Saturday, December 19, 2015
FIFTH REPUBLICAN PARTY PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE: META DATA, NATIONAL SECURITY AND IMMIGRATION REVISTED
Keywords or Terms: ‘Baddest Cowboy’ in the White House; Ted Cruz; Donald Trump; Lindsey Graham; Hostility; Hate; Retribution; Blanketing Statement; Data Mining; Civil Liberties; Immigration Laws; Islamic Jihadist; Extremism; Muslim Emigration; Middle Eastern Allies; Quran; Islamic Nations; Turkey, Morocco, Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, Algeria and Indonesia; International and Domestic Violence; State of Israel; State of Pakistan; Eight Amendment of US Constitution; and, United Nations Convention Against Torture (UNCAT) signatory
2016 Republican Presidential aspirants described their goal for America as a return to a “World of Wars”. After the Islamic Jihadists attack in Paris and San Bernardino, the fear that has been the essence of these two attacks probably served as a pedestal for two of the Republican aspirants to prescribe, just in the mode of what both attacks were meant to accomplish by their perpetrator: hostility, hate and retribution. Senator Ted Cruz would bomb ISIS out and former Reality Show host, Donald Trump, has no problem with killing immediate family members of suspected terrorists. As if the Republican aspirants were seeking to outdo each other at the party’s fifth presidential debate, each talking over each other, presented a bravado that made many wondered if Republicans truly learned anything from the alleged shortcomings of the last Republican White House. While one or two of them were actually reflective, Rand Paul and Rick Santorum, Lindsey Graham came out with a tirade, saying he misses George W. Bush, an allusion and unlatching admiration of the last Republican Administration of alleged ill-repute.
The basic security issues facing the nation are not the mining of citizen’s meta data in an effort to counter terrorism, reforming immigration laws in light of wave of illegal immigration and quelling citizens fear in light of increasing possibility of another homeland attacks; rather, it is how to better balance citizens’ liberties with the security agencies’ right to know, and countering or stopping another Islamic Jihadist or sympathizers’ attack; making a transition from a nation with discountenanced or unenforced immigration laws to one with acknowledged and enforced immigration laws, without violating the civil rights of the huge undocumented immigrants among us; and, enlisting unflinching support from Middle-Eastern Allies who understand to an extent, the nature of extremism of Islamic Jihadist groups bent on destroying America, without being perceived as disrespectful of the Islamic Faith, or making blanketing statements that categorize all Muslims, in and out of America, as terrorists.
The bravado exhibited by Cruz and Trump at the fifth Republican Party debate is fraught with danger. At this juncture, it is safe to say, Middle-Eastern and Islamic nations are not living in a world of tranquility with the rising extremism among the ranks of their religion. To a great extent if not to their credit, religious leadership in many of these Islamic nations (Turkey, Morocco, Uzbekistan and Indonesia) and their governments are probably in comparative disillusion and tumults about rising extremisms in their religion. The audacity of the multiplicities of international and domestic violence from Islamic Jihadists, who appear to have hijacked the religion and continue to inflict mayhem and or broadcast hatred to the West, are as worrisome to men and women of Islamic faith as they are to Americans. A few of them are even completely perplexed and taken aback by the claim of these extreme groups regarding the teachings of Quran, with some of them issuing out apologetic official statements regarding their complete dissociations from terrorism and the new order of interpretation of the provisions of Quran.
At an Individual or microcosm level, the execrated Islamic Jihadist groups’ attacks across the globe, are not only petrifying to many within the religion just as it has been for the West; but appears to have backfired with huge publicity issues with countries and leadership in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, Algeria, Indonesia, Turkey, and other moderate majority Muslim states, casting the Islamic Religion as very violent and hostile to civility; a far cry from what many in the religion consider as a peaceful religion. What these countries and religious leadership probably see as their portion with rising extremism of Islamic Jihadists, and probably admonish and characterize with the words: “We are ashamed, fed up, mystified, confused and disillusioned with the repeated violence of extreme groups among us and we do not have an immediate solution to the canker-worm that appears to have engulfed our religion”; however, with all deference, remember not all apples on a tree are bad.
Of course, the call for exemption of Muslims’ emigration into America and the profound disparagement of people of the religion and the current promise to annihilate Muslims and their families by Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, play readily into the narrative that Americans and the West do not respect the Islamic faith and those who practice it. Not only will the perceived religious bigotry of the two 2016 Republican aspirants mirror the nature of extremism associated with terrorists, they are truly reminiscent of a presidential aspirant fanning fear and hatred of a segment of our society; and, this is truly telling about six weeks to the first caucus or primary voting in the State of Iowa. Worst still, this new comments from probably the two front-runner in the Republican Party of 2016 presidential nomination exercise are likely to serve as ideological baggage that turns some supporters away, while gaining some credibility and or credence with like-minded voters who see the world from the prism fashioned out by Donald and Ted at the fifth Republican Party debate.
