Trump vs. Obama/Clinton: the True Horror of Identity Politics

When it comes to apathetic politics, there appears to be two camps of people. On the one hand, we have die-hard Trump supporters who will support the golf-addicted billionaire even in cases when he has clearly contradicted his election promises. And on the other hand, we have those who love Barack Obama so much that they continually refuse to admit many of the crimes, horrors and scandals that plagued the Obama presidency. Instead, the latter wish Obama were still president, and still dream of the day the Hawaiian born messiah will return to save the planet.

Meanwhile, Obama is making $400,000 per speech from Wall Street giants that owe their lifeline to the American taxpayer. His presidency did nothing to alleviate the suffering of the African American community; in fact the economic situation for blacks went steadily from bad to worse under Obama’s presidency. When Obama was elected, black unemployment rates stood at 11.1 percent. In 2010, it rose sharply to 16.1 percent, around roughly twice the rate of white unemployment. The economic disparity between blacks and whites continued to rise until the end of his presidency, yet no one seems concerned with this.

Obama was well-spoken, eloquent at times; and appeared to care on the surface about issues other people also pretended to care about.

Yet how can society transition from identifying with Obama to identifying with his supposed polar opposite in Trump? Are people aware that firstly, Obama’s policies paved the way for a Trump presidency and secondly, that Trump is only exacerbating these dangerous policies even further?

Conservatives are right to blame Obama and then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the refugee crisis, something Trump staunchly opposed Clinton on in his campaign in a number of ways.

As well as vowing to ban all Muslims and create a register (a ludicrous notion), Trump did state that the world would have been better off if Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi and Iraq’s Saddam Hussein had not been overthrown (a sane suggestion). Not many people are aware, but Gaddafi was integral in keeping a lid on migrants wanting to travel from North Africa to Europe, particularly through Italy.

It is for this reason that Italy, as a NATO member, was so heavily involved in the bombing campaign against Gaddafi in 2011. Not because they wanted to overthrow Gaddafi, but because they had a vested interested in the outcome of the conflict. Since the fall of Gaddafi, over 2 million Libyan children are out of school, firearms and heavy weaponry have been spread like wildfire across the region (including to the terror group Boko Haram in Nigeria, and al-Qaeda affiliates in Syria) and refugees and migrants have been flowing out of Libya like a commodity. I say “commodity” not to elicit offence or to denigrate migrants – but because Libya is now the marketplace of a lucrative slave trade operation.

Hillary Clinton was instrumental in convincing Obama to topple Gaddafi in 2011. They both rightfully share the blame for this disaster. Libya previously had the highest standard of living in Africa, according to the U.N. Human Development Index (2010). In 2015 alone, it fell 27 places down the list.

And now we have Donald J. Trump.

If you are reading this article and you are a Trump supporter, now comes the hard part of facing up to reality. You need to ask yourself what it is you liked about Trump so much and disliked about Obama.

Is it because he said he would have left Gaddafi in power and would focus more on making America great again? Is it because he tweeted at least 18 times that Obama should not bomb Syria, and that if he did he would need congressional approval to do so?

Why then is it okay for Trump to bomb Syria without congressional approval in April 2017?

I’m not sure if you are aware of this, but the Syrian government is famous for protecting the rights of minorities, especially Christians. Attacking the Assad regime only empowers Islamic extremists; it certainly doesn’t defeat them or their ideology.

According to a recent report by the London-based IHS Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Center, a leading security analysis agency, a whopping 43 percent of ISIS’ battles between April 1, 2016, and March 31, 2017, were fought against the Syrian military and its allies (including Iran, Russia, and pro-government militias). Conversely, the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) accounted for a mere 17 percent of the action against ISIS.

According to this report, Syria’s military has been the most engaged entity fighting against ISIS over the past year. In this context, attacking the Syrian government makes no sense if the aim of the U.S. war on terror is to combat extremism and terrorism.

For those of you who find yourself experiencing a cognitive dissonance experience, you should take note that many of Trump’s biggest supporters criticized him heavily for attacking the Syrian government last month. You see, it turns out they were actually sticking to their principles in their reasons for supporting Trump in the first place, and have realised that actually, Trump’s administration has been infiltrated by neoconservative warmongers who don’t serve the interests of the American people.

Seriously, attacking the Syrian government is a Hillary Clinton policy. Clinton came out of hiding prior to the attack to state that Trump should attack Assad’s air bases. Lo and behold – that is exactly what Trump did.

To me, this is the true horror of identity politics. If Clinton had succeeded in winning the election, and started attempting war with Syria, North Korea, Iran, Russia and China, you would all be losing your minds. Now that it is Trump doing so, he is a brave, strong leader who you will support until the last nuclear bomb detonates and we are all completely annihilated.

During the election campaign I saw many memes on social media from people who would say things like “Trump doesn’t receive money from countries like Saudi Arabia who execute gays like me.” Yet Trump is cozying up to Saudi Arabia even as we speak, enabling the radical Kingdom to commit a mass slaughter in neighbouring Yemen by continuing billion dollar arms sales to the radical Kingdom.

