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For White People Who Compare Black Lives Matter to White Supremacy theroot.com

Opinion

On the last day of Passover a lone gunman opened fire on the congregation at Chabad of Poway’s Synagogue in San Diego, USA.

The attack left three wounded, and one dead. Lori Kaye was murdered after she took a bullet for the Rabbi.

San Diego is the latest in a series of crimes committed in the name of ‘white supremacy’. It occurred just six weeks after the mass shooting at a Mosque in New Zealand and seven months after the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting. And yet, there is still little talk of what white supremacy is; how it operates; and what it means for our communities.

Furthermore, white supremacy has gone transnational.

The San Diego mosque shooter, like many other white supremacy terrorists, was radicalised through online networks.

And yet, the media and politicians have been reticent to identify white supremacy as a threat. Whilst Muslims are openly viewed as a target group of radicalisation, white people are not. The gunmen are viewed as lone rangers and bad apples. But, this is problematic. We should be taking white supremacists seriously. We should be targeting them with the same level of scrutiny that has been used to deal with Islamic radicalisation. To not treat them seriously puts our communities at risk. This would mean identifying the links between what has been painted as fairly disparate attacks since 2011 – including Charlottesville, Charleston and the Murder of British MP Jo Cox, (the Guardian has created a time-line of these events).

There is a clear pattern, white supremacists see the Other (Jews, Muslims, black people) as an existential threat to the white race. Yet, little solidarity is promoted in the mainstream between these communities. In a time where identifying as Jewish can be so negatively scrutinised because of Israel’s politics, the Left (and by extension anti-racist solidarity networks) do have a hard time seeing anti-semitism.

It is not just disappointing that there is little understanding of anti-semitism, but as we can now see this is also dangerous. To keep our communities safe we need to take the threat that white supremacist fanatics pose seriously. And we need to create stronger networks of solidarity by resisting mainstream media that does a good job of polarising the communities affected by racism.

Source: SOAS

Rwanda Genocide – The Israeli Connection | Veterans Today | Military Foreign Affairs Policy Journal for Clandestine Services

Opinion

Western propaganda about the Rwandan Genocide has been so triumphant that a Rwandan Hutu on trial in the West faces inevitable jury bias.

“Teganya’s trial became a de facto trial for genocide crime.”

Last week a jury in Boston Federal Court convicted Rwandan asylum seeker Jean Leonard Teganya of fraud and perjury for lying on his immigration papers about his involvement in the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. In other words, yet another racist, chauvinist, Western court convicted yet another African of participating in mass violence that the US and its Western allies engineeredin order to expand their imperial influence in East and Central Africa at the expense of France. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. 

In July 1994, Teganya crossed from Rwanda into Congo with millions of other Rwandans, mostly Hutus, who were fleeing the advancing Tutsi army led by General Paul Kagame. Teganya later used a false Zimbabwean passport to enter Canada, where he reunited with his Rwandan girlfriend, married, started a family, and applied for political asylum. Canada repeatedly denied him asylum on the grounds that he had committed crimes during the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, which he in turn denied. Fearing for his life if deported to Rwanda, he went into hiding in Canada, then illegally crossed the Canadian border into the State of Maine to apply for US political asylum in 2014. His trial became a de facto trial for genocide crime because the prosecution had to prove that he was guilty of that to prove that he had lied on his asylum application.

“There is no hard evidence of what happened inside Butare Hospital.”

In 1994, Teganya was a third-year medical student at the National University of Rwanda in Butare. He testified that when the understaffed hospital was overwhelmed by wounded patients, he volunteered cleaning wounds and administering intravenous fluids in the emergency room. Former teachers and fellow students from both Rwanda and the Rwandan diaspora came to confirm his story and testify to his character, while prosecution witnesses from Rwanda accused him of rape and murder. 

