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Criticism of Trump as an unaccomplished president is leading to war

May 4, 2017

One chamber of the U.S. Congress has just passed a replacement for Obamacare. Reuters is calling it a “big victory” for Trump.(1)

At the moment, the headline may be more important than the details. Now that Trump may be able to claim an achievement, at least in the eyes of Republicans, maybe some Democrats will shut the fuck up about Trump not having accomplished anything.

People outside the United Snakes shouldn’t be overly concerned about what goes on in that country in terms of domestic policy, but they should be breathing a small sigh of relief. If the U.S. House of Representatives hadn’t passed the Obamacare replacement, there could have been another high-profile U.S. military attack like the one against a Syrian air base last month. Internal U.S. politics is important in terms of understanding trade-offs pertaining to foreign policy.

On the other hand, it seems likely that U.S. Democrats and liberals will continue calling attempted Obamacare replacement an act of “Russian agent” Trump. Another brazen attack, a military buildup, or more expansion of war (as in Syria, and Somalia and Yemen), to prove that wrong, distract, or build relationships with the Pentagon, is almost a given, but many in the Amerikan so-called resistance make it easier.

Even some so-called radical leftists in the United $tates have used the threat of Russian-U.S. imperialist cooperation as an excuse for anti-Russia jingoism or uniting with U.S. imperialists with more rhetorical emphasis against Russia. Others view Trump’s supposed friendliness to Russia as favoring whites.

Many U.$. liberals and so-called leftists claim Trump is a particular fascist or worse than Obama, even that Trump is more of a militarist than Obama. Despite some dubious records Obama set as a Democrat and as a post-WW2 U.S. president, they may perceive Trump as a greater threat in matters of war. Yet, the opposition to war isn’t there, not to the extent they oppose Trump on other issues when it benefits the Democratic Party for election victories in 2018.

This may partly have to do with some tension between claiming Trump hasn’t done anything and viewing certain attacks as evidence of militarism worse than Obama’s.

On Trump’s 100th day in office at the end of April, some suggested the attack on the Syrian air base made no difference without follow-up in the form of similar attacks. However, the United States’ proxy, Israel, has occupied a part of Syria for decades. I$rael had already attacked Syria openly and directly multiple times before the al-Shayrat air base attack.

The U.S. attack was undoubtedly brazen, but it has to be said: in reality, Obama invaded Syria – in various ways – before Trump did. The Syrian position against the U.S. presence and violations of Syrian sovereignty, which began before Trump was even elected, is clear.

So Trump can’t really claim invading or going to war against Syria as some kind of achievement.

There is the terroristic MOAB attack in Afghanistan and all of the disturbing rhetoric and media coverage about Korea, but at this point in time it still isn’t clear to this writer that Trump is actually worse than Obama on war. The point of saying that isn’t to defend Trump as a militarist, but to raise how certain ways of opposing Trump are leading to war. That is if there continues to be any perception, based on reality or not, that Trump has been ineffective across the board. The result of pressuring Trump to do something befitting a president could be deadly though Trump may get away with killing fewer people than a non-white U.S. president would and did.

There needs to be a stronger anti-war movement in the United States, but not because Trump is more of a militarist than Obama. There should have been a massive U.S. anti-war movement during Obama’s presidency. There should be a discernible anti-war movement not just among some paleoconservatives and isolationists. At the same time, this writer’s and hundreds of writers’ saying there should be a big U.S. anti-war movement isn’t going to cause it to appear as long as there are too few Amerikans willing to make peace a more important priority than a political platform or some issue.

If the U.S. Senate doesn’t pass the Republican healthcare legislation, opponents keep blocking Trump’s actions on so-called immigration and border security issues, and at the same time critics keep saying Trump hasn’t accomplished anything, Trump may invade or attack a country to show accomplishment. There would be some anxiety, but urban liberals may not really object to an attack more than Trump’s white trash base would, as long Trump delivers on some protectionist promises and doesn’t rock the boat too much in domestic policy by actually changing it.

Though Trump has already been successful in earning status as a war criminal, Trump still has a lot to go to catch up with Obama in killing and war crimes. Assorted left-wing opponents of Trump may not start opposing Trump on war until Trump has caught up with Obama or exceeded Hillary Clinton’s recommendations for Syria. Clinton, a leading Syria war hawk, has supported sending more ground troops to Syria and creating a no-fly zone. Clinton supported destroying all of Syria’s airfields after the alleged chemical attack last month.

