The world believes the US can do better but its ability to lead diminishes

Ian Bremmer shares his perspective on global politics on this week's World In (More Than) 60 Seconds:

Sum up the world's response to the US Capitol riots.

I'd say two things. The leaders I've spoken to around the world in the last few days, the first is disappointment, shock that something like this could happen in the United States. I mean, on the one hand, really depressing. On the other, a lot of people that really do expect and believe that the United States can do better. And I think that's still the case. I think there is still a lot of belief that the United States is better than what is being reflected in the international news right now, from the activities that are happening in Washington and perhaps across the country over the coming days. The second is people want to know what's going to happen as a consequence. And when I say what's going to happen, I mean, first and foremost, what are the consequences of the behavior that's been taken of President Trump, of all of these members of House and Senate that have been putting forth this disinformation and calling for this insurrection? And on that front, I don't have anything very good to say. I mean, there is no question in my mind that tomorrow Trump will be impeached for a second time. It will be largely a party line vote. People are getting excited because maybe 10 or 20 Republicans will vote their conscience and vote in favor of impeachment. The vast majority of sitting Republicans will vote against, which is an extraordinary thing and sends a very strong message to other countries around the world that impeachment is no longer a part of rule of law in the United States, which of course really diminishes the balance of powers in the US and allows the executive, if the executive controls the legislature, to get away with basically whatever they want.

You could say, "Well, Biden wouldn't do that." Well yeah, but it doesn't matter. You still want to have that balance of power. And that really is eroding. And I think that that's true so broadly in terms of the lack of accountability and responsibility for everyone that is involved. I mean, you can't call for unity when you've just supported an overthrow of a free and fair election. Now, the first thing you do is you say, "That's wrong. The election is legitimate." It was legitimate. There wasn't systematic fraud, and Biden is the incoming President Elect. Yes. And if you said something that was contrary to that, you apologize, you throw yourself on the mercy of everyone you screwed with. Absent that happening, and that is certainly not happening from President Trump and is certainly not happening for those that supported his measures in House and Senate, there is no unity. And absent unity, the ability of the United States to lead effectively around the world continues to diminish. So, there's that.

Carrie Lam, Hong Kong's Beijing friendly leader accused the West of hypocrisy citing US Capitol riot. Does she have a point?

Well, I mean, obviously there's hypocrisy all over the place and certainly historically from the United States, but for the leader of Hong Kong to say that is more than a little rich. There is not moral equivalence between the Chinese government and the US government. As bad and as divided and dysfunctional as the US is right now, the Chinese are systematically abrogating the political rights of Hong Kong citizens. I think you're going to see a mass exodus of a lot of Chinese from Hong Kong to the UK where they can have citizenship and anywhere else they can get, if they care about personal liberties, because they're gone. A lot of Americans do care about personal liberties. And there's no question that President Trump is not one of them. There's no question that if he could have engineered a coup, he would have. His interest in democracy in the US is very limited, but that is not to in any way imply that the American political system is somehow as hypocritical as that of communist authoritarian China. And for the leader of Hong Kong to say that, well she has to. It's her job. And I'm sensitive to that. I mean, anyone in that position is has to say what they say. Having said that, I'm not so sensitive because you put yourself in that position. It's like there are people that are in positions that the position requires them to do and say immoral things. You can justify what they say because anyone in that post will do it, but you'd kind of hope that they wouldn't take that position. And I obviously am prepared to blame her for that.

Why have Merkel and Macron objected to Trump's Twitter ban?

Well, because they think it's arbitrary and they're right. Twitter has not banned Mahathir from Malaysia, despite calling for massive violence against non-Muslims saying that that's perfectly justified. They haven't banned Iranian Supreme leader, Khamenei, despite calling for violence against Israel. But they ban Trump and they ban him permanently, for life. They didn't need to do that. They could have easily done a short-term suspension until after the inauguration and that would have gotten you through the period that's most dangerous in terms of violence and transition in the United States. And they could have also published rules for all heads of state and former heads of state. Very easy to have someone monitor that. And if any of them then breach that rule, then it applies and they're thrown off maybe forever, but they're not doing that. And Merkel and Macron fundamentally object to the idea that arbitrary norms and rules being set by CEOs that are principle shareholders of major corporations is not the way you should engage in governance or deal with free speech. Now, again, they have the legal right to do it because since it's a company, and in the United States a company can decide what its norms and terms for service are. But if they're a monopoly for getting your message out there on social media, then they kind of need to be regulated differently. And the point that Merkel and Macron have, which is a much deeper point and a more obvious one, is that Trump's behavior should be responded to and policed, not by a social media company, but by Congress. And going back to what I said at the beginning, if impeachment has failed, it is no longer a tool of rule of law in the United States. And it's pretty clear that is the case. Impeachment no longer serves the purpose. It no longer functions as a guardrail on abuse of power of the executive in the US, then you've lost something fundamental in a representative democratic system. And I think that the French and German leaders are deeply and publicly concerned about that and they're right to be, I am as well.

