by Waseem Shehzad (Main Stories, Crescent International Vol. 46, No. 1, Jumada' al-Akhirah, 1438)
Is Trump truly ignorant, is he deliberately acting mad or is he mentally unhinged? We look at the options.
The answer to this question depends on one’s perception of the internal dynamics of US politics. One opinion holds that American presidents deliberately act mad in order to frighten opponents into surrendering to their demands to avoid the repercussions of a “superpower” gone mad. The other posits that there is a civil war underway in which the US “deep state” is gunning for Donald Trump. The latter, of course wants to keep one step ahead by deliberately creating multiple crises in different parts of the world to keep his opponents at home off balance.
There is also a third point of view: that Trump is psychologically unstable. A number of psychologists have actually said so. The most charitable view of Trump’s mental health is that he is a narcissist and exhibitionist and insists he is always right. This was amply demonstrated by his ludicrous assertions that there were more people at his inauguration than Barack Obama’s in 2009. Video footage of crowd size clearly showed that his inauguration was thinly attended but Trump would have none of it. He constantly tweeted — this has become his signature mark — that the media had “underreported” the crowd size (he turned it into an issue of his manhood!) because they do not like him for his exposure of their lies.
This is where it gets interesting. The corporate-owned Western media is full of pathological liars. They have a specific agenda that they pursue vigorously without allowing facts to get in the way. But does this automatically mean that whatever Trump is saying about their negative reporting of him is false? The media pundits have clearly gotten under Trump’s thin skin. He is thrashing about like a wounded beast caught in a net; the more he wriggles, the worse it gets for him.
Within the first two weeks of being sworn in as president, Trump signed a number of executive orders. He wants to build a wall along the US-Mexico border to prevent “illegal” immigrants from entering the US and he wants Mexico to pay for it. The Mexican government told him to go fly a kite. President Enrique Pena Nieto of Mexico tweeted on January 27 that his office had informed the White House he would not be attending the meeting scheduled for January 31st with the new US president. There are unconfirmed reports that the Trump regime plans to use the National Guard in 11 states to round up “illegal” immigrants for deportation.
Trump’s other assault has been on immigrants, green card holders, and refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries. Countries on the banned list are: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The reason, according to Trump, is that citizens of these countries are involved in terrorism. He banned their entry for 90 days pending a complete review. The courts have rejected the ban as unconstitutional, much to the consternation of Trump and the pack of mad dogs around him.
If the ban was slapped in order to prevent terrorism, then it is clearly flawed. The biggest source of terrorism is the medieval kingdom of Saudi Arabia (aka the terrorism factory) but it is not on Trump’s banned list. Instead, CIA Director Mike Pompeo awarded the George Tenet Medal (named after a former CIA chief) to Saudi Crown Prince and Interior Minister Muhammad bin Nayef for “fighting terrorism”! So the world’s biggest terrorist outfit conferred an award on its regional underling whose policies have caused havoc in the Muslim East (aka the Middle East).
Apart from oil, the major Saudi export is terrorism based on their distorted interpretations of Islam. The overwhelming majority of terrorists rampaging through the Muslim world are either Saudis or Saudi-inspired. Even murderers and rapists have been released from prisons in the medieval Kingdom on the condition that they join terrorist groups in places like Syria and Iraq. Saudi money is also lavishly used to finance madrasahs in Muslim countries churning out terrorists by the thousands.
The terrorist label, however, is completely false. The US itself is the biggest terrorist state in the world. Since September 2001, the US has killed more than four million people worldwide and continues to kill more innocent people. It has mattered not whether the occupant in the White House is a Republican or a Democrat. One thing common between all US presidents is their penchant for killing innocents. The weapons used to kill have ranged from 1,000-lb bombs dropped from thousands of feet in the sky and cruise missiles fired from ships to hellfire missiles aimed by drones at “suspects” as well as targeted assassination of individuals the US does not like.
These mindboggling policies pale into insignificance compared to the threats the Trump regime and his minions have issued against the Islamic Republic of Iran. The ostensible reason for such belligerence has been Tehran’s test of a long-range missile that Washington alleges violates the terms of UN Security Council Resolution 2231 relating to the nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries.
The allegation was made on February 2nd by Trump’s now-ex National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. He was forced to resign on February 13th when he was caught lying about his contacts with Russian officials, especially Russian ambassador to Washington Sergey I. Kislyak, relating to the lifting of US sanctions against Russia before Trump’s inauguration. Under US law, it is illegal for private citizens to discuss policy matters with foreign governments. Flynn was a private citizen before he became National Security Advisor on January 20, the date Trump was sworn in as president.
Security Council Resolution 2231 calls upon Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles with the capability to deliver nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology (emphasis added). And even this is not a blanket ban. It stipulates that such restrictions will last for eight years after the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) Adoption Day or until the date on which the IAEA submits a report confirming the Broader Conclusion, whichever is earlier.
Tehran vehemently denies it has broken any agreement. The ballistic missile involved was conventional and not nuclear, and so not subject to the Security Council resolution. “The missile issue is not part of the nuclear deal,” said Iranian Foreign Minis-ter Javad Zarif. Iran’s missiles are “not designed for the capability of carrying a nuclear warhead” but rather “to carry a normal warhead in the field of legitimate defense,” he said.
The Republican dominated Congress imposed a raft of new sanctions against a number of Iranian companies and individuals. The list also included some Chinese companies. The Congressional move against Iran was roundly condemned by China as well as Russia, both saying Tehran was not in violation of any agreement and that Washington was acting in violation of the JCPOA agreement.
More American lies followed. The most laughable was the allegation by White House spokesperson Sean Spicer on February 3rd that Iran had attacked a US ship off the coast of Yemen on January 30. “I think General Flynn was really clear yesterday [February 2nd] that Iran has violated the Joint Resolution, that Iran’s additional hostile actions that it took against our Navy vessel are ones that we are very clear are not going to sit by and take,” he said.
The rabidly Islamophobic Fox News had initially alleged that a US vessel was the target of the attack. Even though the Pentagon later confirmed it was a Saudi ship attacked by a group identified as Houthi, neither Fox News nor Spicer corrected their false allegations. Spicer also had a helping hand from another Trump cohort, Steve Bannon, a right-wing zealot who serves as assistant to the president and White House chief strategist. The January 31st story in Breibart News, which Bannon was affiliated with before joining Trump’s campaign, carried the headline, “Houthis attack Saudi Frigate near Yemen, may have targeted US navy”.
The British daily, the Independent, in its story from Washington on February 3rd reported, “Major Garrett, Chief White House Correspondent with CBS News, can then be heard in video of the briefing quietly correcting him — ‘a Saudi vessel’ — to which Mr. Spicer responded, ‘Sorry, thank you, yes a Saudi vessel. Yes, that’s right.’” But the Independent noted, “The press secretary did not correct the allegation that the Iranian government carried out the attack.”
When the aim is to find a pretext — any pretext — to justify aggression, then facts are not allowed to stand in the way. In any case, the entire Trump gang believes in creating “alternate facts” that suit their criminal agenda.
The world is witnessing the rise of a modern-day Hitler and with even more frightening consequences because he now has his grubby hands on nuclear weapons.