Category Archives: Donald Trump

Radical Trump, by Gabriel C Banda

 

Radical Donald Trump

By

Gabriel C Banda

WHEN did Donald Trump become radicalised? Around the time he was presidential candidate in the United States, there was often, in our mind, some question about the genesis of Donald Trump’s radical stances. When did Donald Trump become THE Donald Trump?

Not many times in humankind history, as some of us have known it, has there come onto the platform, as a ruler or even as a very private citizen, one so remarkable in the way of the Donald Trump spirit.

There have been some politicians and rulers in other times and in other parts of the world, including in Africa in very recent times, that have been very outside the widely practised range of human behaviour.

We thought that some recent president in Africa could rarely be surpassed by others in eccentric and rough behaviour but that one now measures low in comparison to the Donald Trump spirit.

In this world, there are not many visible persons that behave or perform like the Trump spirit. In many parts of the world, societies have evolved in such ways that a person in leadership and rule would almost definitely never turn out to behave like our American Big Man Donald Trump.

The appearance of remarkable persons has sometimes heralded wide changes, good and bad.

                                                                       A Radical

A radical is often considered to be a person that stands for, or works on, big changes and shifts in thought and organisation of society. Some persons strike a lot of controversy but may not be radicals. Radicals are more than just being unconventional. Radicals are involved in transformations that lead to extreme shifts in societies and times.

Some persons use the term “radical” to denote persons of particular political positions. For instance, some will easily name “leftist” guerrilla leader Che Guevara as radical.

Of course, I believe Che Guevara’s situation was significant for the ethics around combining his training as a doctor and his role as a military frontline commander. I would not be comfortable in Che Guevara’s situation.

But radicals are not confined to the left of politics. We would like to consider as radical someone, from whatever political or social action, who leads to dramatic and extreme transformation of society’s processes and systems.

There are some persons whose thoughts and actions greatly transform societies they are in. Their influence even goes beyond their societies and their times. That transformation can in some cases be almost irreversible, although things can follow on and develop in various ways over different periods and environments.

                                                                         Anti-Truth

Now, candidate Trump said things that were considered uncomfortable to say. Some of the things he said were not truth. Some of the things were even anti-Truth.

The things he continued to say cannot be tolerated by many in many societies. And the things the big man was busy tweeting on Twitter were shaking many persons.

Donald Trump promoted the hatred propelling idea that President Barack Obama was by birth not American, portraying that Obama was from a descent that was less American than some – especially the Euro-American.

And almost to a crusade, he carried an obsession, a constant discomfort, against the policies, practices, and even presence and existence, of outgoing president Barack Obama.

Some of Trump’s words on some things were not acceptable by those persons, in America and elsewhere, in pursuit of improved relations of human beings of various backgrounds.

From Trump, swear words have been uttered, uncommon from rulers and officials in prominent public roles. Some of it inflammatory and divisive, some persons can label some of his as hate speech both in word and tone. Sometimes, like on his tax situation, he did some verbal gymnastics.

Trump breathed tough, or even rough, language. He has used harsh words towards groups and political opponents. He was sarcastic, sometimes appearing insulting, of others. He made some persons deeply uncomfortable.

Remember, as they debated on television, Trump hovered very near candidate Hillary Clinton in some intimidating manner. We wondered, at what point in his life did candidate Trump become so radicalised?

                                                                  Devil’s Workshop

Some of candidate Trump’s remarks, in word and tone, seemed lifted straight from the devil’s workshop, with its fire and fury. Candidate Trump proudly talked of making institutions, laws, and barriers that would sieve humanity one from the other, lesser and greater.

Candidate Trump labelled Mexicans rapists and criminals. In many places in our modern times, persons, especially those in leadership, politics, and government, are not expected to express words that are prejudiced against members of social groups, amongst them ethnic, racial, and religious categories.

But on top of that, Donald Trump was openly saying he will keep away many Mexican migrants by actually building a physical wall. Many persons expect rulers and leaders in various fields to lead to building of bridges and bonds involving humans in various backgrounds.

Yet the Trump position was not hidden. Donald Trump’s prejudice, in open words, against Mexicans, Muslims, and persons of other human social classifications, was openly stated.

