Trump takes cue from Assad by casting critics as terrorists

A couple of days ago, a Syrian-American tweeted:

Even though Trump didn’t make the call, he clearly has no shame in following Assad’s example by accusing a protester of having ties to ISIS after rushing the stage at a Dayton rally.

Needless to say, Trump’s accusation is baseless, as reports:

Tommy Dimassimo, a student at Wright State University in Dayton, has been an avid supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement and Vermont Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on social media.

The video [which Trump tweeted] seems to have been created by a troll, the same person who started a Facebook page called “Tommy dimassimo wasn’t hugged enough as a kid.”

The Arabic caption on the original video appears to be a joke, including a phrase that roughly translates to saying Dimassimo thought he’d be a big man by standing on the American flag, but really has a small penis.

When George Bush launched the war on terrorism, his rhetoric was a bountiful gift to tyrants around the world. In its response to 9/11, the U.S. had effectively issued a free license for global political oppression which could henceforth all be conducted in the name of fighting terrorism.

Donald Trump has brought that gift back home and anyone who wonders how he would operate as president, merely needs to see how he now demonizes his adversaries.

Yet among some reactionary anti-imperialists, there is a notion that, bad as Trump might be, Hillary Clinton would be worse. Clinton is supposedly the ultimate war-maker whereas Trump strangely gets cast as some sort of man of peace.

For instance, at Counterpunch, William Blum says of Trump:

He speaks of Russia and Vladimir Putin as positive forces and allies, and would be much less likely to go to war against Moscow than Clinton would.

On the Syrian dictator, Trump said last September: “Assad, to me, looks better than the other side,” and in January he claimed that Clinton and Obama “created ISIS.”

Those who want to see Trump as an anti-interventionist should note that in the same speech in Biloxi, Mississippi, he proudly asserted in front of a crowd of thousands of supporters, “I am the most militaristic person in this room.”

On the nuclear deal that Obama struck with Iran, Trump warns: “I will police that [deal], to a level that they [Iran] will not believe even exists.”

Anyone who thinks that a president Trump who has vowed to expand America’s military strength would turn out to be a stabilizing influence in the world, seems to be indulging in wishful thinking.

But let’s suppose that Trump did indeed turn out not to start any wars overseas, there isn’t a shred of evidence that he has the capacity to be the “great unifier” at home that he claims to be.

Trump builds unity in the same way that every tyrant employs: by fomenting hatred of the enemy.

The enemy is a revolving target. It alternates between immigrants, Muslims, the media, China, and now, disruptive protesters.

The result of this approach is always the same: division.

Although he keeps on winning primary after primary, Trump is viewed across America more unfavorably than any other major candidate — and yet he’s likely to become the Republican nominee.

He may even become president. As he correctly says, Clinton’s supporters lack “fervor,” while Bernie Sanders faces a struggle in the Democrat delegate count.

The risk is that out of cynicism about the political process, or out of a sense perhaps that America might be getting what it deserves, Trump’s half-hearted critics may hand him power — power gained not because of the breadth of his support but because too many people underestimated the threat he poses to this country.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

4 thoughts on “Trump takes cue from Assad by casting critics as terrorists

  1. hquain

    “Trump builds unity in the same way that every tyrant employs: by fomenting hatred of the enemy.”

    And in this case the ‘protesters’ play right into his hands, acting out the ‘enemy’ for all to see, accomplishing literally nothing but giving him more fuel for his fires. There’s no way he won’t use it, and use it effectively, regardless of irrelevancies like ‘the truth’ of the subtleties of who did what first. How about ‘protesting’ by supporting some other candidate instead of improving the chances of the one you hate?

    Trump is just waiting for his Reichstag fire and we can be sure that there are people out there who are itching to give it to him.

  2. Paul Woodward Post author

    I completely agree. Unfortunately, we live in an age where protesters of this kind seem to be thinking more about the reverberations of their actions in social media than the wider political consequences.

  3. Paul Woodward Post author

    “yep” – If you believe this, you must think that all the information on this site and everything in the mainstream media is fiction. In that case, you probably rely on “alternative” news sources that themselves don’t rely on firsthand reporting but instead repackage information from conventional sources, using it to buttress one ideology or another for no other purpose than sustaining communities of opinion.

    There’s nothing wrong with having a good measure of skepticism about what you read in the mainstream media. Journalists have their own biases as do editors, but those who hold too strongly to this notion of “media lies” have mostly allowed themselves to be fooled by others.

Comments are closed.