I was trying to think a few hours ago – after his shameful, outrageous, insane breaking of a solemn international treaty – just who Donald Trump reminded me of. I used to think about the boastful, gung-ho racist Theodore Roosevelt, the ‘Rough Rider’ who enjoyed war (and threats). But Theodore Roosevelt actually did win the Nobel Peace Prize. And then I realised.
The political leader who most resembles Trump is the late Colonel Gaddafi of Libya.
The parallels are quite creepy. Gaddafi was crackers, he was a vain, capricious peacock of a man, he was obsessed with women, he even had a ghost writer invent a ‘Green Book’ of his personal philosophy, just as Trump had his business manual written for him. Gaddafi was vengeful towards his opponents but his views on the Middle East were odd, to say the least. He once advocated a one-state solution to Israel and Palestine which – in all seriousness – he suggested should be called ‘Israel-tine’. A bit like moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Trump’s White House is now like Gaddafi’s tent, which the Libyan leader took with him everywhere. Trump’s late-night television viewing was not unlike Gaddafi’s insistence that business must be done in his tent. Gaddafi’s handshake was legendary – so was his kiss from Tony Blair, who was as obsequious to Gaddafi in Libya as Theresa May was to Trump in Washington. Much good did it do Blair or May.
Gaddafi ran his business dealings through his family – now there’s a thought – and even maintained good relations with Russia. His speeches were interminable – he liked the sound of his own voice – and although he constantly lied, his audience was forced to listen and to fear his wrath. Above all, Gaddafi was completely divorced from reality. If he lied, he believed his own lies. He believed that he kept his promises. He believed in the world he wanted to believe in, even if this was non-existent. His Great Man Made River Project was supposed to Make Libya Great Again.
If all this seems flippant, there is a weird parallel between Trump and other Middle Eastern leaders – the ex-Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad comes to mind. He claimed that a holy cloud appeared over his head when he spoke at the UN and then denied he’d said this – until an Iranian political opponent produced the videotape. I wonder, after Trump’s latest, disgraceful performance, we’ll soon hear from Ahmadinejad again. The only other man whom we might compare to the American president, I suppose, is Korea’s “little rocket man” himself – whom a few hours ago appeared to be the man who might provide Trump with that Nobel Prize. Dare one utter the obvious words: Ye Gods!
Of course, we know what Trump’s breaking of the Iranian nuclear deal means – quite apart from his lies and fraudulent arguments about the original agreement: the United States is now a part of Israel’s foreign policy. The Arabs used to say that Israel was an American state. Now the US has become part of the Israel state. That infamous speech contained seven references to “terror” in relation to Iran – “state sponsor of terror”, “supports terrorist proxies”, “reign…of terror”, “a regime of great terror”, “funds…terrorism”, “support for terrorism”, “the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism” – and so on and so forth. This is almost as good as Benjamin Netanyahu’s speeches at the UN.
And we are supposed to believe, like children, that Shiite Iran is supporting Sunni Muslim al-Qaeda – when it’s been fighting al-Qaeda in Iraq and Syria. We are supposed to believe that Iran’s long-outdated “intelligence documents” provide “definitive proof” that Iran’s promise of not pursuing nuclear weapons is a lie. But what is America worth now – in the Middle East or anywhere else (North Korea comes to mind) – when it can so blatantly tear up an international treaty agreed by the US government itself. That used to be what some European leaders – one in particular – did in the first part of the 20th century.
Just play the scenario backwards and switch the characters in this obscene drama. Imagine that the American government managed to forge an international nuclear agreement with Iran. But then consider what would happen if Iran’s reaction to Trump’s presidency was to announce that the Islamic Republic would shred the agreement. The Mays and the Macrons and the Merkels would line up – perhaps even with Russia and China – alongside Trump to denounce this act of perfidy. How could Iran break so binding an international treaty, we would ask ourselves? What kind of regime runs Iran? It would almost be enough to call it a ‘terrorist regime’.