                                                                 Euro-American

He was fiercely hostile to the entrant of the Mexican type and seemingly welcoming of the Mrs Ivana Zelnickova Trump type, hailing from Czechoslovakia, and Mrs Melania Knauss Trump type, born in Slovenia. And the type of his mother, born in Scotland, Mrs Mary Anne MacLeod Trump.

Current wife Melania Knauss Trump immigrated into USA, around age 26, in fairly recent times, in 1996. She and Donald Trump married in 2005.

Donald Trump arose from migrants, some of them recent, of some particular kinds, including Germany and Scotland. Yet Euro-Americans, persons of European descent, are only a part of a wholesome America where each member should be considered a legitimate human being and citizen.

Persons are not supposed to be victimed due to classifications like colour, culture, ethnicity, citizenship, religious and spiritual following, location, being female or male, and other factors.

                                                                  Great Again

Now, candidate Trump was talking about making America “great again.” America, in his view, had declined under some administrations, including, or perhaps key, outgoing Obama’s.

The implication, said and unsaid, was a USA that was not like the result of the recent efforts of predecessor Barack Obama.

In reverse to the spirit of Trump, Obama’s America had tried to create bridges among persons from various backgrounds in USA and the globe.

In comparison to some other administrations, Obama’s America had reduced inter-state belligerence and appeared less war-like towards those other administrations had labelled “axis of evil”.

Obama was moving away from an America some might consider a Goliath and bully. Obama promoted a unity of humanity.

Of course, the USA machinery made some essential mistakes in joining the invasion or regime change efforts in Syria and Libya, whose invasion was driven by the France war-lord Nicolas Sarkozy. On many accounts, many Obama pronouncements and actions were for reducing friction with other governments.

What “great again” of United States’ time Trump has been referring to is not openly stated yet its components are apparent. Which “great again” America?

                                                       America’s Experiences

America has had many experiences, pleasant experiences and experiences of trauma. There have been times of aggression and genocide by Euro-Americans against Native Americans.

There have been times of Trans-Atlantic slavery feeding America’s economy.

And at some point, from 1787, it was proposed, even when there existed the Constitution that should have proclaimed rights for all, that enslaved persons of African descent were to be counted as some three-fifths fraction of persons of European descent.

In past America, many persons of African descent did not vote. Even in recent times, in the mid- 20th Century, there was racial segregation of students in some learning institutions.

And there have been times when women of all colour were not allowed to vote. And Native Americans were not allowed to vote.

And there was some America of a violent “Wild West.”

And there have been times of some apartheid against non-Euro-Americans in as recent times as when Martin Luther King was campaigning for human rights in the 1960s. In “Apartheid” South Africa, racism was organised and racial law forcibly enforced in the land.

There have been times of America being in unpopular wars and invasions in other parts of the world.

And there is sometimes an America of killings, by uniformed or vigilante team persons, of innocent persons of some category, the Trayvon Martin human type.

America has also had social issues like huge amounts of persons that do not have access to secure basic health services.

Barack Obama’s administration made the radical effort, through the Affordable Care Act, to have many left out persons, in millions, to access health care, as is common in much of Europe, with their wide welfare programmes covering many basic needs.

In a radical assault on the Affordable Care Act, candidate Donald Trump openly wanted to have it disbanded. This would go to the position where individuals will by individual effort swim or sink rather than being supported by wide social humanity.

Yes, there have been many major challenges in America’s society. Which America “great again” was candidate Trump, and even President Trump, talking about? What face or appearance does the “great again” have?

                                                            Enemy of the Earth

Besides the radical walls to exclude some Mexicans and also plans banning entry of Muslims, candidate Trump had views that are against the health of the earth. Trump’s stances on weather, environment, and human union have made him appear like an Enemy of the Earth. Like an Enemy of Creation.

To the collective welfare of the earth and its environment, Trump has said, and acted, as in the Paris Climate Change Agreement, against the integrity of creation itself.

                                                   Insular America, Mental Walls

Candidate Trump pledged an isolated but thriving America or a prosperous but isolated America. It would be insular, insulated by walls of physical and mental kinds, against other nations. Of other nations, he charged: “They have taken our money…. They have taken our jobs!”

Trump’s America would no longer tolerate “trade abuses.” He threatened China, and other governments, for trade imbalances and threatened sanctions which may not be easy to apply but would also lead to some adverse effects on America’s people.

