Will Donald Trump make America great?
Donald J Trump surprise victory has divided the American society. He took over the reins of power from outgoing President Barack Obama as the 45th President of USA on January 20, 2017. His swearing-in ceremony was largely attended, but 95% of them were Whites. Noisy protests by the under privileged took place in Washington during the ceremony and many died in clashes with the police. The Women March staged by 4-5 million protesters in various cities of the US and Europe on January 21 was unprecedented and became the largest single-day protest in American history.
The other event that captured headlines was Trump’s censure of media during his visit to CIA HQ, complaining that it had wrongly portrayed that the audience on Obama’s inauguration ceremony in 2009 was much larger than Trump’s in 2017. Trump boasted that 31 million people watched his ceremony but forgot that 38 million people had viewed Obama’s inauguration. His White House Press Secretary Spicer further berated the media on this account and vowed to fight hostile media tooth and nail.
Unlike his predecessors who had a smooth start, he is already drenched in controversies and faced with resistance from multiple quarters. Hacking of election results by Russia will haunt him till such time it has been cleared by a high powered inquest commission. On January 23, Trump faced a lawsuit from former White House ethics lawyers, accusing him of violating the US Constitution by accepting payments to his businesses from foreign governments. Social media poked fun when he slow danced with his wife Melania at Liberty Ball, saying it was the most awkward ever.
Taking a cue from his belligerent demeanor and profile of his team members, it is a clear cut indication that the new administration will not digest dissent and criticism and media as well as the ones in opposition would be up for difficult times ahead and so will be the freedom of speech and fundamental rights that are of high value in USA for the last 200 years. Use of bullying tactics to stifle dissent and to tame the detractors cannot be ruled out.
Trump has set for himself ambitious goals. The first executive order issued by Trump after taking his oath at the Capitol Hill was to slash the much-trumped up Obama’s Healthcare Plan. He ordered scaling back Affordable Care Act. It has evoked a huge backlash by the millions of have-nots in America who had benefitted from this scheme.
In his bid to return Israel’s favor of helping him in winning the election and to earn its goodwill, he has expressed his resolve to shift the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and thus validate Israeli claim of making the holy city as its capital. This will be in violation of the US brokered Oslo Accord in 1992 in which the two-state policy in return for peace envisaged Palestinian State comprising of Gaza Strip and West Bank with East Jerusalem as its capital. Encouraged by Trump’s assurance that Israel need not worry once he came to power, and that things will be done as per its wishes, Israel has given a go-ahead signal to build hundreds of more settlement homes in East Jerusalem. There is bound to be a severe backlash in the Muslim world, EU and the UN if this transfer takes place. Trump is determined to go an extra mile to please Israel by further debilitating Muslim States under the garb of Islamic radicalism that are still coming in the way of establishment of Greater Israel.
His unabashed aversion towards immigrants and the Muslims as well as Mexico and Cuba will run counter to Obama’s policy of reconciliation. 11.4 million illegal immigrants residing in 50 States of USA and Chinese exporters are worried over Trump’s protectionist trade policy. Japan must also be concerned after Trump’s assertion that it should pay for its defence needs.
George W. Bush and Obama have already antagonized the Muslim world by confining terrorism to Muslim world only, destroying several Muslim countries and killing over 4 million Muslims. Trump’s slogan of eradicating Islamic radicalism from the face of the earth and ordering continuation of war in Afghanistan gives an insight to his prejudiced mindset and shows his acute hatred against Islam and the Muslims. These utterances seem to be a prelude to the launching of Crusade-2, which once exercised, will add fuel to fire and will not only heighten radicalism and terrorism but also further exacerbate the relations between Muslim States and the US and may give practical shape to Huntington’s idea of clash between Islam and Christianity. It will lead to frightening consequences particularly when so many countries are laced with nuclear and chemical weapons and there is mushroom growth of ideologically motivated extremist groups and there are multiple flashpoints.