Talk about how Trump is a do-nothing president – a criticism that is somewhat strange coming from Amerikans who supposedly don’t support Trump’s immigration-related actions – is stupid and is leading to war. If it isn’t stupid from the standpoint of those panning Trump’s first 100 days in office supposedly from the left – whether as Democrats, liberals, or so-called leftists, in the United $tates – it is because they don’t really care about war/peace in the first place.

Supposed war-neutral marches

Prominent Democrats continue to use Russia questions to oppose and pressure Trump, even after it has become clear that the anti-Russia rhetoric puts Middle East Muslims’ lives in danger and potentially leads to direct military conflict with Russia. As evidenced by social media posts, these jingoistic Democrats are in fact still popular with many so-called “woke” or “conscious” young non-white Amerikans. So now U.S. antiwar leaders have to deal with a situation in which some elderly white trash are against certain wars more than young white and non-white urban liberals are. There are many zombies, some highly educated, willing to follow an oreo, coconut or white liberal into war as long as they have some “anti-racist” hustle and are tuned in to certain trends of language and media.

There were the big pseudo-feminist and environmental marches failing to oppose Trump on war – environmentally destructive wars against socially conservative countries – despite Trump supposedly being a fascist or more of a fascist than Obama. There was almost no visible evidence of any attempt to make a connection to war – except to support U.S. rocket science in the context of opposing oil consumption and production – despite the connections that could have made to opposing war, and the connections that were made to other issues or causes. Instead, there were signs suggesting that female war hawks, in some ways rhetorically worse than Trump, be put in power for the sake of “science” and breaking glass ceilings.

Then, on May Day, some activists – seemingly oblivious to how such populism led to the whole Sanders-Trump phenomenon – supported economic populism. They did so in addition to, and in some cases instead of, opposing Trump’s rhetoric about migrants and attempted and accomplished deportation actions. Seeing people support economic populism at marches in the United States was like watching brainless robots repeating the same motion long after they have fulfilled their purpose.

Economic populism and labor protests in the First World generally lead to anti-immigration sentiment – there are ways in which even the 2006 youth protests in France led to National Front success, for example – but May Day in the United States has been an opportunity for mixing economic populism and labor protests with pro-migrant protests. That certainly happened on Monday. There was no immigration protest surge to this extent during Obama’s presidency even though Obama increased deportations and criminalization of migrants in certain categories and locations.

There have been other confusing signs. It was almost a given that some judge in California, Hawai’i, or Washington State, was going to oppose one of Trump’s orders; these are some of the most liberal or Democratic states in the United States. That is the case though Obama’s own contribution to accepting refugees was arguably insignificant in comparison with the numbers other countries have accepted. Continuing to stoke economic populism, opposing the refugee admissions suspension while supporting war, making Trump and Trump’s supporters resentful of judicial independence, and normalizing what went on under Obama in terms of war and deportations, aren’t evidence of real mass opposition to fascism or some grand orchestrated strategy of building opposition to fascists issue-by-issue. What they are evidence of is Democratic political priorities risking and leading to war and contributing also to the development of fascism. Opportunist delusions of grandeur are getting in the way of understanding this in some cases.

Many of those saying Trump is more dangerous for the world than Obama was, and Clinton would have been, nonetheless don’t oppose U.S. wars or fail to oppose several of them. Many of those saying Trump is so much worse than Obama on migrants are actually normalizing any fascism that did exist when Obama presided over criminalization of whole groups of border-crossers, the world’s #1 prison state, multiple invasions, countless drone murders, other increases of repression, and normalization of what was disclosed about mass surveillance, while deluding many around the world. Various Amerikans claiming to fight fascists – as if U.S. leaders didn’t need to be broadly and energetically opposed around the world during the previous U.S. presidency, whether fascism existed inside the United States or not – are in denial about the extent of U.S. incarceration, spying, repression, war, militarism, and dominance of various types, that already exists and has existed for years.

Such odd concurrences mean there needs to be more opposition to the United States globally as well an adjustment in what antiwar leaders are saying with regard to Amerikans.

This writer is all for open borders, more than most Democrats, Chican@s, and Wall Street/trade protesters in the United $tates, are. The May Day march in downtown Los Angeles was reportedly a lot smaller than marches in March and May of 2006.(2) (That is despite the fact May 1 fell on a Monday in 2006, too.) Many migrants just want to work and not be deported or harassed and don’t particularly care about U.S. domestic policy or gaining U.$. citizenship, which would be available to some migrants and not others. Nonetheless, there is no point in others’ coming to the United $tates just to assimilate into that aggressor country and be exploited by Democrat warmongers whose own record on deportations or immigration restrictions isn’t significantly better.

