After a turbulent four-year term (2017 - Jan. 2021), former President Donald Trump - a Republican - lost the December 2020 presidential election to his Democratic rival Joe Biden. Since then, Trump has largely remained silent. On Sunday he appeared at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Florida.
He went on to complain that he had actually won the November election against Democrat Joe Biden. He also hinted at a possible fresh run in 2024, saying, “I may even decide to beat them for a third time...”
During his term of office, Trump insulted international friend and foe alike. He referred to African nations as ‘shit holes’, reneged on international treaties, as for example the Iran nuclear deal. He threatened to pull the US out of the NATO Agreement. He cut US funding to the WHO, and dumped among many other agreements the US had signed with its international allies.
Trump also upended the US role in the Palestine crisis openly siding with Israel, cutting US aid to Palestinian refugees and shifting the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem - an integral part of the State of Palestine, now illegally occupied by the state of Israel.
He also sowed seeds of dissent within the US itself, setting up white Americans against Afro-Americans, Latinos and indeed against Native Americans -the indigenous people of that country.
A ‘Guardian’ investigative project ‘The Counted’ in 2015-2016 that set out to record all people in the US killed by police showed that Black people in America were more than twice as likely to be killed by the police than white people.
A similar 2016 analysis by the Washington Post also found that African Americans are 2.5 times as likely to be shot and killed by police offers than white Americans.
American people, like others the world over, not being inherently racist by nature, realizing Trump was leading the country down a steep and slippery slope to nowhere, voted him out of power at the November 2020 presidential election.
Looking back in history, we cannot, but see, whether a US President came from the Republican or Democratic Party, US foreign interventions, together with war crimes and crimes against humanity continued unabated. That is until the advent of Trump.
Despite his many idiosyncrasies and flip flops, despite his vituperous bombast and verbosity, in one aspect Trump, outdid many of the more respected American President’s of yesteryear as a ‘peacenik’! This includes the ever popular Barak Obama who self-confessedly, personally approved and oversaw drone strikes which took the lives of many innocents in addition to specific targets.
During his single term presidency, Trump did not drag the US into a single new war in foreign lands. In fact under his watch in March 2020, the American-led coalition began the transfer of bases back to Iraqi security forces.
Tensions with North Korea which reached fever-pitch were reduced after he (Trump) reached out to North Korea’s reclusive leader and had two one-on-one meetings with him.
The intra-Afghan peace dialogue was an outcome of the agreement the Trump administration sealed with the Taliban in late February 2020. It was a means of extricating US forces from the conflict in Afghanistan -America’s longest war but, it has commenced a process where hopefully less lives will be lost/taken.
This was possibly Trump’s greatest contribution to ridding the world of US-sponsored wars and aggression the world over. For instance, Japan was nuclear bombed when Harry Truman, a Democrat was President of the US. It is estimated around 140,000 persons perished in the nuclear attack. The firebombing of Tokyo between March 9 to 10 - killed between 80,000 and 130,000 Japanese civilians in the worst single firestorm in recorded history.
The catalogue of US killings goes on and on, and are too long to be contained in an op-ed.
But history seems to be about to repeat itself. According to media reports present US President Biden is said to be reviewing the pullout of US troops in Afghanistan agreed under the Intra-Afghan peace deal. The Taliban threatening to re-commence attacks, in the event of troops not leaving on the due date. Biden after merely a week in power has recommenced bombings in Syria.
The list of US interventions in foreign lands, especially in Asia and the Middle East is too long to include in a single page. But suffice to say whether led by a President from the Democratic Party or the Republican Party, US policy continues to be more innocents’ blood spilled in lands away from the US.