meanwhile, Trump is attempting to regulate the flood within his own country by launching the travel ban against many Muslim-majority countries and deporting illegal immigrants. He has taken strong measures to avoid the population growth and cultural invasion of Muslims.

China, considered to be the second part of the flood, is relatively easier to handle, according to Trump. Whenever he talks about China, he stresses the trade issue explicitly. He has labeled China as an “economic enemy.”

The world is witnessing his dealing with the threat from China as a trade war. Trump believes, unlike the Muslim population, China is capable of dealing with an “attack” from the US. The US may hurt itself in the trade war but will sustain. The US wants to regulate the potential flood damage, and if the trade war can eliminate the threat of the flood, it is acceptable for the US to lose more in the trade war than China.

If we understand the logic here, we may begin to grasp why Trump has insisted on starting a trade war with China, regardless of the opposing voices saying that the US might get hurt.

Finally, we look at Russia again that does not have the volume or energy reserves to be considered a flood and lacks advantages in population, culture and economy. As a traditional foe of the West, it definitely will not share the ark with the US. Therefore, Russia is actually a nearby enemy warship in flood.

Why did Trump shrug his shoulders when the Western media called Russia with one voice the top enemy of the US? Because Trump never shares his inner thoughts of his true judgment about friends and enemies and his conclusion is far from being in the consensus of Western politics or public opinion.

Trump sees many foes around the US, while others can only see Russia.

While following in Trump’s strange steps, the world must learn what is going on in his strange mind.

Wen Yang is senior fellow of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China.

Key Words: US   China   Russia   Wen Yang  

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