Okuafo Pa means good farmer in the Twi language of West Africa. Hence, the naming of the project reflects the value of good farming and the rewards it brings to the people of Ghana. The Okuafo Pa Project will support Ghana's sustainable development by promoting socio-economic growth and sustainable business models.

Watch to learn how Eni is helping youth to develop agricultural knowledge and skills.

Iranians head to the polls on Friday to vote for president, and it appears a foregone conclusion that hardliner Ebrahim Raisi, the nation's top judge, will win.

Outsiders, and many Iranians, roll their eyes at the predictability of this vote. Iran's Guardian Council, a dozen clerics and judges who answer only to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, has cleared the field for Raisi by ruling all of his credible challengers ineligible. The fix is in, and Iranians are now preparing for a moment when anti-reform conservatives, those who oppose social change inside Iran and deeper engagement with the West, will for the first time ever control the country's presidency, parliament, courts, and much of the media.

But simmering beneath the cynicism and predictability of this event is a deepening anxiety over Iran's future as it enters a potentially momentous period in the Islamic Republic's 42-year history. The Supreme Leader, in power for 32 years, is now 82 years old. Very few people know the true state of his health. Even if he outlives Raisi's presidency, which could last four or eight years, preparations for a historic, uncertain, and potentially dangerous leadership transition will intensify soon.

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Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, shares his perspective from Europe:

After Biden's first visit, do his European allies feel that America is back?

I think they do. Wasn't particularly surprising, we've heard that message before. But now it was, sort of more concrete issues. I'm not certain there was, sort of major, major, major progress. But there was the beginning of a dialogue on trade and technology issues with Europe, clearly on security issues with NATO, and quite a number of other issues with G7, and general satisfaction with the outcome of the meeting with Putin. So, altogether good.

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Listen: Former US Ambassador to NATO Ivo Daalder weighs in on US President Joe Biden's first trip abroad, which included a very important first stop at the G7 summit in the United Kingdom, and the way forward for the US and its closest friends. Did he convince allies that "America is back" and ready to resume its leadership role in global affairs? And if so, does it even matter if Americans still need to be convinced that US engagement in the world is vital? Daalder speaks with Ian Bremmer on the GZERO World podcast.

Subscribe to the GZERO World Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or your preferred podcast platform to receive new episodes as soon as they're published.

Jon Lieber, Managing Director of the United States for the Eurasia Group, shares updates on recent policy developments:

With the Supreme Court's recent decision, is the Affordable Care Act here to stay?

Yes, this was the Court's third ruling on the Affordable Care Act upholding its constitutionality. This challenge was brought by Republican attorneys general who argued that the repeal of the individual mandate tax undermined the court's previous justification for allowing the law to stand. They were unsuccessful, yet again. And the political salience of the Affordable Care Act has really diminished in the last several years, with Republicans moving on to fight other issues and the Court signaling very strongly they don't want to get involved in overturning this piece of legislation. The Affordable Care Act will be here at least until Congress wants to legislate on it again.

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Iranians head to the polls on June 18, in what's widely perceived to be a foregone outcome. Analysts predict that popular disillusionment with Iran's political class will make this one of the lowest turnout elections in Iran's post-revolution history. According to one poll taken by the Iranian Students Polling Agency, as few as 42 percent of the eligible voting population is expected to show up. We take a look at contemporary Iran's demographics, and how this year's vote turnout might compare to previous elections.

Latin America needs vaccines: The World Health Organization has called on the G7 countries that pledged to donate a billion COVID vaccine doses to the developing world to prioritize Latin America, with WHO officials pointing to the fact that out of the top 10 countries with the highest COVID death tolls per capita over the past week, nine are in Latin America, where many health systems are overstretched and vaccines are scarce. This call comes as Latin America's COVID death toll has surpassed 1 million. Cases and deaths are soaring in Argentina and Colombia, for instance, while Brazil has fully vaccinated just 11 percent of its population despite recording the world's second highest death toll. Even Chile, which has carried out Latin America's most successful vaccination campaign to date, has been forced to delay reopening due to a recent surge in infections among unvaccinated younger people. The WHO says prioritizing the region for vaccine donations makes sense in order to stop large sustained outbreaks that may spur potentially more infectious COVID variants that'll cross borders and wreak havoc in populous states. Most of the donated shots will be distributed through the COVAX facility, which is a problem for countries like Venezuela, shut out from COVAX because of payment problems.

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3: China has launched three astronauts into orbit in its first space mission since 2016. The astronauts will spend three months aboard the country's new space station, demonstrating China's resolve to become a space power following successful earlier missions to collect soil samples on the Moon and land a wheeled robot on Mars.

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GZERO World Podcast


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