Race to the bottom in American politics
Given the state of our own politics, Britons need to be careful about criticising others. But from Barack Obama to Donald Chump, what is going on in America?
Even we relatively well-informed Limeys who have travelled in America should never believe that we ever will understand America -- or US politics, anyway.
The Invisible Man in the White House is arguably the weakest POTUS in living memory. His foreign policy has been imperceptible.
The Gulf states were American clients until four years ago when Obama ceded them to Russia, Iran and Turkey. He has proved to be immovable on using American power to deal with the chaos in Syria.
This shambles could have been dealt with in the first month of the uprising against Assad by imposing a no-fly zone and destroying his air force and helicopters.
During the intervention in the Balkans, a conflict which did not threaten the West, the US flew around 250 sorties a day. Against ISIL it is about six. Recently, the US began to bomb ISIS oil convoys, their main source of funds. Four years down the track.
On this woeful record Obama should be toast; Republic candidates for nomination should be ripping him apart. But are they? Nope!
Not one seems at all bothered by mayhem in Syria, the ISIL threat, the strong possibility of a Paris-style terrorist attack in New York or Washington. They are obsessed with refugees, who have been compared to rabid dogs.
They see Obama’s decision to allow 10,000 asylum-seekers into the US (Frau Merkel has 1 million, or thereabouts) as the end of civilisation as we know it. There have been calls for State Troopers to round up and remove all asylum seekers, and 26 State Governors have said that they will refuse to accept refugees. The State Department might have a contrary view.
New Jersey’s Chris Christie says he will not even allow orphan five-year olds. Mike Huckabee says that Minnesota would be too cold! A Louisiana senator reckons that Obama is directly importing terrorists into his state. Ted Cruz, another front-runner for the nomination, reckons there should be a ‘litmus test’ that would bar devout Moslems.
The Republican boss in Tennessee reckons that his National Guard should round-up all Syrians living there and throw them out of the State. All 30 of them!
And best of all is Donald Chump. If elected he promises to send every single Syrian back home. He says he saw thousands of Moslems celebrating in the streets of New Jersey on 9/11, although nobody else did, and he advocates closing mosques and places frequented by Moslems for fear of radicalisation.
All this while building 2000 miles of wall coast-to coast to keep out Mexican ‘rapists and murderers’.
But the race to the bottom was surely completed when the utterly shameful internment of Americans of Japanese origin during WW2 plus the rejection of thousands of Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany started to be lauded as: ‘Way to go!".
Robin Mitchinson is a Contributing Editor to The Commentator. A former barrister, living in the Isle of Man, he is an international public management specialist with almost two decades of experience in institutional development, decentralisation and democratisation processes. He has advised governments and major international institutions across the world
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