It is a telling sign of politics in the US that what triggered impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump was his phone call to the Ukrainian president that sought a quid pro quo, asking them to get dirt of the son of his Democratic political opponent Joe Biden in return for releasing weapons that he had held up. In the US what gets serious attention is not major crimes but when one faction of the ruling political establishment sees a chance to discredit the other faction or engages in dirty tricks against the other faction. Recall that impeachment proceedings against Richard Nixon were triggered by his operatives breaking in to the offices of the Democratic party headquarters. And impeachment against Bill Clinton was ostensibly because he lied under oath about his affair with Monica Lewinsky but we know that the real reason is because Republicans saw a chance to turn a sexual liaison into a political weapon. None of them were impeached for the many awful things they committed because these were in the service of the bipartisan war machine.
Donald Trump will go down in history as one of the most odious presidents, a crude and boorish individual who makes the notoriously crude Lyndon Johnson seem like a courtly gentleman. Although he has not started any new wars, he has greatly increased the number of civilians killed in the existing wars.
Since his emergence as a political figure, Trump has promised that if he ever attained power, he would use the U.S. military to inflict a massive bloodletting on others, including noncombatants. Unlike other campaign promises, Trump has delivered on this one. Since taking office, he has presided over skyrocketing rates of civilian casualties in America’s many foreign conflicts. Beneath the hue and cry of the impeachment announcement, more people are dying in wars that are being waged as Trump promised, with more brutality than ever.
THE LAST FEW weeks provide several horrifying examples.
This September, in Afghanistan’s Helmand province, a wedding party was turned into a massacre after a commando raid by Afghan forces operating with U.S. support. Over 40 people were killed. Just days earlier, a drone strike in Nangarhar province blew up a gathering of pine nut farmers resting after their day’s harvest.
Trump has shamelessly used his office to enrich himself and his family in ways big and small. The latest comes in the form of foreign governments booking blocks of rooms at his hotel but then not staying in them. Foreign governments have figured out that this is the way to grease the palm of Trump. Recall that in the infamous phone call with the Ukrainian president, the latter made it a point to tell Trump that he had stayed in his hotel when visiting the US. And we have the US military and vice president Pence staying at Trump hotels when traveling, another shameless siphoning of taxpayer money into his pockets.
Then in the last week, we had the disgusting story of how Trump’s diseased mind wanted to deal with migrants.
Donald Trump discussed shooting migrants in the legs to slow them down, after ordering advisers to shut down the entire US-Mexico border, the New York Times reported on Tuesday.
The president also suggested electrifying the border wall and fortifying it with spikes, and deterring migrants with a moat stocked with snakes or alligators, according to the Times, which excerpted the upcoming book Border Wars: Inside Trump’s Assault on Immigration.
Based on interviews with dozens of officials within the White House and the administration, Times reporters Michael D Shear and Julie Hirschfeld Davisrecount “a frenzied week of presidential rages” in March, during which Trump’s “zeal to stop immigration had sent him lurching for solutions, one more extreme than the next”.
Is his true? We don’t know as yet but what is disturbing is that it is perfectly plausible given what we know about Trump’s actual words and deeds. Although enough people have expressed shock at the idea of shooting people in the legs causing the liar Trump to deny it, it is easy to believe that it must be true, given what we know about Trump’s diseased mind. Michael Arria says that the US is not alone in such barbarism, that Israel has been doing this for a long time against Palestinians and it has been ignored.
The Great March of Return protests along the Gaza fence have continued since last year and Israeli snipers target the legs more than any other part of the body. In December 2018, Gaza’s Health Ministry told the Associated Press that of the 10,511 protesters that had been treated for injuries from the protest’s beginnings in March till winter, 60% of them had been shot in the lower limbs.
“These are complex and serious injuries that do not quickly heal,” Doctors Without Borders said at the time, “Their severity and the lack of appropriate treatment in Gaza’s crippled health system means that infection is a high risk, especially for patients with open fractures. The consequences of these wounds … will be lifelong disability for many.”
It appears that support for impeachment is growing, with one poll showing 49-43% in favor. What is interesting is that of the 43% opposing it, 35 percent say that Trump “did commit high crimes and misdemeanors, but Democrats will hurt themselves politically if they proceed on impeachment.” In other words, they oppose it purely because they think it is bad politics, not that he does not deserve it.
Seventy-one percent of the voters surveyed said that a vote on the articles of impeachment should include a vote on “all alleged high crimes and misdemeanors, not just the most recent high-profile one.”
“This poll shows that the public knows Trump is corrupt and wants bold impeachment action now due to his many crimes against our democracy,” Stephanie Taylor, Progressive Change Institute co-founder, said in a press release. “If elected officials lead, the public will be with them. People are ready to fight back against all the ways that Trump is enabling corrupt, corporate control of our democracy.”
Trump will continue to pile on one atrocity after another, one lie after another, so that by the time the inquiry part of the process is over, there will likely be many articles of impeachment.
Because he is just an awful, awful person.