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Hilary Clinton: The Woman To Crush Two American Revolutions

Hilary Clinton’s road to the White House started on a less than impressive footing with a narrow win in Iowa, which was made worse by the fact that she only secured the win by dint of questionable luck in six precincts where she won by the unconventional toss of a coin. It looked, in those early days, like it was going to be very hard for her to secure the nomination, as she seemed to stumble with an eventual loss in New Hampshire later. The media was vigorously reporting a new political “phenomenon” of a surging a Sanders and the tides were clearly turning on the democratic front-runner with some polls predicting a national tier between both candidates. After nipping some really strong wins lately, the question now is, what changed?

The self-professed democratic socialist,  preaching the ideology of a “political revolution”, calling for the reform of US campaign finance system, does not spare any opportunity to attack Mrs. Clinton on her links to Wall Street and its money. His appeal to young and first time voters has been aggressively highlighted, his enthusiasm and “trustworthiness” perception are known to be his strongest strengths, both of which factors are undeniably very important in politics. Sander’s promises of free college, free basic healthcare and a redistribution of wealth, are quite lofty and his fiery attacks on the top 1% of people who own the vast majority of wealth in America is arguably justified.

He has accused Mrs. Clinton of not being a “true progressive”, a noun which in my opinion is merely a use of political language and nothing more because for what it was, he wasn’t questioning her liberal ideologies, the progressive realism of her policy proposals or her record as a democrat, it seemed he had issues with Hilary’s campaign funding, her support for a strong banking system and more specifically, her connections to Wall Street, Goldman Sachs and the big banks which he says are “too big to exist” if they are too big to fail. He has shamed her for receiving heavy sums of money for speeches to investment corporations and pointed out that such funding is part of what is fundamentally wrong with American politics and democracy and he, throughout the campaign, has relentlessly pushed through an ideology of socialism and “extreme” liberalism.His message at its core calls for “a political revolution” which will, no doubt, take America through a political journey to the “extreme far left” and probably, as some people despair, to the threshold of “communism”.

Clinton’s argument in desperate rebuttal that she is a “progressive who gets things done” did not make sense either and betrayed the fact that she lacked a proper answer to the accusation of being a “democratic centrist” and that she has not been “consistently” progressive in the past, having for example voted in support of the Bush War on Iraq. When I heard Sanders make that accusation for the first time, I pictured America taking the unfamiliar journey through socialist reforms and an epic transformation of America’s democracy which is known to be the oldest in the world. I concluded that his ideological revolution was going to engender a change never before seen in America, one that may eventually bypass democratic socialism to reach “real socialist ” and I was convinced that if the revolution he was setting to sail went through, America would sail slowly towards socialism. What is concerning to me is the fact that his teaching and ideologies will permanently be part of America’s political discourse and argumentation henceforth and would have cemented its place in American politics if Sanders were to clinch the democratic nomination.

It is  unclear and questionable why more and more young Americans are willing to embrace an utterly confusing social and political construct and ideology that challenged the political ideology of their heritage. Right now, we can be sure, with the hundred of thousands of Sanders’ sympathizers across America, the ideology of socialism has been planted in the American political psyche.

On the other side and at the same time, Mrs Clinton was receiving accusations, attacks and criticism from Republicans who surprisingly have been unable to “contain” a rightist revolution within their establishment. Sadly, the revolution on the right has been unfortunately one that attacks American values. It is a revolution that defeats reason, engendered by the Trump campaign that has unleashed the worst of sentiments in “extreme right” Americans. Trump says he is representing “a lot of anger” of the people (on the far right), which seems to be his moral justification for every racist, divisive and repugnant statement he has made throughout his campaign. The Republican Party, despite “condemning” Trump’s ideologies, have found it hard to portray it as not the core ideologies of the party and that Trump is simply telling “it as it is”. Of course, it still behooves many of those politicians who are still held by general standards of proper public behavior as everyone else to be “politically” correct, while Trump seemingly has obtained a license to break every existing rule of proper conduct.

