Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
The Uncomfortable Truth:
Is Just Another Brand, for the Same Imperialist Policies of his
By Ramzy Baroud
CCUN, February 13, 2017
|The gullables think we're
different! Ha ha ha!
||Where's the difference?
I fear that many of us do not like Donald Trump for the wrong
Multitudes are being swayed by mainstream media-inspired
demonization of the new US president, based on selective assumptions and
US mainstream media, which rarely deviates from supporting the
American government’s conduct, however reckless, is now presenting Trump
as if an aberration of otherwise egalitarian, sensible, and peace-loving
US policies at home and abroad.
Trump may be described with all
the demeaning terminology that one’s livid imagination can muster: evil,
wicked, tyrannical, misogynist, war-mongering, rich buffoon, ‘insulting
our allies’, infatuating with ‘dictators’, etc.
But do not miss
If you chant in the street: ‘I am with
her’, with reference to the defeated Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary
Clinton, it means that you are entirely missing the point.
To reminisce about the days of Barack Obama, his oratory skills, clean
diplomacy and model, ‘relatable’ family, means that you have bought into
the mass deception, the intellectual demagoguery, stifling group-think
that pushed us to these extremes, in the first place.
within this context, ‘missing the point’, can be quite dangerous, even
It is interesting how the lives of Yemenis suddenly
matter, referring to the US military botched a raid late last month
against an alleged al-Qaeda stronghold in that country, killing mostly
A beautiful 8-year-old girl, Nawar
al-Awlaki, was killed in the operation - planned under the Obama
administration, but approved by Trump. Many chose to ignore that Nawar’s
16-year-old brother - both US citizens - was killed
by the US military under Obama, a few years earlier.
has been a target in the US so-called ‘war on terror’ for many years. Many
civilians have been killed, their deaths only being questioned by human
rights groups, seldom mainstream media.
Yemen is one of the
seven Muslim-majority countries whose citizens are now being barred from
entering the US by the ban.
The emotional mass response by
hundreds of thousands of protesters rejecting such an abhorrent decision
is heartening but also puzzling.
The US military, under Obama,
has shied away from leading major wars but instigated, instead, numerous
"The whole concept of war has changed under
Times’ quoted a Middle East expert.
Obama "got the country
out of 'war,' at least as we used to see it," Jon Alterman of the Center
for Strategic and International Studies said. "We're now wrapped up in all
these different conflicts, at a low level and with no end in sight."
From a numerical context, the Obama administration has dropped
26,171 bombs in 2016 alone. Countries that were bombed included Yemen,
Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Somalia, five of the seven countries whose
citizens are now denied entry by Trump.
The harm that Obama has
done to devastate some of the poorest, war-torn countries on earth by far
exceeds what Trump has done, so far.
Iraq and Libya were
not always poor. Their oil, natural gas and other strategic reasoning made
them targets for US wars, under four different administrations prior to
Trump's infamous arrival.
Libya was the richest in Africa, and relatively stable until Hillary
Clinton decided otherwise. Clinton was Secretary of State during Obama's
first term in office.
In 2011, she craved for war. A ‘New
York Times’ report citing 50 top US officials, left no doubt that
Clinton was the 'catalyst' in the decision to go to war.
Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, furious about her support for a
'broader mission' in Libya, told Obama and Clinton that his army was
already engaged in enough wars.
"Can I finish the two wars I’m
already in before you guys go looking for a third one?" Gates
had reportedly said.
Now, we are being led to believe that
the war enthusiasts of the past are peacemakers, because Trump's antics
are simply too much to bear.
The hypocrisy of it all should be
obvious, but some insist on ignoring it.
Party tribalism and
gender politics aside, Trump is a mere extension and a natural progression
of previous US administrations’ agendas that launched avoidable, unjust
fear, fanned the flames of Islamophobia, hate for immigrants, etc.
There is hardly a single bad deed that Trump has carried - or intends
to carry out - that does not have roots in another policy championed
by previous administrations.
Trump’s intention to build a wall
at the US-Mexico border is the brainchild of President Bill Clinton. In
fact, when Clinton
proposed the wall and a crackdown on illegal immigrants in his 1995
State of the Union address, the Democrats gave him a standing ovation.
As for Muslims, they have been an easy target for at least 20 years.
Muslims were mainly the target of the 'Secret Evidence law' in
1996, and 'suspected' Muslims were either jailed indefinitely or deported
without their lawyers being informed of their charges.
then called the 1996
Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, later expanded to give
immigration authorities the right to deport even green card holding
Few protested the undemocratic, no
due-process law - and the media barely covered it - as most of those held
were Palestinian activists, intellectuals and university
The 1996 Act morphed into the Patriot Act,
following the attacks of September 11, 2001. The new Act undermined
the very US Constitution, giving the government unprecedented domestic
authority to arrest, detain people, and spy on whoever they wished, with
no legal consequences.
The Obama administration had no qualms
using and abusing such undemocratic, unconstitutional powers.
But where were the millions protesting ‘fascism’, as they are doing now?
Was Obama simply too elegant and articulate to be called ‘fascist’,
although he engendered the same domestic policy outlook as Trump?
Trump is extremely wealthy, but if one is to examine the US wealth inequality
gap under Obama, one perceives some uncomfortable truth.
While the rich got
richer under Obama, "inequality in America (grew) even at the top,"
reports Inequality.org. In fact, the gap between the rich and the
super-rich continued to expand, barely phased out by the Great Recession
In 2014, a ‘Mother
Jones’ headline summed up the tragic story of unfair distribution of
wealth in America: "The Richest 0.1 Percent is About to Control More
Wealth than the Bottom 90 Percent."
Therefore, Trump is but
merely one profiteer from an economy driven by real-estate gamblers and
The truth is, today’s political conflict in
the US is not a clash over ‘values’, but an elites vs. elites war, par
It is also a war of brands.
spent eight years reversing George W. Bush’s bad brand. Yet, Obama has
done so without reversing any of Bush’s disreputable deeds. On the
contrary, he has redefined and expanded war, advanced the nuclear arms
race and destabilized more countries.
Trump is also a brand, an unpromising one. The product - whether
military aggressions, racism, islamophobia, anti-immigration policies,
economic inequality, etc. - remains unchanged.
that is the uncomfortable truth.
- Dr. Ramzy Baroud has been
writing about the Middle East for over 20 years. He is an
internationally-syndicated columnist, a media consultant, an author of
several books and the founder of PalestineChronicle.com. His books include
“Searching Jenin”, “The Second Palestinian Intifada” and his latest “My
Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story”. His website is www.ramzybaroud.net.
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