x

You’ve reached your limit of free articles for this month.
Get unlimited access to The National Herald,
starting as low as $7.99/month for digital subscription & $5.99/month for a delivery by mail subscription

Columnists

What Foreign Leaders are Rooting for Trump?

It now looks certain, barring an act of a clearly disinterested God, that Donald Trump will head the MAGA (formerly known as the GOP) ticket in November.

It also goes without saying that virtually every other country in the world has a vital interest in who wins. For a few important foreign leaders (1) whose political interests require a Trump victory, and (2) who have the means to influence how Americans vote and have had a ‘bromance’ (long or short), Trump’s win is vital. They look for a new Trump presidency to rescue them from their mistakes. As Colonel Renault in Casablanca said, it is the ‘usual suspects,’ Netanyahu, Putin, and Erdogan, three of the world’s most unsavory characters.

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s Prime Minister, faces several indictments for corruption and desperately needs a Trump victory to stay out of jail. He stayed in power to avoid prosecution by forming a coalition government with ultra-right religious nationalists. He cut a Faustian bargain, selling his soul to Itamar Ben Gvir and Bezalet Smotrich, unsavory types who advocate expelling Palestinian Christians and Muslims from all of Palestine so as to achieve their dream of a Greater Israel extending “from the (Jordan) river to the (Mediterranean) sea.” In addition to his soul, they demanded Netanyahu pass legislation to subordinate Israel’s judiciary to the politicians, effectively turning Israel into a theocracy like Iran. This brought hundreds of thousands of Israelis into the streets to protect the secular democracy, the foundation of the Jewish state. The brutal Hamas attack of October 7 interrupted the near-revolt against Netanyahu and gave him the pretext to launch an attack into Gaza that has killed more than 33,000 Palestinians and destroyed the homes of two million more. The brutality of Netanyahu’s war, arguably making him and his country war criminals, has undermined Israel’s relationship with most of the world, most importantly with the U.S. At home, 85% of Israelis hate him for funding Hamas before the war, for his refusal to take responsibility for ignoring warnings of the Hamas attack, and now for prosecuting the war in a way guaranteed to kill the remaining Israeli hostages held by Hamas. Netanyahu’s survival plan demands keeping the war going on, and even extending it to Lebanon, until Trump becomes President. Netanyahu hopes that his embrace of the GOP and hostility to the Democratic Party has endeared him to Donald Trump who, if elected, will find some miraculous way to save him from losing power. Netanyahu may be deluding himself. For Trump, loyalty runs only one-way; Netanyahu infuriated our former President by congratulating Biden on winning the 2020 elections. Nevertheless, Netanyahu has two powerful tools at his disposal to influence the elections, a powerful American lobbying machine controlled by the Israeli right wing and the adulation of evangelical Christians devoted to Israel.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin sees a Trump victory as the road to victory after he botched the invasion of Ukraine. Unlike Netanyahu, Putin’s expectation that a Trump victory will lead to victory in Ukraine is not delusional. Trump demonstrated his admiration for Putin and his dislike for Ukraine (related to the Hunter Biden case) during his first term. His closest former aides, beginning with his National Security Advisor, John Bolton, have warned us of Trump’s admiration for the Russian dictator. During Trump’s Presidency these advisers managed to restrain Trump’s pro-Putin proclivities. He might not be so restrained if he wins; the Heritage Foundation has launched a program to select loyalists for top jobs if he is elected. Trump’s MAGA followers support abandoning Ukraine to Russia. Further encouraging Putin, reports have circulated that Trump is expected to appoint Paul Manafort to his campaign. Manafort, readers will remember, served time in prison as a result of a trial following investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 elections. Putin has a well-honed cyberwarfare apparatus that influenced the electoral process in 2016 and that has already begun to spread disinformation targeting Biden for 2024.

Turkish President Recep Tayyep Erdogan also needs a Trump victory. Trump’s affection for Erdogan rivals his love of Putin. Trump went out on a limb to help Erdogan’s son-in-law who had run afoul of American sanctions on Iran. The ‘bromance’ between the two encouraged Erdogan to threaten war with Greece. Fortunately, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo undermined Erdogan’s plans by building the strongest American defense relationship with Greece since WWII. Trump knew so little about how foreign affairs worked that he never noticed Pompeo’s end run. The Biden administration has shown an even greater tilt against Turkey, particularly in the balance of military sales. Erdogan’s ability to influence American elections, fortunately, is minimal outside the Beltway.

Readers may ask “Why is China not on the list?” We have credible evidence that China tried to influence the 2016 elections and the congressional elections of 2018. Beijing got a massive dose of ‘be careful what you wish for’, not having properly assessed the effects of Trump’s overweening ego. Having failed to ‘cut a deal’ with Xi Jinping early in his term, Trump launched a trade war with China. His administration unleashed a cataract of tough-on-China policies, followed by a campaign scapegoating China for the COVID epidemic. Now he has promised 60% tariffs on Chinese imports if reelected. China also fears Trump’s unpredictability could lead to disastrous outcomes. Reuters reported that U.S. intelligence agencies had concluded that China did not interfere in 2020; Xi Jinping may be the only former Trump supporter with the wherewithal to influence the elections against him. Other authoritarian rulers might want Trump reelected but do not have the capacity to interfere in our elections.

Mom told us that we should judge people by whom they hang out with. We should have listened to her.

RELATED

ATHENS - Olympiacos made history: The triumph of José Luis Mendilibar's team in winning the UEFA Europa Conference League is a monumental achievement, not only for the club but for Greek football as a whole.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

The 30th Κalamata International Dance Festival Runs July 12-21

KALAMATA – Synonymous with the evolution of contemporary dance in Greece, the Kalamata Dance Festival celebrates 30 years of continuous presence this year, having established itself as the premier contemporary dance event in the country and one of the most significant dance events in Europe.

KALAMATA – Synonymous with the evolution of contemporary dance in Greece, the Kalamata Dance Festival celebrates 30 years of continuous presence this year, having established itself as the premier contemporary dance event in the country and one of the most significant dance events in Europe.

Permanently Unique Group announces their third foray into unique cuisine in Manchester’s Spinningfields shopping district.

NEW YORK (AP) — Manhattan prosecutors told a judge Wednesday they are evaluating more claims of sexual misconduct made against Harvey Weinstein and could potentially seek a new indictment against him before his scheduled retrial on rape and sexual assault charges.

NEW YORK – Greek-American Stratis Morfogen’s Diner 24, 283 3rd Avenue in Manhattan’s Gramercy neighborhood, was featured in the New York Post for hiring pastry chefs from an untapped demographic – yiayias and church ladies.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.