The jurors’ verdict was based wholly on their conclusions about the credibility of witnesses. There is no hard evidence of what happened inside Butare Hospital after General Paul Kagame and his army assassinated the Hutu presidents of both Rwanda and Burundi, then launched their final military offensive to seize power in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali. One former medical student and witness for the defense testified that in the ensuing chaos, violence, and social collapse, he and his friends at the university in Butare protected themselves by staying close to one another and concentrating on how they might eat from one day to the next. He said that trucks and jeeps full of soldiers or civilian militias would drive by from time to time, but that he and his friends could never be sure who they were or where they were going.

US broke its promise not to penalize refugees for illegal entry 

The United States and Canada are both signatories to the 1967  Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees , by which they promised not to impose penalties for illegal entry on refugees coming directly from a territory where their life or freedom was threatened. The Protocol expanded the rights guaranteed by the 1951  Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees to refugees fleeing because of events that occurred after 1951:

Article 31
REFUGEES UNLAWFULLY IN THE COUNTRY OF REFUGE

“1. The Contracting States shall not impose penalties, on account of their illegal entry or presence, on refugees who, coming directly from a territory where their life or freedom was threatened in the sense of Article 1, enter or are present in their territory without authorization, provided they present themselves without delay to the authorities, and show good cause for their illegal entry or presence.

“2. The Contracting States shall not apply to the movements of such refugees restrictions other than those which are necessary and such restrictions shall only be applied until their status in the country is regularized or they obtain admission into another country. The Contracting States shall allow such refugees a reasonable period and all the necessary facilities to obtain admission into another country.”

Nevertheless, the prosecution built much of its case on the fact that Teganya had entered Canada on a false document and then crossed into the United States illegally. They even asked the defendant on the witness stand why he walked into Congo, which was then Zaire, without a visa, even though he was fleeing Kagame’s army with millions of other refugees. This was all meant to evidence that Teganya was not an honest man, that he had already lied and broken the law to enter Canada and the US, and that it was therefore reasonable to believe that he had lied to gain refugee status.

One jury member told the Boston Globe that he voted to convict primarily because the defendant had used a fake African passport to enter Canada and because he said on the stand that he would do anything not to go back to Rwanda with its current government. 

A priori assumption that only Hutus committed genocide

None of the premises about what actually happened in Rwanda in 1994 were questioned during the trial. As at the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda, the court’s a priori assumptions were that Hutu extremists massacred Tutsis from April to July in 1994—which did happen. However, they also assumed that only Hutus had committed crimes, and therefore only Hutus should be prosecuted. 

Sticking to the particulars of what happened at Butare Hospital in the course of a week, the defense did not introduce the body of evidence that the Tutsi army also committed genocide against Hutu people. 

This is not to say that Teganye’s federal public defender erred by sticking to the particulars of the case. Murder is against the law regardless of its political context, so the defense had little choice but to argue the particulars as evidenced by witness testimony. However, Western propaganda about the Rwandan Genocide has been so triumphant that a Rwandan Hutu on trial in the West faces inevitable jury bias. In “Enduring Lies, Rwanda in the Propaganda System 20 Years Later ,” Edward S. Herman and David Peterson wrote that: 

“According to the widely accepted history of the 1994 ‘Rwandan genocide,’ there existed a plan or conspiracy among members of Rwanda’s Hutu majority to exterminate the country’s minority Tutsi population. This plan, the story goes, was hatched some time prior to the April 6, 1994 assassination of Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana, who died when his Falcon 50 jet was shot-down as it approached the airport of the capital city of Kigali. The killers allegedly responsible for this crime were ‘Hutu Power’ extremists in positions of authority at the time. Although Habyarimana was Hutu, the story continues, he was also more moderate and accommodative toward the Tutsi than ‘Hutu Power’ extremists could tolerate; they were therefore forced to physically eliminate him in order to carry out their plan to exterminate the Tutsi. The mass killings of Tutsi and ‘moderate Hutu’ swiftly followed over the next 100 days, with perhaps 800,000 or as many as 1.1 million deaths. The ‘Rwandan genocide’ came to an end only when the armed forces of Paul Kagame’s Rwandan Patriotic Front drove the ‘génocidaires’ from power, and liberated the country.

