n a major electoral upset seven months ago, the Republican Party nominee Donald Trump - a billionaire businessman with no political experience - was elected 45th President of the US. A shell-shocked media highlighted the President-elects weak points and numerous idiosyncrasies’. One of the main differences between the Republican and Democratic Party nominees apart from Trump’s lack of political experience at any level of governance was the President-elects bent toward Russia and its President Vladimir Putin. The Democratic candidate in the run-up to the election often charged Trump of being a Putin lackey.
Today, seven months after the 45th President was sworn into power, his administration has descended into a quagmire of investigations into alleged Russian interference into the US Presidential election, and Trump and his campaign staffs’ involvement with the said Russian attempts to subvert the US electoral process and challenges to the President’s executive orders.
Trump’s firing of the head of the FBI chief who was leading an investigation into the charges of Russian interference, led to suspicions the US President had in fact something to hide and led the Senate (controlled by Trump’s own Republican Party) to appoint a special investigator to take up the issue.
Two days ago, the US media and Trump via his twitter feed raised the spectre that he may have the independent investigator fired! The President on assuming office issued executive orders banning Syrian refugees and all persons from seven Muslim countries from entering the United States for 90 days. The ban tellingly did not cover countries like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the Emirates, in which Mr. Trump has business interests!
The President’s executive order to ban people from Islamic countries has been stayed by a number of US Courts. Fresh executive directives on the same matter met with the same fate. The niceties of US constitution drawn up by freedom fighters who had the interests of their country and countrymen at heart is understandably not understood by a billionaire businessman whose interests are motivated by profit.
Embroiled in court struggles and investigations the new president is seemingly unable to attend to important matters of state. Since his election, despite campaign promises to de-escalate tensions with Russia, there has in fact been an escalation of tensions with that country after the US shot down a Syrian jet which resulted in the Russians closing down emergency channels of communication and threatening US flights entering Syrian airspace.
The array of investigations, the President is facing and the resulting chaos is getting more and more complicated and leading him to antagonise his NATO allies. He has openly insulted his closest allies with claims of not paying a fair share for the maintenance of US troops and defence systems in Europe, blissfully oblivious to the fact it is the US itself, which needs the physical presence of its troops in Europe. He also refused to renew a pledge to defend NATO allies against external attacks at a recent NATO meeting in Europe.
It was therefore not surprising that nations within NATO largely worked their way with each other, ignoring the US when these countries were hit by a series of terror attacks during the past week - last Monday’s terror attack on Finsbury Park mosque in the UK. A terrorist attack in Paris also took place on Monday, where a motorist was shot after he ploughed his car carrying gas canisters into a police vehicle. In Belgium, police shot and killed a suspect after a failed bombing attack at Brussels’ Central Railway Station. In Canada, a man yelling “Allahu Akbar” was shot before he allegedly stabbed a police officer.
"And North Korea, continues with its provocative missile launches…The US’ response has been akin to exuding hot air without any substance"
In the Middle East, a major diplomatic crisis is brewing. The Saudis and their regional allies have cut all ties with Qatar, whom the Saudis accuse of funding terrorism, among other things. The list of demands sent to Qatar shows the situation is worsening. But the US which has its biggest military base in Qatar, is unable to help defuse tensions. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has been making polite noises recently, but his intervention was too late. Even US client states like Saudi Arabia pay scant heed to him.
Trump’s first overseas trip as President to Rome, Brussels and finally, to Sicily for the G-7 meeting solidified the rifts between US/Trump administration and NATO members. Trump appeared to be in another world concerning environment issues and pulled out the US from the Paris Agreement.
And North Korea, continues with its provocative missile launches…The US’ response has been akin to exuding hot air without any substance.