Tuesday, 31 January 2017

The shortest honeymoon ever

Less than a week ago, I was saying nice things about Donald Trump. It hurts me to swallow my words.

Trump started so well; moving to approve the Keystone pipeline, and placing some sane people at the top of the EPA. Starting to dismantle Obamacare too, maybe. And setting out a more realistic attitude to the Russians.

But then he bars, suddenly and arbitrarily, entry to the USA for certain nationals. Not immigration – that I could have understood – but entry. Even for those who have homes there.

Here’s the list of the seven barred countries: Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan.

What do these seven have in common? They are all places in which the USA has been interfering. (Where hasn’t it been interfering, you may ask?) But they are also places in which the USA has fomented or even started wars. And in all but one, that has happened inside the last 15 years or so.

Let’s look at the exception first: Iran. In the year I was born, 1953, the USA used its power to replace the then government with an unconstitutional monarch, the Shah. Look how well that turned out.

As to the others, in Sudan and Libya the USA has been violently interfering since 2011 at least. In Somalia it goes back to 1993. We all know about Iraq. And it seems that Obama upped the stakes by threatening further military action in no less than three of the seven (Somalia, Syria and Yemen) in one single month, October 2016. Mmmm… about three weeks before the election.

So, what did Trump get wrong?

He should have said something like, “my predecessor got it wrong, he was an idiot, let’s discuss with everyone involved and see where we are now.” That would have destroyed the Democrat party’s credibility on foreign policy for decades to come.

But what he actually said seems more like, “I totally agree with all the wars my predecessor made, and I’m going to double down and hurt anyone from the ‘enemy’ countries.” Otherwise said: kick innocent people in the butt, then refuse to accept any responsibility for what you did to them.

The people who voted for Trump weren’t all conservatives. The reason many of them voted for him was that he wasn’t part of the establishment. Now, he has betrayed those voters, by not only continuing but intensifying the US establishment’s brutal suppression of innocent people.

I’m no leftist, but I suspect that “POTUS 45” will have the shortest honeymoon ever.

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