Vsevolod Chaplin: ''Honesty, intelligence, will, fearlessness — it is what we need to show in response to Trump’s actions''
The column of the famous Orthodox priest about Donald Trump and our response to America
The chemical attack and the American missile strike on the Syrian airbase have forced the expert community to redefine the relationship between Moscow and Washington. Hopes of part of the Russian elites on ''our'' Trump have not materialized. A columnist of Realnoe Vremya, Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, in a new column, written specially for our online newspaper, tells how the Kremlin should respond to the sharp attacks of the American president and what line to take in at the negotiations.
A typical representative of ''white'', ''Protestant'' America
In the relations between Putin's Russia and Trump's America, it seems, the first serious crisis is beginning. Some of our politicians and political scientists are already trying to forget their recent enthusiasm about the advent of the new American president, but journalists bring their enthusiasm back to memory. Nevertheless, exactly what to be expected is happening now. Exactly on the day of the inauguration of Trump your humble servant wrote: ''Trump won't be an easy partner for us, alas. A conflict is almost inevitable — including, for psychological reasons. Nevertheless, we should try to negotiate. But we should do it honestly — with a decisive designation of the areas of strategic responsibility of Russia for what is happening in all those places where Russian Orthodox people have been living in large quantities (millions) and for a long time (centuries). We should not conceal this approach. To be honest with Trump is much more appropriate than playing a double game, and to cowardly retreat."
Alas, in the Russian politics there have worked out the excessive faith in the promises and excessive negativity from the recent ''tug of war'' with the American Democrats. Now everything will be more honestly and more directly. That means that we need to get away from the tactics of concealing our true intentions, peculiar to diplomats and foreign intelligence. It is necessary to act politically, not excluding the readiness for violent confrontation.
''Russian counteragents of the American leader, accustomed over the last three decades to the cynical ''policy of interests'', to which they have been partly taught by old Washington elite, will have to get used to another thing – to a major role of feelings and values in decision-making in the United States.'' Photo: ibtimes.com
Trump acts as a typical representative of ''white'', ''Protestant'' America. He says quite plainly and acts directly, including under the influence of certain beliefs about the moral norms, about proper and improper. Look at the story with the ''emotional'' influence of the President's daughter on the decision to strike the Syrian airbase using footage of an alleged chemical attack alone! Let me remind you what I wrote in Realnoe Vremya in December about Trump: ''At moments of conflict, the system of values may prevail over caution and calculation.'' Russian counteragents of the American leader, accustomed over the last three decades to the cynical ''policy of interests'', to which they have been partly taught by old Washington elite, will have to get used to another thing – to a major role of feelings and values in decision-making in the United States. To the understanding of banefulness of any deception, any ''insincere'' surprises.
The more especially as the cost of failure can be extremely huge. No matter how much they speak about the absurdity in the modern world of a ''big'' war, particularly nuclear one, too many forces are interested in it today. For example, some economic and financial players who would love to ''reset'' their obligations — and a war will ''charge off'' many things. Do not forget that in many societies there is a growing instinctive understanding that long period of peace and rarity of violent death plunges the societies into stagnation, bringing to life the most unexpected processes like a growth of suicides, demographic crises and, oddly enough, unwillingness to live (remember the infamous experiment of John Calhoun's ''Universe 25'').
Syria or the Far East, the Donbass or any other place can be an arena of direct Russian-American confrontation. It is good if only diplomatic one. Even in this case, there may be a very little room for insincere smiles and ''friendship'', typical of past relations between Vladimir Putin and some European leaders. A very important signal should be the visit to Moscow of U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. I would venture to suggest that he, as a man quite straight and not quite diplomatic, comes to reprimand, to threaten and issue ultimatums. Then — or infamous concessions or known situation with a frontal aviation attack in the hope that the enemy pilot's nerves will fail and he will turn, being open for a non-responsive hit.
''A very important signal should be the visit to Moscow of U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. I would venture to suggest that he, as a man quite straight and not quite diplomatic, comes to reprimand, to threaten and issue ultimatums.'' Photo: russiancouncil.ru
Or a clear and fair designation of our position backed up by emotional arguments. For example, a demonstration that people living on the Russian land suffered no less than the inhabitants of the terrorists captured areas of Syria did. And to provide for them a decent future for us is a matter of faith, honour and conscience, and not of ''interests'' or ''compromises''. And that we are ready to go through with it. And that for us there are values more important than life.
Hypocrisy, petty calculation, cynicism will not work out
By the way, it wouldn't be such a bad idea to talk sense into Western politicians about a manipulative replacement of the fair desire to win by the information speculations around the fact who killed more civilians. Especially if by these are meant the people who helped terrorists. It is impossible to win a war without deaths of a number of conditional non-combatants. For example, like during the Second World War. Americans must remember it well, the more especially as they applied the weapon even more terrible that chemical one. Achieving victory as the priority should be relegitimised – with all the desire to preserve the lives of people not involved in the fighting, but with all the understanding that it is impossible to do without victims among them at all. It is necessary to raise the question that way. No matter what close to Trump people and the ''world'' channels say. At the same time, it is necessary to give representatives of both countries the tribune in the media of each other in order they presented their arguments on presence or absence of chemical weapons by Assad and the Syrian opposition.
Honesty, intelligence, will, fearlessness — that is what we need to show America today in response to the sudden and direct actions of Trump. Hypocrisy, petty calculation, cynicism will not work out. We should ''replace'' strategic perspectives in dangerous regions not with being ''back to the eight'' (which in reality never existed), not with ''non-imposing of sanctions'' but with the recognition of Russia's right for a direct political control in all the lands where Russian people live and where they are in danger.
Well, in the domestic policy, we just need to unleash the will of the people — in order to ''catch up and surpass Trump''. See about it in my vlog.