03/06/2017, 14.08
RUSSIA - USA

Trump-Putin: from "Great deal," to specter of Cold War

Vladimir Rozanskij

Everything had seemed set for a great deal that included the cancellation of sanctions against Russia, in exchange for Russian support in the fight against Islamic Terrorism. The new "cold war" 2.0 is not between America and Russia, or between East and West, but everyone against everyone.

Moscow (AsiaNews) - Everything had seemed set for a "Great Deal" but now it appears to be a return to the Cold War. After an endless spy story of secret agreements between the newly elected President Trump and the eternal President Putin, which led to the resignation of the American security adviser Michel Flynn and is threatening even the office of the Attorney General Jeff Sessions, key man of Donald Trump's team, in recent days it seems that everything has been called into question. To the point of threatening an escalation of war between the two twentieth century superpowers.

The Trump statements on the need for "stronger reactions" to the annexation of the Crimea by Russia, and even to a possible revision of the Agreement of 2010 on strategic weapons, have thrown the observers from around the world into turmoil. Everything had seemed set for a great deal that included the cancellation of sanctions against Russia, in exchange for Russian support in the fight against Islamic Terrorism. It was the "big deal" that was to ensure, if not the peace of the world, at least the safety of America and Russian control of Ukraine and the Middle East.

Instead, after the hostile American statements on Russia, Putin's response was not long in coming, in perfect neo-global style that is particular to the Internet era, that is, using the trolling technique: provocative actions to embarrass his opponent.

Putin in fact granted Russian passports and use of the ruble to the two secessionist republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, a kind of "humanitarian aid" done not so much in favor the populations exhausted by civil war, but to "troll" his opponent.

Without going into the complex political and diplomatic details of this political game, which has world media analysis enthralled, two circumstances should be noted that make it almost impossible to understand the whole picture of the situation, seen here in a pattern all the more contemporary, that of the post-truth.

There are two apparent pillars of current international policy, the so-called "Minsk agreements" of 2014 that prevent the Ukrainian conflict escalating into a world war, and the agreement between NATO members, who must contribute 2% of GDP to maintaining the crucial alliance between the Atlantic countries. The first pillar is a fake for the simple fact that no one really knows what the contents of the Minsk agreements are, for example, where there is no mention even of the Crimea, and in which Russia is not counted among the conflicting parties. Anyone who appeals to such agreements, Trump, Putin, Poroshenko, Merkel, can justify with them any type of policy they want. It is said that Russia has contributed to the drafting of such agreements with its best diplomatic minds, to make it impossible to implement them.

The second "hoax" regards NATO, where 2% is only paid by the allies whose GDP is of little effect (like Poland and Czech Republic), while those who should really pay (Germany, France, Italy), cannot afford it, or they would bankrupt the country. Trump’s threats to leave NATO without European contributions are therefore aimed only to leave the US freedom to change his opinion on any matter concerning the European and American security.

The new "cold war" is not between America and Russia, or between East and West, but everyone against everyone. It is the true globalization of conflict, which was announced at the beginning of the new millennium by the rise of Islamic terrorism, which was actually the product of the American alliance against the Soviets at the end of the previous millennium.

Russia may not appear a friend to the West: polls say that national pride considered the annexation of the Crimea the most successful in the country after the victory over Hitler, and before the conquest of space. Trump’s America does not want to appear the protector of the West, but only of herself, and Europe does not really know what it wants. China, America's main opponent and partner in world trade, needs to keep its hands free everywhere.

It is no coincidence that the Ukrainian conflict is called "a low intensity hybrid war", which tends to  intensify or moderate according to market requirements, information flows, elections, as if it were a video game where the lives of human beings were mere propos to be used to provoke outrage in the public squares. It is the victory of the tool over its purpose, the Internet world without mediation and without bosses, where there is always someone ready to feed and exploit conflicts. A hybrid and faceless world, where, as Dostoyevsky said, "if God does not exist, then everything is possible."

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