Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Donald Trump - Muslim Hater or Operator?

It is very unlikely that ISIS/Daesh will seek to assassinate Donald Trump. Following his election as US President, ISIS media outlets were chortling with delight. As The Washington Post reported last November:
"Social-media sites associated with both the Islamic State and al-Qaeda also hailed Trump’s success as the beginning of “dark times” for the United States, marked by domestic unrest and new foreign military campaigns that would sap the strength of the American superpower..."Rejoice with support from Allah, and find glad tidings in the imminent demise of America at the hands of Trump,” said the Islamic State-affiliated al-Minbar Jihadi Media network, one of several jihadi forums to post commentaries on the results of the U.S. election."
Trump's recent crackdown on Muslim travellers and Syrian refugees seeking to enter the USA would seem to be playing into the hands of ISIS. As we know, there have been vigorous protests against these travel restrictions around the world. Here in the UK, as we know, a mammoth petition has been presented to Parliament to cancel his forthcoming state visit. Even the Tory MP, Amber Rudd, has said:
“I think we can hold two things in our head, which is to say to the president of the US, ‘We find this policy divisive and wrong’, and still to respect the president of the United States and want to engage with him in the way we would engage with world leaders to try to promote UK’s interests.”
In a breathtakingly short space of time, President Trump has behaved with unbelievable ineptitude which many interpret as racism. He has alienated Muslim opinion just about everywhere, most clumsily in Iraq, which is fighting the war against ISIS, the very organisation that Trump says he wants to eradicate. In reality, Trump seems to be a bungling, counter-productive incompetent, and the best recruiting sergeant ISIS has got.
Or is he?
There is another way to evaluate Trump's actions which leads to a very different assessment of the man. Trump is a businessman, accustomed to getting his own way, commanding 100% loyalty from his subordinates and workforce. As for anyone who stands in his way, he will be adept at devising strategies to eliminate them, as he has eliminated any opposition in the firms he has run. Trump must have known that there would be widespread opposition to his travel ban. It could well be that he is provoking controversy in order to burn out popular opposition. It is very difficult to maintain mass protest at fever pitch level. Before the invasion of Iraq, a million people marched through London against it. After the invasion, nothing like that number of protesters was seen on the streets.
His travel ban could also have been designed to flush out opposition in the US Federal administration. The public (and remarkably swift) sacking of Sally Yates, the acting US Attorney General, might have been just what he wanted. He can now replace Sally Yates with one of "his people".
If true, it shows Trump to be far more wily than his opponents have believed him to be, but it will work against him in the long run. A country - especially one with a strong democratic tradition like the USA - is not a business corporation. While the people immediately around and below Trump might be his lickspittles, the American people are not his employees and he won't be able to fire them like he fired people on the US version of "The Apprentice". If anything, they might well move to fire him. Only ISIS/Daesh would miss him then.

1 comment:

  1. He is an ignorant uncouth bully, but he is not quite as stupid as some people assume, but on the other hand, I don't see any signs of the cunning operator you suggest. He has a bar room brawler's instinct for survival - even after multiple bankruptcies, but I doubt he's capable of shaping his policies astutely enough to get all the protests burnt out, although I do accept that they will lessen in time.

    That, however, doesn't mean the dissatisfaction will diminish. Most people stopped protesting against Bliar's invasion of Iraq, but they never forgot how he lied to them: the dodgy dossier, the weapons of mass destruction that didn't exist, and so on. In the USA they may similarly stop marching, but that doesn't mean he will have won them over.