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Trump and his Superheroes

Dr. Arshad M. Khan

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Chivalry and knights errant long past, Donald Trump has brought forth the dawn of a new age:  the grab-em-by-the-p****y  and bully ’em era.  Juxtaposing Congresswoman Ilhan Omar with the burning buildings of 9/11 has had a not unexpected result:  death threats.

Although the Donald’s primitive advances have an equivalent female response frowned upon in Deuteronomy (Ch 25, v.11), and Ilhan Omar is quite capable of giving as good as she gets verbally, nobody can defend against a right-wing extremist, lapping every word Trump spits out, who takes it upon himself to ‘defend’ his country at Omar’s expense.

Trump’s behavior is at the least irresponsible, lacking in the courtesy and gravitas appropriate to his position, and at worst demeaning to his office.  All of which matters little to this man whose narcissistic world centers around himself and apparently his family.

We have the famous son-in-law and Middle East ‘expert’ with a doubtful security clearance …  approved at the behest of his father-in-law.  He can be relied upon to produce a peace plan that is dead on arrival.  Then there is his wife, the presidential daughter, a master of all trades.

This week we have learned she was offered the top job at the World Bank.  Not for her any knowledge of economics, or banking, or an executive background in engineering or industry, or country development experience.  None of that matters.  A top job becomes simply a matter of yea or nay to proposals put forward by assistants.  Informed judgement?

According to her father, she is a natural diplomat.  Diplomacy inculcated on the knee of her father no doubt.  Or was it simply a consequence of living and dealing with him.  As it turns out, the President considered her for the post of Ambassador to the UN; again no need for any foreign policy experience, or a background in politics as preparation for that den of intrigue.  All that’s for lesser mortals, although we can imagine her chances in any kind of negotiation with the Chinese, Russian or any other old salts.  But then of course she’d be armed with ‘The Art of the Deal’ supposedly authored by her father but actually penned by a ghost writer who subsequently had twinges of conscience.

He is not the only one with second thoughts.  Trump’s first Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, is reputed to have privately called him ‘a f***king moron’.  In public he described him in more refined but less pithy fashion.  He said it was difficult to work for someone “who is pretty undisciplined, doesn’t like to read, doesn’t read briefing reports … just kind of says, ‘This is what I believe.'”  The frightening thing about all this is that we have him occupying the highest office in the land: when one doesn’t read, one cannot make informed judgments; when one doesn’t read, just beliefs (biases) remain, and decisions are rendered thereof. 

Trump’s response was to call Tillerson “lazy as hell”.  One doesn’t get to be CEO of a company like Exxon Mobil and remain in that position for eleven years by being ‘lazy as hell.”  In the same tweet Trump lavished praise on Mike Pompeo, the then new Secretary of State and the nation’s top diplomat.

There must be something less than diplomatic now in Pompeo’s dealings with North Korea as Kim Jong Un its leader now refuses to talk to him.  He has asked that he be replaced with a more ‘mature’ envoy.  The country has also tested a new ‘tactical guided weapon’.  Is that back to square one for the Trump/Kim bromance?

Dr. Arshad M. Khan is a former Professor based in the US. Educated at King's College London, OSU and The University of Chicago, he has a multidisciplinary background that has frequently informed his research. Thus he headed the analysis of an innovation survey of Norway, and his work on SMEs published in major journals has been widely cited. He has for several decades also written for the press: These articles and occasional comments have appeared in print media such as The Dallas Morning News, Dawn (Pakistan), The Fort Worth Star Telegram, The Monitor, The Wall Street Journal and others. On the internet, he has written for Antiwar.com, Asia Times, Common Dreams, Counterpunch, Countercurrents, Dissident Voice, Eurasia Review and Modern Diplomacy among many. His work has been quoted in the U.S. Congress and published in its Congressional Record.

