By Orji Sunday Sylvester
COME November this year, at the end of the presidential election, by the time the world and the United States would have known it’s new president, the road to diplomatic ingenuity would, once again, be thrown wide open for many world powers. It would, afresh, become a time to test many nations’ resolve towards peace in a possible battle of wits. At the helm of this diplomatic exchange will be either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.
The distinction between them is much more than their parties. Simply put, they represent two distinct ideological divides. While the two individuals, in other words, represent two different political parties whom, in their own right, share unrelated party and individual ideological inclinations, it is likely that both choices, in my view, would lead the world to two parallel directions.
For one, the arch-rival of the United States such as Russia and North Korea would likely face a continuation of Barack Obama’s subtle diplomacy from Clinton or risk a more confrontational attitude from the Republican Trump.
The pendulum, however, points to the likelihood of a more violent world under Clinton, although that depends on the acceptance of reciprocal violence as the most viable means to attain peace; that is because she might tolerate more than enough.
It is obvious that Trump would prioritise stamping out terrorism and all forms of religion-induced violence. He has vocally condemned many incidences of terrorist attacks. In other words, he might risk direct US involvement militarily in the Middle East crisis.
This is something that Obama had feared to experiment with during his tenure. It could, as well, be that he had taken the obvious failure of such intervention in Libya in 2011 to mean it’s impracticability in the face of rising global challenge. It is likely that Clinton will toe a part that is not entirely different from that of her predecessor and fellow democrat.
However, both potential presidents would, as a matter of exigency, try fixing possible diplomatic strategies in working out a functional relationship with America’s arch-rival Russia. Vladimir Putin has proven himself such a character that matches the profile of the controversies he can comfortably command. Just when the world expected the truce over Syria to prevail, recent reports have it that the virgin agreement has been violated after airstrikes killed not less than seven persons. America said Putin’s Russia is responsible.
If Donald Trump becomes president, the story around the black continent would, very predictable assume a new dimension. Trump may not do much in delivering direct aids to African nations who are worst hit by famine, war, terrorism and climate change crises.
While many would wonder about the detriment of that decision, he might likely inspire many nations into investing in their internal economy. He surely hates the idea of dependency and that may affect his desire to assist or intervene in issues affecting developing nations.
Perhaps, most African nations could experience increased suffering at the birth of Trump’s era but most of the affected nations would likely turn inwards and create self-redemption.
I think that is the idea that Donald Trump is trying, through his campaign, to infuse into the Mexicans and immigrants who are desperately drifting toward Europe and America for greener pastures.
He expects them to sit back and address their personal problems in their home countries instead of daunting the United States with another responsibility. This is the reason why he might likely take on the Middle East crises more directly than his predecessor. Like Obama said in the write-up, “Obama doctrine” published by the Washington Post a few months ago, he believes that the US has saved more soldiers from death limiting it’s direct involvement in crisis-hit zones.
He thinks that the best approach is to rally other powerful nations into the fight and possibly save many US soldiers from imminent death; a strategy he admits to be lacking in George Bush’s tenure as a president. Well, it seems that many Clinton supporters fear that the presidency of Trump would likely lead to a rebirth of George Bush era. That fear might as well not be justified since he lacks any political antecedents to tie such assertion with. For Hillary Clinton, the Muslims may appear comparatively less threatened.
That is, the irreligious terrorists who commit carnage in the guise of observing Islamic doctrines. Coming back home to Nigeria, we may not expect a different treatment from the offer of the current US president. Under the guidance of President Obama, several humanitarian needs received a troubling whiff of neglect or better still late intervention at the point the crises had reached the peak.
Examples abound including the half- hearted aid received in the fight against Boko Harm. Clinton’s body language points to allowing poor nations experience subtle suffering with intermittent and inconsistent delivery of support while short-run difficulties may birth the rise and maturation of many indigenous economies under Trump. Before that time comes, we can only guess, watch and hope.
Sylvester writes from University of Nigeria, Nsukka