Clearly, after New Hampshire, the Clinton campaign returned to the basics; changed strategy, reinvigorated their momentum, identified her major weaknesses and adopted changes in approach. Even her facial expressions and her style was redesigned and she has since embraced the old fashion approach of improving on her appeal, with the birth of her call for love and kindness. She since quit defining being different as being a woman and has equally abandoned the rhetoric of being the “best qualified”. It seems her campaign realized that voters are not so much thrilled by record and self-gloating.

Voters expect more from their President than rhetoric and self-gloating, even so,  given that elections are the bidding process of negotiating  the social contract, the electorate wants to seal a deal with someone they can trust.The stakes are always very high, especially to informed voters!

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Bernie Sanders, A self-professed democratic socialist calling for a “socialist” political revolution in America

Remarkably, the Clinton campaign  started running ads that denounced particular misdeeds by large corporations and changed the rhetoric from regulation, to taxation of corporations that are shoring off capital and profits to evade taxes. Clearly, there has been work on the general outlook of her campaign and the results are telling. She won massively on Super Tuesday actually wiping out the extreme left revolution almost permanently and to use Bernie Sanders’ own words his revolution was “decimated”. That goes to show that America is still ready to be true to itself and to its democracy and is not ready for a revolution and a reshaping of her political, economic or social culture.

“Voters expect more from their President  than rhetoric and self-gloating, even so, given that elections are the bidding process of negotiating  the social contract, the electorate wants to seal a deal with someone they can trust. The stakes are always very high especially to informed voters!”

It is my argument that Trump’s success in no single way shows the willingness of a majority of Americans to lean towards the far right either. Trump is building his campaign on hate, media attention, vulgarity, unpredictability and inconsistency. His success is testament to the greater failure of the GOP to take any concerted action. I have said that the GOP should have done all to prevent the real estate mogul from running on their ticket even if it meant suing  him when he initially made bigoted remarks against Mexicans. They failed to act when the outrage began and slowly, Trump is hijacking the Republican party, winning massively, leading in every poll and yet, staying true to his racist and inappropriate appeal. Now apparently with Clinton close to clinching the Democratic nomination, she is going to be faced with stopping yet another revolution; this time, the vile, obscene and violent one. Trump calls his campaign a movement, a subtler word for Bernie Sanders’ revolution.

Given that Hilary will rely on some of the best campaign organizers known in American politics while Trump will clearly not have the backing of all of the Republican party, she will easily beat his revolution with huge margins. Trump will rely on his characteristic erratic style while she will attack him on his patriotism, temperament and his inconsistencies. The GOP fears that Trump may have dealings which are now “skeletons” in his cupboards and his refusal to release his tax returns is already unsettling for most Republicans; fears which are legitimate given that with several bankruptcies to his name, Trump’s businesses, if not the man, may have walked on the fringes of wrongdoing. The attacks on Hilary’s emails will increasingly die as all of the expected emails have been released with nothing critical coming forth therefrom and there will be little on which Trump will rely in any offensive when her campaign goes after him for his comments made as recently as last weekend when he refused to disavow the KKK on CNN. With little material to play his Trump game, I will expect to hear Trump return to talking about Bill and his indiscretions which is stale even now.

So, the responsibility to return America to wholeness apparently lies on someone who can kill two revolutions threatening America’s democracy.

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The War on Drugs, Cross-border Crimes And The Implications Of The Extradition OF El Chapo

Friday February 26th, lawyers for the world’s most feared drug lord, Joaquín Guzmán Loera, known commonly as El Chapo, announced that he would consider being extradited to the United States though they have fought an American court’s request for his extradition since he was recaptured earlier this year. El Chapo  is known as the man who revolutionized international drug trafficking and trade and who is said to be directly and indirectly responsible for some of the world’s most serious cross-border crimes including assassinations, violent obstruction of justice, and even mass murder and who is known to have been responsible for much of organized crimes especially those linked to the Sinaloa Cartel which he created and runs.

