The World after Trump, Netanyahu and Rajoy


Johan Galtung - TRANSCEND Media Service

Easter 2018

We may soon be witnessing those powerful politicians fizzling out. Trump is seen as “unleveled”, “incompetent”; Netanyahu is framed as “corrupt”; and Rajoy for pillaging the state to support his party. However, true or not, the real reasons are their failed policies.

Trump is used by the American Israel Political Affairs Committee, AIPAC, to define Israel’s Arab-Persian enemies as US enemies, and by others to turn him from deep friend to shallow foe of Russia. Risky.

Netanyahu’s Genesis 15:18 Israel from the Nile to the Euphrates is deemed indefensible with too vulnerable supply lines by Mossad-IDF. They “handle” Gaza in their belligerent way, but not 15:18. Risky.

Rajoy did not manage Catalunya: much violence, little negotiation with City No. 2, Barcelona, culturally superior to Madrid. He has been long in power; people get tired of him, but tends to hang on. Risky.

That raises the question of their likely successors.

For Trump: Vice-President Pence, Christian fundamentalist without Trump’s charisma and big rocks in ponds to see what happens. Bolton-Haspel-Pompeo may mean wars with North Korea and Iran, with genocidal consequences for the Korean peninsula and for the Fertile Crescent.

And for the USA? Imagine that North Korea has smuggled a nuclear device into vulnerable USA, easier than delivery-by-missile methods? North Korea plans long term; USA maximum one administration, 4 years.

For Netanyahu: Jewish-Israeli fundamentalists for more conquest-colonization and expulsion of Arabs for a “pure” Arab-free Israel.

For Rajoy: No clear successor is lining up, in itself a weakness;  but successor parties like PSOE-Podemos combinations now being tested.

In short, we seem to be heading for:

  • A USA more belligerent, not only verbally, isolated from the allies;
  • An Israel, US supported, more at war with Arab-Persian neighbors;
  • A Spain more as “comunidad de naciones”, less as “una, grande libre”.

Like Germany, with an “independent” “Freistaat Bayern“, with a “Catalunya Independiente” in name, in fact as “high level autonomy”. The key to survival for Spain is the same as for Germany: flexibility, the cherry tree yielding to shake off snow, not hardening to break. Watching with sorrow USA and Israel so unable to practice flexibility. “In strength weakness, in weakness strength“, whisper the Analects.

Of course this is not the end of the three stories; only likely futures for, say, maximum 5, absolute maximum 10 years.  What next?

A US popular revolt is unlikely. Americans support leaders killing unlimited numbers abroad as long as no Americans are killed.  They hate body bags. They agree that both wealth and poverty-misery are well deserved in the land of the brave and the free, and accept a de facto military coup (under John Hull) truthful to these values.

Moreover: if you do not like America, leave America.

The roots of basic US change are in the less American Americans: the non-white, non-male, non-Christian, not USA-born; black-colored, women, the Jewish-Catholic-Orthodox-Hindu-Buddhist-Shinto, Indigenous, this generation immigrants, Dreamers creating America of their dreams. They only have to find each other, what now is going on, and discover that the political parties also are traitors to that dream. Using polls for third parties?  Or, better live the dream? Using “This land is my land, it is also your land” for dreams to be enacted?

However, there was once, in 1850, a compromise of shame: the South giving up secession and the North returning refugee slaves. Today: you live your dreams inside, and we kill our enemies outside. Are the “less-American Americans” sufficiently cosmopolitan not to let that happen? Or are they more like Trump, at the World Economic Forum in Davos confusing the world with the USA, only with “America First”, leaving the forum to  China hypocritically talking about “World First” and now, a couple of months later, openly standing for “China First”.

Will USA and China fight, and possibly annihilate each other? Leaving the world to Russia? Or, could Russia have a softening impact on their ally China, like China and India seem to have on each other?

There are good alternatives to a USA-China war.

Enters sociology: Give hostile actors a shared concern, and they may start cooperating. “Design a Better World” is a shared concern worthy of the Big Five– USA, EU, Russia, India, China–not small powers like UK, France, Germany even if on the UN Security Council +1 defined by World War II. Whether asked or not this is probably what the Big Five are now doing.

And then the rest of us will sit in judgment over the outcome? They will probably not be interested, but tell us their conclusion.

The root of basic Israeli change is in the less Israeli Israelis, Sephardic, not Ashkenazi Jews.  The latter have suffered unspeakably in European Christian lands–Catholic, Orthodox, Evangelical–the former have co-existed as people of the Book in Arab-Muslim lands. Sooner or later they will gain the upper hand, history on their side.

The root of basic Spanish change is in military and “defense intellectuals” reaping Spanish history, if not for European lands at least for “Spanish Morocco”. And seeing Basques and Catalans in France as offshoots of their own.  Not conquering, but influencing. For them, Spain is a part of the competitive European state system, no stranger to wars. Military is about territory, territory is about borders, borders are there to be defended or to be expanded.  For expansion, past history or shared concerns serve as legitimizers.

We are heading for basic changes. The three politicians are not that important, except as markers of an era in history.

Do not call it “chaos”, that is only intellectual capitulation. We are talking about alternatives to failed US and Israeli warfare for global and regional hegemony, and about alternatives to successful Spanish internal and external peace-fare, but in a state system.


Johan Galtung, a professor of peace studies, dr hc mult, is founder of TRANSCEND International and rector of TRANSCEND Peace University. Prof. Galtung has published more than 1500 articles and book chapters, over 500 Editorials for TRANSCEND Media Service, and more than 170 books on peace and related issues, of which more than 40 have been translated to other languages, including 50 Years-100 Peace and Conflict Perspectives published by TRANSCEND University Press. More information about Prof. Galtung and all of his publications can be found at

This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 2 Apr 2018.

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One Response to “The World after Trump, Netanyahu and Rajoy”

  1. Akifumi Fujita says:

    I think the last three lines of this very inspiring and stimulating essay are very important at least to me. Ive been struggling with how to interprit that part these days because the term “chaos” is for me one of the key words that promise something new and creative in my effort to understand this complicated world. And also in my understanding, it is Professor Johan Galtung that is most likely to use the term “chaos”. Now I’ve come to think that the term can be a kind of intellectual barrier that prohibits us from deeper pursuit of reality. Yes, what we have to do is to talk about concrete alternatives. And if the term “chaos” has some meaning , it may be in our efforts to find and create alternative solutions. Anyway, thank you very much for pointing out intellectual capitulation, the very tendancy also found in me.