Zahra Shahtahmasebi

27 January, 2017

(THE TV’s LEAKINGSix days since the worldwide women’s march, a backlash against Trump’s inauguration, made history. Despite the 5 million people that publicly protested and voiced their anger and disagreement worldwide, three days later, Trump signed an anti-abortion executive order with far reaching effects for all women, surrounded by a room full of white men. And now he’s angering millions yet again with his latest executive orders and confusing policies.

On Tuesday, he signed executive orders that cleared the way for two major oil pipelines, Dakota Access and Keystone XL. The Dakota pipeline after significant protests, was eventually blocked by the Obama administration who called for construction on the project to halt late last year. Both pipelines are a subject of controversy, but the Dakota Access became the focus of protests by climate change activists and Native American tribes alike. The construction would take place less than a mile away from the Standing Rock Sioux tribe reservation and will contaminate water and threaten Native American land, not to mention the threat of oil spills. This order looks set to derail all of the victories previously won by protesters who rallied for several months to block the project. Apparently though, the impact on the climate and environment is irrelevant and climate change is a hoax invented by the Chinese. Trump expects that by allowing these pipelines to go ahead, it would help the economy by providing more jobs. However, studies have shown that they will not, in fact, have a massive impact on employment rates; while they will provide 42,000 jobs for two years, these are only temporary, with a mere 35 jobs being permanent positions. Protests still look set to continue fighting this decision, activists claiming that “you can’t drink oil” and that all “lives matter”, with respect to the Native American lives that will be affected by the pipeline.

On Wednesday, Trump began fulfilling some of his most controversial campaign policies. In order to reshape immigration enforcement he has ordered for an “impassable physical barrier” to be constructed at the border between the United States and Mexico. Not only is this wall estimated to cost billions of US taxpayer money – as signing away these executive orders does not actually cover the cost of the wall, strangely enough – Trump is confident that Mexico will reimburse the U.S. 100% for the construction costs. That’s interestingly considerate of Mexico, paying for a wall that they never commissioned, and that restricts their entry into the U.S.

And now he’s expected to issue an order that will temporarily ban people from seven different nations in the Middle East and North Africa from entering the US. In fact you can read the draft here. The order looks set to ban people from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Libya and Yemen from entering the country, including blocking all refugees from war-torn Syria indefinitely. This is reflecting the increasing “anti-refugee” attitude that is evident across the globe, and undermining the Obama administration’s plan to increase refugee admissions into the country by 30% in 2017.

One of Trump’s campaign promises was to ban all Muslims from the US. While this isn’t outrightly stated in the executive order, it is evident the focus is still Islamic based. Despite blocking all Syrian refugees, the order states that it will give priority to refugees of a minor religion that are facing religious persecution. Thus, Christians in most Middle East countries will be favoured over Muslims, despite the fact that Shi’a Muslims are persecuted in several Middle Eastern nations by the Sunni Muslims who consider them ‘apostates’. Thus it seems that Muslims are under fire, simply for the fact that they are Muslim.

There is no way that this can be construed as a mere country ban, when religions are being separated and prioritised over each other within the same country. It also doesn’t seem likely that this immigration ban is going to make the U.S. any safer from terrorism. And if this was Trump’s aim it seems he has picked the wrong countries – as none of the ones on the list have been responsible for any terrorist attacks on the U.S. in the last 15 years – in fact most of the terrorists have been American-born Middle Easterns, suggesting that the biggest threat to the US is themselves. The only commonality between the countries is that they are the countries that the US is actively bombing.

Trump’s chaotic lurching from policy to policy is confusing and frankly terrifying. It seems to me like a game: how many things can he ruin in one go?

Well, I can scarcely wait to see.

This article (Trump Strikes Again) was written exclusively for The TV’s Leaking and may not be reproduced in any way, shape or form without permission from the author.

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