By Ismail Veli…….
The USA has the largest economy and the most powerful military machine in human history. It’s supposed to lead the democratic western countries as a role model in democracy, human rights and freedom of speech and free global economic trade.
The leader of such a country needs a leader to equal its status. BUT HAS IT? No one could honestly say that past Presidents have lived up to the expectation of such a powerful role.
Many have been vilified, hated and mistrusted but NEVER in American history has it been ridiculed. Donald Trump, the current President of this most powerful and respected country has in many people’s opinions reduced the role of his Presidency to that of a ”reality TV show”. His supporters claim ”he says it as it is”, and that he is ”refreshingly raw”. They claim he was democratically elected and people have no right to complain. REALLY, does that mean that previous presidents or elected leaders in democratic countries are beyond reproach? Did people not argue and complain about previous leaders who won by massive majorities?
Having visited and travelled extensively in the USA since I was 18 years old (25 different States to be precise), I have come to love and enjoy the beauty of the country. From Indian Nation reservations, in Dakota, Montana, Utah, Wyoming and Arizona, the eastern industrialized and political heartlands of New York and Washington, southern states like Virginia, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi and Alabama to the glitter of Nevada, California and Hawaii.
I have seen segregated hotels, prejudice and unbelievable wealth that other countries simply do not have. On the whole I find the ordinary American people friendly, always ready to help and immensely well mannered with a cheerfulness that have impressed me over the years. It’s not a perfect country, no country is. But what is amazing to me is that a man accused of sexual harassment on numerous occasions over the last 30 years, bankrupted his companies on a few occasions, has not paid tax in many a year. refused to rent his properties to ”blacks” and even campaigned to imprison a group of black youths for crimes that were subsequently proven to be false. He has a clear preference for white supremacists, a loathing for Latinos and Muslims and unashamedly claims to represent the poor masses. He vilifies companies who import goods and urges Americans to buy local produced goods while at the same time his daughter imports goods from China and sells them at exorbitant prices to the American public.
Does he really say it as it is? Rubbish. I listen to him so often that the mouth doesn’t know what comes out the backside. He lies and contradicts himself so often, it’s a wonder to me how he can do anything other than cause chaos and division, which is exactly what he does. His classic escape route is to try and deflect from himself, but only his hardcore base will eventually stand by him. He clearly lacks the democratic values of free speech, free media and constructive debate and the US reputation has and will continue to be undermined home and abroad. Sadly he seems to be losing his marbles with each passing week.
His invitation to the Navajo code talkers recently looked like a wonderful gesture to the heroic Navajos indians whose secret codes in the Pacific during WW2 completely bemused the Japanese and gave the US an infinite advantage in sending secret codes in their native language which stands as the only code in world history never to be broken. But what happened next was a disgraceful act of pettiness unfit for any government let alone the most powerful nation in the world. He declared :
“I just want to thank you because you are very, very special people. You were here long before any of us,” Trump said.“Although, we have a representative in Congress who has been here a long time … longer than you — they call her Pocahontas!”
This was a direct attack on Senator. Elizabeth Warren. Trump like many school children simply loves giving people nicknames. Somebody clearly forgot to tell him that his school days were over 5 decades ago. Pocahontas was a real live hero whose real name was Matoaka, also known as Amonute, She belonged to the Powhatan nation and is reputed to have saved the life of Captain John Smith in 1607 by placing her head upon his own when her father raised his war club to execute him.
By ridiculing Sen. Warren he reduced this legendary Indian woman to that of a cartoon character. The interviews I saw of the Navajo and other Indian leaders however went beyond Pocahontas. His award ceremony took place in a room with the photo of President Andrew Jackson whose uprooting of thousands of Indians from their homeland on a forced expulsion in 1838 and 1839 from lands east of the Mississippi River to an area -where the State of Oklahoma is today – caused the deaths of over 3.000 Indians and has gone down in history as ”The trail of Tears”. Many believed this ignorance or deliberate act by President Trump was an insult to all the Indian Nations of the USA.
The same week he re-tweeted videos put out by ”Britain First, a far-right and ultra-nationalist political group”, – one of which was false – of Muslims attacking whites in Europe. When the British Prime Minister Theresa May said it was ”wrong” his response was that Theresa May should ”focus on destructive Radical Islamic terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine”.
The Guardian recently reported that Donald Trump attacked Theresa May for her criticism of his far-right retweets. Click here to view this tweet which includes the picture below.
His claim that ”We are doing just fine” is even more ridiculous in that only recently a mass shooting in Las Vegas by an American citizen left 58 people dead and 546 injured. and in another mass killing in a church left at least 26 people dead in Sutherland Springs, Texas.
In fact 13,286 people were killed in the US by firearms in 2015, according to the Gun Violence Archive, and 26,819 people were injured (those figures exclude suicide).
Mr Trump cares little about these figures, unless of course an individual murder is carried out by an immigrant, then his rhetoric of ”Let’s keep America safe” and ”we will build a wall on the Mexican border” takes over. Any other time his support for the US gun laws gets brushed off. One of the most ridiculous statements was when he claimed that, had there been restrictions on gun laws the hero who helped prevent further victims of the Sutherland Springs gunman by shooting the suspect and then chasing him with another hero saved lives. WHAT THE HELL. If there were restrictions on gun purchases the mass killers would not have access to automatic machine guns in the first place, therefore the need for such heroes would be diminished.
In the final analysis Trump seems to believe we have such few problems in the world today that he needs to create a bit more chaos. His timing on recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel seems to have simply added even more instability in a part of the world where we thought we had seen the worst. That however is a story for another day. Suffice it to say that Trump may go down in history as ‘‘The Commander in Chief of creativity in the art of chaos”
US Policy – Peace in Las Vegas and in Palestine