In an exclusive interview with FNA, Professor Golstein said the future is bound to reshape as the world cannot endure any longer “arbitrary, greedy, myopic American behavior.”
Vladimir Golstein is a professor of Slavic Studies, and teaches Russian literature and film at Brown University in Rhode Island, the US. He is the author of several books and numerous articles on Russia’s policies, as well as the current foreign policy issues.
Below is the full text of the interview:
Q: How do you find Trump’s order to assassinate Lieutenant General Soleimani, amid the political turmoil inside the US?
A: Politically, that was a rather calculated and cynical move on the part of the President. And it surely has a recent historic precedent when about twenty years ago, President Clinton has decided to bomb Iraq, and then Serbia, just to distract the attention of the Americans from his own Impeachment proceedings. Of course, all this was camouflaged by the talks of “responsibility to protect,” of duty to punish the “bad guys” and prevent them from doing more violence, but that obligatory talk was just a talk of politician, which nobody believed, except the consumers of TV news. Trump has obviously made his calculation: he sends the message to Middle East that the US is a top dog not to be messed with; he sends the message to his followers, that he wants peace, but can be violent, Patriotic, and pro-Pentagon when there is a need for it; he sends message to Democrats, that the Impeachment at this moment of heightened tensions is treasonous. So, from Trump’s perspective, it was a successful move that disarms his critics and cements his base.
Q: Trump’s Administration said the assassination of Lieutenant General Soleimani will improve the US security. Do you believe if the assassination operation was truly an achievement for the Americans?
A: I do not think that violence in preference to diplomacy; wars in preference to peace; threats, bullying, intimidation and humiliation in preference to negotiations are good policies for any country. This assassination will have short and long-term repercussions. In short terms, it will heighten fear and anxiety among both Americans and their allies. Who wants to live in the world when one always has to watch one’s back? But more significantly, it would result in further eroding of American prestige in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world. The world is watching and is rapidly accumulating the examples of arbitrary, greedy, myopic American behavior. Rather than being an arbiter, a power broker, the United States is turning itself into an Imperial power, with its allies (who can do anything they want as long as they remain obedient allies) and its rivals that have to be punished and degraded. This myopic policy, when compared to a much more measured response of US major rivals, like China and Russia, are bound to reshape the future world, no matter how hard United States is trying to resist its decline.