On Life in the Time of Terrorism and Trump
Yesterday I was strolling in Columbus Circle, the busy juncture where Broadway and Central Park West meet and subway lines converge. It is a beautiful area of mid-Manhattan with ornate statuary commemorating America’s past wars in Grand Army Plaza, and the entrance to Central Park – a natural jewel in Manhattan’s concrete crown – on one side of the busy intersection – and the Jazz at Lincoln center complex on the other, America’s newest cultural icon. Usually I am exhilarated when I am in this public space, abuzz with the marvelous mosaic of human diversity who have journeyed from all over the world, where a glance southward affords one a birds eye view of the magnificent skyscrapers that shape the world famous New York Skyline….but when I am there now I am no longer at ease
The magnificent silver globe mounted on a pedestal that towers above the subway entrance once intrigued me as a striking new addition to long standing land marks in Columbus Circle, which is why I photographed it, but now when I look at it I feel a sense of dread, danger and impending doom.
That’s because this globe serves as an Icon for the Trump Hotel that now sits just a few feet away. Which means that it has become a prime target of terrorists because America’s President Elect, Donald Trump, is too greedy and arrogant to divest himself of these properties the way other Presidents have done. Jimmy Carter sold his little peanut farm in Georgia when he became President, but as with everything else “The Donald” – a megalomaniacal New York real estate hustler with the business ethics of a pirate – is doing it his way.
The Entrance to Central Park
People of all Nation’s Congregate Here
Jazz at Lincoln Center
A New Cultural Icon
From all appearances Donald Trump’s policies will greatly enrich the ranks of Islamic Jihadists and increase the attempts at terrorist attacks, and anything which bears the Trump name will be prime targets, the destruction of which will bring glory to the name of the Jihadists who carry out these attacks against the treasures of the “Great Satin” and win them and, their 70 virgins, a special place in the Gardens of Allah.
All of the learned experts on the Jihadist movement have concluded that Trump’s approach to dealing with the Islamic world will provide recruiting materials for the Modern Jihad that is far better than the best television advertising that money could buy. Malcolm Nance, author of the book “How to Defeat Isis,” and one of the brightest scholars on the Jihadist movement warns:
“Good God, they’re probably cutting videos of this right now. Donald Trump is validating the cartoonish view that they tell their operatives…that America is a racist nation, xenophobic, anti-Muslim, and that that’s why you must carry out terrorist attacks against them…It’s irresponsible and it needs to stop.”
It is obvious from the moves he’s making and the thoughtless belligerent drivel that flows from his mouth, that Donald does not understand this. And General Flynn, his National Security Advisor appears to be just as clueless. Both of them seem to be intent on waging Samuel Huntington’s “war of civilizations.”
The problem with this approach to the modern Islam Jihad, which was largely inspired by the transgressions Christian warriors of the West in Muslim lands, is that they are going to turn what is now a war with certain forces in the Middle-East into a war with the billion believers in the entire Muslim world.
This is the point that Malcolm Nance is making when he points out that “Trump’s position is just what Osama Bin Ladin preached.” George Bush was so aware of the danger that could result from such thinking that right after the devastating 9/11 attack on the US by Al Qaeda militants that he visited a Mosque and declared that the US was not at war with Islam, and even accused the attackers of being apostates who were misrepresenting Islam!
Looking at the situation we now find ourselves in regarding the US presidency, George Bush is suddenly beginning to look like a leader of Solomonic wisdom. This is due in large part because he had some foreign policy pros around him, and he listened to their advice. Trump is surrounded by right-wing ideologues with no actual experience with either politics or diplomacy. Hence in the President Elect we have the political equivalent of a rudderless ship adrift at sea; anything can happen. However, based on what we know about mass transformative movements, Trumps actions will prove to be like throwing gasoline on a smoldering fire!
The Downtown View from Columbus Circle
New Yorkers who lived through 9/11 can easily imagine them crumbling
Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem, New York
Decembar 22, 2016