We’re dealing with a pack of cowboys
YOU may have noticed something about many current leaders of the so-called Free World – countries that group together like a gang rather than like a union such as the United Nations.
These are all people with a cowboy attitude to the world, to politics and to solving problems at home.
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte liked to style himself on Dirty Harry and rejoiced in his nickname Duterte Harry. Drug dealers and drug users? Kill them. I’ll even put a bounty on them. And I’ve done it myself, killed plenty.
Then there’s Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. A coup attempt last year was just what he needed to make himself President for Life (almost). Erdogan’s kicked thousands out of government jobs because he didn’t like their politics. Others are in jail for being journalists, judges or teachers.
Russia has a wonderful system of rotating the roles of the President and the Prime Minister so it looks like it’s not a dictatorship and things are changing, but the man in power is always Vladimir Putin. One of the most cunning political animals about. A back streets boy who made it to the top of the pile.
Ironically, the one who didn’t get an invite to join the group is the calm and apparently stable Xi Jinping. Under him, China has quietly annexed the South China Sea and now owns it. This is despite the international tribunal and all China’s neighbours disagreeing. The US sent ships and planes and we even sent a rowing boat or old biplane out to wave the Aussie flag in a small show of futility to support the US’s massive show of impotence.
So now we come to the leader of the Free World, the United States. Donald Trump, tweet-master and outstanding deal maker who has trouble making deals when there’s more than one other person or interest involved. He’s just told us his job is hard.
Gosh, really? Dealing with a divided Congress or with NATO and the European Union and their many voices is difficult? Running a country takes effort? Juggling the competing egos and agendas of the multiple groups battling that other loose cannon, Bashar al-Assad in Syria is complex? And you don’t like killing people with your military? Who would have thought it?
Mr Trump said he would be honoured to meet with the enemy of most of the Pacific and Asian region, Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s despotic leader. So that fills the last spot at the table.
Take a look at them together and it should be clear that they all suffer from one malady – a major dose of personal insecurity. Why else do they need to rattle a nuclear sabre as Mr Kim does and as Mr Trump threatens in retaliation? Or as Mr Duterte does when he encourages people to kill without evidence or trial?
It’s quite different from the approach that has dominated US and thus global politics since President Theodore Roosevelt said it a century ago: “Speak softly and carry a big stick”.
That maxim has been reversed and we now have insecure leaders running half the world with knee-jerk reactions galore.
This calls for the body the UN forgot to set up. I call to order the inaugural meeting of the Insecurity Council.
Pollie Tickled is a satirical column
It’s different from the approach that dominated US and global politics since Roosevelt said it 100 years ago: Speak softly and carry a big stick.
Donald Trump joins a growing list of insecure leaders.