Forget our ‘special relationship’ with the US – we need to play a dirtier game to keep a hold of democracy

If liberal nations of the world want to salvage what’s left of their enterprise, they can’t just stand aside and allow authoritarian regimes to manipulate the US colossus. They must enter the fray, writes Borzou Daragahi

Sunday 21 June 2020 16:28
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Europeans should take a long hard look at the US in recent months. A possible madman has his finger on the trigger of global annihilation
Europeans should take a long hard look at the US in recent months. A possible madman has his finger on the trigger of global annihilation
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mong the biggest takeaways from the revelations reportedly contained in the upcoming book by former US national security adviser John Bolton is the extent to which the president, Donald Trump, has reached out abroad for political help at home. The biggest mistake by the Democrats, Bolton argues in his book, The Room Where It Happened, was not that they impeached Trump for attempting to finagle political help from Ukraine, but that their inquiry didn’t go far enough. Trump had tried to win help from China, as well, and also sought to curry favour with Turkey.

Since 1796, when France sought to change the outcome of a presidential election in the US after it signed a treaty with Britain, Washington has long been open to foreign interference and influence peddling.

Under Trump, however, that intrigue has soared to levels not encountered outside of failed states such as Libya or Lebanon. Russia is accused of using so-called “active measures” to tilt the balance in Trump’s favour during the 2016 elections. Tyrannical regimes in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates shower Washington with lobbyist money. Israel brazenly confers with local allies in attempts to win from the US long-sought items on its wish list.

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