Mirza Aslam Beg
TRUMP is an interesting personality, frank, outspoken with an impolite mannerism. He now is the President of the United States of America, elected after a tough election campaign where he exposed his plans, his perceptions and almost all the facets of his personality, without inhibitions. Some of the issues he raised during the campaign were a serious matter concerning the American people:
1. If the emigrants keep coming, as of now, the White Americans would loose job and become a minority by the year 2050. It’s a matter of real concern yet, some call him a racist which he is not. It is the ‘Electoral College’ that voted him President, despite three million less votes he got than Hillary. “The non-suburban electorate decided that the system has failed and is looking around for a strong man to vote for – some one wiling to assure them that, once he is elected, the swing bureaucrats, tricky lawyers, overpaid bond salesmen and post modernist professors will no longer be calling the shots.” – Philosopher Ricard Rorty-1998. The strong man, now sits in the White House. 2. Americans have become a “Consumers’ Society” with the influx of Chinese goods, forcing the closing down of some American mills and factories, causing unemployment. Thus the need for this imbalance to be corrected on priority. 3. The extremists and the terrorists will be eliminated. They grew as a consequence of foreign aggression. After the Soviets, Bush invaded and occupied Afghanistan, to avenge 9/11 attack and also demolished Saddam for having developed atomic weapons he did not posses. Obama promised to end the Afghan and Iraq wars, but got engaged in Syria, Libya and Yemen, causing strong reactions from elements, such as Al-Qaida, Al-Nusra, and the extreme reactionaries – Daçsh. The terrorists whom Trump now wants to eliminate also include the Taliban of Afghanistan, he has to differentiate, because Afghan Taliban are fighting to liberate their homeland for the last three and a half decades. Trump would be wrong in dealing with Afghan Taliban as terrorists and would fail. Peace could return to Afghanistan only, if Trump embraces the ground reality.
4. The Jewish Lobby is a powerful element in American politics. Obama annoyed them by supporting the “Two States Agenda” and doled-out US$ 220 million to the Palestinian Authority. The Israeli Prime Minister reacted strongly against Obama’s action, while Trump reached-out to the Jews, who supported him in the presidential elections, and that made all the difference.
5. Trump realized that Putin had out-witted the American leadership diplomatically, so he made friends with him, rejecting the notion of ‘Cold War Diplomacy’, for a multi-polar world order, which demands changing the contours of the globalized order. 6. Trump has opted-out of the TPP, which was to “contain and curb the rising power of China.” He has a very different vision of the new world order. India will feel let down as it held an important position in the Pivot-Asia setup of Obama.
From the above one gets a clearer view of Trump’s vision whereas the American press shows prejudice and projects a different picture: 1. The more pressing concern many of us had about Mr. Trump is that he simply isn’t up to the job of being president. His chronic lack of restraint will not be confined to Twitter. Rather than try to address the alienation and anger that exists in America, he will amplify them. A man with illiberal tendencies, a volatile personality and no internal checks is now president. This isn’t going to end well.”2. That Mr. Trump will fail to see the limits of his authority and will try to use both, the bully pulpit and the power of government – the I.R.S., the F.B.I., regulatory agencies and others – to settle personal scores. He’ll do what he needs to in order to get his way. That has been the animating force in his life.”
3. “His most important job will be to make sure the President maintains his credibility with the American people. The American intelligence community must contend with lingering questions about its own credibility – to wit, taunts from Moscow (not to mention from Mr. Trump) and the assessments pointing to Russian meddling.”
Trump is a successful businessman “with liberal tendencies, a volatile personality and having no internal checks.” These are the tendencies that would make him succeed also as President. Trump is bold in decision making. He has the support of a full time National Security Council. “He will use his power benevolently because the Republicans control Congress after quarter of a century and have the unique ability and the institutional responsibility to steer President Trump, to the right path”. Trumps’ “personalized decision making” tendency will also remain under check.
Trump holds the key to peace in Afghanistan. The eight-year war in support of the Mujahideen, forced the Soviets to retreat, yet, instead of granting power sharing to the winners – the Mujahideen, they were declared extremists, inducing the civil war which lasted for over eight years and gave birth to Taliban, who established their rule in Afghanistan. In 2001, America and their NATO allies invaded and occupied Afghanistan but were defeated, yet they continue to hang-on to a residual force of few thousand. This is the precarious situation Trump has inherited. Soon he will come to know the “facts, as well as the alternative facts” and will find the way out.
There appears a method in Trump’s madness in his selection of his top team comprising such icon – the “mad-dog-general Matis” and the like. Sure they would deliver.” It’s a confederation of oligarchs, with a piercing sense of conquest.” Yet, they have to tread softly, because the star-spangled American land is different from the killing fields of Afghanistan and Iraq. Trump has entered the White House with an open mind. He doesn’t suffer from the “Terrible Mindset” which caused such embarrassing defeat to America and the allies in Afghanistan and Iraq. That makes the big difference now and the big step forward, because “A strong man with liberal tendencies, a volatile personality and no internal checks now is the President.”
— The writer, a retired 4-star General, is former COAS, Pakistan Army.