The Trump administration’s belligerent unilateralism has two edges, and cuts both ways — it separates the world from the US. I present a rundown of the ways the USA has, under this administration, separated our country from the rest of the world:
1. In June 0f 2017, “we” withdrew from the Paris Climate Accord. This agreement ” brings all nations into a common cause to undertake take ambitious efforts to combat climate change and adapt to its effects, with enhanced support to assist developing countries to do so.” “All nations,” now, except the USA.
2. In May, “we” withdrew from the JCPOA. The EU is struggling to keep it. They have built the Instex program, a complicated modern barter system to maintain trade with Iran and to encourage Iran to abide by the JCPOA, and our ambassador calls this a “defiance” of US will.
3. In June 2018, “we” withdrew from the UN Human Rights Council, after it voted to investigate the killing of Palestinians.
4. In October “we” threatened the International Criminal Court. John Bolton: “We will ban its judges and prosecutors from entering the United States. We will sanction their funds in the US financial system, and we will prosecute them in the US criminal system. We will do the same for any company or state that assists an ICC investigation of Americans.” The threat was in response to the likelihood of US soldiers getting prosecuted for war crimes in Afghanistan.
We note that Germany has been in Afghanistan for 18 years and has about 1,300 German soldiers there. We are involved with 21 partner states in northern Afghanistan. None of the others has taken this step. Our 21 partners, belligerent though they be, are not with us in this belligerent unilateralism.
5. Also in October, “we” threatened to withdraw from the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty. This became effective February 1. At the Munich Security Conference, Chancellor Merkel called it “the really bad news.” [Für uns, die Europäer, wenn ich das so sagen darf, war in diesem Jahr die wirklich schlechte Nachricht die Kündigung des INF-Vertrags.]
6. This month our Commerce department called auto imports a national security threat, a first step toward Trumpian tariffs. Chancellor Merkel’s comment: “If these cars, which are no less threatening by the fact that they are built in South Carolina than by being built in Bavaria, are suddenly a threat to the national security of the United States of America, that scares us.” [Wenn diese Autos, die ja dadurch, dass sie in South Carolina gebaut werden, doch nicht weniger bedrohlich werden als dadurch, dass sie in Bayern gebaut werden, plötzlich eine Bedrohung der nationalen Sicherheit der Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika sind, dann erschreckt uns das.]
7. Most recently our administration’s belligerence has set us apart. All of the countries that followed “our” line in calling Guaido the president of Venezuela have refused to agree with our frequently asserted “all options are on the table.” The EU Council of foreign ministers on Monday voted to oppose, calling for “peaceful, political and democratic and Venezuelan-owned resolution of the crisis.”
Said the EU diplomatic spokesperson, Maja Kocijancic: “This obviously excludes the use of force.”