The perceived US government alliances with Centrist Middle Eastern Islamic States remain fragile with the continued derogation of Muslims and Islamic Faith by potential flag bearer of America’s Republican Party. If Donald Trump and Ted Cruz continue to build on their extremism on Muslims, either on Islamic Jihadists across the globe or American Muslims, the current meager support America is receiving in terms of intelligence gathering in fighting international terrorism and maintaining global security and stability, have the tendency to fail and create additional headaches to things on the ground; as the insensitive derogation, are more likely to provoke serious conflicts in the relations between America and the Islamic world. The current fear of domestic and international terrorists is not necessarily Germaine to America, there are also profound fears among some Islamic States’ governments, and many of their leadership are continually seeking avenues to counter the machinations of the terrorist groups and move beyond the adverse public relations created by Islamic Jihadists’ attacks on cities as Paris and San Bernardino. Believe it or not, the nemesis for some of the Islamic State governments are so grieving that a few of them have actually taken it upon themselves to take out a few of these terrorists within their borders.
While there are reasons to believe that Ted Cruz and Donald Trump are probably aware of the fear they are arousing among the populace for their personal political ambition, both have failed to calm the average American fear of terrorism or built confidence in current initiatives pursued by US government to stay abreast of both domestic and global terrorism. The denigration of minorities in America, which began with Donald Trump in the past seven months and culminated in Ted Cruz’s newly found strategy to garnering votes for his political ambition, are hardly going to dissuade rather committed Islamic Jihadists. The ideological promise or bravado to annihilate the Islamic extremists is hardly a source of succor for those apprehensive of terrorist group(s). When Donald Trump cancelled his visit to the State of Israel this week to meet Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, he probably lost an opportune chance to hear first-person experience in fighting terrorism or religious war in over half a decade. The Irish Liberation Army would teach Ted Cruz a thing or two about fighting religious wars. No-one ever wins a religious war; and, no matter how badly we will like to derail and destroy ISIS, their preconceived notion that they are fighting a religious war makes fighting them a rather tough challenge. This is why global terrorism seems like fighting a chameleon war with a chameleon group of extremists across the globe. It is just a tough enterprise that requires time and patience!
There are so much to learn from two of the legacies of 9/11 terrorist attacks: 1) allegation that US engaged in torture to obtain information regarding actual and potential terrorist attacks on the homeland between 2002 and 2007; 2) the firestorm of unintended consequences of engaging the State of Pakistan, a loose and fragile nuclear power, in dislodging one of the terrorist groups, Al Qaeda. The after effect of the first consequence led to the issue of data mining domestically to get an edge on potential terrorist threats; an issue civil libertarians frown on, and one which became a football between Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Donald Trump in the fifth debate. For all intense and purpose, Pakistan became an unwilling partner to the US because of influence of religious terrorists within her borders, and probably its convoluted position of being an unwitting sanctuary for terrorist groups; both of which made trust of the partnership, difficult. This ultimately has become the consequential effect of partnering to engage global terrorism. Now, imagine the hypothetical promise from Donald Trump to bomb terrorists’ immediate family and Ted Cruz’s proposed attempt to bomb ISIS out? What are likely to be outcomes of such engagements or actions by the US government with respect to domestic and international laws? What are going to happen to the international treaties that America has been signatory? Most important, these proposed actions by Republican Presidential aspirants run afoul of the use of degrading treatments or punishments as contained in the United Nations Convention Against Torture (UNCAT), a treated US is a signatory.
Apart from violating the eighth amendment of the US Constitution, prohibition of cruel and unusual punishments and specific provisions of US signed international treaty like UNCAT, the two Republican proposed actions fall under auspices of national and international criminality; and, spun other national security concerns. In other words, we are about to elect criminals to run the office of the US Presidency, if either of these two people end up in the oval office. This essentially is the nemesis of their construed proposals; and, an example of one of the allegations against the last Republican Administration. Incidentally, this is the unfortunate challenge or backlash, the US has been attempting to reel out since the advent of Obama’s Administration; and consequent to our choice to be a nation of law and order, which commands international respect as the only Super Power left standing across the globe. Proposals like Cruz’s and Trumps have consequences and no reasonable leader, Christian or Non-Christian, Jewish or Non-Jewish; Muslim or Non-Muslim, Atheist or Non-Atheist, has a chance of surviving with this kind of mind set once in the office of the US President, no matter how novel an ambition, or basis of political or legal argument; thither the security exigency.
It appears from the fifth Republican Presidential Aspirants’ debate that fierce competition, a drive to out-do each other on the rostrum, reduced the debate to the level of who is able to be the “Baddest Cowboy” in the White House’s oval office? While Ted’s and Donald’s rhetoric may appear appeasing to an increasingly frustrated and frightful citizenry about terrorism, they open up other “whoop lashes”, a couple that could relegate us to the level of ISIS, Kahane Chai, Irish Republican Army and Basque Fatherland and Liberty. Fear tends to arouse euphoria; and sometimes, a complete sense of indecency and shallow introspect from deft and non-creative leaders. The average American wants their leader to protect them from danger without violating the provisions of US Constitution; and, probably, all provisions of signed International Treaties. From the debate, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump appears to be saying they are not ready to uphold this; this ultimately disqualifies them from becoming the President of the United States.