The last days of the Trump presidency increasingly resemble that of Roman Emperor Nero, who was fiddling while Rome was burning. The antics of the current US President also remind us of Hitler screaming over the telephone, “is Paris burning” as World War II was coming to a close.
In like manner President Trump has totally forgotten that his nation is being decimated by the coronavirus, with 18.1 million cases and more than 320,000 deaths.
Despite the high numbers of deaths and the highest numbers of cases in the world the US president pays scant attention to bringing the pandemic in his country under control.
In fact Reuters report today (22 December) that the head of a US House Oversight Committee panel on COVID-19 on Monday issued subpoenas to two top Trump administration health officials over alleged political interference in the handling of the nation’s pandemic response.
According to the report, documents obtained as part of the panel’s investigation so far showed the administration appointees as having tried to block or alter more than one dozen scientific reports relating to the novel coronavirus as the outbreak continued to grow nationwide!
And like Hitler before the fall of Germany, Trump too is lashing out wildly with not a care that his actions could ignite the Middle East through his demented actions.
The assassination of Iran’s leading nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh-Mahabadi, by unidentified assailants, falls into this category. Together with the assassination of the Revolutionary Guard Commander General Qassem Suleimani, the acts were extremely provocative and tantamount to an act of war, aimed at goading Iran into armed retaliation against its enemies -- Israel, Saudi Arabia and the US forces stationed in the region
While Iran has blamed Israel for the act, US and regional analysts suggest as reported in the ‘Guardian’, that if Israel were involved, it would only have acted after getting the go-ahead from Trump.
It is well known that no Israeli leader would enter into such an escapade without checking out from his/her master in the US. Trump himself has boasted that he initiated the killing of the Iranian General.
From the outset of his presidency, for personal reasons, Trump has sought to destroy former president Obama’s work with Iran to keep the peace in the Middle East. Ignoring the possibility of his actions igniting the flames in that region Mr. Trump is even today engaging in acts which could worsen an already volatile situation in that region.
To make matters worse, in the final month of his time in the Oval Office, Trump has assembled a ‘new’ team to guide him; main among them are Michael Flynn, a former US National Security Advisor and Sidney Powell who were incidentally fired by Trump.
Powell was ejected by Trump from the elite strike force of lawyers just one month ago for her outlandish claims that Joe Biden won the presidential election with mysterious “communist money” and the support of the long-deceased Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez.
The Financial Review of 21 December reported that Flynn had suggested on Newsmax that Trump could authorise the military to re-run the election. “He could order the rerun, within the swing states, if he wanted to, he could take military capabilities, and he could place those in states and basically rerun an election in each of those states,” Flynn said.
Fortunately, it appears that wiser counsel prevailed, White House officials said. Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and White House counsel Pat Cipollone pushed back “strenuously” on the idea of martial law and the idea was quickly dismissed at the meeting.
Whatever happens, the world watches aghast as the so-called leader of the ‘free world’ struggles to overturn the verdict of the US people at an election.
What is even more surprising is that some 74.2 million people in the US voted for a man who cannot accept he was defeated. Even more astounding is the fact that a large section of these people believe Trump won the election despite evidence staring them in the face and despite all legal challenges to overturn the election being thrown out by the US courts.
All-in-all it would appear that we are witnessing the death throes of a tin pot dictator garbed in the garments of a democratic president.
We, together with all peace loving people, hope the incumbent US president has not damaged the democratic structures of the US beyond repair and the president-elect will be able to undo the damage done.