Thanks for joining us for part 2 of our series on Trump. Last time, we looked at how Trump’s position on abortion was a huge signal for religious right voters, especially in the context of what is currently going on in ultra-Catholic Poland.
You can catch up on all the details of this analysis by reading the following relevant posts:
This time we will examine the parts of Trump’s campaign that have dealt with terrorism, refugees, and Muslims – all topics which he has taken an openly Christian approach to.
#Trump on #Terrorism
In late 2015, being a necessary part of stopping terrorism.
In a subsequent defence of his strategy he made it clear that he felt the wives and children of terrorists have prior knowledge of what the men are planning to do and do nothing except ‘sit back and watch it on TV’.
He asserts that he does not believe the families when they say that they ‘don’t care’ about the life of their terrorist kin – Trump assures us that they do care.
Two considerations are glaringly missing from Trump’s assessment of the situation.
The first is that he is attempting to enter as fact his opinion about the testimony of another person. This person is the wife of an extremist Muslim terrorist. From Saudi Arabia, a place with an infamously restrictive culture regarding the rights of women. To believe that a Muslim woman, the wife of a terrorist from Saudi Arabia, had any kind of choice – despite any potential knowledge – in the matter of what her husband did, where he brought her, for how long they stayed, whether or not she was put on a plane, or where that plane was going is hilariously naive when you stop to think about it.
But Trump is the kind of guy that thinks women who seek underground abortions in places where they are banned by the state should be punished. Maybe this ‘kill the wife and children of terrorists’ is another one of those ‘old lines’ that he mistakenly used past the date of political correction.
Or maybe it’s an old line that he’s trying to build new support for.
The second confusing part of Trump’s position is the way . He acts as if he is simply one of the many Americans who wants the truth about 9/11 to come out and references information about the Bush administration’s negligence and incompetence, prior knowledge of the attacks, and connection to the Saudi royal family.
Trump has repeatedly said that he was referring to a lack of coordination between government institutions and that better “management” might have stopped the attacks. That is simply not what people who doubt the official story of 9/11 believe.
“We don’t know exactly what Donald Trump means by this,” said Ted Walter, the director of strategy for Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth. “But I would not interpret that as him calling for a new investigation. There has been no accountability for what happened, and no one in the U.S. government has been held to answer for it. Perhaps Trump’s comments shed light on that, but I don’t think that was where he was going.”
One of the key components about the fog surrounding 9/11 is the apparent use of fake evidence to suggest the presence of planes – including doctored video footage showing a road runner type plane-shaped hole cut into the side of a building made from steel and built to withstand the specific occurrence of a hypothetical airplane impact.
For more information, we recommend a video called . The video was actually the inspiration for the style in which this article is written; the video is an analysis of mainstream media coverage of the event. It’s well worth a watch and a share 😉
How could one who claims to be so invested in exposing the truth invoke one of the greatest lies ever told as the factual basis for his platform to gain public support for the torture and murder of women and children?
Trump’s tantrum about the Bush administration only makes sense if he assumes that the facts of 9/11 are all true. ( Washington Post)
Thankfully, his delivery wasn’t received exactly according to plan. It turns out not everyone swallowed what he was trying to shove down their throats as easily as he’d hoped. Officially, as but less than 24 hours before he’d had .
So in fact, he has been muzzled in terms of how ‘bold’ he can choose to be about vocalizing his position but ‘the way he feels’ on the matter has not changed despite, as was mentioned, many high-ranking officials of the military and intelligence worlds having pointed out that soldiers are trained to disobey any orders that violate international code and convention.
We can only hope the soldiers remember well that particular part of their training, or perhaps, more fairly, understand it.
Even more importantly, we can only hope people realize that it is largely not traditional soldiers, subject to traditional national and international war law, who are fighting today’s modern hybrid wars but private military contract soldiers, mercenaries, soldiers of fortune, contract killers:
“The hiring of mercenaries is a common practice in the history of armed conflict and prohibited in the modern age by the United Nations Mercenary Convention; the United Kingdom, Russia, China, and the United States are not signatories to the convention, and the United States has rejected the UN’s classification of PMCs as mercenaries. …However, contractors who use offensive force in a war zone could be considered unlawful combatants, in reference to a concept outlined in the Geneva Conventions and explicitly specified by the 2006 American Military Commissions Act. …The obfuscation between private and public actors allows for the responsibility of criminal actions to be placed on the private firm, while allowing the state to achieve its foreign policy goals. …There is currently no globally accepted norms or legal framework applied to these firms.” ()
These soldiers and the companies they work for are not subject to the same kind of laws as normal soldiers, or at least are not held accountable to them
When asked, during the debate, about the kink in his plan that a tiny consideration like international war law might cause, he replied:
“I’m a leader, I’ve always been a leader. I’ve never had any problem leading people. If I say do it, they’re going to do it, that’s what leadership is all about.”
