People, this stuff is big and the Italian press isn’t talking about it— which for some time has become the norm for international issues. In the US, a recurring theme in conversations among the political elite is no whether Trump or Clinton will win the imminent presidential election (as one might expect), but the— noted bipartisan— desire for increased interventionism in the next administration’s foreign policy, whatever that might be, after Obama’s mandates passed into indifference toward overseas issues, especially in the Middle East (particularly Syria), and toward the historical enemy, Russia. And let’s not forget China. All of these feelings are manifest while US public opinion and the average American don’t give a rat’s ass about what’s happening outside of the country, increasing the separation between the visions of the population and those that control it.
To be clear, the US does not need a war today, but my sources in Washington describe a situation of high anxiety, with hawks inside the Brooking’s Institution, The Atlantic Council, and the Center for American Progress, just to name a few, more at war than ever. Is there one hawk for them all? That would be Martin Indyk, the ex-ambassador to Israel and assistant to the secretary of state for the Middle East.
As I said, the US doesn’t need another war. But war, in certain US contexts, is seen as a much easier and perhaps more fun than the hard work that would need to be done to truly resolve the country’s problems, and those of international geopolitics.
However, the most surprising thing in this scenario is that the true hawk isn’t considered to be Donald Trump, but Hillary Clinton. The presidential nominee has a vision as aggressive as George W Bush’s. And it is strengthened by the fact that the majority of the Democratic Party is reluctant to oppose her by trying to slow her interventionism.
Other than my sources (who push themselves to much stronger opinions in private), there are authoritative editorialists, like the investigative reporter, Robert Parryche, who wrote in Consortium News: “Confident in Hillary Clinton’s victory, Washington’s elites are preparing war plans for Syria and possible conflicts with Russia, even foreseeing the use of nuclear weapons.” He adds, “the only option to impede Clinton would be the emergence of a ‘pacifist’ wing in the Democratic Party, possibly in line with Republican anti-interventionism. But this possibility remains problematic especially because the two sides have important political divergences on a vast array of other arguments.”
David E Sanger echoes these comments, writing an article in the October 20’s New York Times titled, “The hawk in politics with Russia? Hillary Clinton, not Donald Trump.”
In summary, this is’t reassuring. There’s another source of anguish: the deafening silence of the Italian press, that concentrates more on Hillary and Trump’s clothes, their mimicry, and insults rather than reporting on the decisive issues for our planet. On the other hand, we can’t be surprised. Not only are we out of the games that count in the international chessboard, but at this point we’re not even watching them from afar.