The New York Times reports that in 1995 he (El Chapo), a little known drug trafficker was charged by a court in San Deigo along side others for creating a cocaine link that stretch from California to New Jersey. It adds that in the next two decades, which saw a drastic rise in havoc inflicted on several American cities by the man, he was charged severally by courts in Brooklyn, Chicago and Miami.

If he is eventually extradited to the US, his trial may be one of the biggest criminal trials in the US in recent years. It came as a surprise therefore that Guzman who has never set foot in a US courtroom hinted that he would concede to extradition. However, his lawyers also had a condition which comes with their concession. El Chapo will only concede to an extradition if the US government will agree to hold him in a medium size, or regular prison and not in a maximum security type prison.

When I read that story, I closed my eyes for a second and pictured a “Prison Break” kind of escape similar to the one El Chapo pulled just last year and a busy chase for several hours thereafter with a total spread of fear throughout a city or the country. It would be a ridicule to America if he re-enacts his escape of last summer and no doubt, it will cause a terrible embarrassment to American legal system if they negotiate such a dangerous term with a drug kingpin. El Chapo is well known for prison breaks, violence, corruption of security officers and well staged dangerous operations sometimes leading to mass murders and heavy casualties. It would not be surprising if his cartel, with a strong violent ring in America decides to stage a movie kind of rescue operation from a small prison. No need to remind you that in recent months, El Chapo seems to be seeking ways to introduce his name in Hollywood and to theaters.

Last year he met with Sean Penn for an interview for RollingStone Magazine and his contacts with Mexico’s top  beauty queen was motivated by his zeal to have his story go to the theaters as is revealed from his conversations with Kate del Castillo. His escape from prison, the execution of the operation leading to his re-arrest seems to be prelude to an entertaining movie  to be completed with another staged escape in the US if he is held in a medium sized prison as he is requesting. That too, might just be good for headlines; a thing which seems to imbue the drug lord.

It is known that he accepted granting an interview to actor Sean Penn, who looked like he sat on a pot of hot soup, while speaking in an interview on “Sixty Minutes” days after the arrest of the drug lord because he wanted the world to hear his own side of the story, though in the interview it was apparent he wasn’t asking for sympathy. Sean Penn said in the interview that he was not scared for his life but that the Mexican government is saying that his contacts with El Chapo led to the latter’s arrest just to “put (him) at risk” of trouble with the cartel. It is obvious that the Sinaloa Cartel has a strong presence in America and Donald Trump’s comments about Mexicans bringing drugs and crimes was to some, a stark indictment of the activities of the cartel, its ring of cross-border criminals and its sympathizers who might be on the edge to attempt a rescue of El Chapo if he is held in a regular American prison.

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Sean Penn, El Chapo and Kate Del Castillo

Another question, one which is important for justice is what charges he might face in America if he agrees to extradition or if he losses his fight against such extradition; an outcome that is very apparent. What we know is that charges it could include murder, racketeering, participation in a criminal conspiracy,  conspiracy to traffic prohibited or narcotic substances. It is known that he has already been indicted of the distribution of over 500 tons of cocaine and the distribution of several prohibited substances across America. The sentence will range from imprisonment of 5 years or more to the death penalty which are all available for asking to American prosecutors.

However, given that Mexico will be reticent to extradite him if the United States will charge him with offenses which carry a death penalty given that Mexico does not enforce the death penalty and does not as a matter of legal precedence extradite people who may face it abroad, and also given that Mexican authorities, including judicial and law enforcement authorities have been known to have been bought in the past by the elusive drug kin ping, it is difficult to state what measure of justice prosecutors will be asking and what exactly can be judged sufficient justice in this particular case. What is bewildering is that there is a likelihood that the United States may agree not to charge him with a capital offenses in order to secure his extradition from Mexico because of the reluctance of Mexico to extradite people who might face the death penalty. This implies that he could be meted far less punishment that he might actually deserve and even so, he might be able to negotiate in what prison he wants to be held. In legal philosophy, the question of whether the insufficiency of justice is justice at all is a difficult one because the case is almost always left to the discretion of the judge in every particular case. It is however intriguing to note that in the end, people who served as his instrument of crimes may be meted worse penalties than he might.