It’s also what dictatorship is all about. It’s also what being a mercenary is all about.
Trump also said the following in his official statement, released by his campaign on the matter:
“I feel very, very strongly about the need to attack and kill those terrorists who attack and kill our people, …I do, however, understand that the United States is bound by laws and treaties and I will not order our military or other officials to violate those laws and will seek their advice on such matters. … I will not order a military officer to disobey the law. It is clear that as president I will be bound by laws like all Americans and I will meet those responsibilities.”
He neglected to publicize the distinction between private contractors and state military.
Summary: While Trump understands that the words he chooses are subject to laws and conventions other than political correction, his intention to torture and kill the wives and children of terrorists has not changed.
He argues that the guilty-by-association women and children deserve punishment, death, because they not only know about what their relatives were planning but acted to protect and aid them due to the fact that they ‘cared about them’ – even though the families deny caring.
Trump assures us that he will never utter any phrases for which he may later be legally prosecuted but he does not assure us that the mandate of soldiers working for the USA, no matter whose command they are under, will not conflict with international moral legal code.
#Trump on #Refugees
Closely related to the subject of the guilty women and children that are associated with terrorists is the subject of what to do with the innocent women and children who are the victims of these same guilty men.
Trump simplifies the situation so his voters can understand:
“They’re chopping off the heads of Christians.” ()
This is his justification for the use of “waterboarding and tougher” measures against the terrorists who he is planning to hit hard from his desired position as ‘Leader of the Free World’ – or is it from his position as a Christian?
Trump has used religion to connect with a huge number of voters even going so far as to claim that he would be the “greatest representative of the Christians they’ve had in a long time.”
In an , Trump revealed that one of the aspects of the war against ISIS that is particularly personal for him is the religious one:
“As you know, I am Protestant. I am Presbyterian. Most people don’t know that. They have no idea. I’m proud of it. I’m very proud of it.
“One of the things I learned this weekend being in Iowa, I met with a lot of national security experts and everything else, that if you’re a Christian living in Syria you can’t come into this country. Yet, if you are a Muslim living in Syria, who are not under attack, they can come in.
“But we have Christians being beheaded all over the world by ISIS. In Syria and in Iraq, in particular, those Christians can’t come into this country.
“You say what you want but this is really something. That’s a lack of respect for us.”
Which ‘us’ is he referring to when he speaks as the leadership hopeful for the next American government? Does he view this war as a political or religious one?
The answer is, both. We hope people won’t be too afraid or politically correct to acknowledge that fact.
The Political Insider published an incredibly brief and dry piece announcing the facts of Trump’s above-mentioned interview. Their title echoes our message: .
We will urge our readers here, as the author of the above news piece did, to share this message with your friends. Check out this article from foreignpolicy.com titled for a fairly detailed and unbiased account of the situation to date.
Summary: Despite the huge array of assaults on the human rights of people from all races, cultures, and religions, Trump is on the Christian side of this religious crusade against ISIS – not the democratic, American one.
#Trump on the #MuslimProblem
While Trump is very proud of the fact that he’s a Christian – an umbrella term for both Catholics and Protestants, like Trump, who split away from the authority of the Vatican to create their own religious network – he is not quite so keen about certain aspects of the other religions.
In 2011, in yet another interview with Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody, Trump discussed his religious views (link to full video below):
I’m a protestant, I’m a Presbyterian. And you know I’ve had a good relationship with the church over the years. I think religion is a wonderful thing. I think my religion is a wonderful religion. ( The Political Insider)
The ‘Muslim problem’ is something Trump became very vocal about again recently after the attacks on Paris and the San Bernadino shooting in the USA where two Muslims were killed by police after killing at least 14 others in a shooting spree.
An article in The Guardian, , describes how Trump “said there was such hatred among Muslims around the world towards Americans that it was necessary to rebuff them en masse, until the problem was better understood.”
