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MAGA, Trump Style

Photo by srslyguys | CC BY 2.0

Donald Trump slithered into the White House, ushered in by the bizarre Electoral College which, for the second time in sixteen years, succeeded in thwarting the will of the small percentage of U.S. citizens who actually vote. He vowed to ‘Make America Great Again’, which in and of itself should have disqualified him, since it assumes that ‘America’, meaning the United States, ever was ‘great’. The country was established on the genocide of millions upon millions of indigenous people; it was built on the barbaric practice of slavery which involved mass kidnapping and savagely cruel behavior of which most of the people in the ‘great’ U.S. have no concept. It imprisoned thousands of Japanese-Americans during World War II, holding them in barbaric conditions for years, seizing their property and even refusing, at times, to issue birth certificates for their children. It has made war almost constantly since its inception in 1776.

And now, thanks to social media, we have the evidence of Trump’s latest efforts at reclaiming this legendary and mythical greatness. What can inspire a dedicated Republican more than pictures of immigrant children, grabbed from their parents, and placed, sobbing, into cages? Doesn’t that only prove that the ‘great’ U.S. is protecting its borders from those sinister people who seek to enter it to pick vegetables on farms? Ah, we are told by Trump and his dedicated minions, as he said during the campaign, Mexico is sending its worst people to the U.S. Why, some white citizens have actually been murdered by them!

First Lady Melania Trump ‘tweeted’ this on June 19: “A great visit with the King & Queen of Spain at the @WhiteHousetoday. Queen Letizia & I enjoyed tea & time together focusing on the ways we can positively impact children”. Perhaps what was left unsaid was the word ‘white’: she and the Spanish queen probably discussed ways of positively impacting white children. This, of course, would show her support for her husband’s policies on the Mexican border. It would also mean she need not bother with the numerous children of African descent shot by white police officers in the U.S.

This new effort at greatness may not be recognized by Democratic or Republican members of Congress who, finally, have come to an agreement, although not universal, on something. It may not be recognized by the United Nations, which has condemned this border policy. Religious leaders seem to be unable to see it as a positive thing, since it has been almost universally condemned by them. Leaders of nations around the world also somehow fail to endorse this policy.

Trump proclaimed for days that he was powerless to prevent it, and, like many things, blamed it on the Democrats. But, for whatever reason, he finally decided to issue an executive order, ending the barbaric practice of separating immigrant children from their parents, and putting them in cages. So much for being powerless to change the policy.

While all this was happening, the U.S. was also busy on the world stage, withdrawing from the United Nations Human Rights Council. When it was established in 2006, President George W. Bush refused to allow the U.S. to join it; after all, why on earth would the U.S. be concerned with such a controversial topic as human rights? In 2009, when Barack Obama was elected president, the U.S. joined the body.

The reason for the withdrawal by the U.S. was given by the U.S. Court Jester to the United Nations, Nikki Haley. Although she struggles to string together words that have any coherence, she did manage to say that the council’s ‘bias against Israel’ was a deciding factor in the decision to withdraw.

Let’s look at this for just a minute. If Israel is, in fact, a democratic nation, providing equal rights to all its citizens, and adhering to international law in its occupation of Palestine (an oxymoron, as this writer well knows, but let’s just play along for a few minutes), what does it have to hide? As the U.N. Human Rights Council seeks to investigate possible crimes committed by Israel, why doesn’t Israel provide its members with unimpeded access to Palestine? Let them see how happily and in what prosperity the Palestinians live, thereby silencing all critics of Israel, and immediately ending the BDS (Boycott, Divest and Sanction) movement.

However, if, perhaps, such is not the case, and Israel is in constant violation of international law, human rights and basic human dignity, oppressing Palestinians in the most brutal ways imaginable, and discriminating harshly against Arabs and people of African descent living within its own, ever-illegally-expanding borders, why should the Human Rights Council not work to bring it into line with international law? What problem would the U.S. have with that? Isn’t the U.S., in its historical and non-existent greatness, a beacon of peace and freedom to which all other nations aspire? Doesn’t it rush in at the slightest hint of oppression to bestow its most peculiar brand of democracy on unsuspecting nations, assuming, of course, that doing so will in some way financially benefit U.S. oligarchs?

And therein may lie the ‘secret’ to the U.S. withdrawal from, and disdain for, the United Nations Human Rights Council. Israel, through its various U.S. lobbies, donates substantial amounts of money to members of Congress (we will only note briefly here how those same members of Congress recoil in horror at the very thought that Russia interfered with the most recent U.S. election, yet Israeli influence, in the form of very generous campaign contributions, isn’t considered a problem). Doing Israel’s bidding is far more important than, say, human rights or international law. In 2015, during the sunset of the Obama administration, Israeli Prime Murderer Benjamin Netanyahu addressed Congress, instructing its members not to approve the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), an agreement hammered out by the U.S., several European nations and Iran. While it was touch and go for a while, the then Democratic Congress, torn between defying the Democratic president or displeasing its Israeli masters, finally approved the agreement. Trump, however, much more acquiescent to the instructions of Netanyahu, violated the agreement to the consternation of just about the entire world community. The global society reacted the same way, following his move of the U.S. embassy to Israel to Jerusalem, succeeding in pleasing Israel, but further eroding the U.S. reputation around the world, and further isolating both the U.S. and Israel.

This, apparently, is how the U.S. is made ‘great’: elevate to the highest office in the land candidates who lost the popular vote; cage children; kill minorities; disdain human rights and violate international law.

The myth of U.S. greatness has been with us for a long time; we may be able to thank Trump for finally smashing it.

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Robert Fantina’s latest book is Empire, Racism and Genocide: a History of US Foreign Policy (Red Pill Press).

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