That’s why I most enjoyed Trump’s expression of love for Iranians. All US presidents say how much they love the people they are about to invade. Bush said the same about the Iraqis. So did Reagan before he bombed Gaddafi’s Libya. Now Trump feels sorry for the “long suffering Iranians”. Trump reminded us all of a time when Iran “prospered in peace” and “commanded the admiration of the world” – and no-one has spotted that he was referring to the Shah’s Iran whose Savak secret police kept Iranians in a state of permanent fear and terror through a programme of obscene tortures.
Originally published on 2018-05-10
Author: Robert Fisk
Source: Counter Punch
Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!
Donate to Support Us
We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.
A Reuters news report under the names of presstitutes Robin Emmott and Sabine Siebold shows how devoid the West is of honest, intelligent and responsible journalists and government officials. http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-nato-summit-idUKKCN0ZN2NN First we will examine the dishonesty or incompetence of the reporters and then that of Western government officials.Emmott and Siebold describe NATO as a “Western defense alliance.” Since the Clinton regime NATO has been an alliance for waging offensive war, a war crime under the Nuremberg rules established by the United States. Under the NATO banner a number of countries have been bombed, invaded, and had their governments overthrown by ...
America is a warrior state, a serial aggressor, unaccountable for unparalleled high crimes against peace because of public ignorance and indifference.Americans are sublimely unaware of their nation’s history. Its so-called war of independence substituted new management for old. Everything changed but stayed the same.Civil war had nothing to do with freeing slaves, everything to do with keeping the nation intact, maintaining business as usual.Imperial America enslaved Black Africans, exterminated its native people, stole their land and resources, stole half of Mexico, followed by Cuba, the Philippines, Guam, Samoa, Hawaii, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Canal Zone, Puerto Rico and other territories.Peace ...
On September 16, 1982, Christian Lebanese militiamen allied to Israel entered the Palestinian refugee camp of Shatila and the adjacent neighborhood of Sabra in Beirut under the watch of the Israeli army and began a slaughter that caused outrage around the world. Over the next day and a half, up to 3500 Palestinian and Lebanese civilians, mostly women, children, and the elderly, were murdered in one of the worst atrocities in modern Middle Eastern history. The New York Times recently published an op-ed containing new details of discussions held between Israeli and American officials before and during the massacre. They ...
So much after the fact; so much in terms of opportunism gone to seed and destruction. But planned historical calamities tend to be rare. There are only absurd moments, dastardly opportunities, and tragic convergences. History is less the outcome of wise deliberation than folly dressed up as reason, occasionally tinged by a touch of malice.On November 2, 1917, the British government published the Balfour Declaration (one of “sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations”) by means of a letter written by Foreign Secretary Lord Arthur James Balfour to Lord Walter Rothschild. It suggested forthcoming British assistance for the establishment of a Jewish ...
Transcript of presentation by the author at the Conference of Independent Journalists’ Association for Peace, Vienna, Austria, May 2015.
This year the twentieth anniversary of the massacre in Srebrenica is being observed. On July 11 a huge spectacle will take place at the Srebrenica Memorial center specially constructed for that purpose. It will feature the presence of most of the rather insignificant individuals purporting to be political leaders in the region and the Western-dominated world. Their speeches, which never vary substantially, will be infused with the predictable platitudes.
I propose to deal with some aspects of the Srebrenica narrative from the standpoint ...
Western allies raped hundreds of thousands of German women, writes German historian Miriam Gebhardt in a book published under the name “When the soldiers came” (Als die Soldaten kamen) and which received both praise and criticism in Germany.“At least 860,000 women and girls, but also men and young boys, were raped by ally soldiers after the fall of the Third Reich and in the postwar period. It happened everywhere,” writes Gebhardt, noting that US soldiers were the ones who did it the most.The book strongly echoed in Germany, where information on such crimes was known before but was almost exclusively ...
Last Thursday, news reports were largely devoted to the March 22 Brussels terror bombings and the US primary campaigns. And so little attention was paid to the verdict of the International Criminal Tribunal for (former) Yugoslavia (ICTY) finding Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic guilty of every crime it could come up with, including “genocide”. It was a “ho-hum” bit of news. Karadzic had already been convicted by the media of every possible crime, and nobody ever imagined that he would be declared innocent by the single-issue court set up in The Hague essentially to judge the Serb side in the ...