How do you feel about Saudi Arabia now?

Seriously, you don’t need to support anyone. If you do, there are plenty of other decent people in the world who do share your worldview who you can support that aren’t contradicting the promises they made to you.

It’s time to put to rest the notion that choosing one or the other will make a difference when it comes to serious issues of war. If Donald Trump cared so much about refugees, or “beautiful Syrian babies”, he wouldn’t be bombing Iraq, Yemen and Afghanistan back into the Stone Age right now.

But he is. And that is what you are supporting. If it is wrong for Clinton or Obama to do it, it is equally wrong for Trump to do it.

So what can you do?

Spread this message with everyone who still hasn’t realised the full nature of their enslavement. It is time to wake up the masses. Trump, Obama, Bush and Clinton, are all part and parcel of the same problem.

Trump is not going to save us, just as Clinton was never going to save us. The sooner we realize this, the sooner we can do something about it, without their help.

100 Days of Trump

Zahra Shahtahmasebi

1 May, 2017


Saturday 29th of April marked President Trump’s 100th day of holding office in the White House. For many, this has been a period of immense terror, fear and essentially pure horror as to what will be unleashed by him and his administration. This feeling has been reflected in the presidential popularity ratings which are by all accounts, historically low compared to his most recent predecessors, sitting around (and frequently below) 40 percent.

Trump blames the United States Constitution for this unpopularity, claiming that the Constitution is a ‘rough’ and ‘archaic’ system that is a ‘bad thing for the country’. Since being in office he has failed to get any of his priorities into legislations, and has attempted to rule by executive order, which so far has either been meaningless (tax reform), or his travel ban on seven mostly Muslim countries and refugees, blocked by the courts. However he still maintains a core of supporters that remain faithful to him and believe that the first 100 days have been ‘so far, so good’ and that the president is bringing ‘God back’.

How about instead, we forget about the apparent interference of the Constitution and Trump’s apparent ‘promises made, promises kept’, and look at what the first 100 days has really been like.

He began with a battle with media over the crowd size at his inauguration, labelling the media as perpetrators of alternative facts. Then there was the aforementioned travel ban, and [?] the executive order that reinstated the global gag rule which prevents international health groups from receiving federal funding for informing on or performing abortions. All of this occurred within the first few days of his presidency, and since then things seem to be ever on a continual downward spiral. Most of all, his actions seem to be pushing the world down the road to World War Three. And you’d think that by now, more than 72 years since the ending of World War Two, we might’ve learnt a thing or two.

In early April, the Trump administration launched missiles on an airbase belonging to the Syrian government, following a deadly chemical weapons attack. This directly contradicted a tweet published by him in 2013 that said ‘we should stay the hell out of Syria’. In fact, it contradicts 18 tweets made by him from 2013-2014 which condemned Obama’s handling of the Syrian conflict and that we should not be involved. The strike was directed to harm Assad’s government for the heinous act of using chemical weapons – before there was confirmation of who had issued the attack, and this fact is still being investigated.

Recent information has revealed that the strike didn’t damage anything valuable to the Syrian government and that Russia (Syria’s staunchest backer) was warned prior to the attack. In fact not just Russia, but peaceful nations such as New Zealand were also warned in advance. Interesting development, considering  Trump has claimed he doesn’t want people to know what he is thinking and that if he did go into Syria “it would be by surprise, not blurted all over the media”.

So it seems that there is an intention to increase the world’s fears of a global conflict, as Trump’s decision to strike Syria was that of a ‘weakened politician needing to flex his muscles’ according to the Chinese News state agency, Xin Hua. However it seemed to have a desired effect, with Trump receiving a surge in popularity by mainstream media outlets that so frequently denounced him.

The focus is now turned to North Korea. Trump has claimed that the North is  looking for trouble, with calls that the US naval force was being sent to the Korean peninsula. Just two days ago, Trump warned that the US could end up having a ‘major, major conflict with North Korea’, with North Korea providing the biggest global challenge. There has been calls to implement sanctions, and suspend or downgrade diplomatic relations to ‘denuclearise the nation’. Yet it is the opinion of China that this grave tension can only be diffused by diplomacy, something Trump appears to be refuting. Earlier today, amid these escalating tensions with the North Korean nuclear programme, he said he had no idea if North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was sane, but later referred to him as being a ‘pretty smart cookie’.

Not only is there the threat of North Korea on the horizon, but the seriousness of Trump’s attack of Syria, a foreign government, which is an unconstitutional act of aggression that has led to the Syrian’s government allies announcing that they will respond with force the next time such an act occurs, a fact which is frankly terrifying, and keeps driving home the imminent threat of a global war.

It seems we are treading on eggshells, with everyone just waiting in trepidation for Trump to make his next mistake.

Only 1360 days to go.

This article (100 Days of Trump) was written exclusively for The TV’s Leaking and may not be reproduced in any way, shape or form without permission from the author.