(ANTIMEDIA Op-ed) — Donald J. Trump has been obsessed with refugees for some time, scapegoating vulnerable populations across the world and ultimately banning them from the United States. He expressed these sentiments throughout his campaign, and to this day, the president has extended his ludicrous travel ban to North Korea, Venezuela, and Chad (a partner in the fight against the ruthless terror group Boko Haram).
But for a man who despises refugees so much, he is single-handedly creating an endless supply of them through his excessively violent policies. To be sure, Barack Obama enacted more or less the same policies for a significant period of time, but Trump is already well on his way to surpassing Obama’s violence well under a year in office.
From the Conversation:
“According to research from the nonprofit monitoring group Airwars, the first seven months of the Trump administration have already resulted in more civilian deaths than under the entirety of the Obama administration. Airwars reports that under Obama’s leadership, the fight against IS led to approximately 2,300 to 3,400 civilian deaths. Through the first seven months of the Trump administration, they estimate that coalition air strikes have killed between 2,800 and 4,500 civilians.”
One should also bear in mind that the number of civilian deaths is likely to be underreported even with Airwars’ much-needed research. In his first six months, President Trump had already dropped 20,650 bombs in an air war in which he gave military generals free rein to call in airstrikes with no oversight. This includes Iraqi generals, too, and as we saw throughout the year, hundreds of civilians were being buried at any one time.
As Micah Zenko of the Council on Foreign Relations has noted, those who are “closer to the fight are more likely to call in lethal force and are less likely to follow a value-based approach.”
The Conversation continued:
“Researchers also point to another stunning trend – the ‘frequent killing of entire families in likely coalition airstrikes.’ In May, for example, such actions led to the deaths of at least 57 women and 52 children in Iraq and Syria.”
Donald Trump supporters who share his distaste for refugees need to ask themselves why they support a policy that exacerbates the suffering of civilians and creates refugees out of thin air. Further, if they see this as a necessary price to pay as part and parcel of Trump’s campaign promise to eradicate the terror group ISIS, it should also be noted that these policies are taking place in theaters that don’t concern ISIS as the major target.
The Conversation explains:
“The vast increase in civilian deaths is not limited to the anti-IS campaign. In Afghanistan, the U.N. reports a 67 percent increase in civilian deaths from U.S. airstrikes in the first six months of 2017 compared to the first half of 2016.”
Antiwar activists thought Obama was violent enough, particularly for a peace prize laureate. However, Trump is taking American-led violence to levels not seen since Vietnam and Korea during the Cold War. All the while, he continues to ban innocent people from countries that have posed almost no risk to the American homeland while his policies systematically destroy the very nations these people are fleeing. Further, Trump is rewarding countries that actively fund terrorism in a host of nations, giving them billions of dollars in arms and declining to restrict their travel movements.
Anyone naive enough to believe this recent spate of violence is merely a short escalation in order to completely decimate ISIS should understand that this is only the beginning. If anything, Donald Trump is merely warming up.
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