Trump, Iran and mixing up the issues
So what’s the aim of all these loud confrontations which the US President Donald Trump is involved in?
We have wasted many years without differentiating between Iran’s interests and our own interests and without differentiating between honest causes and fake ones. The Iranian regime has succeeded in exploiting our causes, such as the Palestinian cause, and other Arabs’ and Muslim causes, and has used them to achieve its aims.
Many could only comprehend this truth when it was too late and realized it after they saw Iran’s crimes in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Bahrain. We will see how Iran, and parties which are in its camp, repeat their acts and launch campaigns to confront the new administration in the United States and other governments which oppose them. Therefore, we must not mix up facts and interests. Let Iran and its friends fight on their own.
So what’s the aim of all these loud confrontations which the US President Donald Trump is involved in? I think his aim is to establish presidential popularity to confront his rivals – and there are many – in the media, the Democratic Party, the Congress and others.
For instance, due to citizens’ complaints that foreigners are taking their jobs, he decided to build a wall with the country’s neighbor Mexico to prevent illegal immigration of more than 700,000 people a year. Since there are worries of terrorism, he banned the citizens of seven Islamic countries, where there is chaos and terror, from entering the US for three months. Since labor unions oppose American companies which open their factories outside the US, he pledged he will impose fines on their imported goods.
In order to convince those who criticize government contracts that he is against corruption, he returned two major contracts for review. One of these contracts is for building his presidential airplane. Since there are conservative people who are against abortion, he ordered to suspend government spending on abortions, and so on.
We cannot say Trump is against Muslims. Proof to that is he is building a wall to prevent the illegal immigration of Mexicans who are mostly Christians. He promised he will deport illegal residents in the US and they are more than 11 million, most of whom are not MuslimsAbdulrahman al-Rashed
Not against Muslims
We cannot say Trump is against Muslims. Proof to that is he is building a wall to prevent the illegal immigration of Mexicans who are mostly Christians. He promised he will deport illegal residents in the US and they are more than 11 million, most of whom are not Muslims. From among 57 Muslim countries, Trump only imposed a travel ban on seven of them because there are wars, unrest and a weak central authority there.
Most countries stall granting visas to these countries’ residents because there is no central authority they can coordinate with on the security level. Terrorism is not limited to these countries as there is terrorism in countries in central Asia.
There is terrorism in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and other Muslim countries. There is even terrorism in western countries like Belgium, France, Italy and others. The reason Trump banned these seven countries from traveling to the US is because there are no central governments and security apparatuses which they can coordinate with and thus decrease threats.
Trump’s battle is not with Muslims or Mexicans but it’s with the American street. Trump feels that he made promises to his voters and he will try and keep up most of these promises which people elected him for. Despite his insistence, he may not win his battles as a result of popular protests and due to legal obstructions. In all cases, this is an internal American affair.
The US is the country which benefitted from migrants, refugees and naturalized citizens the most. It even benefitted from illegal residents in managing its economy, which is a major force in the world. The American experience of containing others has become inspiring for many countries which seek economic competition. These countries have altered their standards which are now relevant to the gains and benefits which laborers bring to the state and the market.
It is normal for those who are unemployed or who are less fortunate in the society to reject these foreigners. This happens in all societies due to competition for job opportunities and tussle among political parties which use these issues in their electoral campaigns, like Trump did.
The new enthusiastic president with all the power he has will not be able to prevent terrorism or to deport all illegal residents or to prevent people from illegally entering the US through Mexico. However, he will try to achieve whatever he can inside the US.
The same goes to his work on the foreign level as he will not win all his battles. Perhaps the most important of his decisions is not cooperating with Iran. This will anger Tehran which will direct its puppets in Gaza, Iraq, Syria and Yemen and extremist groups which falsely operate under the name of Islam against him.
This article was first published in Asharq Al-Awsat on February 01 2017.
Abdulrahman al-Rashed is the former General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. A veteran and internationally acclaimed journalist, he is a former editor-in-chief of the London-based leading Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat, where he still regularly writes a political column. He has also served as the editor of Asharq al-Awsat’s sister publication, al-Majalla. Throughout his career, Rashed has interviewed several world leaders, with his articles garnering worldwide recognition, and he has successfully led Al Arabiya to the highly regarded, thriving and influential position it is in today. He tweets @aalrashed.