 “We refer to the above-version of the events that transpired in Rwanda 1994 as the standard model of the Rwandan genocide. And we note, up front, that we believe that this model is a complex of interwoven lies which, when examined closely, unravels in toto. 

“This model is a complex of interwoven lies.”

“Nevertheless, its Truth has been entered into the establishment history books and promulgated within the field of genocide studies, in documentaries, in the official history at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and even proclaimed from on-high by the UN Security Council in April 2014.

 “The institutionalization of the ‘Rwandan genocide’ has been the remarkable achievement of a propaganda system sustained by both public and private power, with the crucial assistance of a related cadre of intellectual enforcers. The favorite weapons of these enforcers are reciting the institutionalized untruths as gospel while portraying critics of the standard model as ‘genocide deniers,’ dark figures who lurk at the same moral level as child molesters, to be condemned and even outlawed. But we will show that this is not only crude name-calling, it also deflects attention away from those figures who bear the greatest responsibility for the bulk of the killings in Rwanda 1994, and for the even larger-scale killings in Zaire and the Democratic Republic of Congo thereafter.”

Ann Garrison is an independent journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 2014, she received the Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza Democracy and Peace Prize for her reporting on conflict in the African Great Lakes region. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Source:Black Agenda Report

‘Where are you from?’

I hear this more often than I hear my own name, and my response often depends on who’s asking; I can turn my ethnicity… heritage… into an icebreaker and ask the other person to have a guess, if they get the right answer I’ll give them £100. They never guess correctly, which I’m always relieved about – I can’t afford to keep giving away £100! Or I can weaponise it, pushing the other person into feeling self-conscious about whatever stereotype or bias they might be exposing in trying to guess. Finally, I can lie, which I often do when I feel uncomfortable, or unsafe, or just exhausted.

I’ll say, ‘London, mate’, and stick to that even when the response is, ‘Okay but where are you from from?’

And without fail, the response if I chose to reveal my half-Brazilian, half-Montenegrin heritage is always an impressed ‘woah!’, a moment I recognise, because I do it too, but a moment worth unpacking nonetheless. Call it what you want; biracial, mixed-ethnicity, mixed-race, ‘ethnic’, the idea that people who are a blend of races, ethnicities or nationalities are somehow more fascinating, or more ‘trendy’ is pretty problematic. Here’s a little break down of what is going through my mind when the entire conversation descends into a discussion about where I come from:

First of all, I am neither an imported fruit nor a mystical creature in a zoo, so comments about how rare or ‘exotic’ I am, and how new and exciting that is for everyone, implicitly suggests that I’m too different to belong. I understand that it is an unusual mixture to you, but to me it’s all I have ever known, it is natural and familiar and yet still something I have to condense into soundbites because here I am, explaining it to a stranger for the fifth time this week.

I may have foreign parents (is what I say when I mispronounce words like ‘radiator’ or reveal that I don’t know what Paddington Bear is), but I was born and educated in London and so bombarding me with questions about the political, socio-economic history of Brazil and Montenegro is going to make me feel like I don’t know enough about the political, socio-economic history of Brazil and Montenegro. Would you ask me this if I stuck to my ‘London’ answer? Probably not.

Loaded compliments that are solely based on my ethnicity make me feel uncomfortable, even if you don’t intend them to. Saying that I’m more interesting or more attractive based on something I have absolutely no control over is just an empty compliment – and if it wasn’t tinged with racism (and it usually is) – I probably wouldn’t care. But telling me that I must be an amazing dancer, or ‘fiery in the bedroom’, or must be used to wearing bikinis is bizarre and repulsive, and you should know better.

In all honesty, those comments are not that exhausting to deal with. There are plenty of people who are mixed, just like I am, but who have to deal with a lot more racism. I’m fortunate to pass as ‘white enough’, as I have been informed, so even though some casual racism might be thrown my way, my colour of my skin hasn’t often made me into a target the way it can for many others.