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Americas

Coronavirus is Trump’s most important electoral rival

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The Earth is intertwined with space in various group, ethnic, religious, national, and other forms. National spaces within countries are the most important phenomena shaping the geographic space of the Earth. These spaces have been divided into more than 200 countries in the form of different democratic and non-democratic political systems as dominant spaces in different forms. Citizens in each of these countries, especially in democratic countries, are struggling to elect people to serve as political directors of the President and Prime Minister and representatives of the political space in order to organize the best program for ordering the country. Although sometimes in the specific geographical environment and the shortcomings of how people vote, they have a profound effect on the way of some candidates vote, but with the transition to calm and a return to calm, the geography and timing of citizens’ responsibilities and duties expects the President-elect, Prime Minister, etc, not only to work well in that constituency-based environment, such as economic problems, but also in all areas able to manage and advance geographic space as an active and powerful actor. As a matter of fact, any lack of planning in various areas, especially in security issues, would be a disadvantage not only for citizens but also as an impediment to sending political leaders to space.

In the meantime, the current conditions on the global space caused by the coronavirus in various ways have targeted the security of geographical spaces and citizens. Citizens expect their managers to have the best strategy and plan to control and cope with the crisis. There are two types of clashes between politicians. There are a group of real politicians who, with their systematic and scientific minds, understand the situation and try to enter the country with the least challenge and cross the geographical space of their country with the least difficulty, the least social and cultural harm. Among them is the German Prime Minister Angela Merkel, who, as a real politician based on understanding the situation, responded quickly, removing the country’s geographical space from a passive confrontation with coronavirus and preventing strategy, to a large extent control these issues and problems within the country.

On the other hand, some politicians who are not real and have been able to enter into the political management of space in various forms of bargaining, surfing, etc. in the face of coronavirus, have taken the most passive plan and strategy in the form of denial, failure and seriousness. And so they have taken their geographic space to crisis. In the meantime, it is worth mentioning the US president Trump who dealt with cronavirus unintentionally and led the country into a crisis. With this kind of confrontation with Trump, coronavirus (of course, among other things) no longer seems to have any hope of an upcoming election.

Overall, we hope that citizens in different countries will opt for real politicians, because the wrong choices based on looks, decorations, fleeting needs, etc. will not only regulate the geographical space of their lives, but also will cause widespread mismanagement and even shaping, it will provide them with a life of insecurity. In today’s complex global conditions we need real politicians not politician players in the local, national, regional and even global arena. In this way, this vast interconnected can be organized and provided security and peace for its citizens.

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Americas

Covid-19: Why the US is hit so hard?

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Negative approach, delayed actions, and wrong policies resulted in making the US the most hard-hit country in the world. With confirmed cases 104,256, the US has surpassed the rest of the world. The second highest cases were reported 86,498 in Italy and third 81,394 in China. Italy is a country with the highest number of deaths 9,134, Spain5, 138, and China 3,295.

Globally, the confirmed Coronavirus cases have reached 597,501, and deaths 27,371. The figure kept on increasing rapidly over time. This figure is not close to facts, as the number of tests conducted are very much limited. Even it is beyond the capacity of the Developed World to test each suspect individually, no way to talk about the developing world and underdeveloped countries. It has already entered into a horrible threat to humankind.

Although the Trump Administration has taken good initiative now, but the delay has caused enormous damage already. In time decisions and right policies might have saved a lot. 2 Trillion Dollars package is a very positive step, and other measures are Encouraging. The US is one of the largest economies, the wealthiest nation, and most developed and advanced in Science & Technology. The US can overcome the epidemic. Just have to bear a high cost only.

The Chinese government and Chinese people have been brave as they took on this formidable task. Since the beginning, they fought against the outbreak, put people’s life and health first. They acted according to the overall principle of shoring up confidence, strengthening unity, ensuring science-based control and treatment, and imposed targeted measures. China mobilized the whole nation, set up collective control and treatment mechanisms, and acted with openness and transparency.  China has put up a strenuous struggle and made tremendous sacrifices. Now the situation in China is moving steadily in a positive direction with very few new cases and deaths.

Last two months, China was struggling to overcome epidemic and focused only on its goal to save human lives and eliminate the virus. China ignore all criticism, pressures, and bashing from the outside world and concentrated all energies to fight against Covid-19. China mobilized all national resources, supported by the public, and finally won over the epidemic.

When China was over-engaged in its war against Coronavirus, the US administration was engaged, blaming China, bashing China, criticizing China, and trying to undermine China. Using the derogatory remarks and media was publishing anti-China sentiments in the form of articles or cartoons. Humiliating Chinese nationals in the western world were witnessed. But could not harm China at all. President US administration wasted time unintentionally.

