The Kim Darroch affair is final proof that Trumps America is increasingly at odds with the UKs multicultural, democratic values and national interest
Kim Darroch is but the latest victim of Donald Trump’s Death Star presidency, which crashes at random with people and countries, provoking ruin and universal mayhem.
Many good men and women have suffered similar fates- shooting down by bangs of laser-like presidential antagonism. Like them, Britain’s departing ambassador to the US failed to treat Washington’s Dark Knight with grovel awe. Never thoughts. Johnson will specify things right.
Except, perhaps not. The widespread assumption that a Boris Johnson premiership will instantly restore US-UK relations to brimming good health is facile. Trump’s incompetent, insecure, chaotic and dysfunctional action, to borrow Darroch’s texts, guarantees that Johnson, having divulged a better person, will unavoidably get zapped, too. He will richly deserve it, although it may be Britain that suffers.
That’s the problem with appeasement. Whatever you do, it’s never enough. Theresa May went out of her mode to flatter and placate Trump from their very first White House meeting. He refunded her by deride her over Brexit, talking up Nigel Farage and talking down Britain. Publicly calling the prime minister a clown was not the action of a friend.
Historical comparings can be overdone at times of stress. Trump is not a born-again Hitler and his resurrected American brand of know-nothing rightwing populism is not a return to Nazi national socialism. He is probably not a fascist. But his ultra-nationalist chauvinism, ill-disguised support for white supremacists, racial and gender prejudices and vindictive temperament sometimes render him indistinguishable from a Cable Street blackshirt.
What Trump is, without any doubt, is an unsuitable partner for modern, multicultural, democratic Britain. His words and policies pose an unmistakable threat to the national interest, fortune and appreciates. For three years, pastors have clung to the hope that, somehow, he could be tamed- or at least, finagled. But as Darroch noted in his disclosed memoes, Trump is not going to change. Last-place week’s phenomena showed that this reality can no longer be ducked.
Security and intelligence-sharing are most often cited as the critical glue hold the” special rapport” together. In both areas, Britain and the US are at developing stranges. Washington’s moves last week to create a naval taskforce to patrol Persian Gulf and Red Sea flashpoints sucks Britain more deeply into Trump’s fabricated dissension with Iran. That country’s apparent assault to seize a British tanker showed how easily hotheads on either side could provoke a war.
The point is that Britain does not agree with Trump’s baiting of Iran, a programme Darroch period “incoherent”. Ministers conceive current strains date from Trump’s decision last year to renege on the 2015 nuclear deal.
Britain shares concerns about Iran’s ballistic missile and regional practice, but it also knows swingeing US sanctions are unjustified and provoking. It is common knowledge that the hawks admonishing Trump are trigger-happy.
Intelligence-sharing- another reason for putting up with Trump- is also in jeopardy due to the Huawei dispute.
Britain’s love to the postwar US alliance has often worked to its impediment. It is just controversial to say that disastrous US or US-directed armed involvements in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen and elsewhere, and systemic abuses arising from the post-9/ 11 “global war on terror”, have not been able to dished Britain’s interests or respected its values. Yet, under Trump, the UK’s self-defeating loyalty leads unreciprocated. See, for example, his coddling of Russia’s Vladimir Putin, the person who is attacked Salisbury with a chemical weapon.
As its economic pre-eminence is challenged and its moral dominion dilutes, Trump’s America is increasingly relying on military might to maintain its global periphery. Annual US defence spending is projected to rise to $750 bn next year- upwards of 60% of the whole federal budget. That’s an increase of more than $100 bn since Trump took office. The US is also, by some distance, the world’s leading arms exporter. Britain, by oppose, expends about $50 bn annually on defence.
What are these vast amounts of arms and money for? The US already out-guns, out-nukes and out-missiles every nation on the planet. The obvious concern is that Trump’s America may increasingly seek to enforce its will, and prescribe its terms around the world, from behind the barrel of a gun.
Forget the UN, multilateral collaboration and the global rules-based order that Britain sustains and Trump loathes. The period” extraordinary commonwealth” may soon be replaced, in the eyes of the world, by” objectionable nation “.
On present trends, Britain gambles becoming a mere satrap of this militarised empire, a vassal commonwealth of Trump’s America where Independence day is celebrated with containers and bellicose bombast. This grim fate may be compounded by an unequal, post-Brexit ” free trade ” pact that travels roughshod over environmental, regulatory and public health concerns.
Trump suctions up to dictators, sanctions the world, mistreats migrants and reviles independent journalism. And why should the British people, attuned to the intensifying climate crisis, kowtow to a human who, repudiating climate change exists, iotums America’s environmental protections and boycotts the Paris climate accord?
Trump’s America is an ugly, dangerous initiation from which old-time certainties rebound. The US alliance can no longer be relied upon. The Darroch affair is a timely warning to step back and take stock. And it’s no good saying Trump will soon be gone. The channel the subdivided Democrat are behaving, he could still be calling the hits in 2025.