Trump’s irrational acts

Trump’s irrational acts Featured

THE Republican-controlled United States Senate, as expected, has voted to acquit President Donald Trump in his impeachment trial. His winning reelection, however, is not assured. The American people will now have to pass final judgment this coming November. He got away with his machinations, collusions and plain bullying of his own White House coterie and political party colleagues. Trump’s compulsion to tell lie after lie, great or small, simply boggles the mind, desensitizing it from any sense of urgency. George F. Will, the Washington Post columnist, put it succinctly: “Since he entered politics in 2015, he has enjoyed immunity through profusion: His nonstop torrent of lies, distortions, slanders and historical claptrap has prevented prolonged scrutiny of anything. This has helped him weather the impeachment squall. Millions of Americans respond to yet another batch of presidential mendacities about yet another sordid presidential action by thinking: This is not news. They are, in some sense, correct.”

Monumental errors in judgment
Trump in some odd way doesn’t really care about employing such method to his madness. He is playing to his fanatically loyal base with formidable captive votes that can inflict punishment on Republican party-mates who do not toe the line. This form of terrorism is so discombobulating that they forfeit whatever residual political decency they may still possess to escape Trump’s version of retributive justice. Thus, he will take this Senate exoneration as a license to further wreak havoc upon the American public, its cherished institutions and the principles of democracy and freedom upon which the American republic is anchored. And sadly, he will lay waste the remaining vestige of whatever global role the US has arrogated upon itself this past century.

And this is what bothers the world today. The Cold War paradoxically produced a period of uneasy peace — a state of non-war, nevertheless. America’s role as the foremost superpower extended that global hiatus after the end of the Cold War, except for spasmodic regional conflicts, particularly in the Middle East. But Trump’s recent acts have further unbalanced what was already a teetering world order. These acts of unilateral withdrawals from international agreements hammered out over the years by allies, protagonists and responsible nations of the world are reflective of an unhinged behavior and may lead to a dangerous tipping point. The first of these two illogical acts was Trump’s abrogation of the Iran Nuclear Deal signed by the United Nations’ five great powers and Iran; the other was pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement, a pact between 200 nations to voluntarily reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, principally carbon dioxide (CO2) to mitigate climate change. These two agreements were the crowning foreign policy achievements of President Barack Obama, the bête noire of the current US president.

Withdrawal from Iran nuclear deal
As candidate Trump, he fancied himself as the “ultimate deal-maker” targeting the Iran deal negotiated and signed during Obama’s administration, pronouncing it flawed. European allies and his own senior and experienced elective and appointed officials in the highest echelon of government dissuaded him on this Iran-deal path — to no avail. Trump’s decision to withdraw will not only isolate America from its European allies, but would embolden the hardliners in Iran to push through with nuclearization, putting Israel and Saudi Arabia in peril and eventually making the world less safe.

An analogous issue was the subsequent assassination of Iran’s Gen. Qassem Soleimani. In the past, from President George H.W. Bush, to Bill Clinton to George “Dubya” Bush and Barack Obama, America avoided similar confrontation with Iran as “…the risks and the potential complications were deemed too great.” But Trump’s decision, now seen as an impetuous one, was carried out right in Baghdad, on Iraqi soil, technically an ally of the US. Consequently, the Iraqi parliament voted to expel 5,000 US troops as a reaction to this violation of Iraq’s sovereignty. These series of impulsive acts, the withdrawal from the Iran deal and the violation of Iraqi sovereignty have far serious consequences that are yet unfathomable; impacting the continuation of Iran’s developing nuclear capability; the continued unwelcome presence of American forces in the region; and the resurgence of the Islamic States and al-Qaeda. Robert Malley, the president of the International Crisis Group has this to say: “We are historic interlopers. We come and we go… the notion that we could sustain our forces in a multi-front, multi-year, unpredictable struggle in the Middle East — given the politics in this country, and the fact that most Americans don’t think this is of vital interest — is illusory.”

Hammering out the Paris Agreement
Former US vice president Al Gore’s 2006 opus “An Inconvenient Truth” awakened the world to the growing dangers of global warming. He had been saying this all along since the 1980s, but these generally fell on deaf ears. His controversial loss to Dubya Bush in the 2000 elections may have been a blessing in disguise, as he was free to roam the planet and push his advocacy on climate change mitigation. His passion coupled with his charisma have put earth’s predicament at center stage. Eleven years after his movie-documentary came out, there is incontrovertible proof that the world’s climate is changing dangerously for the worse and could reach a tipping point — an irreversibility that will condemn the present generation and those yet to come. This was the theme of his 2017 follow-up film “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power.” The hypothesis was simple. Mother Earth is warming, and this is mainly caused by human activities through greenhouse gas emissions. And science supports this. The consequences are catastrophic. Empirical evidence show that all these are now happening directly affecting the balance in nature, inexorably leading the planet to the edge. Weather patterns become more unpredictable and more violent. Polar glaciers have receded and melted, and the seas are rising, flooding low level cities and countries.

It took a while for the developed countries and the leading economies to wake up to the dangers to the planet. But they reluctantly did. Two hundred countries began to parley over a two-year period to hammer out a pact to voluntarily reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. As one of world’s largest emitter of CO2 in the last 150 years, the US agreed to reduce fossil fuel emissions nearly 30 percent by 2025. No other country can play the role that America can. Thus, it risked its prestige and position as the leading economy to lead the negotiations thus forced to hold the moral high ground. China, the largest culprit and India decided to sign the pact.

Paris climate conference
What the 200 countries agreed on in the UN Climate Conference in Paris was “…to speed up transition to renewable energy so the entire world can bring down the pollution levels while continuing to reduce poverty.” These are toddler steps, nevertheless ones towards the right direction. This was signed Nov. 30, 2015. On Nov. 8, 2016, Trump was elected president. On June 1, 2017, the US exited the Paris Climate Agreement. Our generation and the next ones have been put in jeopardy by the acts of a madman.000
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