Until Monday, the debate used to be whether to take Donald Trump seriously or not. Notwithstanding his lead position in the Republican race for the presidential election 2016, Trump, who often comes out with outrageous remarks, is a political clown. But since his anti-Muslim diatribe on Monday, most people are taking him seriously.
Days after a terrorist couple gunned down more than a dozen innocent civilians at San Bernardino in California, Trump in a preposterous reaction called for a “total and complete shutdown” of America’s borders to Muslims.
In justifying his islamophobe call, he cited survey after survey which showed that Muslims worldwide entertained a violent hatred towards the United States.
The reality TV star’s out-and-out racist remarks have drawn worldwide condemnations. He is virtually calling for a system whereby every Muslim will be regarded a potential enemy. Well, under the Trump presidency, the United States may even set up internment camps for Muslims, like what happened to the Japanese Americans during World War II.
But Trump can be forgiven, for he knows not what the hell is going on. “We need a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States while we figure out what the hell is going on.” Like most Americans, he is also confused. In free America, truth remains suppressed. So it is no surprise that Trump wants to know what the hell is going on.
If he wants an answer, all what he has to do is to study his country’s foreign policy, the core of which is the United States’ ambition to dominate the world. To remain the world’s number one power, Washington creates and manages conflicts and crises. If only Trump were to study the US foreign policy, he is sure to realise that just as the US involvement in the Afghan conflict in the 1980s had created al-Qaeda and the Taliban, the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 has created ISIS. He is sure to say that Islam and Muslims are not the problem, but US imperialism is.
To give Trump a lesson in US way of conflict management, we take him through the time tunnel to Iraq 2004, one year after President George W Bush’s illegal invasion of that country. We land in Camp Bucca, a detention centre run by US forces in Iraq. The detainees are hardcore jihadists and rebellious. To this detention centre is brought a civilian detainee, not involved in any terrorist activity. The new prisoner succeeds in bringing in order, to the delight of the American guards. Soon he leads the detainees in prayer and plays football with them. The new prisoner becomes the most favored prisoner in the camp.
During his stay at Camp Bucca, it is said that the man who later will call himself Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, becomes part of a plan to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Following his release, he resurrects al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) which has become defunct after US troops killed its leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in 2006. In 2011, AQI under Baghdadi’s leadership stages a spectacular jail break in Fallujah and frees more than 500 hardcore jihadists. They are sent to Syria to fight Assad.
Then in 2014, Baghdadi breaks all ties with al-Qaeda. In a letter to al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, Baghdadi tells him he will take orders only from God. He renames his group as Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS/ISIL) or Daesh. The group captures territory after territory in Iraq and Syria. In the captured territory, those who do not accept ISIS’ sovereignty are put to death -- Muslims and non-Muslims. Women are enslaved. It is only after the media highlighted ISIS atrocities that the United States, which has been hitherto tolerating ISIS excesses because it is the most effective group in the fight against the Assad regime, decides to attack ISIS. But more than 16 months of US bombardment appear perfunctory. Meanwhile, ISIS grows in strength, drawing tens of thousands of volunteers from all parts of the world with the connivance of Turkey, France, Britain and Germany – countries which have now declared war against ISIS. If Trump were to compare the 16 months of US bombardment with just two months of Russian attacks on ISIS targets, he is sure to figure out what the hell is going on.
Trump is also advised to look at the short video clip the Russians released last week. The clip is proof enough that ISIS is doing lucrative oil business with the United States’ Nato ally, Turkey, which is also supposed to be at war with ISIS. The satellite pictures show thousands of bowsers lining up on the Turkey-Syria border to load oil refined and sold by ISIS. If Trump were to watch this clip, he is sure to scream “what the hell is going on?”
For argument’s sake, let’s say Trump was right when he called for a total ban on Muslims travelling to the United States. But he should have in the same breath told his government to return billions of dollars that the Muslims have invested in the US. He should also have asked US policy makers to stop meddling in the affairs of Muslims countries. Look at the misery the US has brought upon Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Yemen and Somalia. Look at the shenanigans of the US and its regional allies such as Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and Egypt. Count the number of innocent civilians killed in the US-initiated mayhem in the Middle East. According to one count, since the US invaded Iraq in 2003, more than 1.4 million people have been killed in violence in Iraq and Afghanistan alone.
Though in hindsight President Obama’s speech on Sunday appears as an antidote to Trump’s venom, it is nothing but a cover up of America’s sins in the Middle East. Trump should know that one of his country’s sins is rating Assad a bigger enemy than ISIS at the prodding of Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Obama said: “We cannot turn against one another by letting this fight be defined as a war between America and Islam…. That, too, is what groups like Isil (ISIS) want. Isil does not speak for Islam. They are thugs and killers... and they account for a tiny fraction of a more than a billion Muslims around the world….”
Finally, Trump should refresh his history lessons to know that America is a land of migrants and the Muslims came to America long before Native Americans found Christopher Columbus and gave him shelter and later to millions of other Europeans, who returned the favour by killing millions of Native Americans.