The bible on which Donald Trump was sworn in as President was still warm from his touch as Sean Spicer launched the administration’s first attack on the mainstream media. We later learned they were considered “the enemy of the people” and purveyors of “fake news”.
But all that changed once the attacks were being launched in a more conventional military fashion. Then all the insults were miraculously forgotten.
Among the most notable admirers of Trump’s unique foreign policy style, which involves informing fellow super powers of your actions over chocolate cake apparently, was CNN’s Fareed Zakaria who claimed that he was “finally being presidential”.
Look – of course he’s entitled to his opinion, nobody is disputing that. But this article of his in the Washington Post appears to be a sign of him being unable to cope with the backlash he received from the “Left”, as he goes the route of cherry picking the most abusive comments and constructs an absurdly straw man view from the “liberal” standpoint.
From the response on the left, you would have thought I had just endorsed Trump for pope. Otherwise thoughtful columnists described my views as “nonsense” and a sign that the media has “bent over backward” to support Trump. (Really?) One journalist declared on television, “If that guy could have sex with this cruise missile attack, I think he would do it.” A gaggle of former Obama speechwriters discussed how my comments were perhaps “the stupidest” of any given on the subject.
So basically when your opponents use hyperbole it means they’re “deranged” yet it’s ok for you to suggest you had endorsed Trump for the papacy?
A lot of people disagree with you, Fareed. Get over it.
Meanwhile here’s Lee “Geeky Jesus” Camp with his take on the whole affair, which would be much closer to our view here at FPP. Yes, we know his show is backed by Russia Today. But while we don’t always agree with his show’s viewpoint, it often makes a lot of sense.
For another example of the gap in opinion here’s The Young Turks appraising Fox News’ “This is what freedom looks like” narrative…
The below is directly copy/pasted from the website Human Rights In Ireland…
We suggest below a draft letter that people concerned with the application of the Executive Order in US pre clearance in Irish airports might find useful should they wish to write to TDs in relation to it. Of course, people should adjust it to reflect their preferred language and approach to the issue, but we hope it might be useful.
I am writing to you [as a constituent [and] citizen] to express my deep concern about the continued operation of the Aviation (Preclearance) Act 2009 and associated agreements in Irish airports during the administration of President Donald J. Trump.
In the first week and a half of his presidency we have already seen Trump attempt to subvert the Immigration and Nationality Act 1965 in order to apply discrimination in immigration and undermine international refugee law through Executive Order. As a result of the preclearance agreement between Ireland and the USA, this Order is being applied on Irish soil and in Irish airports. As you will be aware, Article II(1) of that agreement makes it clear that Irish law continues to apply in those preclearance areas. The application of this Order may result in, for example, EU Citizens with dual citizenship with a listed country experiencing nationality based discrimination, facilitated by Irish law, in clear contravention of the TFEU. I remind you also that it is not possible effectively to renounce citizenship in Iran, Syria, Libya and Yemen.
I remind you that under the 2009 Act, those turned away at preclearance are at the frontiers of the state and must be treated in accordance with the Immigration Act 2004. The Irish state also has obligations of non-refoulement which may arise. Furthermore, any Irish officials including Gardaí who may be involved in any way in policing the preclearance area are obliged as always to act in full compliance with the Constitution and with the ECHR.
Even if Congress supports President Trump’s policies through legislation, thus amending the 1965 Act inasmuch as that is constitutionally permissible, Ireland must ensure that rights under the Irish Constitution continue to be protected in these preclearance areas, and that violations of international law are not facilitated through the application of the agreement.
Bearing all of the above in mind, I would be grateful if you could please seek from the Taoiseach and appropriate minister, and provide me with, details of the following:
A. Measures that are being taken to ensure that unlawful discrimination is not being undertaken or facilitated at Irish airports through the application of Trump policy in preclearance areas.
B. Measures that the Irish government is taking to ensure that international refugee law is not subverted through the application of Trump policy in preclearance areas.
C. Mechanisms in place to ensure Ireland’s obligations under the TFEU, the ECHR and other applicable international law are fully complied with in preclearance areas.
D. Procedures for withdrawal from the preclearance agreement and bases upon which withdrawal would be contemplated by the Irish government
All over the United States this weekend lawyers and others have protested against this unlawful, cruel, Islamophobic and xenophobic attempt to undermine the rule of law. I ask the Oireachtas and the Irish government, in my name, to stand with them. I also ask you to ensure that Ireland provides protection to people seeking asylum from Syria, in particular, who President Trump seeks to preclude from receiving refugee status in the United States.
Given the evident urgency of the matter, I look forward to your swift response.
© First Person Plural 2017
I’m pretty confident you know about the boy to whom my headline refers.
I won’t be adding the picture in question to this post, nor will I add a link, because I’m afraid of feeling as though doing so somehow represents “job done” for me. I have added it to my blog > That shows how much I care > Time to move on with my life. This is something all social media users tend to do when atrocities happen around the world and it has to be because it somehow makes us feel better.
But then there’s the other end of this spectrum. Right – so posting a picture isn’t enough…then what CAN I do? Is there any way I can help that boy? Any way I can help prevent similar, or indeed much worse, fates befalling other innocents? Any way I can help war-torn nations like Syria?
I certainly can’t answer those questions right now as I type, but I certainly believe there has to be a way, and most of that belief stems from the fact (and yes this can be called a fact) that I am far from the only person to have the reaction I did when I saw the photo. With the reach of social media these days it had to be a reaction shared by tens of millions around the globe.
A couple of weeks ago my 7-year-old son came in from playing outside and sat beside me on the sofa. An advert for an organisation like Oxfam happened to be on the TV – I wasn’t really paying it much mind. He started to tell me about what was going on out on the road with his mates when he interrupted himself saying “I really want to help those people.” His words left me speechless – I hadn’t a clue what to say in reply other than “I know. And you will.”
So maybe that is but one way we can help. Educate the next generation so they can get us that little bit closer to a world without war. Or at least that little bit closer to a world that doesn’t assume it’s hopelessly naive to imagine a world without war. Just because it’s not a solution that will bear fruit tomorrow, or next week, or next year, or even in our own lifetime, doesn’t mean it warrants rejection.
If we don’t at least try, surely the emotions we feel when we see images like The Boy In The Orange Chair will become meaningless.
He talks “West” but he knows the Middle East as well as anyone.
There’s no better way to describe Robert Fisk, who’s articles in the English Independent are “must-reads” for those who crave at least basic knowledge of what’s happening on the ground out there, as opposed to the over-simplified black/white rhetoric put out there by the mainstream media and fanatical presidential candidates.
In his latest piece “Isis has not radicalised young Muslims, it has infantilised them – and that is why it is so powerful and dangerous” he evokes the memory of Bishop Edward Daly with whom he was well acquainted and compares the mindset of the IRA to that of the would-be Islamic caliphate.
Isis has broken down the precious wall which separates childhood from adulthood, innocence from guilt. This, far more than mass murder, is its final dark achievement
Fascinating, enlightening material as always, as well as of course profoundly tragic.