We wonder where we would be today if the world, en masse, had ‘rebuffed’ Americans at some point during the last 100+ years. As tempting as the idea sounds, we don’t think the outcome would have been good. Not to mention that the theme sounds too eerily familiar to the WWII stories about the ‘Jewish problem’ and its ‘final solution’. Even the result of the creation of the Jewish state of Israel has caused endless war since.
Here once again, notice the theme of a mixing of political and religious realms and terms. Trump essentially elevates religion to a political identity – which we don’t say is an incorrect assessment of reality – we only assert that we should be aware of the religious views and goals our political leaders hold.
“Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life”.
“Shariah authorizes such atrocities as murder against non-believers who won’t convert, beheadings and more unthinkable acts that pose great harm to Americans, especially women.” (from policy statement)
We wonder if this is supposed to be in contrast to the ‘atrocities such as murder’ Trump proposes as a punishment for these same women for their husbands’ crimes.
Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said Trump’s proposed ban would apply to “everybody”, including Muslims seeking immigration visas as well as tourists seeking to enter the country. Another Trump staffer confirmed that the ban would also apply to American Muslims who were currently overseas – presumably including members of the military and diplomatic service. “This does not apply to people living in the country,” Trump said in an interview on Fox News, “but we have to be vigilant.”
The article also states that Trump “has refused to rule out creating a government database of all American Muslims.”
A beautiful illustration of something we have coined #Trumping, the expert use of connotative language to realistically describe surreality, is how Trump’s position can be compared to that of the current Obama administration:
Obama said: “We cannot turn against one another by letting this fight be defined as a war between America and Islam.” He followed by contextualizing the remark against a backdrop of a fight against ISIL, a group of ‘thugs and killers’ who were ‘part of a cult of death’, a tiny fraction of the whole Muslim population.
Trump offers another assessment from a different perspective (#Trumping) – he’s offering the people the choice of a war between Christianity v Islam rather than America v ISIL.
To back up his assessment of the world’s ‘Muslim problem’, Trump “cited data that purported to show that a quarter of those Muslims polled – Trump did not specify what the sample group was, nor even what part of the world he was referring to – “agreed that violence against Americans here in the United States is justified as a part of global jihad”.
More than half of the unspecified sample group “agreed that Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed according to Shariah”.
The data was drawn from the Center for Security Policy, a neoconservative thinktank based in Washington DC whose founder and president, Frank Gaffney, is a prominent US Islamophobe. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate speech in the country, has described Gaffney as being “gripped by paranoid fantasies about Muslims destroying the west from within”.
The SPLC said that “Gaffney believes that ‘creeping Shariah’, or Islamic religious law, is a dire threat to American democracy”.
In 2011, Gaffney, a former Pentagon official in the Reagan administration [again, stay tuned for our upcoming analysis on the relationship between the US presidency and the Vatican], was barred from the influential Conservative Political Action Conference having suggested that two of its organizers had connections to the Muslim Brotherhood.”
The use of data from an organization founded and run by a man with that kind of reputation is inflammatory on its own but still not quite as inflammatory as what he hoped to accomplish using the data. A rational response to the threat of radicalized religious violence is necessary; an equally radically religious response is not, nor does it sound prudent.
As the final Republican candidate standing, Trump has softened his stance, probably to attract right-leaning democrats away from the Clinton and Sanders camps. He recently said that his idea about banning all Muslims from entering the USA was ‘just a suggestion’.
Which begs the question, how much weight do ‘suggestions’ from Trump carry? And how much will they carry if he’s elected president?
Summary: Trump thinks Christianity is great but he thinks all Muslims (not only suspected criminals as is the case with the Mexicans) should be banned from the USA until he better understands how to address the ‘Muslim problem’. He has not ruled out creating a database of Muslims for this purpose.
There is another, much older problem that we think he should solve first, one whose solution would probably also go a long way in helping to solve all the other problems we all face. We want to ask him to solve it via our #question4Trump soon – but first we want to give you, our readers and fellow intelligent beings, a bit more context so that, we hope, you will join us in asking him to solve it.
Next time, as we continue our political analysis of the Trump campaign, we will look at Trump’s success relative to the Christian political landscape. We will analyze factors such as his relationship with the pope, Christian voters, and the Church as a political entity.
Thanks for reading part 2 of our series on #Trump. We will be back again soon with the next part but in the meantime, we’d love to hear what you think! Let us know in the comments section below.
As always, much love,