I can only but question if some certain individuals are too powerful to prosecute for the crimes they commit. Remarkably, Al Capone, known for his expansion of international drug trafficking was never charged with any such crimes but was rather convicted of tax evasion charges in the 1930s. The war on drugs has faced great challenges especially in the US and particularly on its southern border where traffickers flood in their thousands with tons of varying substances, sometimes hauling them through trenches and tunnels. This is what has prompted Donald J. Trump, the controversial Republican Presidential candidate to call for a wall on the southern border, which he sees as the only solution to the drug problem. Chicago, Florida and major cities in California have become hubs for drug and crime with traffickers and their rings, frequently resorting to violence and other forms of crimes to secure the conduct of “their business”. Judging from Sean Penn’s discomfort with the allegations of the Mexican government that they traced El Chapo through his contacts and communication with the actor and  “journalist”, it is clear that the wrath of the drug cartel, and of rings loyal to Guzman as well as the power of the Sinaloa cartel cannot be underestimated even in the United States.

The growing power of drug cartels is bad for one thing, the war on drugs and law enforcement and incidentally, the economy and stability of the United States. When nation states can be wielded to falling into the caprices of powerful criminal enterprises, the war on cross-border crimes shall continue to face the challenges it has faced all these years. The two police officers who captured El Chapo in what was a “Hollywood style” capture operation say that he offered to buy them off and when they rejected his offer, he resorted to threats. It is known and accepted that Sinaloa, a small city in a large rural region of Mexico, known as the Head Quarters of his cartel is absolutely under the drug lord’s control and it is almost impossible for security forces to protect citizens or investigate grievous crimes committed in the region by the cartel.

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US Attorney General Loretta Lynch (pictured, has met with Mexican Attorney General several times this year in a bit to secure the extradition of El Chapo to the US.

The New York Times suggests that if Guzman were extradited to the US, he may be prosecuted in New York where Loretta Lynch; current US Attorney General  had brought the charges which are pending against him. However, it will be a misstep and even a travesty of justice if a drug kin ping is given the benefit of dictating his own “conditions” of punishment.

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America’s Foreign Policy In A Trump Presidency: Uncertainty Or Confusion?

After the huge win in Nevada, the media has stressed that the GOP may just be waking up to the reality that Donald Trump is their potential nominee, a possibility which everyone dismissed in the early days of his announcement of a Presidential bid. Even so, Trump now has a real shot at becoming the 45th  President of the United States (mmmhhh)! The likelihood is widely acknowledged and like Stephen Colbert of the Late Night show accurately expressed, we don’t know if we should be “entertained or horrified”.

Like on many policy issues, except on building a wall on the southern border, Trump’s stance has been notably inconsistent, incoherent and arguable undeveloped. Strangely, on his website; http://www.donaldjtrump.com, the GOP front-runner seems to place emphasis on two major “foreign policy” issues: Immigration Reform and US-China trade relationships which clearly means that these are two areas in which Trump is clear on what he hopes to accomplish as President. The rest is left to his inconsistent statements many of which he has recanted on and as one commentator has put it, Trump might be going where the “applause” takes him; sometimes wandering between liberal and conservative principles consequently.

That point of view is absolutely accurate in view of how Trump has changed his position on very important issues. His much talked about toughness on ISIS does not figure on Trump’s website and therefore can be seen as more or less not a central issue to his campaign though he has claimed he is best positioned to deal with ISIS. But let us remind ourselves that Trump simply wants to “bomb the shit out of ISIS”; that is exactly what he has said. He has been unable to say whether Assad must go, whether Air strikes will be his central approach and what he would do with Russian influence and interests in Syria and broadly the Middle East. Trump has said he would let Russia take on ISIS, a position which shows how clueless he is about US-Russian relations and why and to what extent America views Russian foreign policy stance. Trump is saying that he would cede Syria to a neo-communist regime which previous American regimes have held, has no business in global leadership because of its human rights records and its authoritarian and anti-American politics.