The hardest part of navigating my complex identity is that I myself, do not know exactly how to answer the ‘where are you from’ question. Truthfully, I am unsure. Debates about my ‘genuine’ identity, about the number of passports I have, or should have, about how many languages I can speak and about how much general knowledge I should have are not debates I agreed to when answering the question. Nor is my identity something you are entitled to ‘test’ me on. Here’s what I’d love to talk about, when I am asked about my background:

It is strange to be born in one country but have connections to two, very different countries. It is strange grow up in a household where all three languages are spoken, but English dominates out of practicality, so that the older I get the more I lose what once came to me so easily. And it is stranger still to grow up with a blend of three cultures that make the United Kingdom seem both so familiar yet so foreign at the same time, a feeling that is reinforced when someone insists on determining my origins even after I’ve already given them my answer. It is hard to grow up with family stretched between two different continents; I have missed birthdays, weddings and funerals. I go back often and still feel like an outsider, I read the news and listen to music in an effort to prove to other people (and myself) that I am authentically who I say I am.

These are things I’d much rather discuss with you, stranger or not, instead of struggling to answer what exact year Brazil’s military dictatorship ended, or explain that, yes, I do speak Montenegrin but I never learnt to read or write in it so I am nowhere near fluent. Please stop questioning me. Perhaps start listening instead?

Source:SOAS UK

Chancellor Angela Merkel made a "catastrophic mistake" in letting immigrants flood into Germany, US President-elect Donald Trump said in a newspaper interview on Sunday.
He blamed the refugee crisis for being the "straw that broke the camel's back" and triggered Britain's vote last year to leave the European Union.

"I think she made one very catastrophic mistake and that was taking all of these illegals, you know, taking all of the people from wherever they come from," Trump said in an interview with The Times of London and Germany's Bild, adding he had "great respect" for the chancellor.

Some 890,000 migrants, many of them fleeing war in Syria, entered Germany in 2015 after Merkel opened her country's doors in response to massive pressure on countries along the so-called "Balkan route" into western Europe.
The mass arrivals prompted an initial mass outpouring of support, but fear about the consequences has also driven anti-immigrant party Alternative for Germany to between 10 and 15 percent in polls.
One MP deserted Merkel's centre-right Christian Democratic Union this weekend over her refugee policy, as the Chancellor tees up a re-election bid later this year.
Trump said that he would start out "trusting both" Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"Let's see how long that lasts, may not last long at all," he went on.

While he allowed that Merkel was a "fantastic leader," the Republican said that Germany had "got a clear impression" of the consequences of her policy from a deadly December 19 terrorist attack in Berlin in which a hijacked truck was used to mow down Christmas market patrons, killing 12.
Berlin suspect Anis Amri, a Tunisian national, entered Europe via Italy in 2011 and served a four-year prison sentence there before allegedly carrying out the attack.
Trump also argued that the mass arrivals in 2015 were "the final straw that broke the camel's back" in convincing British voters to back leaving the European Union in a June 24th referendum.
Pro-Leave campaigners warned in the wake of the crisis that refugees would flood into the UK, producing a poster showing a crowd of Middle Eastern men under the words "Breaking Point".
Britons were wise to choose to leave the 28-member union, Trump said, arguing that it was a "basically a vehicle for Germany."
"Other countries will leave" the European Union in future, Trump prophesied.
NATO 'obsolete'
In comments set to cause further consternation among eastern European NATO countries nervous about Moscow following Russia's annexation of Crimea and involvement in Ukraine, Trump also said NATO was "obsolete".

"I said a long time ago that NATO had problems," Trump told The Times of London and Bild
"Number one, it was obsolete, because it was designed many, many years ago," he said.
"Number two, the countries aren't paying what they're supposed to pay."

