Some political pundits have called it: Double Trouble! It is in reference to the political impasse facing both the US President Donald Trump and the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Both have come to represent aspects almost unacceptable in the doyen democracies of the Western world. One was described as acting like a tin-pot dictator, a description exclusively applied to the leaders of banana republics; the other, talking like one.
Trump is in trouble for a variety of reasons, but now the most immediate one is about a telephone conversation he had with the Ukranian President Vlodmir Zelensky, in July. Accordingly, Trump asked Zelensky to investigate Hunter Biden, the son of Joe Biden, the Democratic front-runner for the 2020 general elections. The issue is that as vice president under the Barack Obama administration, Biden allowed his son to unduly benefit from a business Ukraine was doing with the US administration.
In the conversation with Zelensky, Trump is said to have blackmailed him that, unless he spilt the beans on Hunter, the US would not give Ukraine some $400 million, money that would have been useful for Ukraine to up its military capability against the encroaching Russian Republic that has occupied Crimea.
This has led to the Democrats to start investigations to impeach Trump on abuse of office, by trying to influence the outcome of the coming elections in his favour. In the process, Trump has threatened the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, that he acted treasonably by getting the whistleblower to expose Trump on the July Zelensky conversation.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pellosi, controlled by the Democrats, believes that the country is ready for this, the fourth impeachment of a president of the United States. Trump has been acting arrogantly in a number of occasions with his tell-tweets, now considered by pundits to have mounted to no less than 10,000 lies in the conduct of his public office.
Underlying this is his close association with Prime Minister Johnson, who at the other end of the Atlantic Ocean, is battling to get Britain out of the European Union (EU). The way he is going about it is generating resentment across the British public. His argument is that Britain will get out of the EU;”deal or no deal”. To that extent he conned Queen Elizabeth, the monarch, to prorogue Parliament so that he would ramrod his deal through the EU without lawmakers talking about it.This strategy has backfired with the Supreme Court ruling that his action was unconstitutional, pitting Britain into a political crisis, which now demands, either a new referendum following the one in 2016, or a general election before November.
The upshot of this is that, outside of Europe, the only person actively supporting Johnson is Trump, who sees this as an opportunity to spite the EU and China in trade wars. By so doing, he has withdrawn the US out of the nuclear deal with Iran which is causing stability tantrums in the region. It has led Iran to renew a nuclear proliferation; and bringing a confrontation with Saudi Arabia, because of their support for the Yemeni government that is being fought by the Houthi rebels, who are taking the war to Saudi Arabia.
The recent bombing of the Saudi oil facilities by the Houthis, and ascribed by both to the Iranians, in denial of the Houthi military capability, is pushing the region into a conflict whose ramifications are easy to see as going into a wider conflict, not just in the region, but bringing in the Russians, who support the cataclysm in Syria, against what they see as Iranian underhand involvement.
That this affects the supply of the world oil, is simply a case for war. The protagonists are evenly drawn. With Russia, China and North Korea, on the one hand, there is the US and Britain, on the other, that threatens to split the EU: Turkey and Greece on the side of the Russia-China alliance; against US-Britain.
Throw into this , the recent spat between Brazil and the US over the setting of fires to the Amazon forest, “the Lungs of the World” in their arable land and underneath mineral wealth, by investing companies, against the rest of the world at the climate change conference at the United Nations, and the conflict is becoming truly global. Africa, will of course, dither between the two blocks for a moment, but will undoubtedly back the US-British Alliance, not just because of donor-dependence, but also Commonwealth and former colonial association.
In this scenario, clearly, it is Trump-Johnson intransigence in their local politics that is drawing the world ever close to a nuclear conflict. Add to this the recent show of Chinese military might, replete with a supersonic drone, in their celebrations of the 70th anniversary of Chairman Mao tse Tung’s founding of the Communist Republic of China and the confusion in Hong Kong, former British colony; and who doubts where the world is heading to!