On dealing with North-Korea, Trump will hold China to do his job. Dictating to China, as part of a trade deal, what and what not to demand from North Korea. This is a strange and even anti-American stance because America seems it a duty to support, protect and ensure the respect of the sovereignty of South Korea and let us not forget that America has always condemned the excesses of the Chinese Communist Party and its dictatorial and anti-democratic leadership.

On dealing with Iran, Trump will rip the Nuclear deal apart and increase “economic” sanctions which will no doubt consequently weaken the current sanctions on Russia for which much of Europe will turn to depend for oil. Obama’s Iran deal has the single purpose of forcing Russia to cooperate with the west in observing the territorial integrity of its neighbors (including Ukraine) and in fostering the course of peace by providing for the west a possible alternative to Russian oil, a move which seeks to put economic pressure on Russia. In a Trump presidency, Russia will be bolstered with a clear pass into Syria where Putin wants to help keep Assad, his strong ally and which will increase Russian influence and strengthen dictatorships in the Middle East.

The question is whether that will be beneficial to America. Probably, because America will concentrate on building a wall but in reality, it will diminish American leadership in the world. It will be great to give China the task of “policing” North-Korea but that will mean that America will not be able to ask China to check its own internal political situation or hold them accountable for the breach of any rule of international law in the region. China will be free to oppress its own people and dictate peace in its region and South Korea will be at China’s mercy. Does Trump really think that that policy option can work? Well, I guess his answer to me will be; “you know what? I will know all about foreign policy once I am elected president”. That has been his answer in the past.

Israel? Trump met with criticism from conservatives for stating unequivocally that when it comes to Israel-Palestinian relations, he would be neutral, if he becomes President. That clearly says that Trump’s presidency will not have any permanent friends. While Israel has its fate in the hands of America’s leadership, Trump will not be “pro-Israel” from day one. He would want to be a neutral peace maker while Russia expands its influence in the Middle East and its aggression in Europe. Though, as a matter of personal conviction, Trump might be right here, it is impossible to not side with Israel, when you are an American president. Obama has been blamed by the GOP for abandoning America’s greatest friend “Israel”. Who can forget that memorable visit of Netanyahu which sidelined Obama? Obama from day one, wanted neutrality for humanitarian reasons. His policy has been one of trying to make sure that while America tries to find common ground between Palestinians and Israel, Israel as well as Palestinian should refrain as much as possible from hostility. That explains why America is trying to get along with Iran to make easy the peace process given that Iran wields great influence in Palestine. However, Trump wants to antagonize Iran while being neutral between Palestine and Israel, a position which is contradictory in itself. And with a ban on Muslims, I hardly see how neutral Trump can be with issues pertaining to Islamic countries.

With western allies, it is impossible to see Trump getting along with Britain and Canada where there has been outrage against Trump’s racist comments. America’s relations with Latin American countries will be clearly rough as it will be with African countries. China will see the trade deal rescinded pitting America against the World’s biggest economic power. Of course, the Papacy is already also out of Trump’s book of great friends with the Pope’s “disgraceful” comments against Trump. America will be leading from within and not from in front or behind. Seems America is just ready for a new Isolationism.

Will America be great again?Trump will reassure us, in his typical style that he would bring “tremendous” victory to America in every aspect but what America really stands to experience in a Trump Presidency is what probably North Korea is today; a country cutting itself off from every country in its region, with its people praising its leaders, and based on a policy of building weapons and holding “immigrants” in prisons while no doubt believing that it is pursuing a path to greatness. That is what a majority of Republicans seem to want for their country.

