THE FIXATIONS OF DONALD TRUMP are many. They have left him pretty much despised around the world. They include an ego of undeserved proportions, defamation of anyone who has been more popular then he or threatens to gain more positive attention than he (Obama, Hillary, all likely 2020 election opponents), belittlement of anyone who calls him out on lies (the news media, knowledgeable scientific and financial experts), maintaining a dominant white race. Through it all, he works non-stop to convince the world that he is, rather than a selfish narcissistic individual of average intellect, the heroic genius he has created of himself in his fantasy universe.
Bellowing “fake news,” name-calling, lying and evasion seem to be his major accomplishments. Donald gave us a “tax reform” benefitting the wealthy that added a couple of trillion dollars to the federal debt, raised the 2019 defense budget by $82 billion over 2017 (to a current total of $716,000,000,000)—then makes a big show of nickel-and-dime savings of a few millions here or a few millions there that merely add to the suffering and death-rate for many millions at home and abroad. He is “saving” little beyond polluting industry and a class society.
He has scorned NATO (the main peace-keeping force in Europe since World War II) while pandering imperialistic Russia and bad-mouthing the European Union, dismissed primarily black nations as “s—hole countries,” hamstrung United Nations peace-keeping and aid programs, waged an all-out battle against Hispanic immigrants—even insulted Canada just to keep in practice.
That’s how it looks to me. I have here just a few of the many headlines that show the news in its reality and how Donald is recreating the world in his own image:
Feb. 2, 2015—“Obama budget to include $1 billion for Central America.” Obama’s budget for fiscal 2016 included this $1 billion fund to assist the governments of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador in addressing epidemic levels of insecurity and violence, poor governance and lack of economic opportunities driving migration from the region.
March 13, 2017—“Trump wants UN funds cut more than 50 percent.” Hardest hit by such cuts would be peacekeeping, the UN development fund and UNICEF (International Children’s Emergency Fund). Effects on the World Food Programme and UN refugee operations were not clear, as they are administered by the Agriculture Department.
May 28, 2017—“U.N. says Trump budget cuts would ‘make it impossible’ to do its job.” The United Nations said the proposed 2018 budget, which would reduce State Department funding by about 1/3 and foreign assistance by 29%) “would simply make it impossible for the U.N. to continue all of its essential work advancing peace, development, human rights and humanitarian assistance.”
Dec. 21, 2017—“Trump threatens to cut aid to countries over UN Jerusalem vote.” Donald threatened to withhold “billions” of dollars of US aid from countries that voted in favor of a United Nations resolution rejecting his personal recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. (Bullying, blackmail, petulance . . . you name it.)
July 11, 2018—“FACT CHECK: Trump’s claims on NATO spending.” Donald had been continuing charges that other NATO counties were deadbeat free-loaders taking advantage of the U.S. Continuing to make it up as he goes along, he said: “Many countries owe us a tremendous amount of money from many years back, where they’re delinquent as far as I’m concerned, because the United States has had to pay for them. so if you go back 10 or 20 years, you’ll just add it all up. It’s massive amounts of money is owed.”
FALSE—The U. S. has not been stiffed for unpaid bills by NATO allies, as the article goes on to explain in great detail. “There is no ledger that maintains accounts of what countries pay and owe . . . NATO is not like a club with annual membership dues.”
July 25, 2018—“After Trump cuts aid, U.N. relief agency lays of staff in Gaza and West Bank.” This was an initial cut of several hundred million by Donald. The UN Relief and Works Agency was forced to lay off more than 250 Palestinian employees, while 580 others were moved to part time.
Aug. 26, 2018—“Trump cuts $200 million in aid to Palestinians.” The Trump administration already had cut aid the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) from $360 million to $60 million. “We pay the Palestinians HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect,” said Donald. “They don’t want to talk peace,” he said dismissively on behalf of Israel.
Sept. 7, 2018—The Trump administration announced further cuts, a planned $25 million to cover cancer treatments and other critical care for Palestinians at six Jerusalem hospitals, some church run.
FYI—“To date, the United States has provided Israel $134.7 BILLION (current, or non-inflation-adjusted, dollars) in bilateral assistance and missile defense funding. Almost all U.S. bilateral aid to Israel is in the form of military assistance, although in the past Israel also received significant economic assistance.” About the same time Donald was making a $200 million cut in aid to Palestine, he was adding the same amount to the existing annual payout to Israel for military aid.
Doesn’t seem to me quite the way to get Palestinians to talk peace. More like just another arm of Donald’s general racist holy war against Islam (except for his sucking up to the oil-rich and high-living Saudis).
And, of course, humanitarianism continues to be sucker-punched at our southern border (as well as throughout our own society).
Oct. 23, 2018—“Trump’s cuts to Central America aid will lead to more caravans.” The sub-head read: “U.S. programs can make the Northern Triangle a better place to live than to leave.” This story reported that the aid program was acting as intended, that once U. S. dollars shifted from military hardware to governance and economic development, many initiatives attacked the complicated root causes that had been pushing so many to emigrate. More kids were remaining in school, new businesses begun, domestic violence cases adjudicated, etc.
But not fast enough for Donald Trump, who maintained the U.S. isn’t getting its money’s worth (and, of course, the original program had Obama’s name on it).
Dec. 18, 2018 “U.S., Mexico pledge billions to reduce migration from Central American.” The two countries announced a bi-lateral assistance program. However, this was merely symbolic for the U.S., involving basically money allocated from existing programs over a period of time. It was a “fake news” put-off by the Trump administration.
March 30, 2019—“Trump plans to cut U.S. aid to 3 Central America countries in fight over U.S.-bound migrants.” This plan to slash hundreds of millions of dollars epitomized Donald’s impatience, his “retaliation for what he called their lack of help in reducing the flow of migrants to the U.S. border.” He said we had been giving them $500 million and “they haven’t been doing a thing for us.” The State Department followed through on this cut.
He also threatened to totally close our southern border with Mexico, unless that country closes its own southern border—to shut out migrants intending to head north toward the U.S. “Nobody’s been able to manage Trump. It’s a mess,” concluded Mexico’s foreign minister.
As Donald continues to exacerbate rather than abate an ongoing problem, his border wall continues to appear less and less significant in the scheme of things. And after someone pointed out to him the economic disaster of a border closure and reminded him of the 2020 election, he kicked the can down the road, and reversed that whim—magnanimously granting Mexico a year’s grace period to shut down its own southern border. Estúpido e incompetente.
In a related matter, I remain concerned on Donald’s failure to take action on creating a smooth path to citizenship for nearly a million DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) individuals, brought here as children by illegal migrants years ago. Most must be voting age by now, and with citizenship most would be voting Democrat. Not to hard too follow Donald’s thinking here.
Meanwhile, here’s a lengthy illustrated article from The New York Times that indicates that it’s more on top of things than the Trump administration in Honduras—where continuing grisly murders of women are driving survivors out of the country. It probably involves more reading than Donald undertakes over the course of a year. It also gives some indication of the aim of the Obama program for which he has impatiently cut funding.
Because of length here, I’m saving health care, the war in Yemen, more specifics on immigration (including the fact that most incoming Hispanics are in no way “illegal”) and other humanitarian issues for another day.