t seems a long time ago, in the heady days of the US presidential campaign in 2008, a black American -Senator Barack Obama- a descendant of a former slave who was contesting the US presidential election, was elected president.
In the world at large, people looked forward to the antiwar winds of change Obama promised in US foreign policy, while at home alienated minorities expected a better deal. To be fair, Obama’s approach made the world feel a safer place to live in through a withdrawal of US troop levels in Afghanistan and Iraq and negotiation a nuclear deal with Iran.
In the US itself he enacted legislation offering affordable health care to millions of Americans who were left out by the system.
Today, nearly a year since President Trump – a billionaire businessman - with no political experience, was installed as president, is as good a time as any to check his achievements. During the run up to his election he promised a policy of non-intervention abroad and skepticism of the Iraq and Afghan wars.
Yet, today Trump’s forces also operate in Syria, and troop levels in Afghanistan and Iraq have been raised.
In July this year, “The Daily Beast’ reported the number of civilians killed by U.S. air strikes in Syria and Iraq had skyrocketed over the last several months since the military-strategy shift under President Trump.
Since July 13, more than 2,200 additional civilians have been killed by Coalition raids since Trump was inaugurated; over 360 per month, “the report said. Despite his campaign promises of non-intervention abroad, the new US president has got himself embroiled in a chest-beating embroglio with North Korea over its development of nuclear weapons and with Iran on totally different issues.
Weaving a web of lies on the danger North Korean nuclear weapons pose to the US mainland and US allies abroad Trump has threatened to “totally annihilate” that country for seeking to protect itself via a nuclear deterrent.
For all its threats North Korea poses no danger or threat to the US or its allies. But there is a danger of the war of words between president Trump and North Koerea’s Kim escalating and the US being drawn into another messy Asian adventure that could end in defeat as was the case in Vietnam.
Trump also falsely accuses Iran of violating the nuclear deal signed between Iran, the P5 + 1 (five permanent members of the UNSC + Germany), despite the UN watchdog confirming Iran has kept its part of the deal. The US president claimed it was the worst deal ever, with the US having to pay billions of dollars to Iran.
A total lie. In actuality, the money released to Iran was part of Iranian funds frozen by the US under sanctions it imposed on that country and which were released after the signing of the nuclear deal!
Since assuming the presidency Trump has shown a tendency to antagonise friends and allies alike. He accused NATO partners of cheating, claiming they were not paying a fair share for maintenance of US troops in Europe, but had to beat a retreat when German Chancellor Merkel publicly exposed his lack of knowledge on the subject.
Having vowed to label China a manipulator of currency on his first day Trump was once again forced to withdraw. Despite multiple mega floods and wild fires raging across the US and in the face of warnings of US environmentalists, president Trump continues to deny the phenomenon of global warming and withdrew the US from the Paris Accord on Environment.
On the domestic front too Mr. Trump has not shown to have met with great success. His election campaign was divisive, and today US society stands divided. Trump in a Don Quixotic fashion sees all manner of foes in American society, he refers to Mexicans as “rapists,” questioned Sen. John McCain’s status as a war hero, ridiculed the physical appearance of his opponents, falsely claimed that “thousands” in New Jersey cheered as the World Trade Center fell and has called for a ban on Muslims entering the United States.
He is also trying to do away with the Affordable Care Act which brought medical cover to millions of Americans. Has targeted black American sports-people and effectively divided American society.
After a short eleven months in power, the US president has thrown the world into confusion with bellicose threats of war and destruction... Sad, and an even sadder reflection on eleven months in power.