 

 

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Closing Guantanamo Bay: The International Significance

In making his argument for the closure of Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility last Monday, President Obama said that the existence of the facility “damaged” the image of America worldwide and that holding people in the infamous “hell for the worst of the worst” did not represent what America stands for or its values. He stated that for many years, the facility does not advance America’s national security, a claim which was immediately criticized by Republicans both in Congress and on the Presidential elections campaign trail.

A brief reflection on the 2008 elections that saw Obama claim victory over Republican rival, Senator John McCain, reveals a certain unpopularity of the detention facility among a vast majority of Americans at the time; who seemed to have become extremely fatigued by the unending war in Iraq and Afghanistan and an escalation of instability in the Middle East. Senator McCain himself supported the closure of the facility as did many politicians across the aisle but once Obama was in office, every move he took to advance the agenda met stiff opposition and criticism due partly to the fact that, the American people found it increasingly hard to accept that Guantanamo detainees would be held in American “regular” prisons if the facility is shut down and also due to the fact that the issue was highly politicized. At which point its closure became an issue of “national security”.

A brief history of Guantanamo: America’s human rights “sins”

From inception, Git-mo as the Guantanamo bay detention facility is known in America, was transformed into a detention facility on the reasoning that national security trumps both rules of human rights and international law.

A place “discovered” by Christopher Columbus in the 1400s, Guantanamo Bay sits on what can be described as the edge of Cuba facing Haiti and Jamaica (to its North) and is a US Naval Base covering about 45sq miles. It is historically being held by the United States under lease agreements dating back as late as 1903 with Cuba and though, it is acknowledged by both Cuba and America to be Cuban sovereign territory, the United States has shown a strange unwillingness to cede it over to the island nation even after unending requests; a refusal which has been described by some historians as entirely political. To support their opinion, these historians hold that America simply doesn’t want to be a great country which enters into concession to revert territory to a third world communist nation. Strangely, Ronald Reagan admitted this, acknowledging that the United States does not deem it appropriate to concede to any request from Cuba to be ceded the bay.

It is noteworthy that America still sends  checks,  representing the historically stipulated lease amount, yearly, to Cuba despite continuous refusal by the communist government to make any good of such payment.

Cuba has persistently reclaimed the territory, sometimes actually considering outright confrontation and America in every instance has rejected Cuban requests severally using violence, intimidation and overreach: violating International Law and Cuban Sovereignty.

In 1991, President George H. W. Bush transformed the Naval Base into a Prison, holding thousands of Haitians and Cubans at the facility and refusing them the basic human rights attributed to every other prisoner in the United States at the estimated cost of $1 million per day. He held that any detainee on the bay do not benefit of any “human rights” under the US constitution or any US legal instrument because they were held “on Cuban territory”, a position which is basically ironic considering the historical tensions between the two countries over ownership and possession of the island.

The twenty thousand Cubans and Haitians held in the facility were later moved to the United States by President Bill W. Clinton in 1995 under a law which permitted Cubans to freely enter the United States without strict “visa” requirements.

In 2002, George W. Bush Jr. reversed the course of Clinton’s progress by announcing that “Prisoners” of the war in Afghanistan were going to be held in Git-mo with the first batch of 20 “Taliban” marshals arriving that same year and hundreds of others in the years that followed.

Guantanamo has been criticized by Human Right organizations worldwide, by foreign leaders and even by the United Nations for its incredibly inhuman treatment of detainees. This accounted for the classification of The United States of America as the first world country with the worst human rights record in 2007. The trial of Git-mo detainees; all of whom were charged under American law but whom were refused any rights under the same law, were extremely slow, unfair and unduly prolonged. The prisoners were tortured for confessions and subjected to terrible abuses including the horrible “tube-feeding” for detainees who had undertaken a hunger strike, and even were directly denied the right to the practice their faith. America’s sole justification for every action was the vague claim of “national security concerns” as they flouted every existing or conceivable human rights rule. Politicians in America described the detainees as too “dangerous for sympathy”.