On the campaign trail, Trump said he would think twice about helping NATO allies if the United States were not "reasonably reimbursed" for the costs of defending them.
After Trump's victory, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance had been a bedrock of transatlantic security for "almost 70 years" and was especially needed at a time of new challenges.
Spending has been a common source of friction within the 28-nation alliance over recent years.
The core military contributor to the alliance is the United States, which accounts for about 70 percent of spending.
In 2014, stung into action by Russia's intervention in Ukraine, upheaval in the Middle East and North Africa, NATO leaders agreed to reverse years of defence cuts and devote the equivalent of two percent of economic output to defence.
"The countries aren't paying their fair share so we're supposed to protect countries," Trump said in Sunday's interview.
"There's five countries that are paying what they're supposed to. Five. It's not much."
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Monday that Trump's NATO remarks have caused concern at the US-led military alliance and also appeared at odds with his own officials.
Steinmeier said he had met NATO head Stoltenberg earlier on Monday "where the statements of President-elect Trump... were received with concern."
"This is in contradiction with what the American defence minister said in his hearing in Washington only some days ago and we have to see what will be the consequences for American policy," he added.

Source: https://www.thelocal.de/

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU party won the national election on Sunday by a clear margin. But they scored their worst result in almost 70 years, as the AfD had a night to remember. We're packing it in for the evening. Just like the campaigning itself, German elections are over with much less fuss than those in the UK and US... except for the fact that coalition building could take months.

Exit Polling shows Angela Merkel is set to become German Chancellor for a fourth time, as her party won a double-digit victory over their nearest rival. She seems pleased with the result, describing it as a good result after "an incredibly difficult legislative period."

The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) scored a better-than-expected result in the exit polls, set to win 13 percent or higher and thus become the third largest party in the Bundestag. Polling stations closed at 6pm, and exit polls immediately showed the Social Democrats (SPD) had slumped to a historic low in support.

The SPD have already ruled out joining another coalition, something other parties have called irresponsible. The only other possible coalition is Merkel's Union joining up with the Free Democrats and the Greens. But big ideological differences between the parties mean we might not have a new government until the new year.


9.20 - Merkel ‘optimistic’ she can build coalition before Christmas

There was no love lost between the Green Party and the Free Democrats (FDP) during the ARD TV round table, with FDP man Christian Lindner accusing the Greens of being idealistic and not realistic. Green party head Katrin Göring-Eckardt replied that she would put the environment at the centre of any coalition agreement, adding that she saw little common ground with the FDP. If a coalition is to be built though, it will most likely involve these two parties.

But Merkel finished the show by saying that she was “optimistic” she could build a coalition by the end of the year.

“Power lies in calmness,” she said, repeating the idea she had put across through the evening i.e. that when all the parties had had a good night's sleep they would see everything differently.

thelocal.de

If the biggest concerns of Mr.Trump`s victory last November were how to prevent him from rolling back the gains of the previous administration, destabilizing American democracy and the world order, addressing them has so far been most effectively done by president Donald J. Trump.

Mr. Trump's shocking defeat of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton put the future of a number of his predecessor`s legislative accomplishments and executive decisions including the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and a host of regulations that protected the environment and labor on a shaky ground. But the biggest threat was to the Affordable Care Act - also known as Obamacare - which was passed in 2010 by the Democrats and signed into law by then President Barack Obama. The law, which sets new standards for health insurance plans, creates a minimum benefit level for each plan, and most significantly prevents insurance companies from denying coverage to persons with pre-existing conditions has provided healthcare coverage to more than 10 million Americans. But by March of 2014, Republicans had attempted to repeal Obamacare more than 50 times. With a Republican-controlled House, Senate and White House following the November 2016 general election, the undoing of Mr. Obama`s signature legislative achievement looked all but done.