Trump’s America would be insular, yet aggressive. It would not consider the welfare of others but focus on its selfish self-interest. It did not seem to matter to candidate Trump and supporters that the principles of natural life do not for long allow for such a state of human isolation to exist.

The design of life, and very evident in the human part, is inter-dependence and cooperation. Isolation and insular living are bound to fail.  Humanity is a whole. Life is a whole. Within Trump’s concept of an isolated but elite “America First,” are inbuilt seeds of decline and self-destruction.

                                                    Tooth for Tooth

Trump would not be like Jesus Christ. On BBC Television’s Hard Talk programme, Donald Trump had supported the Moses times’ revenge and retribution of “an eye for an eye” and a tooth for a tooth, something Jesus Christ’s message and practice moved away from. A tooth for a tooth is fundamentally unChristian.

                                                  Emperor of the United States

Candidate Trump seemed to go for becoming a de facto Emperor of the United States, his likes and dislikes to decree on. The Trump spirit would then move the USA and the whole world.

Of course, many extreme persons sometimes, if without discipline, overstretch themselves and fall. Donald Trump seemed oblivious of, or unconcerned by, possible negative effects upon himself that could arise from his tweeting enterprise as he operated it.

It is clear that Trump’s mission on this earth, and some of it openly stated and unhidden, could greatly affect the world and reverse some major things in the USA and the whole world.

The Trump spirit roams, shaking many in its path. But a question kept on coming into our mind: at what point in his life was candidate Donald Trump radicalised? For many persons, it is not easy to understand the Trump spirit’s covfefe.

ginfinite@yahoo.com

*

Based in Lusaka, Zambia, the author is involved in writing, social development, and observes peace and conflict issues happening worldwide.

*

GCB, 2017. December 2017, LUSAKA.

 

 

 

 

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Obama and a Syria Strike, by Gabriel C Banda

 

Obama and a Syria Strike

by

Gabriel C Banda

Yes, I believe, Obama’s 2013 position not to openly strike Syria with American forces was the appropriate one.

As outgoing President Barack Obama’s legacy assessment will continue for ever, we will consider one issue.

There are those who feel that if Barack Obama had in 2013 ordered an attack on Syria due to accusations around the Bashar al-Assad administration and chemical weapon use, the recent outcome in Aleppo and Syria would have been against Assad. The accusers almost blame Barack Obama’s non-striking as the cause of the situation they are unhappy with.

Their wish had been for a “swift” and “sharp” strike that would have disabled, and removed, the Assad administration.

Strike supporters included John McCain and, sadly, Hillary Clinton, and others such as “Professor” Bernard-Henri Levy, so-called “philosopher.”  Bernard-Henri Levy, consistent with his war-mongering, had been a strong supporter of the intervention in Libya and the removal of Muammar Gaddafi.

War Monger

Over abuse of force, Levy has been a war monger hiding, or excused, under the coats of academic freedom and free expression. Had it not been for the tags of “Professor,” “Philosopher,” and “intellectual” he is referred by others with, the unclothed position of Bernard-Henri Levy would be more clearly recognised as that of a thug.

Still unrepentant about the terrible and evil effects of his position, Bernard-Henri Levy greatly supported and continues to defend, when on BBC and other media, the 2011 invasion of Libya led by the war lord Nicolas Sarkozy, who was then France’s president.

Nicolas Sarkozy, with a guillotine trailed against Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, used the machinery of the France government, and even twisting the United Nations system, to force a coalition of force that removed Libya’s Gaddafi and led to instability that has affected Libya, Africa, the Middle East, and the whole world, including innocent people in France and Britain, the USA, and ally nations assembled in the raid on Gaddafi and Libya.

Crossing Line

The proponents of a swift strike and knock-out of Assad and administration have used Barack Obama’s warning about not crossing some red line against him. They use it as an Obama weakness because Obama had given a warning and did not follow it up with action.

It does not seem to matter to them whether Obama’s action would be right or appropriate for the emerged situation but that he had said it and therefore should have proceeded to attack Syria. It seems not to matter to them that the issue of chemical weapons use was not easy to definitely assign.

It does not seem to matter to them that the reasons or excuses of Weapon of Mass Destruction or Crimes Against Humanity used by intervening governments have at sometimes come out false or snares.

