CHENNAI, India, 17 April 2017
Within a few weeks of being sworn in as US President, Trump has revealed his style and approach as far as the other countries are concerned. Obviously, this approach is no different from earlier US Presidents.
Perhaps his predecessor Obama was a little less aggressive towards other countries, which made many Americans criticize him and in the later period of his presidency, Obama also adopted a similar approach of using force to “discipline” weaker countries and applying economic sanctions to “discipline” stronger adversaries.
US history of bombings in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam
President Trump bombed Syria and killed many people, claiming that chemical weapons were used by the Syrian government to put down the rebels. In retaliation, President Trump killed more people in Syria by bombing the region. He has not used chemical weapons but the results were no different.
Now, President Trump has no hesitation in using the “mother of all non-nuclear bombs”, to kill terrorists in Afghanistan. Considering that it was a “mother bomb”, the number of people killed and injured should have been many more than what has been reported. While the target was terrorists, many innocents would also have been injured and killed, who would not know the difference between “mother bomb” and “sister bomb”. Whether “mother” or “sister” bomb, many innocent people would have been wondering at the time of death why the bomb was falling on them and what mistake they had made.
An earlier US President had bombed Iraq, saying that Iraq was in possession of weapons of mass destruction — which was later on proved to be false. Past US Presidents did the same in Vietnam, claiming that American intervention was necessary to protect democracy and freedom of speech in Vietnam and prevent take-over by communists.
Will it be North Korea next? Now, in all probability, President Trump may use this strategy of bombing other countries, such as North Korea too.
In the past, US presidents have been militarily attacking or bombing only weak countries who would not be able to retaliate. However, they were more cautious when they dealt with stronger countries like Russia or China. In such cases, economic blockade was the more acceptable strategy for US Presidents.
Obviously, like several previous Presidents of the US, President Trump would not also bother about the loss of lives of innocent people. Like other earlier US Presidents, Trump would justify such loss of life since the bombing was carried out in American interests. American people, by and large, have been applauding such attacks by US presidents in the past. They only felt sorry when a few lives of American soldiers were lost in the process, though the innocent people of other countries who died have been many more in number.
Of course, in recent time, by applying sophisticated technology and military warfare techniques, the US has been attacking other countries without sending its troops in a big way, and this strategy appears to be pleasing some Americans.
President Trump has been using his trump card, which is his assertion that in all matters, it should be America First. When he says America First, obviously, he means that US should dominate the world in all spheres.
In the past, many US Presidents have almost taken the support of the West European countries for granted in working out its policies towards other regions. However, previous Presidents at least gave an impression of consulting leaders of West European countries. In the case of President Trump, he may not even do this, knowing very well that the West European countries would simply follow the US whatever it does.
US Presidents have all along been having an obsession that God has created America to police the world. Obviously, President Trump shares this view, and will assert this view in a much more crude way than the other Presidents did.
In the past, US Presidents had their way in all the world conflicts, and President Trump would continue to have this advantage.
The world has to realize that US has only one interest, and that is the interest of the US. America’s claims as supporter of freedom of speech, democracy, etc. are only cosmetic jargon used to conceal the self-centred approach of USA in dealing with other countries.
This style of American foreign policy is made amply clear when we look at the fact that the US has ignored the aggressive takeover of Tibet by China and the suppression of freedom there, since it would be in the economic interest of the US to keep the Chinese government in good humour.
it seems that the American people want only this approach of “America First” at any cost. Therefore, President Trump’s popularity will remain undiminished in the US, whatever the world may think about his foreign policy.
About the author
NS Venkataraman is a chemical engineer as well as a social activist in Chennai, India. He is the founder trustee of Nandini Voice for the Deprived, a Chennai-based not-for-profit organisation serving the cause of the deprived and down-trodden, and working for probity in public life.
More articles by NS Venkataraman on Tibet Sun.