I have a sense that ISIS, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram and other Islamic terrorists groups are extremely happy with the continual bombardment of comments from Donald Trump and some of his fellow candidates in regards to denying rights to Muslim Americans and stiff arming the Syrian refugees. Trump and friends are writing the recruiting language for these terrorist groups. They need only to cut and paste from his comments and can simply say “this is what America thinks of Muslims.”
Setting aside the unconstitutionality and the attack on our ideals which are most important, Trump’s comments on shutting down mosques, setting up a data base, and demonizing Muslim Americans are xenophobic and fear mongering. Yet, they are doing the opposite of what he intends – his comments do not make us safer. They inflame terrorists and will cause more citizens to question our country. As torture and drone strikes have done, we are creating new generations of people who do not like us and expanding the number of people who we are offending.
Several retired generals came out in article by Tim Mak of The Daily Beast to admonish Trump and fellow candidates for the same reason. Retired Army Lieutenant General Charley Otstott said “We should be countering Daesh (ISIS) propaganda rather than taking actions which will most certainly feed their propaganda machine.”
Retired Air Force Major General Charles Dunlap said, “Focusing on religion can be, from a military perspective, counterproductive, as it could serve to incite the opposition where there may be none.”
The article included quotes from several other retired generals, but the gist of their argument can be captured in these two statements. We counter terrorist propaganda, by living up to our ideals and constitutional rights. We counter their propaganda by fighting for the rights of all citizens. We counter their propaganda by being the shining light on the hill and beacon of hope for refugees and immigrants.
I would add that Trump is not just aiding and abetting the causes of these terrorists, he is drumming up misguided anger and action from our over 1,000 domestic hate groups. Through his remarks on Mexican immigrants, African-Americans, Muslim Americans, and women, we are fanning the flames of these groups. The Charleston shooting involved a young man who wanted to start a race war. At a Black Lives Matter protest in Minnesota over yet another shooting by police, several protestors were shot. A Black Lives Matter protestor was roughed up at one of Trump’s gatherings and Trump later said in an interview that maybe he should have been roughed up.
We need our leaders to bring us together, not sow seeds of discontent. We need our leaders to act like the Mayor of Charleston and Governor of South Carolina did after the Charleston shooting to quell racial tension. It frustrates me that some Americans are cheering this man on as he represents the worst of our traits with a false bravado which some mistake for leadership. We must live up to our ideals and honor our constitution which affords freedom of religion and separates church and state. We must welcome people in crisis as we have usually done, especially since we helped cause the refugee crisis by not acting sooner in Syria.
If we cede the higher ground, then we are just another country. While our role of leadership in the world is now shared with other countries, these countries need us to be part of the moral leadership to promote freedom and security. We cannot be part of the problem. We must be better than this.
Someone asked me this week, “What’s with the Americans and their love of Donald Trump?”
How does one reply? I think my baffled look, as I struggled for an informed reply, said more than my reply did.
We decided that it’s the allure of wealth and the association of names with wealth, and if one can build a financial empire he/she is more (multiple choice options: intelligent/clever (dishonest?) than most and gets the approval.. and goodness, if that person has built impressive towers with his name attached, then the pr and marketing of his name has been in place for ages!
i’m glad i was online with a bit of time for a visit here! am about to return to the cloud forest. will be back next week.
Lisa, please assure them more Americans are embarrassed by Trump’s rise than in favor of it. He is speaking to a very impassioned and angry base of voters, who are angry over things outside of their control – changing demographics. His fans are mistaking his false bravado as a sign of strength and say he speaks the truth, when in fact per non-partisan fact checking organizations, he has lapped the field in telling lies. He has created the circumstances for his Waterloo, it is just taking time for that knowledge to sink in. Please ask your friends to share their discomfort and encourage those who can vote to do so. When people don’t vote, folks like Trump get elected. Thanks, Keith
a”lapped the field ” i appreciated that part!
I am really hoping, that the Americans see what a scenario he would cause. Not only for the States! It is scary to no end! Robert Goldstein also posted lately about Trumps horrible speeches.
Thanks Erika. Goldstein is not alone, as many conservative editorialists such as David Brooks, Michael Gerson, Charles Krauthammer, eg, have vilified him and his positions. Please let your European friends know what I said to Lisa above. Most Americans are embarrassed by Trump’s comments. And, encourage your American friends to vote or, we may end up with someone like him.
I read your reply to Lisa’s. I am so relieved to know about that, Keith! It would be a catastrophe! Goldstein has a lot of political posts regarding that. Do you know him? If not, it might be interesting for you! Here is one of his latest posts http://robertmgoldstein.com/2015/11/26/im-about-to-say-something-politically-incorrect/
Erika, thanks for sharing Goldstein’s link. With people ignoring verified news and information sources, they embrace their own version of the truth. One of Trump’s recent lies according to FactCheck is he referenced that 81% of all White homicides were committed by Blacks. The truth is the opposite, only 16%. By the way, you should check out Lisa’s blog. You are kindred spirits. She is an expatriate American who teaches art in her community in Ecuador. Many thanks, Keith
That is horrible what lies and destroyable viruses he spreads! Still a year to go until the election…. Thank you, yes, I will check Lisa’s blog out. Nevertheless, have a wonderful Friday and weekend, Keith!
