On this week’s edition of The Spectator Podcast, we consider President Trump’s growing military ambitions, dissect the problem of radical Islam in our prisons, and judge what makes a perfect marmalade.
First, this week’s magazine cover depicts Donald Trump in full Kaiser Wilhelm II costume. The reason for that image is Andrew J. Bacevich‘s assertion that far from being a modern-day Hitler, a better analogue for the new American supremo is the last German emperor. The isolationist image that Trump cultivated during the campaign is beginning to melt away, leaving the possibility of war with North Korea, and even China. Professor Bacevich joins the podcast to discuss the complex military situation, along with General Sir Richard Barrons and Dr Heather Williams.
In his cover piece this week, Andrew writes that:
“There remains something irresistible about dredging up bits of the past to explain the present, especially when colourful personalities are involved. So let me propose an alternative to those who see Trump as Hitler sans the moustache (although retaining the bad haircut). Stick with Germany, its villainous past making it an agreeable foil for us Anglo-Saxons. Rather than focusing on the Third Reich, however, consider the Second. That’s right: Donald Trump as Kaiser Wilhelm II.”
And Sir Richard adds that:
“There is a sense of a very new administration, perhaps surprised itself to be in power, and feeling its way into its responsibilities, and feelings its way into foreign policy, and, to some degree, unwilling to take the counsel of what it regards as elites or officials in the US government and elsewhere. It’s too early to call it definitively in terms of outcomes, but, as seen from this side of the Atlantic, it creates huge uncertainty about the nature of our world and the nature of US leadership in our world, and what does that mean for our collective security and prosperity in the medium term?”
Next, we turned our attention to prisons.