Obama and His Anti-Git-mo Plans

In unveiling his plan to close the facility, Obama admitted that the continuous operation of the facility “undermines” American values and is “viewed as a stain on (American) record of the rule of law”. He argued that it drained American resources, stalled efforts to cooperate with foreign nations in fighting terrorism and is “counter productive” to America’s endeavors to fight terrorism.

These words clearly expresses President Obama’s discomfort with the continuous existence of this facility. At every turn, Obama has opted for measures that will “undermine” the continuous operation of the facility from the very beginning of his presidency. Many Git-mo detainees have been released; some in exchange for American prisoners including the controversial release of American Army soldier “Bowe” Bergdahl who has been described as a traitor. Some have been transferred to the US for trial and others were released in other negotiations with the Taliban; moves which negatively impacted Obama’s approval ratings. Despite the controversies surrounding his plan and Republican opposition to the move with Senator Marco Rubio (Republican Presidential hopeful for the 2016 elections) even falsely accusing Obama of an agenda to close the facility and “hand over an important American Naval base to a communist regime in Cuba which oppresses its people”, the President is hopeful that in his last days in the White House, congress will give him a pass on his plan and shut down the facility for good bringing to an end over two decades of operation of the world’s most notorious dungeon.

The irony is, holding these “dangerous” criminals in Git-mo at an inexplicable cost of $450 million of tax dollars is a luxury for America. It has been accepted that its continuous operation and the conditions of detention of even America’s worst enemies; which have been subject of much condemnation even from Americans; is in every way unjustifiable. The war in Afghanistan is over, Iraq is unstable as is Syria but these members of the Taliban being held in these facility however dangerous to the world and to America they are, are only even more so while in detention. It is well known that they are viewed in Islamic nations as martyrs of Islam and the excesses of facility can only be used to fan anti-American sentiments worldwide.

While  in Africa, I realized that the press; including International media; spared no occasion to point to America’s own human rights record every time America or any western nation pointed to the excesses or human rights record of any dictatorial regime or condemned the oppression of people. In Libya Qaddafi always used the Guantanamo bay to justify why America does not have any moral high ground to speak for human rights and of course, he did site it when he shredded the statutes of the United Nations in a UN summit. America has been described as the “morality” preaching prostitute who doesn’t live by its own teachings and even non dictatorial regimes have always had issues with America’s standing with regards to its treatment of Git-mo detainees.

We probably are not advocating for its closure, but from a global perspective, the continuous operation of the facility is in every ramification, not positive for America. In an era when all territories held by foreign powers abroad have been reverted to the nations who have legitimate sovereignty over such territory and at a time when America is striving to rebuild relations with Cuba, the idea of reverting the bay to Cuba may be another highly political issue in the United States but may be a reasonable course of action in cleaning the smear the human right abuses in Git-mo has left on the glorious image of the “Free World”.

 

 

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Trump’s Conservatism: Is Trump Really “A True Conservative”?

Almost all Republican presidential candidates have accused Trump of not being conservative and though all his rebuttal has been, “I’m very very conservative; I’ve been conservative all my life!”, to many Americans, there is a nuance in his political identity. Ted Cruz has said Trump does not have “a consistent conservative record” and has never been a “true conservative” while Jeb Bush before ever dropping out and Marco Rubio have both intimated that Trump is attempting to hijack the Republican party and conservatism.

This issue is hard to clearly settle as it is not so much a political issue as an ideological one. Cruz points to Trump’s previous stance on several of the political issues on which he has now “backtracked” spanning from “birth-control”, through “healthcare” law to “values”.

It is clear that America is a deeply politically divided country, especially for anyone who is observing American politics as an outsider. There is almost no such thing a division between “society” and “government” as David Cameron of the British conservative party has suggested of Britain. From the marriage rights, to the role of faith in State and government through healthcare to family planning, every aspect of American society is politicized. To have Americans look beyond political ideologies to solve problems is nearly impossible, even when these issues are clearly fundamental to the course of progress.

It is therefore hard to find anyone who is true to one political leaning and yet being neutral or seeing other “politicized” issues from the perspective of the other side of the political divide without being termed “moderate” and being described as not true to the course of his political movement or identity.