On the international front, the postwar world order and America's allies in Europe and elsewhere appeared destined for a bumpy ride following Mr. Trump`s victory last November. In an interview with the New York Times in July 2016, then-candidate Trump shocked the foreign policy establishment when he made U.S military support for its North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies conditional on their ability to meet their financial obligations to the alliance.When asked by the Times` Sanger to elaborate on what would happen under a Trump presidency to NATO members who did not meet their defense spending obligations he stated:

If we cannot be properly reimbursed for the tremendous cost of our military protecting other countries, and in many cases the countries I’m talking about are extremely rich… We’re talking about countries that are doing very well. Then yes, I would be absolutely prepared to tell those countries, “Congratulations, you will be defending yourself.”

To his credit, Mr. Trump was not the first to sound that alarm. At a news conference in Brussels in March 2014, then President Barack Obama stated:

I have had some concerns about a diminished level of defense spending among some of our partners in NATO; not all, but many. The trend lines have been going down… but the situation in Ukraine reminds us that our freedom isn’t free and we’ve got to be willing to pay for the assets, the personnel, the training that’s required to make sure that we have a credible NATO force and an effective deterrent force. And this can’t just be a U.S. exercise or a British exercise or one country’s efforts; everybody’s going to have to make sure that they are engaged and involved.

A goal set by NATO is for each member to spend at least 2% of its GDP on its own defense every year. That goal is currently being met by only 5 of the 28 members including the United States, Britain, Estonia, Greece, and Poland. But while Mr. Obama was talking about the importance of meeting the minimum 2% goal for the sake of the credibility and effectiveness of NATO, Mr. Trump made it a condition for US military defense of a NATO ally which is a clear violation of the collective defense clause or  Article 5 of the Washington Treaty.  And unlike the Republican nominee, his Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton did not hold such position, thereby making his candidacy and election the more worrisome for America's NATO allies.  

Also at stake following the election of Mr. Trump on the international front was the future of free trade. As a candidate for president, Mr. Trump was opposed to the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement and it was one of the few topics on which he and Mrs. Clinton were in agreement. But unlike Mrs. Clinton who once called the agreement the gold standard of free trade agreements, Mr. Trump`s position was consistent with his long-held belief that free trade with other countries - especially China - was bad for America. If it was ever likely that one of them would change his or her mind once in office, it was not Mr. Trump. His election, therefore, signaled the end of free trade as it was known.

On other issues including climate change and the use of nuclear weapons, Mr. Trump's position frightened both America`s allies and adversaries. He once called climate change a hoax invented by the Chinese in order to ``make US manufacturing non-competitive`` and as a candidate he promised to ``cancel`` the Paris climate accord. On  nuclear weapons,  then-candidate Trump reportedly asked a foreign policy expert ``if we have them, why can't we use them?``

But the threats to Obamacare, DACA, free trade, the environment, NATO and American democracy and global leadership that was signaled by Mr. Trump's election last November have so far been most effectively mitigated by... president Trump. Obamacare remains unrepealed after a third try this year and DACA is still in place and will likely be regardless of whether or not Congress do something about it over the next 5 months. Following Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord, a coalition of 227 American cities and counties and about 1,650 businesses and investors known as America's pledge has since moved to uphold the United States commitment to the accord. The United States remains committed to NATO and its NATO allies despite president Trump`s tough talk. While TPP is dead, the much-touted trade war with China has not materialized. Mr. Trump's travel ban is currently being challenged in the courts. Last month, the president was openly rebuked by his own secretary of defense James Mattis in an impromptu speech to U.S troops stationed overseas and following Mr. Trump's comments on the white supremacists rally in Charlottesville, his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson stated in an interview with Fox News that `` the president speaks for himself`` and presumably not for the country. His ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, has repeatedly and openly contradicted her boss on a number of foreign policy issues including Russia. The open rebukes and contradictions by the president's top officials have more than likely had the effect of reassuring America`s allies that Trump`s position is not necessarily the country`s position; shocking! And remember that wall that he was going to build with pesos?

No doubt his own appointees, the courts and the public which stood up against his agenda in town hall meetings across the country have assisted in stalling the Make America Great Again agenda. But it is becoming increasingly more difficult to deny that the main reason why president Trump has so far been unable to get anything done legislatively is primarily because of... president Trump.

