Kirill Benediktov: "If Clinton is elected, humanity will approach the threshold of Third World War"
The presidential elections will be held in the United States on November 8. The Republican candidate is businessman Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton is the nominee of the Democratic Party. Both of them are actively playing "the Russian card" during the election campaign. A political scientist and editor-in-chief of the cite ‘Russian idea’, an editor of the intellectual investigations portal Terra America, Kirill Benediktov, told Vestnik Kavkaza about the candidates' chances and what we can expect in case of their election.
- In your opinion, who is most likely to win the US presidential elections?
- It is very difficult to predict now, because both candidates are running virtually nose-to-nose. Now polls are giving a slight edge to Hillary Clinton, a couple of weeks ago they were giving a slight edge to Trump. For now, it is within statistical error and will be dependent on the mobilization of the electorate, which is either not considered or considered as a passive force. This is the so-called lost white voters. Basically, they are "blue-collars workers" - either the working class, or the petty clerks. They are also called the lower middle class. In 1992, they mostly voted for billionaire Ross Perot [a conservative politician, who ran for the US presidency as an independent candidate - VK], who was stopped by the establishment's joint efforts. In 2012, they did not vote for Mitt Romney, who counted on their support very much. Since then, they are called lost white voters.
Perhaps, the lost white voters will vote for Donald Trump at these elections, and 6-6.5 million of people is a quite powerful force. Maybe now they are simply not fixed in polls by virtue of a certain passivity. In short, if they are active at the elections, then a factor, which is not considered now, will enter the game.
On the other hand, Hillary can employ some of her secret tools. Now she has the support of 80% of all the US media and the whole Washington establishment, not only democratic one, but also part of the republican, and, of course, the administrative resource. It cannot be shrugged off either. Both candidates have some aces up their sleeves, perhaps even jokers, and closer to the November 8 it will be clear what they plan to use.
- Whose presidency would benefit Russia more?
- At the moment, Donald Trump's presidency seems more preferable. We know roughly what to expect from Hillary. It's not even about the fact that the attitude to Russia as a country of second grade, as a country dependent on the US, as a country defeated in the Cold War, and therefore is bound to do what a defeated country is required to do, has prevailed in the US social and political consciousness since her husband Bill Clinton's presidency. Of course, it will affect Hillary Clinton's policy very strongly, if she wins the elections.
The fact is that Hillary Clinton expresses not only interests, but also ideological directives of the US political elite, which was formed by the alliance of neoconservatives, neocons and liberal internationalists. It is an ideology, according to which, the United States must (it is their mission) carry the message of democracy and human rights to all corners of our planet, including places where it never was, and which population does want it.
At the same time, Donald Trump is a bright representative of political realism. This trend is based on the rational practical interests of powers. It will be much easier to just to build relations between Moscow and Washington on the basis of political realism, because they will shift from the ideological element.
- How can the candidates, when one of them is elected, affect the situation in the Middle East?
- If Hillary wins, I think we can expect a new round of tensions in the Middle East. The Syrian campaign will probably become a long-playing, bloody and painful for all the parties phase. The United States will increase its assistance to the so-called moderate opposition. This is an artificial delimitation of more moderate groups and the same units of Al-Qaeda. Most likely, the amount of aid to these brigades will be increased, including the supply of weapons, possibly MANPADS. Sooner or later this will lead to an open conflict with the Russian Air Forces, because MANPADS can be used not only against the Syrian aircraft, but against the Russian aircraft as well. It is possible that the Americans will agree to unilaterally establish a no-fly zone, which will greatly raise the degree of conflict and bring the situation to the brink of a hot war. If Hillary Clinton is elected, the humanity will approach the threshold of a Third World War.
Electing Donald Trump to the position of President, at least as it can be seen now by his foreign policy statements, should lead to a decrease in the degree of tension, as Trump considers Islamic fundamentalism, extremism and terrorism the main enemies of the modern civilization, the West and Russia. Being a very pragmatic person, he has repeatedly said that if Russia wants to defeat ISIS in Syria, they have to let it do this. If there is a possibility of defeating ISIS by proxy, by our hands in this case, instead of using the resources and lives of American soldiers, then, according to Trump, it should be done.
With all the possible costs it is the best way out of this situation. Perhaps, it will be possible to coordinate the efforts of the Russian and the US groups under President Trump. I am not sure that it comes to creating a general coalition, but at least some coordination at the headquarters level is possible.
Of course, Trump is not so ideologized to assume that the victory of Russia and its allies, that is Bashar al-Assad, in Syria will mean a loss and humiliation of the US, as the Obama administration believes and as Hillary Clinton would almost certainly believe.
- Is it possible to predict what policy the candidates will pursue in the Caucasus after the election?
- I did not hear Trump commenting specifically on the Caucasus, but we can say that he is not interested in the sputtering the US forces and resources in those areas, which, according to him, are not vitally important for the US. For example, he proposed solving the Ukrainian crisis with the assistance of the European capitals, and not Washington, not waste the US resources in vain. We can assume that there will be something like that about the Caucasus.
As for Hillary Clinton, then being a convinced globalist and liberal internationalist, she will consider the Caucasus as one of the regions to strengthen promotion of the US interests, which automatically leads to a weakening of Russia. And a weakening of Russia and a limitation of its "imperial ambitions" is one of the most important tasks of the liberal internationalists.