By Mohammad Ali Saki

Trump was a symptom, not the illness: Lebanese researcher 

February 7, 2021 - 15:14

TEHRAN – A Lebanese political researcher is of the opinion that the division in the American society is not a newfound phenomenon, saying it has been existing for decades. 

“Divisions existing for decades if not centuries in the American system,” Ali Mourad tells the Tehran Times. “Trump was a symptom, not the illness in the American body.”

While some American politicians and media are trying to present Donald Trump as a departure from the American history, there is a view that says Trump in fact represents conservative white supremacism.

“What happened during the last four years is that the conservative right that has been witnessing the excessive liberalization taking place inside America had a reflex and wanted to take over to keep the resources from being lost to immigrants and citizens of color,” Mourad notes.

The following is the text of the interview: 

Q:  How do you assess Biden’s advisory team which includes peoples like Robert Malley and Jake Sullivan? Do you see a real shift in American foreign policy or the pick of such figures just send misleading messages to Iran?

A: It seems that Biden is intentionally trying to send a positive signal to Iran by appointing the exact same staff who negotiated the nuclear deal from the American side in 2013-2015. 

But the problem is that neither Sullivan nor Malley would have the keys to the lock unless there’s a sovereign U.S. decision to return to the deal first without being influenced by the Zionist and Saudi pressure to impose new terms on Iran for returning to the deal.

What Sullivan said to CNN on January 3rd isn’t encouraging. He spoke about a wider deal and additional “regional” participants in the negotiations. Time won’t be Biden’s friend and I think the only way Sullivan, Malley, and Blinken to succeed in their mission with Iran is to save their time and acknowledge that Washington must return to the deal and remove all the “maximum pressure” sanctions imposed by Trump, as an initial move by Washington. 

Maybe their plan is to try to use their European allies to have more backers in their unjust demands to pressure Tehran to accept stop its retaliatory steps regarding uranium enrichment, but it will fail.

Q:  How do you see repercussions of the U.S. election on West Asia from Lebanon to Saudi Arabia?

A: Of course Trump’s personal blank checks to Persian Gulf states would come to an end with Biden. The latter will hand over the Middle East (West Asian) policy to the U.S. establishment, where the intelligence community and the Pentagon will have the upper hand in planning policies in the region. 

All the campaign promises that Biden made concerning the “Pariah” Saudi Arabia must not be taken seriously because in the end Biden still needs the Saudis in his approach to arrange its bloc in the region. 

Saudi Arabia ruled by MBS has a role in the normalization process between Arab states and the Zionist regime, and also Riyadh can still play a role in funding Wahhabi Jihadists from Iraq to China.

The rest of the regional files would be arranged depending on the outcomes of the White House’s approach towards Iran since the U.S. establishment handle the situation in Lebanon for example through the overall strategy towards Iran.

Q:  Some scholars suggest that Biden must use Trump’s policies as leverage and jumping platform instead of reversing them. What is your comment?

A: Biden is looking forward to reversing the clock to January 2017 with regards to America’s relations with its allies and alliances. He will soon find out that the world has changed, and even Washington’s historic allies in Europe will deal with Washington cautiously after what they’ve been through during the Trump era, because anything that they would agree on with the Biden Administration in the upcoming four years, there won’t be any guarantees that it will still be working with a different administration that would reengage again with the historic allies based on the isolationist “America First” vision.

 But for sure Biden will make use of the decisions Trump made with adversaries like Iran or China. We’ve seen Blinken praising Trump’s work with China during his confirmation hearing in the Senate. It’s obvious that Biden will try to use Trump’s sanctions on Iran to have a deal that would satisfy Zionists and Saudis, and would borrow some of the bullying style of Trump regarding trade talks with other competitors worldwide.

Q:  What is Trump’s legacy for the U.S.?

A: Trump was a symptom, not the illness in the American body. Divisions exist for decades if not centuries in the American system. What happened during the last four years is that the conservative right that has been witnessing the excessive liberalization taking place inside America had a reflex and wanted to take over to keep the resources from being lost to immigrants and citizens of color.

This current that Trump spoke for is still out there and will be there all the time, even if Trump is gone, and it can still succeed in delivering an isolationist president in the future, that’s why liberals and their like-minded in Europe are still worried. Trump would be the first president in U.S. history to be impeached twice; he deserved it for his stupidity and misconduct, but he will be remembered as the guy who gave hope to the white conservative right that they can reach power again and rule. He will be marked as the president who weakened the U.S. soft power that used to change political regimes worldwide.

Q:  How do you measure the disputes over the U.S. election? Do you agree that the deep state in the U.S. elected Biden as Trump supporters claim?

A: Trump messed up during the pandemic crisis. I think this factor made him lose. A big portion of the white population that lives in the south and the southern mid-west voted against him, though this portion used to vote Republican for decades. Also, an alliance of liberals and leftists and neo-conservatives was there united to defeat him and they succeeded. Corporate America and the establishment wanted him to leave because their interests were damaged by his policies and rhetoric, but on the other side, the way those enemies flocked to defeat him gained him a solid base that will be there to work against Biden and try to make him fail. 

If Trump had an experienced political background, like Nixon for example, he would have won the second term, but his mistake was that he only leaned on the incitement factor that wasn’t that effective in an election year with a bad economy due to the pandemic.