Americans are outraged by allegations that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an intelligence service to hack email accounts of the Democratic National Committee. How inexpressibly heinous that one country, Russia, would try to influence elections in another sovereign country, in this case the United States! How unprecedented! How diabolical! How uniquely Russian!In response, the Obama administration has expelled Russian diplomats, hinted at economic sanctions, and promised further retaliation using America’s “world-class arsenal of cyber weapons.” (NYT Dec. 16, 2016) Obama’s Republican opponents, for their part, have demanded “rocks” instead of Obama’s “pebbles.”But does the USA meddle in the presidential elections ...
Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection, Public Domain & Pinterest.Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!Donate to Support UsWe would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.Save
Israel is in a class all by itself when it comes to perpetuating some of the worst human rights violations of any country on earth today. For decades, Israel has had a policy of ethnically cleansing and robbing the indigenous Palestinian population of its lands and resources and killing them when they resist the atrocities committed against them under the guise of self-defense. Now, an Israeli military general, someone who is one of the leaders of Israel’s killing machine, has come out and admitted that Israel today shares many of the same elements as Nazi Germany.Addressing an audience at Tel ...
With respect to Greece’s role in the Mediterranean security system, the multilateralist formula applied to the region including the Balkans as well as is the orienting principle for the Greek foreign policy since the end of the Cold War. Since 1994, the opportunities for NATO’s and EU’s initiatives were more than apparent for Athens when Greece (wrongly) understood the Euro-Atlantic community as a fundamental security player for the extending the values of security and co-operation into this structurally unbalanced region. During the Cold War, the Greek policy-makers also found (wrongly) since 1952 that the US-led NATO offered allegedly excellent opportunities ...
The Western-backed myth of a Greater SerbiaMuch space, time and efforts have been devoted in the recent history of West Balkans, and in particular in the latest political upheavals, about the alleged project of a Greater Serbia especially by the Western authors either academic scholars or journalists. The issue must be, however, considered together with its counterparts from Croatia (a Greater Croatia) and Albania (a Greater Albania). There are two focal questions that arose here:Were all these projects serious and what was the origin of this maximalist concept of forming the national states in the otherwise ethnically mixed area?Whose exact ...
“malè ou swete bèlmè, se manman ou li frape” – the evil you wish upon your mother-in-law strikes your mother, Haitian wisdom
The other day, I saw a video excerpt of an October 2012 speech in which Bill Clinton was telling an audience in New-York how his wife, Hillary, possesses the extraordinary psychic ability to speak regularly with the dead, in particular, with the spirit of former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.*
Today, some U.S. citizens who are still stunned by the election of Donald Trump may be seeking extra insights to help answer many troubling questions. However, I doubt the dead are in any way equipped to help them understand what is happening in the so-called “land of the free and home ...
During the last decade of 20th century, leading “analysts” of the New World Order were presenting the Kosovo’s issue as a democratic matter rather than a historical and geopolitical dispute. It was perceived as a political case in which one ethnic minority (Albanians) was oppressed by a “non-democratic regime” of Slobodan Milošević.The refusal of the Rambouillet Accords by the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, served as a justification for the unilateral action against Yugoslavia in March, 1999. The Rambouillet Accords called for:1) NATO administration of Kosovo as an autonomous province within Yugoslavia;2) A force of 28,000 NATO troops to maintain order ...
Watching the Ken Burns-Lynn Novick 18-hour series, “The Vietnam War,” is an emotional experience. Whether you served in the US military during the war or marched in the streets to end it, you cannot remain untouched by this documentary. The battle scenes are powerful, the stories of US veterans and Vietnamese soldiers who fought on both sides of the war compelling.The toll in human terms caused by the war is staggering. Nearly 58,000 Americans and 2 to 3 million Vietnamese, many of them civilians, were killed in the war. Untold numbers were wounded. Many US veterans of the war suffer ...