Trump nurtures a disposition which is shorn of forbearance and empathy. He is never shy or short of words while berating his disparagers and uses foul language to debase them. Trump had displayed his belligerent, boisterous and wayward tendencies to the fullest during the presidential campaign and is sticking to those incongruities after his election. Under the slogan of making America Great again, he is threatening to clip the wings of unruly media, destroy Obamacare, intimidate his opponents, expel undocumented immigrants of USA and frame harsh rules for those wanting to settle down in the US and thus create 25 million jobs for the whites. He has made up his mind to force American entrepreneurs and industrialists/business tycoons to wrap up their industrial/business enterprises abroad. To this end, he has pledged to impose a heavy border tax if they move their factories outside USA. He has doled out incentives by way of lowering corporate taxes from 35% to 15-20% and slash regulations.
China is the largest trading partner of USA with $598 billion trade. The US goods trade deficit with China stood at $536 billion in 2015. While criticizing China’s trade policies, Trump has threatened to impose punitive tariffs on Chinese imports. This may set off a trade war between USA and China. He has offended China by re-inventing Two-China policy and hobnobbing with Taiwan. However, he is all smiles towards Putin and has so far given friendly gestures.
He has also expressed his distaste for Europe and termed NATO as obsolete and a white elephant. He has urged France and Germany to follow suit of UK and to quit EU. Senior members of EU and business community are nervous and contemplating a rough ride under Trump. To counter Trump’s protectionist policy, Germany is thinking of crafting a new economic policy geared toward China.
Trump is determined to build a wall between Mexico and USA and has issued a directive to pullout of 12-nation Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), which had been the main economic pillar of Obama administration’s pivot to Asia-Pacific in the face of fast rising China. It has set off alarm bells among Japan, Australia and other members of TPP. It will make the plan to shift the strategic pivot of USA from the Middle East to Asia-Pacific and to encircle China and curtail its economic growth extremely difficult. During election campaign, he had threatened to tear off the Iran-US nuclear deal. If he does so, Iran will hasten to join the Russia-China nexus in which Pakistan is also figuring out.
The New World Order is a Zionist plan and war on terror was initiated under fake charges at the behest of neocons and Zionists to steal the resources of Muslim world. The war on terror coupled with proxy wars and intervention in other countries didn’t enrich the US kitty but has sunk the country in a debt of $20 trillion and dented the prestige of sole super power. The US is trailing behind Europe providing social security and healthcare. Its economic policy based on capitalism which is wholly pro-rich has made the 1% Americans filthy rich, and the rest poor. 50,000 industries are closed. 50% of the federal budget is spent on defence. USA has 800 military bases in 150 countries. The gun culture and lax laws take 20,000 lives of Americans annually.
Interventionist policy, maintenance of military bases all over the globe and detention centres, covert operations, spy war, psychological operations, cyber war, space war, nuclear and missile war, research & development programs, and NATO are some of the white elephants draining the American wealth. The US also funds the UN, IMF, World Bank, ICJ and some other world bodies. Military industrial complex, avaricious American corporates, tycoons, security contractors are wolfing the resources of the country and the world. The American Jews are controlling Federal Reserve Bank and all other banks, business enterprises, media houses, think tanks, educational institutes, as well as the Congress. Israel deprives the US kitty of $ 5 billion annually, besides giving a bad name to USA. India is another guzzler with 2.2 million Indian immigrants in USA, most of them occupying high posts and monopolizing IT industry and doing big business. These are the entities that have taken the shine and gloss out of USA and put it under colossal debt. Getting rid of them will make USA great again and not by recalling industrialists or preventing them from doing business abroad, or kicking out immigrants. Trump has a pro-rich agenda and besides him all his cabinet ministers are millionaires who have no idea about the pangs of poverty and deprivation. He is therefore not likely to touch any of the real destroyers of the US economic health and élan and as such hope of making America great again will be illusory.
The writer is a retired Brig, war veteran, defence analyst, columnist, author of five books, Vice Chairman Thinkers Forum Pakistan, DG Measac Research Centre. firstname.lastname@example.org