Syed Qamar Afzal Rizvi
NEVER throughout the US presidential history a man has ever faced so much embarrassment and questionability regarding his suitability as the head of state as Donald Trump (albeit a self-acclaimed genius) faces today. Being the head of a state which is the most potent power of the world, Donald Trump fundamentally faces the question about his fitness/accountability/capability that none other than himself has so much harmed the US foreign policy as he has done. Journalist Michael Wolf, the author of the latest book on Trump ‘The Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House’, has made such a blunt and lucid commentary on Trump that it erects a veritable question mark on the mental credibility of a man who controls the most sensitive affairs of a nation whose future largely depends on the policies narratives that are cradled by the White House.
A simulacrum of the Trump presidency in a currently released book on Friday, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” by Michael Wolff, stunned the White House and caused a public split between President Donald Trump and his former chief strategist and far-right campaign architect Steve Bannon. The book casts an extraordinary impact for the readers of American history – which paints Trump as mentally unstable and far out of his depth – includes extensive quotes from Bannon. The current survey shows that Trump’s popularity has been readily declining.
A Democratic Congressman has proposed convening a special committee of psychiatrists and other doctors whose job would be to determine if President Donald Trump is fit to serve in the Oval Office. Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin, who also teaches constitutional law at American University, has reasonably gained the attention and support of many Democrats to his banner. And irrefutably, the U.S. Constitution’s 25th Amendment does allow for a majority of the president’s cabinet, or ‘such other body as Congress may by law provide,’ to decide if an Oval Office occupant is unable to carry out his duties – and then to put it to a full Congressional vote.
Senators seem concerned about President Donald Trump’s mental state summoned Yale University psychiatry professor Dr. Bandy X. Lee to Capitol Hill last month for two days of briefings about his recent behaviour. The House Democratic leader, Nancy Pelosi, and House Democratic whip, Steny Hoyer, made that case. “This president has made statements and taken actions that are beyond the pale for most Americans, embracing those who espouse hatred and division while promoting policies that would harm our economy and undermine our national security,” the Democrats said. “Legitimate questions have been raised about his fitness to lead this nation’’. Congressional committees remain engaged in investigations into the president’s actions.
As glaringly shown by Trump’s daredevilry, there is the wilful and ongoing destruction of the State Department, an incomprehensible blunder that will cripple the United States’ international influence for years to come. And then there’s his peculiar fondness for authoritarian leaders, his susceptibility to whatever self-serving blandishments they offer his vulnerable ego, and his refusal to take responsibility for just about anything. In Trump’s Oval Office, the buck always stops around the president. Unfortunately, this instability –cum-ineptitude, this ability to initiate violent interventions without parliamentary oversight or the diplomatic experience to understand context, or even the political experience needed to differentiate between licence and latitude, is now embodied in the bizarre bully in the White House reflected by the controversial tweets. The apparently growing intensifying focus— on the discontinuities in Trump’s handling of foreign policy —has eclipsed debate over the continuities; ruptures in style often obscure the enduring substance of problematic policies—nurturing political and social turmoil. His provocative white nationalism, his apartheid- like segregating policies against the Muslims, and his most dangerously uncalculated Jerusalem move subsequently accompanied by his parti pris tweet against Pakistan— all are the striking policy blunders or trickeries that reserve unforeseen failures/implications for global peace future.
In its Jan 4 editorial, Washington Post commented: ‘’ Still, the tweet triggered a question all too often asked about Mr. Trump’s public statements: What was the point? Was the public insult to the Pakistani government part of a carefully considered strategy for turning around an important but troubled foreign relationship — or simply an impulsive gesture? Given Mr. Trump’s record, the latter seems a safe bet. After all, in his previous tweet about Pakistan, in October, the president declared that his administration was “starting to develop a much better relationship with Pakistan and its leaders.”
Make no mistake that the Trump administration’s any underestimated misadventure or unilateralist move against Pakistan could cause fatal consequences. Without a Pakistani support, US can’t think to successfully move into Afghanistan. The scowling dangers posed by Trump’s atypical behaviour remain more mounting at the moment. While examining his unprecedented moves— full of dissension and diversion in trade and diplomacy — divorcing the Transpacific Trade Pact(TTP); nullifying NAFTA agreement; reinventing a new US South Asia policy; backing out from Iran- nuclear deal and the Paris climate accord; and Washington’s ongoing coercive diplomacy towards the UN, North Korea, Iran and Pakistan, one may reasonably conclude all these developments are the glaring evidences of his faltering presidency.
Nonetheless Trump’s ascent to the White House adds to the evidence, representing the biggest shift in the US’ orientation vis-à-vis the global balance of power/global economy system/human rights regime in the post-Cold war era. By all reasonable accounts, Trump’s policy discontinuity is a source of uncertainty in and of itself—putting America’s future peace role under fire with regard to Washington’s relations with other nations and vice versa.
— The writer, an independent ‘IR’ researcher-cum-analyst based in Karachi, is a member of European Consortium for Political Research Standing Group on IR, Critical Peace & Conflict Studies.