The Trump Administration also failed to help out its allies at the most challenging moment, when Italy, France, UK, Spain were at a very initial stage. If, since the beginning, the US has helped its allies, it might not spread so widely and may not reach the US.

It is true, no single country was prepared for such an awkward situation, and no single country trounce the outbreak. But collectively, it should have been suppressed in Wuhan only. There is a shortage of Masks, Testing Kits, Ventilators, and Sanitizers, etc. If the whole world pooled all possible resources and helped China, the situation must be different today. I think the evacuation of foreigners from China has caused a lot of damage too. The hostility, selfishness, and casual attitude toward China proved wrong.

China is helping many countries, especially the hard-hit countries like Italy, Spain, Iran, etc. China is donating medical supplies, and dispatching medical teams to support the respective government to fight against the epidemic. Chinese proved-experience can be used as guidelines. China is sharing its experience publically with everyone.

Virus is not bias, do not recognize boundaries, race, religion, or ethnicity. Why we discriminate against each other, I believe it is time to think seriously and unite to defeat any epidemic.

 I believe, if the US administration keeps politics aside, and think for humanity, realign its approach and correct its policies, still can recover. Late, but better than never.

The recommendations put forward by the virtual G-20 Summit held on 26 March 2020, are pertinent and can be implemented immediately. I am sure the US congress is full of wise people, either from the opposition or ruling side, may ensure the right steps toward defeating the epidemic globally. 

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Americas

Covid-19 Exposes the Good and the Indifferent

Dr. Arshad M. Khan

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Father Giuseppe-Berardelli

The coronavirus crisis has brought out the worst … and the best in people.  Hoarding, panic buying is one result — but who can blame anyone in a country where the president awash in platitudes, has essentially left people to fend for themselves.

There is now a fairer $2 trillion package, with help for individuals and not mostly for businesses, that required the hand of Congress.  With people forced to sit at home, many are not getting paid and need the help.

Amid the chaos and insensitivity of billionaire presidents, there is hope in man’s natural inclination for sacrifice in extremis.  Father Giuseppe Berardelli, 72, died in Lovere, Bergamo, (in the epicenter of the epidemic) early this month.  His parishioners had bought a respirator for him when he was afflicted by the virus, but Father Berardelli, instead of using is for himself, instructed the hospital staff to give it to a younger person.  He was the main priest in the nearby town of Casnigo, where his parishioners applauded from balconies and windows as his coffin was taken for burial.

Italy is now the worst affected country in the world.  As of Thursday night, it has had 80,589 cases and 8215 deaths, the latter more than double anywhere else — China, where the epidemic began, has reported 81,782 cases but far fewer deaths.  Measures taken to stop the spread including gradually strung out lockdown measures taken from February 23 on have not been as effective as hoped.  If the virus is that infectious, is the answer complete lockdown with police patrols to ensure it?

At the other end of the scale from Father Berardelli is the supposed ‘leader of the free world’.  It would have to be a most irresponsible, reprehensible, shamelessly disgraceful and indifferent plutocrat who did not educate himself on an affliction endangering his people.

At his press conferences we see a host of officials huddled close to him, not just to dilute his responsibility, but also violating the social distancing precept being advocated.

Since the early days, Donald Trump has called the virus first a “hoax”, then in control, the epidemic itself “pretty much shut down”, and always adding the platitudinous “it’s going to be fine”.

He has said the cases were “going substantially down,” and then that the virus “would disappear”.  When the virus had spread widely enough to be named a pandemic by the World Health Organization, he claimed he had “always known” about the severity of the threat.  He now says it will be over by Easter.

In times of crisis, the American people rally behind their president.  For example, after the 9/11 attack, President George W. Bush’s ratings were hitting the high 80s to over 90 percent, as the country awaited a response to overcome the crisis.  Yet even then the country did not come to a standstill as it is in many parts at present. Trump’s approval ratings are at his highs — 49 percent (Gallup), 46 percent (Monmouth University) the best in three years. 

The stunning information on coronavirus infections from the John Hopkins University dashboard shows the US now leading the world with more than 86,000 cases.  Then there is Donald Trump.  We cannot go on like this, he said,  “We’ve got to open up,” so the economy can get back on track … meaning business wins hands down over people’s lives in his calculus. 

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