G7: Trump pleads for Russia's inclusion
After Donald Trump imposed steel and aluminum tariffs against his international allies, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has chosen in his response not to sit idly by, opening a new personal battlefront for the U.S. president.
"Protectionism," "isolationism" and "nationalism" are some of the words used to describe the positions of the Trump Administration when handling foreign affairs. But, once again, the erosion of his relations with other leaders seems to be accelerated by his weakened ego.
On Wednesday, news emerged that President Donald Trump fell back into historical errors during a phone call with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, against whom he attempted to recall a hostile moment between the two nations during the War of 1812, blaming Canada for "supposedly burning the White House in 1814" - a bit of Wikipedia has never harmed anyone, Mr. President - confusing English actions with those of the U.S.'s northern neighbors.
On the eve of the annual meeting of the so-called "Group of Seven," or G7, which will take place this weekend in Quebec, the tension between Canada and the U.S., as well as the international rejection of U.S. economic measures, is the order of the day.
Similarly, the presidential antipathy for NAFTA, his withdrawal from the nuclear agreement with Iran, and his recent disagreement with Canada will provide for a rather tense meeting that should prove to be "one of the most tangible demonstrations yet of Trump’s 'America First’ agenda,” explained the Washington Post.
But if there were doubts about the true alliances of the U.S. president, his statements just before embarking to Quebec resolved them completely.
"Now, I love our country. I have been Russia's worst nightmare, but with that being said, Russia should be in this meeting," he told reporters. "It may not be politically correct, but we have a world to run. They should let Russia back in.”
This was yet another example of historical ignorance on Trump’s part.
Since 1973 - when U.S. Treasury Secretary George Shultz invoked the meeting of the finance ministers of the United States, Japan, West Germany, France and the United Kingdom - respect and international diplomacy have been the fundamental principles of the G7.
From 1998, and after the incorporation of Italy, Russia joined the event as a sign of its willingness to collaborate with agreements that could benefit the entire world.
But on March 24, 2014, Russia was excluded from the group after the Crimean peninsula had been forcibly annexed as a consequence of the failure of Ukraine's negotiations with the European Union, thus winning several economic sanctions and its return to the isolation of the international economy.
It is not surprising that the president has turned his political maneuvers back to Moscow, especially after learning that his former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, was a key player in media operations for the recovery of control in Ukraine by the Kremlin.
As the Guardian explained in April, Manafort's strategy in Ukraine "anticipated later efforts by the Kremlin and its troll factory to use Twitter and Facebook to discredit Clinton and to help Trump win the 2016 U.S. election."
As the old saying goes, “There is nothing concealed between heaven and Facebook”.