It seemed not to matter that the position of a clean, swift, strike was an assumption that was based on a sense of supremacy of oneself over others considered easily conquerable. Why is there an assumption that military might will always defeat others?

In long gone times and recent times, some rulers have acted improperly and created long term difficulties for all of us. Many leaders and rulers, from George W Bush Jr to Tony Blair, have acted by poor egos and handled the arsenals of military and force with immaturity. Many leaders and rulers have not been mature enough to handle authority over force.

Angela  Merkel Maturity

However, not all rulers have the same immaturity over use of force. One who has been cautious about use of force has been German’s Angela Merkel, a person of greatness, and one of the most mature of rulers and leaders in modern times.

To some degree, especially for an American president, Barack Obama has on some critical times acted with great caution where others would have thrown in the military machine heavily. This, not acting to go in when one is not sure, has been faulted against him.

In my view, it is better to be cautious about the use and effect of force and violence than end up creating the results that George W Bush Jr did in Afghanistan and Iraq. Barack Obama’s caution is a more sustainable and just position than that of leaping and attacking first and then thinking later, with turmoil around you.

Some bully others because these bullies feel they have weapon arsenals and can always defeat others they consider lesser.  It has been said that some bully others because the bullies have weapons and want to try out the weapons or intimidate others. Without weapons, they will not bully others.

Duet

In 2013, there was pressure to have Barack Obama and Britain’s David Cameron to repeat a duet, as George W Bush Jr and Tony Blair did over Iraq, and attack Syria. What helped the situation was the British parliament, with much of the public behind them,  voting against the move to another open war.

To his credit, and democratic credentials, David Cameron readily and politely accepted not to proceed with the proposed open armed intervention. That helped Barack Obama’s position for, without ally Britain, as they did in Iraq and Afghanistan, America has been reluctant to attack alone.

What if Barack Obama had directly used America’s forces to intervene in Syria and remove Assad? The results might have included the following: If Assad had fallen, ISIS would have been stronger. If Assad had fallen, ISIS may have now been in control in Syria. ISIS may have become Syria or Syria would have become the ISIS state.

Then also, there would have been no guarantee that American strikes could have happened without injury on America and those intervening. In scriptures, the story of small David and big Goliath is a lesson for all times.

You should never underestimate your opponent. Already, without factual basis, many officials in the West had underestimated the resilience of the Assad administration and thought he would collapse in a short time, in months rather than years. The situation turned out differently.

Barack Obama had been reluctant to get in to support Nicolas Sarkozy in the removal of Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi. Obama’s weakness was to yield to Sarkozy and reluctantly join in. It is not enough to say one did something wrong because another had insisted to be joined.

Within his administration, war monger Susan Rice pushed for the military intervention and even insulted Africa’s rulers for calling for caution because of the effects they feared would happen with intervention. The effects feared came to pass. Obama had allowed people like Susan Rice and Nicolas Sarkozy to work against his inner caution over Libya.

Spring

Another sin that Obama fell into was to agree to support the armed rebels fighting the Assad administration in the so-called “Arab Spring.”  Clearly, ISIS was, from the beginning, in the “Arab Spring.”

Yes, I believe, Obama’s position not to strike Syria was the appropriate one. Already, the position to support armed rebellion against Assad’s Syria in a conflict with religious undertones was not appropriate, with its consequences that led to the rise of ISIS as Syria government forces faced militias from many groups.

There have been times when rulers of America’s regimes, feeling and acting on the myth that their country is a superpower and can push around others to do what it wants, have gone on to take actions that have created immediate and long-term problems for others, the USA, and the world.

Over the decades, even just to take the decades following World War II, this has happened under various administrations, Republican and Democrats. There seems to be in the background a machinery that, with whatever party in office, tries to assert intervention in other parts of the world – even where the intervention will create difficulties for those intervened, others, and the United States itself.

In recent times, this has happened over the invasion of Afghanistan, occupation of Iraq, and, without lessons being learnt and applied, intervention in Libya. Another key burden of a US administration has been supporting the armed rebellion against Syria’s Assad administration. But Barack Obama’s avoiding of striking Syria in 2013 was, I believe, the appropriate one. That will be a pleasant memory of the Obama legacy.

ginfinite@yahoo.com

**Gabriel Banda has been on the MA Peace Studies Bradford University  programme.