Back to Trump and American conservatism. Trump’s idea on healthcare is now being described as providing “a mandate” because he has held that he would not “let any American die on the streets”, his argument that he would rather be neutral in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a bid to seek a lasting solution or mediate an understanding (which no doubt requires neutrality of any negotiator) is now described among Republicans as “anti-Israeli” while his view that Assad should be left to take on ISIS with limited American intervention, though he has said he would “bomb the sh** out of ISIS” is criticized as being an agenda to lead from behind (a criticism the conservative movement has repeatedly held of Obama for his “progressive” stance on American role in international affairs and his regard for the rule of “international law”). Trump himself, like a typical democrat has argued that “America is not the world’s police” while his Republican rivals have held strongly that if they are elected, the world will know that the era of American leadership is back.

Of course, these stances are clearly anti-conservatism to the Republican political movement in America (and explains in part why an entire edition of the National Review was published to bash the real estate mogul) but is it really anti-conservative in the real sense of the word or is it just a use of political language to describe his own anti-establishment ideologies?

Looking elsewhere for an answer, we realize that in some ways, American conservatism is unique probably because of the movement historically being “behind” reality as “democrats” and “progressives” have often said of it in rash criticism. When the “Progressive movement” catches up with reality, the Republican party will hold to the contrary view of reality since nothing in America can have a “clear common” ground. Take gun control for example, Trump now says he is “strong first amendment person” while at the same Republicans have pointed to previous interview in which he said he thought gun control regulation was needful though he never discussed what extent was the necessary limit of this regulation and on immigration, he’s been described as being too extreme by both Republicans and democrats and has been labelled “radical” and “crazy” for suggesting America should build a wall on its southern border and ban all Muslims from temporarily entering the United States. He is advocating for strong “anti-immigration” stance and has preached the “ideology” of “America for Americans Only” though it is unclear what “Americans means to him” with his statements most at times suggesting very “segregating” consideration of who “Americans” are.

His views are probably not American but they speak of something which is ongoing in Europe. The rise of “nationalism”. This new popular movement no doubt cannot be underestimated. In France, “The Front National” (The National Front) has surged in popularity since Marine Le Penn came to its helm in 2011 and preached what seems to be a sort of “Trumpism”. She has advocated for the deportation of millions of “illegal” immigrants, the closure of French borders, a kind of segregation of Muslims (and she opposed the settlement of Syrian Refugees in France as well), France’s withdrawal from the European Union, a nationalization of the French economy and monetary system and a restructuring of France’s political and economic systems. She holds strongly that French tax payers should not be compelled to fund wars around the globe and that France should play a very limited role in global affairs. Conservatism to the “Front National” and to the French people means putting French people first, securing jobs for French nationals, deporting immigrants (even if that meant violating their rights), and securing French borders. To her, France will be “great again” outside the European Union. She sees the free movement of people within the European Union as “France’s biggest” problem. This resonates with “French conservatives” or “nationalists” as “Trump’s conservatism” is resonating with an ever increasing segment of Americans.

These ideological lines are the same throughout many European conservatives movements including  in Britain and Germany where conservatives are not merely in opposition to every idea of the left, but where conservatism itself is a course of nationalism. The downside of this however is that extreme nationalism, historically, has been the roots of several dictatorships worldwide. Muammar Gadhafi, Putin and Kim Jong-Il (the father of the present Korean dictator) all believed in the philosophy of extreme nationalism which with time, turned to a strong stance against rival ideologies. The rise of Nazism and Fascism are attributed to nationalism on the idea of them versus us nation-states.

Though it is consoling to Republicans to know that Trump may not be an “American conservative” stricto-sens0, owing to his “New York” values, but to be associated with the ideology of a party like the Front National which has been seen as “anti-Semitic” and “xenophobic” may be unsettling. May be this is the guy who really wants to “change” America and make it like the rest of the world, as Marco Rubio has repeatedly said of Barrack Obama. Just may be.