Morning Joe Fears Trump Is Breaking Down World Order

June 4th, 2019 8:36 PM

President Trump has spent the first part of the week on a official state visit in the United Kingdom in anticipation of Thursday’s anniversary of D-Day. His bilateral meeting today with outgoing British Prime Minister Theresa May has sparked many journalists to comment on the state of affairs between the two countries, with some arguing that what has been called the “special relationship” is dead.

A particularly absurd take came on a Tuesday segment of Morning Joe courtesy of Richard Haass. The President of the Council on Foreign Relations and former State Department diplomat remarked that President Trump is an “outlier” of “75 years of relative peace, prosperity, and democracy making tremendous strides around the world”:



We know what came before, which was the worst 50 years of human history. We had 75 years of relative peace, prosperity, democracy made tremendous strides around the world and here we are and Donald Trump is an outlier. So the real question is what comes after -- to frame it, are the last 75 years the normal now? Donald Trump is the exception. And then we kind of return, not exactly where we were, but to something pretty familiar. Or is Donald Trump the beginning of a new era so the last 75 years look like the exception? We know what came before, two World Wars, and now we're potentially entering an era of history which has all sorts of jockeying between great powers, the rise of China, these global forces we can't contend with, failed states in the Middle East, populism, nationalism and that is the historical question. 

Kasie DC host Kasie Hunt worried another world war could be on the horizon: "There are real echoes of what happened before World War I, right, the great power jockeying, the rise of nationalism, populism, isolationism." Haas agreed "100%."  

Haass then concluded this remarkable take on a century of international relations by suggesting that Trump’s presidency was coinciding with a breaking down of the last 75 years of a “managed international environment”:

We have had 75 years of a managed international environment. Are we beginning to see it break down? If so, history suggests it won't be pretty or, again, is this simply a temporary speed bump and then people get scared by the glimpse of what they see and they kind of return to what was sort of the norm for 75 years. That is the big question about where we are.

This isn’t the first time Haass has made some off-based claims about world affairs. In a 2016 article about the Iraq War, he posited one disastrous result of the war: “Sectarian fighting poisoned relations between Sunnis and Shias throughout the region,” acting as though Sunni and Shiite Muslims got along just swimmingly prior to the 2003 U.S. invasion. As Newsbusters contributor Mark Finkelstein once reported in Legal Insurrection, Haass also suggested in 2016 that slowing down Muslim immigration from the Middle East would cause American Muslims to become “threatening.”

For a guy who has a doctorate from Oxford, Haass sure has a habit of completely missing the ball on complicated geopolitical issues.

The full transcript is below. Click "expand" to read more.

Morning Joe


6:23 a.m. Eastern

RICHARD HAAS: John, you're right, it's not. There is a lot at stake. One way to frame the question is, you look at the last 75 years, we look at the run from World War II to where we are now, an American led so-called liberal world order, all these institutions, these alliances, it's actually worked remarkably well. But, taking a step back, the question is, you know, you think about it, what came before, it was two World Wars. We know what came before, which was the worst 50 years of human history. We had 75 years of relative peace, prosperity, democracy made tremendous strides around the world and here we are and Donald Trump is an outlier. So the real question is what comes after -- to frame it, are the last 75 years the normal now? Donald Trump is the exception. And then we kind of return, not exactly where we were, but to something pretty familiar. Or is Donald Trump the beginning of a new era so the last 75 years look like the exception? We know what came before, two World Wars, and now we're potentially entering an era of history which has all sorts of jockeying between great powers, the rise of China, these global forces we can't contend with, failed states in the Middle East, populism, nationalism and that is the historical question. 

KASIE HUNT: There are real echoes of what happened before World War I, right, the great power jockeying, the rise of nationalism, populism, isolationism. 

RICHARD HAASS: 100%. You had in Europe and the world, essentially, after Napoleon at the risk of sounding like Meacham here. 

WILLIE GEIST: God forbid. 

JON MEACHAM: Welcome aboard. 

HAASS: You had the rise of Napoleon -- 

MEACHAM: The water is fine, Richard. 

HAASS: Essentially the world stabilized in the second century -- second decade of the 19th century. Then for roughly 50, 75, 100 years you had what was called a Concert of Europe, the countries of Europe worked things out. It broke down in the years running up to World War I and that's, again, the question we have now. We have had 75 years of a managed international environment. Are we beginning to see it break down? If so, history suggests it won't be pretty or, again, is this simply a temporary speed bump and then people get scared by the glimpse of what they see and they kind of return to what was sort of the norm for 75 years. That is the big question about where we are.