The world is now in real danger
It is not just that what up till yesterday were certainties have now become doubts.
Maybe without our realising what is happening, the world we were brought up in has changed, is changing, and we can only watch and see. We were brought up in a world that was stable because there was America in defence of freedom and a certain style of living. No longer. America is about to get a president who, rather than believe in what his country’s security services say, prefers to believe what the Russian president tells him.
He has attacked and denigrated all those who dared suggest that he was being blackmailed by Russia for maybe some compromising photos they have of him cavorting with actresses in Moscow.
All through the election campaign, Donald Trump had argued he could have better relations with Vladimir Putin than Barack Obama had. He also argued that American policy under Obama and Clinton was heading in the wrong direction.
Trump is also in favour of winding down the American umbrella that consists of US personnel and weapons present in Europe or at least making the Europeans pay for such protection. He does not see why Europe and America must defend Ukraine and those countries which have escaped from the iron grip of Soviet Russia and joined Europe and Nato, such as Poland, the Baltic states, etc are quaking that the American protection may be withdrawn.
On the other hand, he and Putin say they intend to hound and annihilate Isis and the various Islamic terror groups that have sprouted. But we have seen the kind of support that Russia and Putin can give, such as that which annihilated Aleppo and caused countless deaths.
We cannot say that the previous regime did not commit multiple mistakes in its handling of world affairs. The US may not have been right, with hindsight, to attack Saddam Hussein’s Iraq but then it handled the aftermath disastrously. It has dismembered the country which is today still wallowing in lawlessness and has lost a good third to Isis. Trump says he intends to make America greater but we are justified in asking how does he intend to do this when he intends to redraw the American relations with Moscow? Like many populists who made it to the top by making extravagant promises, Trump is now called to deliver. Will he build a wall to stop Mexicans from entering the US? Will he impose a moratorium on Islamic believers from entering the US, as he promised?
There is no doubting about the validity of his election, even though he obtained less votes than Hillary Clinton. He is the man the Americans chose to lead them.
But for us, Europeans, the choice of the Americans is ominous. He intends to fraternalise with Putin and he also intends to make us Europeans pay for the US help in our defence. If there is any more cogent reason for Europe to come together, to think as one big continent, to remove any splits and arguments and to express solidarity in concrete ways, this is it.