Over the past 15 years, fighting-talk has periodically flared over ‘what to do about that alleged “crazy Asian dictator” in North Korea. Today’s round of brinkmanship by the US/Western ‘deep state’ against North Korea will – in all probability – unfold the same way as in previous episodes; it will fizzle out. China is a guarantor of North Korean security, so the US will not go to war with North Korea. Period.
The battle between Trump and the Washington Crazies for control of the reins of empire continues, however, and the ‘Krazy Korean’ is relevant to that. I hope ...
40 yrs after Prez Teddy Roosevelt gave Korea to brutal Jap Empire in return for its recognition of Philippines as US Territory, US invaded Korea long AFTER Jap surrender, overthrowing its Korean gov., cutting it in two parts, installing a US dictatorship in its south now documented to have murdered 100,000 of its own citizens.
What Western media calls ‘Communist China,’ is a China governed by its Communist Party since 1949, and lying just across the Yalu River from a Korea, which between 1950 and 1953, was merciless bombed by the US, both north and south, all cities and towns of ...
Churchill once said that in war the truth is so precious it has to be surrounded with a bodyguard of lies. In Germany over the last two months one clearly saw the fabrication of such a bodyguard.
Even as air attacks proceeded against civilian targets—destroying factories, electricity works, refineries, bridges, streets, railway lines and apartment blocks— German government representatives spoke of a ” humanitarian action ” . Despite the fact that the NATO attacks unleashed the massive wave of refugees and reduced towns and villages in Kosovo to ruins , it has been maintained to the very end that the aim ...
It is not only American generals who are irresponsible and declare on the basis of no evidence whatsoever that “Russia is an existential threat to the United States” and also to the Baltic states, Poland, Georgia, Ukraine, and all of Europe. British generals also participate in the warmongering. UK retired general and former NATO commander Sir Richard Shirreff, Deputy Supreme Allied Commander in Europe until 2014, has just declared that nuclear war with Russia is “entirely possible” within the year. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3596977/The-outbreak-nuclear-war-year-West-Putin-entirely-plausible-says-former-NATO-chief-promoting-novel-2017-war-Russia.html My loyal readers know that I, myself, have been warning for some time about the likelihood of nuclear war. ...
“ON JANUARY 3  AT 10:30 AM, AN ARMADE OF 82 FLYING FORTRESSES LOOSED THEIR DEATH-DEALING LOAD ON THE CITY OF PYONGYANG. … “THE NUMBER OF INHABITANTS OF PYONGYANG KILLED BY BOMB SPLINTERS, BURNT ALIVE AND SUFFOCATED BY SMOKE IS INCALCULABLE, SINCE NO COMPUTATION IS POSSIBLE. SOME FIFTY THOUSAND INHABITANTS REMAIN IN THE CITY, WHICH BEFORE THE WAR HAD A POPULATION OF FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND.” [UN Repository]With tension ever mounting in the Korean peninsular, all the higher every year with US bombers conducting annual drills over South Korea within direct strike range of North Korea, it is notable and deeply regrettable the West has lost all ...
Vladimir Putin is the Only Leader the West has
The Sabra & Shatila Massacre
The Tragic Declaration: Colonial Legacies, Balfour and Israel
The Srebrenica Massacre as Paradigmatic Media Spin
Allies Raped Hundreds of Thousands of German Women after WW2
International Injustice: The Conviction of Radovan Karadzic
US Meddling in 1996 Russian Elections in Support of Boris Yeltsin
A Refugee Problem in Europe
Israeli Military General Compares Israel to Nazi Germany at Holocaust Remembrance Day Event
Greece in the Mediterranean Security System
If this Haitian was Superstitious Like the Clintons
Kosovo’s Conflict: A Devastating Precedent in International Relations
The Vietnam War is not History for Victims of Agent Orange
How the US Empire Was Made in North Korea
Fake News Laundered 1950-53 US Slaughter of 3 Million Koreans to Maintain US 1%’s Rule of South
German Interests in the War Against Yugoslavia
Can Russia Survive Washington’s Attack?
The Korean War and Crimes against Humanity