The question is whether Donald Trump understands that being the President of the United States is not the equivalent to being the CEO of a company, the owner of a skyscraper or the captain of a ship. Being the President is a complex job that requires in-depth knowledge of the internal and international balances. These early days of President Trump seem to unmask the tycoon: apparently, he ignores all this, not understanding that the use of a knife always results in bleeding wounds, bitterness and extremism. Being the President of a democratic Country, the very same Country that proclaims itself an example of democracy and opportunities, means knowing how to achieve your goals by convincing the opposition of the validity of your ideas, collaborating with institutions and setting these up allowing the time to accept them. But, above all, it means acting only if your actions don’t contradict the History and the Constitution of your Country.
The first point to analyze is the ban for the citizens of a group of Muslim Countries (Syria, Libya, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen) to access US soil. The reason? Terrorism risk. We could argue a lot on how it is possible for a President to act contrary to the laws in force, locking and arresting citizens who had been allowed to entry (through the emission of a visa) by the same administration, but we have to discuss other and more disturbing aspects.
The disinformation system is the basis of the masses manipulation carried out by the American President. The usual websites on which Trump leans, in recent months have spread false information, increasing the sense of alarm and fear. They have built a picture of America as invaded by illegal immigrants that was to defend itself from the inside. This would be possible thanks to a “wall” to stop the access by the land border with Mexico, and to airport regulations to block air access, particularly of the people coming from Islamic countries.
Unfortunately for Trump, none of these people is illegal, but rather possessing valid travel and entry documents. With regard to refugees, the New York Times pointed out that of the 800,000 people who have found asylum since 2001, only twelve were the cases of suspected radicalization. In addition to this, the Countries of the ban-list are predominantly Shiite, like Iran or Yemen. Too bad that the attacks occurred in the United States have been carried out by US radicalized citizens or by Sunni Islamists afferent from Countries such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar, not included in the current list of “bandit” Countries.
Instead Trump, at the expense of all those who thought they had voted for the “new world order”, seems to close his own eyes on Qatar and Saudi Arabia, two of the least democratic Countries, with major human rights violations, which prevent any womens’ empowerment, but historically have strong business relations with the American companies and Government. Maybe Trump also has “friendship” ties working, as with the Saudi Walid bin Talal, who saved him from bankruptcy in 1995, and Akbar El-Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways, tenant of the Trump Tower in New York.
Fortunately, it took only a few hours before the protest arose. Sixteen US states do not comply, six General Attorneys signed a joint statement against the act signed by the President. Cardinal Blaise Cupich, the Archbishop of Chicago has declared: “A dark hour for America: the world is watching us while we abandon American values”. The UN calls it an “illegal and evil act” and Obama says: “Our values are at risk.” German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called Trump to explain the meaning of the Geneva Convention on refugees which the US signed in 1967, which obliges them to accept “war refugees on humanitarian grounds.”
But not limited to this. Sally Yates, US General Attorney, has been fired by Donald for opposing his immigration ban. “We’re with Sally Yates, a true American heroine. #RESIST”, posted the official account of the Women’s March.” A legal hero, distant from betraying the Justice Department”, the Financial Times has remarked. Twitter broke loose with hundreds of comments and messages in support to those who fight against a President who does not take into account the opinions of his own people.
But the risk of encouraging extremist drift and affiliations to terrorist groups may also be generated by other acts issued by the Trump administration. During the elections campaign, he had promised to return to the use of certain systems of torture prohibited by US and international laws. He said he would use “even something much worse than waterboarding”, and suggested to kill the relatives of the militiamen of the Islamic State as a countermeasure to stop the terrorist group. Speaking to ABC News, Trump said he is convinced that torture works.
The vast majority of analysts believe that torture is not a reliable tool to obtain information, even if only for the fact that the sufferer cannot think clearly and provide balanced responses. John Mattis himself, the new Secretary of Defense, said to Trump that he doesn’t believe in the efficacy of these methods. The Washington Post, however, is sharing these days the draft of a decree authorizing the CIA to reopen the secret prisons abroad shut down by Obama and wanted by Bush. Do not forget the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, where American soldiers committed abuses on Iraqi prisoners. These are the prisons where today’s terrorists have formed, particularly Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the mentor of Isis, the most elaborate system of violence and terrorism ever existed.
Yes, these are the explanations to the drift of violence that is spreading even in our democratic societies. As long as we allow and elect people who are unable to understand human nature and its demoniac evolution along the loss of dignity, we risk a future of war and terror for ourselves and our children. Last year, over a hundred-twenty Countries have practiced torture or ill-treatment, and thirty Countries have illegally sent back refugees to Countries where they would be in danger. In at least nineteen Countries, Governments or armed groups have committed war crimes or other violations of the “laws of war”. The distorted reaction of many Governments to the threats to national security, the violation of the laws protecting citizens’ rights by the highest figures in the Countries involved, has resulted in a vortex that has led to further escalation of violence, which is now threatening to involve us all.