American President Donald J Trump’s Executive Order that has effectively banned visitors from seven majority-Muslim countries to the USA is a testimony to the colossal failure of the neo-liberal economics initiated in the USA in the 1980s by Ronald Reagan and intensified under subsequent administrations, both Democratic and Republican.
The fact that Britain is facing economic and political isolation in Europe after the ‘Brexit’ decision has seen an uneasy and opportunistic economic partnership developing between Britain and the USA. This new partnership that has begun as a result of mutual, if enormously unequal, economic dependency caused in the UK by Brexit and in the USA by leaving the North Atlantic Trade Agreement, might ultimately lead towards political compromises by the British ruling class. We have already seen a glimpse of this opportunistic political behaviour from the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, when she avoided answering a direct question from a journalist about how she felt about the ban on people from seven majority-Muslim countries entering the USA.
In Europe, the economic crisis that kicked in during the last decade has witnessed knee jerk reactions on more than one occasion. However, until recently these knee jerk reactions went unchallenged by the global population. By banning people in destitute and/or broken countries (not infrequently, smashed by NATO or its close allies) who are fleeing war-zones and preventing them from entering a safe country is akin to committing a war crime. And that is exactly what Mr Trump may have done. By not publically condemning his Executive Order, Mrs May might have just become an accomplice to the crime.
Something even more sinister seems to be going on here that appears too much of a coincidence to ignore. Before German Chancellor Adolf Hitler brought war to his neighbours and beyond, he signed a peace treaty with the then Soviet strongman, Joseph Stalin. On January 30, President Trump engaged in a one-hour long telephonic conversation with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, at the end of which Mr Trump boasted of having had a very good conversation with Mr Putin. Now that is quite uncanny since just one day before this happened, Mr Trump signed an Executive Order which, according to him, would “begin a great rebuilding of the armed services of the United States”. The document he signed was entitled, ‘Rebuilding the US Armed Forces’.
According to the Washington Post, which claims to have obtained a copy of the Executive Order before it was made public, Mr Trump advised his newly-appointed Defense Secretary, James Mattis, to prepare a ’30-day readiness’ report to combat ISIS. But here is the creepy bit. Mr. Trump also has been reported by the Washington Post as asking his Defense Secretary to examine how to carry out operations against unnamed ‘near-peer’ competitors, which point in the direction of both China and Russia. Mr. Trump also has called for the military to make the USA’s nuclear arsenal capable of achieving ‘readiness objectives’ by 2022. This will be in addition to the Obama Administration’s initiation of a $1 trillion upgrade of the US nuclear arsenal over the coming years.
Mr Trump’s ambitions seem far bigger than achieving peace in the Middle East and bringing the war in Syria to its conclusion. Mr Trump seems to be planning the annihilation of vast populations by unleashing a new reign of fascist barbarity.
Mr. Trump – and others – appear to be singling out foreigners in general, and Muslim (and ‘Latin American’) communities in particular, as scapegoats for the world’s economic and political ills, just as Hitler blamed the Jews for Germany’s economic crisis. He has begun the process of neutralising Russian opposition. He has instructed his generals to prepare for wars. And he doesn’t seem to be singaling any kind of halt to the ongoing uber-militarisation of the USA and the rest of the world. One could imagine that the British ruling class might have sent Prime Minister May to meet President Trump to test the waters. However, without the vigorous backing of the international community, no such endeavour will succeed. Besides, Mrs May’s reluctance in issuing an outright condemnation of Mr Trump’s ban on refugees fleeing war zones is at best a very cowardly diplomatic manoeuvre. Theresa May’s much-vaunted visit, then, might be a big folly. One cannot help but be reminded of Neville Chamberlain.
Amjad Ayub Mirza is the convener of Scottish People’s Party. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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This post was written by Amjad Ayub Mirza