Published: 6 years ago | Country: , |  Topics: | Comments: No Comments

Donald Trump and the Middle East

The Levant News Exclusive - By Geoffrey Cook* -- Donald Trump is a disaster for the American Republic domestically and for U.S. and foreign Muslims and others in the Arab world especially. During his campaign, a central point of his proposed policy was that no new Islamic people would be permitted to enter the U.S. -- particularly refugees -- and those here already without full citizenship or permanent resident status would be picked up and deported or imprisoned without due process. Lately the campaign proposal has been proffered to establish a registry be established to delineate all Muslims within the United States. From this, all Islamic people citizens could be picked up and put into relocation camps at quick notice. Although these are only the proposals of the most radical of the President-elect supporters, most of his Cabinet-level appointees have so far been infamous Islamophobes.
Through his victory (although he did not win the popular vote, Mr. Trump did win the Electoral College -- a mechanism which produces an indirect democracy) has been compared to the raise of Hitler in 1933s Germany. His support came mainly from White working class males without college degrees. His racist sexist rhetoric gave voice to those feelings in the human soul that so many others felt, but had the good taste not to express.

To the racism and misogyny must be added Sectarianism – especially anti-Islamic. but strangely Judaism too —and Ableism or prejudiced against disabled people; not to mention gender minorities. As mentioned, through his comments he is an anti-Semite, but has shown deference to Israel as past American Presidents. Your author predicts that there will be little hope for a settlement in the Palestinian-Israeli entanglement during his tenure especially since his appointment as Ambassador to Tel Aviv is the former Governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee, a Rabid Christian Zionist. A proposal in the primaries was to make Jerusalem the “undivided” capital of the Hebrew people; and, thus, with the nod to unfettered expansion of the Settlements, will make the Palestinians non-persons.
He is a populist and demagogue of the sorts as the dictators of the 30s. It would be interesting if his personal friendship with Vladimir Putin will bring greater cooperation – especially in synchronizing the two super-powers efforts in Syria. He has, also vowed to lessen American involvement in NATO. This could signal the recognition of the Kremlin as hegemon over the Ukraine.
On the other hand, he has vowed to dismantle the Iran agreement. Although there is a question whether he can legally do so, this could become a flash point in the Middle East that could provide the danger of hostility that could eventually lead to a War. This would make the Iraq War pale in comparison.
What is quite worrisome about Trump is that he has never held a political office which makes his policies extremely unpredictable and potentially dangerous. The “amateur” Cabinet promises to be one of incompetence and ineptitude, and will be prejudiced against and ignorant of Middle East issues an interests. Whereas every Administration since Truman’s, has had their sympathies reside with the Jewish nation --and so will Trump’s. Yet the new President’s personal relationship with Moscow might encourage a coordinated effort in Syria -- especially the campaign to retake Raqqa.

At the same time, the American military establishment will still vehemently stand against such a rapprochement. This questions the Executive (President’s) power to establish policy without the Congress or Supreme Court’s approval. What is being presented may only be “academic” in that the checks and balances of the American governmental structure may enforce strictures upon the President programs.
Above all Trumpism is equal to White Nationalism and anti-Globalism. To that end, Donald Trump has vowed to abrogate all trade agreement. The Economist Intelligence Unit and other financial sources predict negative influences upon economies worldwide due to the altered fiscal policies in the world’s central system. In the States, he advocates polices to change the tax `code to benefit the very rich (Trump himself is a billionaire). This could change the U.S.A. from being nominally a democracy to an unabashed oligarchy. His insistence on “American First” nationalism is untenable in this Age of Neo-liberalism. This most likely will bring pecuniary chaos to much of the planet.
Already there is tension between the transition team and Saudi Arabia. Even though during his bid for the White House, he registered eight of his companies associated with his hotel interests in the Kingdom. The President elect has warned the Monarchy that he would block all future petroleum purchases. Saudi Arabia has fired back challenging his bluff. If Trump is threatening the mighty Saudi oil “empire,” he could try to bi-pass the whole MENA region. Of course, it is highly unlikely that would be successful.
Yet the United States is the largest producer of petrol now, but its needs outstrip its ability to become self-sufficient. Its high extraction is from fracking which has largely been slowed down because of genuine internal ecological concerns.

The States could further procure petroleum from Canada from tar sands. The plan was to transport it from the Canadian province of Alberta to America’s Gulf Coast thousands of miles away. During the Obama government, this was halted due to environmental concerns.
Most of concern is that Trump is a climate change denier, and he is surrounded with such negaters. Ultimately, this could be the greatest threat of his Presidency in North America and aboard including the Middle East/North Africa regions. Much of this zone is within a delicate natural environ that cannot be overly exploited. That in the end puts the onus on the regions’ residents to resist an overly unbridled First World Capitalism.

*Geoffrey Cook is an American historian and researcher.

Written by The Levant