This article was first published by GR on December 16, 2016
A month has passed since Donald Trump was declared president-elect soon to be the 45th president of the United States. Since his win, pundits, analysts, and experts continue to debate the victory – a surprise to most. While the reason/s for this victory depend on one’s perspective, most agree on one thing: Trump is unpredictable.
But is he really?
There is clear indication that US foreign policy will not change course under a Trump administration – it will simply change tactic. Those who continue to believe that the relations with Russia are headed for a reset are more optimistic than analytical. US may deviate from the path previously trodden, but it is still headed for the same goal/s.
Trump resembles Loki – a colorful character in Norse mythology. Similar to Loki, what is thought and said about Trump depends on the source. And similar to Loki, Trump is a trickster, a shape shifter (policy shifter). So to understand him better, we should concentrate on what we do know – his team.
Judging from his picks, Trump considers Islam as the number one enemy, followed by Iran, China, and Russia. The ideology of those he has picked to serve in his administration are supporters of this continuity in US foreign policy, and, contradicts his campaign slogan of ‘non-interference’. Numerous articles analyzing Trump’s choices point to the mindset of his team (click on names to read relevant articles) including Mike Pence , General Flynn, James Mattis, and John Bolton, (see footnote for additional links)
Additionally, Israel’s domination of US policy has never been more apparent. Decades earlier many considered other than occupied Palestine “….the White House occupied territory”. Donald Trump proved them right. His son-in-law Jared Kushner will have an office in the West Wing of the White House. Kushner has financed illegal, Jewish settlements on Palestinian land.
The above stated information is the obvious – what meets the eye. What is more crucial is obfuscated. While Trump has made his position vis-à-vis China, Iran, and “radical Islam” abundantly clear, the media has led us on a different path where Russia is concerned. As such, one could be forgiven for thinking that Trump will reset the button with Russia. In fact, in the scheme of things, Trump is attempting to wean Russia away from China, Iran, and Syria in order to continue and accomplish US goals: Total domination, prevent Russia from re-emerging, contain China, contain Iran, Israel expansion.
It is important to Trump team to weaken both Russia and China by creating a divide between them – favoring one over the other. Trump defends Russia against allegations of hacking. To the unsuspecting eye, he has appointed a seemingly “Russia friendly” Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson (though undoubtedly the hawkish under-secretary of state John Bolton will be behind the wheel). Though under close scrutiny, Tillerson as Secretary of State is certainly not an ‘offering’ to Putin, although but he may well be a Trojan Horse.
What we are told of him is the fact that he is the CEO of Exxon Mobil Corporation. That he knows Putin; and that he opposed sanctions against Russia. What we are not told is that he is also a Trustee at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) – a neoconservative think tank. (Click HERE for full description of CSIS). Henry Kissinger, Richard Armitage, and Zbigniew Brzezinski are some of his trustee colleagues at CSIS.
Further, while Tillerson/Exxon has ties to Russia, it also has ties to Ukraine. In 2010, CIA/State Department propaganda voice, Radio Free Europe, announced that
“Ukraine has been the target of democracy-promoting Western foundations, such as the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), for a quarter of a century”.
NED’s counterpart in England, the UK funded Westminster Foundation for Democracy was an active partner in the endeavor. It was the Westminster Foundation that coopted the “Ukrainian Foundation for Democracy” – The People’s First Foundation that later same year would become a member of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC).
Senior advisors to the USUBC came from pro-Israel think tanks such as the Heritage Foundation and Brookings, and Board of Directors executives selected from powerful players such as Raytheon and Boeing. Exxon joined USUBC in 2010.
Why has the media left out this contentious fact? And is this censorship directed at the West, or at Russia?
It is worthwhile mentioning that Exxon recently signed deals for oil exploration in Iraq and in defiance of the Iraqi government who asked President Obama to halt the exploration for fear that it would cause instability. Of note, Turkey is a part of this deal! Iraqi oil has been exported to Israel by the Kurds, and Israel considers oil from Iraq’s Erbil to be profitable for Israel. Aware of the Israeli domination of Washington, the Iraqi Kurds are in league with Israel and have solicited their help in establishing independence.
As with every other administration before it, the Trump administration will serve Israel. Serving Israel will come at the expense of the region, and Russia. There has always been a conflict between Israel and Russian interests (see for example the Ukraine case HERE). Netanyahu, exuberant with a Trump victory and Kushner in the White House, this week embarked on a visit to two vitally imported states: Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.
These two countries have been on Israel’s radar for well over a decade. Since Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan are not OPEC members, and both produce high volume of oil, control of these would erode OPEC’s power. US administration promotion of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline has been to bypass Iran and Russia.
Netanyahu aims to promote business with Kazakhstan – a founding member of Shanghai Corporation Organization (SCO). The import of SCO in countering American-led ambitions cannot be adequately emphasized. No doubt it is this significance that has renewed Israel’s interest and taken Netanyahu there – to divide, corrupt, and weaken. A similar undertaking was taken with regards to BRICS.
Azerbaijan has particular value for Israel. Israel views Azerbaijan as an ally against Iran and Russia. As reported by JTA in 2002: There were many similarities between Israel and Azerbaijan. “Fear of Iran and radical Islam; suspicion of Russia; friendship with Turkey, and a desire to be part of the West.” It is also hoped that Azerbijan would fan flames of hostility and stir up discontent among the Azari population in Iran.
As the incoming Administration continues to take shape, and we are being distracted with “news”, battle lines are being drawn up. Perhaps the most important thing to remember and believe about Trump is his fondness of ‘surprises’.
Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich is an independent researcher and writer with a focus on U.S. foreign policy and the role of lobby groups in influencing US foreign policy.