Saturday, February 11, 2017

Is Trump Trying to Provoke Another Terrorist Attack on America?

Even Scientific American has concluded that Donald Trump may be the best thing that ever happened to ISIS.

Paul Krugman wonders if Trump is deliberately trying to provoke another attack on US soil to allow him to advance his radical agenda.

We’re only three weeks into the Trump administration, but it’s already clear that any hopes that Mr. Trump and those around him would be even slightly ennobled by the responsibilities of office were foolish. Every day brings further evidence that this is a man who completely conflates the national interest with his personal self-interest, and who has surrounded himself with people who see it the same way. And each day also brings further evidence of his lack of respect for democratic values.

You might be tempted to say that the latest flare-up, over Nordstrom’s decision to drop Ivanka Trump’s clothing line, is trivial. But it isn’t. For one thing, until now it would have been inconceivable that a sitting president would attack a private company for decisions that hurt his family’s business interests.

But what’s even worse is the way Sean Spicer, Mr. Trump’s spokesman, framed the issue: Nordstrom’s business decision was a “direct attack” on the president’s policies. L’état, c’est moi.

Mr. Trump’s attack on Judge James Robart, who put a stay on his immigration ban, was equally unprecedented. Previous presidents, including Barack Obama, have disagreed with and complained about judicial rulings. But that’s very different from attacking the very right of a judge — or, as the man who controls 4,000 nuclear weapons put it, a “so-called judge” — to rule against the president.

The really striking thing about Mr. Trump’s Twitter tirade, however, was his palpable eagerness to see an attack on America, which would show everyone the folly of constraining his power.

Never mind the utter falsity of the claim that bad people are “pouring in,” or for that matter of the whole premise behind the ban. What we see here is the most powerful man in the world blatantly telegraphing his intention to use national misfortune to grab even more power. And the question becomes, who will stop him?

Don’t talk about institutions, and the checks and balances they create. Institutions are only as good as the people who serve them. Authoritarianism, American-style, can be averted only if people have the courage to stand against it. So who are these people?

It certainly won’t be Mr. Trump’s inner circle. It won’t be Jeff Sessions, his new attorney general, with his long history of contempt for voting rights. It might be the courts — but Mr. Trump is doing all he can to delegitimize judicial oversight in advance.

What about Congress? Well, its members like to give patriotic speeches. And maybe, just maybe, there are enough Republican senators who really do care about America’s fundamental values to cross party lines in their defense. But given what we’ve seen so far, that’s just hopeful speculation.

In the end, I fear, it’s going to rest on the people — on whether enough Americans are willing to take a public stand. We can’t handle another post-9/11-style suspension of doubt about the man in charge; if that happens, America as we know it will soon be gone.


Anonymous said...

Krugman is a disgusting partisan hack and pretend non-neoliberal. If you want the Democratic party to remain a bribe-taking den of thieves, he's your guy.

It's patently absurd to suggest that banning Muslim immigration from dangerous countries would be a bigger recruitment drive for ISIS than bombing Muslim civilians in 7 different countries spreading terrorism throughout the region – as Mr. Nobel Peace Prize did.

Ergo, by your own fake news logic, Obomba was attempting to provoke terrorist attacks on Americans to crackdown on civil liberties. Which he did, by the way. Including creating an Orwellian surveillance state.

Also don't forget that Obomba and Killary favored a Cold War revival with Russia – an arms race would real tasty for the military-industrial complex.

Trump is not the solution. But clearly he ain't the problem. Perhaps the hystericals should pull their heads out their arses from time to time to take a look at what's really going on.

The Mound of Sound said...

The problem in your contention, Anonymouse, is that the countries on Trump's hit list are not the states that have sponsored the terrorism that America has suffered from the embassy bombings, the attack on USS Cole, the WTC parkade bombing, the 9/11 attacks on the WTC and Pentagon. The countries targeted were not behind the London, Paris, Madrid or Berlin attacks. They are not the countries that fund the radical madrassas that churn out future terrorists. They're not the countries proven to have backed the Taliban, al Qaeda, al Nusra, ISIS or Boko Haram.

The countries with the dirty hands, they're not on Trump's list. That's because they're all countries in which Trump has investments, business interests. They're off limits. The Muslim states that have sponsored Sunni Islamist (Salafist) terrorism in decades past, today and tomorrow aren't affected.

You would be well served to use facts instead of your abusive tongue to make your arguments. Otherwise you just come away looking like another fool.