Smokescreen politics

Dhaka,  Thu,  21 September 2017
Published : 09 Aug 2017, 18:34:36

Smokescreen politics

Mahmudur Rahman
President Donald Trump' seventeen day vacation has created the sane curiosity as most of what he does. The White House will be renovated to eradicate bugs, water leaks and fix stairs that have been ignored while he is away and the world continues to trip and stumble to stay apace with what he is doing. In terms of strategies, the real Mr. Trump is coming to the fore. That no one understands him or can figure out what he's trying to do all plays in his favour.

Having created a brilliant smokescreen that shielded him from scrutiny over policies he never made public during the presidential campaign, he successfully discredited all of his opponents sending them in the back foot. On his holiday he can reflect with pleasure that he has opened enough fronts to keep the world busy and run as per his agenda. From everyone guessing as to when he would attack North Korea, to shaking Vladimir Putin's hands and having his son be the fall guy, Mr Trump has already pulled off some significant coups of his own.

Living up to his election promises, president now has floated a solar wall between the US and Mexico, a wall that will pay for itself (a minor aberration from Mexico paying for it); out of the blue the two major car manufacturers Toyota and Mazda have announced a billion plus dollar manufacturing plant in the US. That rings a bell somewhere of bringing jobs back to America. And he has stuck firm to walk away from the climate agreement. And for all the overtures to Russia he has signed a bill that imposes sanctions, even though he and Putin agree Russia didn't interfere in the elections. His caveat of it being a flawed bill hasn't amused the Russians. Dimitri Medvedev, the Prime Minister, is on record as having called him 'impotent'.

Domestic ratings show his popularity to be as low as it gets but the US economy added 209,0O0 jobs in July, his immigration ban has had the reluctant nod of the courts, albeit with changes, and now we hear Green Cards won't be that easy to get in the future.

In the middle of all this the musical chairs policy has seen quicker changes in his administration than the famous fastest guns in the west. He has been ruthless with the staunchest of close aides so much so that everyone's looking over their shoulders. Just as ruthless has been the much decried 'gag' order that has seen $ 10 billion sliced off from family planning and HIV treatment, the bulk of it affecting operations in Africa. 

The fat will really be in the fire when he outlines the reduction of US funds for the United Nations and then his country's contribution to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato). And it may not be as crazy an idea as was first thought, that Japan and South Korea might be encouraged to go nuclear to balance the threat of North Korea. The sanctions pushed through the UN will hit one-third of the country's exports, estimated at around $ 1.0 billion. Economists shake their heads and say this will hit the people rather than the leadership but with China still reluctant to come out and put a stake in the sand, North Korea may still make it through. 

Seventeen days later, Mr Trump will return to work (US President's don't really go on holiday) recharged, in a refurbished residence and no doubt plenty of fireworks ready to be lit. The fun continues.
Editor : A.H.M Moazzem Hossain
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