The largest march in Los Angeles was named “Resist Los Angeles” by some, unfortunately. It is understandable that some Chican@s and Mexicans would not go to a march not opposing war, with such a name. On the Internet are photos of people wearing Amerikan flags while holding “resist” signs and standing next to others with abortion rights signs. Some whites chose to participate in May Day events with such signs, instead of anti-war signs or pro-migrant signs, and migrants and their supporters were supposed to accept that as unity. Apparently, the fact that John McCain has supported some legalization for undocumented migrants already in the United States, in combination with border crackdowns, is supposed to make migrants grateful for hydra-headed war hawk Clinton-McCain “resistance” to Trump. (After all, Hillary Clinton said in November 2015, “I voted numerous times when I was a senator to spend money to build a barrier to try to prevent illegal immigrants from coming in.”)

It could be that many were just being consistent. Obama earned the “deporter-in-chief” name, but it has to be said many who called Obama that nonetheless would not have considered marching against Obama as a “fascist.” Eight years of Obama probably made the turnout on Monday – which some thought would be bigger than turnouts on different days in 2006 – smaller than what it could have been. Unless one assumes marchers are almost entirely undocumented, fear of being arrested at a march can’t fully explain the reported turnout differences.

They were rare, but among the best signs at marches on May 1 were those opposing militarism or war. Other good signs supported Chican@ independence and Aztlán liberation – too few and far between – opposed mistreatment of migrants, and said Amerikans needed migrants economically.

The signs calling for a $15 an hour minimum wage in the United Snakes and supporting vague “resistance” to Trump are of a questionable nature at best. Even religious signs supporting humane treatment of migrants were much better than those. There is nothing anti-fascist about failing to oppose war while agitating Amerikans on economic issues and changing definitions of fascism just because Democrats just left office and are seeking office.

Under Trump, the United States continues to hinder the two-state solution while pretending to support Middle East peace.(3) This leads to war. This writer wouldn’t blame anyone for thinking Wednesday’s White House meeting didn’t make a difference except to show a need for new, non-Amerikan leadership. In a joint statement, Trump talked about “economic opportunities” for Palestinians but didn’t even verbally support the two-state solution explicitly. Mahmoud Abbas supported “peace based on the vision of the two-state – a Palestinian state with its capital of East Jerusalem that lives in peace and stability with the state of Israel based on the borders of 1967.” “ . . . I also believe that we will be able to resolve the issue of the refugees and the issue of the prisoners.”

Trump said Palestinians needed a “unified voice” against violence. Prisoner Marwan Barghouti – Palestine’s Nelson Mandela apparently still in solitary confinement – may be dead within a matter of weeks. Barghouti is leading a mass hunger strike, a non-violent protest.(4) If Trump had wanted to accomplish something, Trump could have offered Israel a deal. Instead, Trump talks about unity while the United States continues to play a major role in disrupting Palestinian political and unity processes.

Continuing Democratic accusations of antisemitism probably make it more difficult for Trump to support Barghouti’s release publicly (not that many Democrats and U.S. liberals would really care about that). They may be anti-Muslim or anti-Islam more openly, but most Amerikans are secretly antisemitic. What U.S. leaders in general do that makes things worse in the Middle East, between Jews and Muslims or Arabs, just isn’t that important to Amerikans, who benefit from the conflicts and accept their presidents’ demonstrating and exercising war leadership abilities as evidence of competency and accomplishment. ◊

• ““Science” marches fail to oppose environmentally destructive wars on Earth Day,” 2017 April.
• “White nationalist Pat Buchanan is more anti-war than U.S. liberals and so-called leftists, because of Obama,” 2017 April.
• “Americans use the travel ban issue to support war,” 2017 April.
• “Liberal Democrats are complicit in the Syria strike,” 2017 April.
• “Obamacare, huge Pentagon budget remain: Nice going, DemoKKKrats,” 2017 March.
• “There is still no massive U.S. anti-war movement, thanks to Democrats,” 2017 March.

More news:
“U.S. THAAD in S Korea ‘operational’ amid protests, hunger strike,” 2017 May 2.

1. “House passes healthcare bill in big victory for Trump,” 2017 May 4.
2. “15,000 people take part in May Day March in Los Angeles,” 2017 May 1.
“May Day march draws 30,000 to downtown L.A. in call to ‘resist’ Trump,” 2017 May 1.
“May Day immigration March was no record breaker,” 2017 May 2.
3. “Two-state solution in the air, but Trump still confident of Middle East peace,” 2017 May 3.
“Remarks by President Trump and President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority in Joint Statement,” 2017 May 3.
4. “Message from Marwan Barghouti,” 2017 May 3.

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