You are so right about the year. Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain were leading in 2012 at this point and they are hard to remember now.
I don’t remember them to be honest. I wasn’t so into the campaigns and actually I am also not so much into this one. Just Trump makes waves…
He does indeed.
Reblogged this on So, I Read This Book Today and commented:
We really, really must be better than this – or the world will blow up in our faces, and there will be no one to blame but ourselves.
Thanks Leiah. Your support and reblogging is always appreciated. All the best, Keith
Trump is speaking the language of, and directly to, the stupid. Sadly, their numbers are growing.
But it is also the inexperience of these blowhards, including Rubio, Cruz, Huckabee, et al to continue to spout such asinine statements. Not a one has been in the military, or has any family in the military, and thus believe their business experiences, where the loudest fool at the table can often win.
But as I’ve express many times, todays voters are responsible for the Trumps, Chrtisties, Cruz’s of the world. They put them in office or on the stage. not a one of these could have done it by themselves. Those who stay away from the voting booth, and the remaining white, republicans who vote in droves. Trump would be nowhere without his audience.
Well said, Barney. I would add the support of provocative radio and TV pundit/ entertainers made extreme candidates seem more palatable. Trump should have been harshly criticized for continuing the birther BS in 2012 long after that issue was put to bed and longer still after it should have been. Yet, the voting is the key. When a party wants people to stay home to win, that is prima facie evidence of a poor story too tell.
Generally speaking successful speakers say what their audience wants to hear. That’s the real problem here, as Barney suggests. We need to vote these clowns out of office, but those who realize that tend to be disenchanted with politics. Does anyone out there have a match to light the fire??!!
Hugh, it may take a fire. Obvious solutions are to get money out of politics and shorten the campaign season like is done in Canada and UK. Yet, a key obstacle to those are the TV networks who make much of their advertisement money from campaigns. We also need people to vote. The clowns want a small voter turnout to win and that is when they do. Thanks bro, Keith
I think Z’s comment is most interesting: it suggests what people outside this country perceive, even if it is false. The Trumpet has a low percentage of the actual voters in this country inches camp, yet others perceive of him as one of our leaders and somehow representative of the rest of us. That’s a HUGE problem.
These folks are giving him too much credence. He does not speak for America as he is representing a strident base of blowhards.
What is the case, or is not, doesn’t really count intros matter. It’s a question perception. Unfortunately.
Hugh, The Donald has made a living saying with false bravado misrepresentations. There are far too many he leaves holding the bag. What his followers don’t realize is he cannot deliver because of illegality or cost, the things he has promised. My strong guess is he knows it, too. But, it does not matter. Keith
Barnesday said “Trump is speaking the language of, and directly to, the stupid. Sadly, their numbers are growing.” Sadly you have Trump – here in the UK we have the Daily Mail and The Sun doing the same thing. All they do is feed yet more no-helpful hate groups.
Thanks Jeannie. Doesn’t Rupert Murdoch own one of them? He owns the most biased news source in America which is where many of these extreme folks get their news. Thanks for your thoughts. Please do come by again. Cheers, Keith
I like it!
Thanks Robert. At the suggestion of our mutual friend Erika, I stopped by her blog. I will do so more frequently. Thanks for checking out a couple of posts. Keith
You must admit, the man knows how to throw gasoline on a fire!
He does indeed. And, now he wants an apology from the New York Times for accusing him of belittling a disabled reporter. I saw the footage and he was, in my opinion.
Note to Readers: A Rabbi forwarded me this excellent piece on understanding and responding to our fears, but not forsaking our ideals. He also reminds us of a dark day in US history when we turned away Jewish refugees from Europe in 1938.
Note to Readers: A fellow blogger called Drugs and Other Things has a link on his recent post that includes a link to Redstate, a conservative website, that speaks to concerns over what Donald Trump represents to the country and GOP. It is interesting to see how other non-establishment conservatives see his candidacy. https://drugsandotherthings.wordpress.com/2015/12/01/an-interesting-piece-at-redstate-no-really/
Note to Readers: It is not just retired generals who feel this way. Here is a great article on the feelings of Muslim Americans fighting in the military (that is the United States Military, Mr. Trump). http://mykeystrokes.com/2015/12/11/muslim-american-soldiers-to-trump-stfu-some-choice-words-for-draft-dodging-donald-trump/
I suspect IS will give the Trumpet some sort of award for helping them recruit followers.
They should as he is the best weapon they have.
Note to Readers: It should be noted that Trump’s latest comments have been condemned by leaders in Germany, France, England, Saudi Arabia and other Mideast countries. A trip to visit Israel was quickly canceled. And, 465,000 UK citizens signed an online petition to ban Trump from the UK. People of the world need to know this man does not speak for America.