Since he became president, many have attempted to clinically diagnose his mental stability or lack thereof. I resist from doing that since I am but a psychiatrist. However, I think it appropriate to judge Mr. Trump based on his public records from which two things are apparent: Mr. Trump cares mostly about Mr. Trump and he is shameless.

From the allegation that Barack Obama wiretapped him and the FBI covered up for Hillary Clinton to George W. Bush knowingly lied about weapons of mass destruction and the attacks on the so-called enemy of the American people - i.e. the media - and the judiciary , Mr. Trump has placed himself above the presidency and appears prepared to settle personal scores even at the cost of delegitimizing the most vital institutions of democratic governance.

In his defense, president Trump is not the first president or presidential candidate to criticize the press, past presidents or even the judiciary. A politician who is fully content with the press is no politician at all. Mr. Obama was critical of President George W. Bush both as a presidential candidate and as president. Mrs. Clinton was also critical of the FBI`s handling of her email investigation. But Mr. Trump's attacks are demonstrably different. His repeated attacks on the security agencies, the judiciary, and the press, for example, are intended not to merely point out specific flaws in individual actions or decisions but to destroy the very credibility of those institutions.

Mr. Trump's attacks are also different in another regard; they are largely founded in untruths. For instance, the allegation that Mr. Obama wiretapped him was found by his own justice department to be untrue. The allegation that the press falsely misrepresented the size of his inauguration crowd or the character of the white supremacists in the Charlottesville rally is not corroborated by any evidence. According to the New York Times, Mr. Trump told public lies or falsehoods every day for his first 40 days in office. If his frequent attacks on  the credibility of government institutions are characteristic of an individual who either does not understand the importance of trust in public institutions to the health of a democracy or simply does not care, his untruths and the frequency and ease with with he tells them are characteristic of an individual who has no shame; why else would his press secretary on his first full day in office lie about something as trivial in the grand scheme of things as the size of his inauguration crowd, something that can be easily proven as false by anyone with a smartphone or a computer?   

The president has been unable repeal Obamacare likely because he was too busyattacking the same Republicans in Congress with the votes to do so: He could not pull all of the United States out of the Paris agreement because his track record proves he has no credibility on the issue and cannot be trusted to come up with an alternative measure that is better for both the environment and for American workers; his travel ban has faced serious resistance in the courts because he cannot avoid contradicting himself on the internet and likely because of his attacks on the judiciary; he cannot abandon NATO  and America`s commitment to the bloc when his top officials do not even consider his views as representative of the views of the United States; his administration has been a theater of leakslikely because of his attacks on the security agencies and his own top officials continue to rebuke and depart from his position because they do not take him seriously.  

Other presidents have also encountered serious difficulties getting things done, but not when they controlled both the House and the Senate. At this stage eight years ago, President Obama and the Democratic-controlled House and Senate were well on their way to passing the Affordable Care Act. Outside of the Supreme Court nomination of Neil Gorsuch, the Trump administration has no other major legislative accomplishment to boast of and the road ahead looks all but promising.

Furthermore, the fear that Trump`s rise would energize right-wing movements and parties across Europe has not fully materialized. In France, Marine Le Pen of the Far Right National Front party was strongly rejected by French voters earlier this year. In Germany however, the far right Alternative for Deutschland (AFD) did quite well with 12.6% of the total votes in last weekend's election, making it the third largest political party in Germany. Yet it is my belief that the right-wing movements in Europe would have been much more energized and both Le Pen and the AFD would have done far better had the Trump presidency been effective.

But so far, it has not been the Geniuses of Madison and Jefferson or the unstoppable force of the resistance movement that has mostly stalled Trumpism across Europe and the Make America Great Again agenda at home; it has mostly been Mr. Trump himself, a strange ally to his own resisters.

 By: Mohammed Adawulai
 TopAfric Media Network

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