The following is a list of REAL threats to the American people, not America’s financial interests, not its elites, but threats to the lives and prosperity of everyday people in all 50 states.
1. International terrorism
By its definition, international terrorism is a danger to the entire planet. From long-wolf psychopaths with weapons or weaponised devises (such as trucks or cars) to organised gangs of saboteurs or militants including ISIS, al-Qaeda and those of an FSA jihadist mindset, this is a danger that not only effects Americans but people in Syria, Iraq, Russia, India, Pakistan, Egypt, France, Germany, Libya, Nigeria, Belgium, Holland, Indonesia, Philippines, Australia and these are just some recent examples of places and nationalities targeted by terrorists.
Donald Trump has shown some hopeful signs in understanding the essence of fighting international terrorism, though they still remain incomplete.
The key element in fighting terrorism is not to have a foreign policy which funds, arms or politically encourages terrorism. Trump’s stoppage of the CIA’s programme (begun under Obama) to arm jihadists in Syria is a small step in the right direction.
America either leaving Syria or fighting terrorism alongside the coalition led by the legitimate government of Syria is another important step. The deal to jointly enforce a ceasefire in south-western Syria along with Syrian coalition member Russia is again, a small but incomplete step in the right direction.
The second step is to close borders to those without clear documents or intentions, or those from known terrorist breeding grounds. Again, Trump has emphasised the right points here, although the countries that ought to be on the list should include places like Saudi Arabia to name just one.
After this, all that remains is good old fashioned policing, something that Trump also seems to be in favour of. Censorship of free speech is never the answer and Trump would appear to be staying away from such bogus solutions to fighting terrorism, something which separates him from corrupt European leaders.
2. Constant war
The wars America has fought over the last decades have done far more to harm the American people than they have helped them or anyone else in the world.
The illegal war on Yugoslavia in 1999 has enabled a terrorist organisation called the KLA to occupy the Serbian province of Kosovo and Metohija which under its rule is now a breeding ground for groups like ISIS. The same is increasingly true of America’s regional puppet state, the Republic of Albania.
The war in Iraq turned a country which was a sworn enemy of jihadist groups into the place where al-Qaeda became stronger than ever and the place where ISIS was born.
Libya, once a country that cooperated with the US against al-Qaeda and similar groups is now a failed state built on the world’s largest terrorist training camp.
Of course one can go back to the 1980s where the US funded Osama bin-Laden’s Mujaheddin which morphed into al-Qaeda.
All of these wars have made the world less stable, have created many opportunities for terrorists and in the process have got many American military personnel killed for no good reason.
These wars have also cost the United States billions of Dollars that could have been spent at home on anything from roads, airports and schools to healthcare or investment in new technology.
Even if all the money spent on foreign wars was dropped over Times Square in New York for people to shove into their pockets, this too would have been a far better way to spend the money as at least then, the man and woman on the street could stimulate the economy by spending the money in shops or investing in their own business.
When Donald Trump campaigned for POTUS, he seemed to understand this. It is not clear if he is still willing to speak about such things.
Just because some terrorists in Albania or fanatics in Israel want the US to fight wars they are incapable or afraid of fighting, does not mean it is to the benefit of the American people. In each case, these wars have been disasters for all involved.
3. A fear of peace
Few American leaders speak of peace as a virtue or value. One hears words like “freedom, democracy, liberty, the American way”, but little about peace.
Without peace, nothing else is possible. Peace is the most fundamental value that allows all humans, no matter where in the world they are, to live the best possible lives for themselves and their fellow human beings.
Without an emphasis on genuine peace, American democracy is under threat from candidates that promise their own people and those beyond that which is unattainable without peace.
Until peace because a positive word in the American lexicon, there is little hope that voters and politicians will be able to make informed decisions about the world.
America could learn a great deal from Russia in this respect as Russia leaders speak constantly of peace and the need to avoid war due to Russia’s long history of being invaded by menacing foes.
4. Poor economic decisions
Economic decisions that favour elite Wall Street corporatists rather than the average person are a threat to America’s prosperity. From Bill Clinton’s signing of NAFTA which saw factories leaving the United States, to policies which bail out big companies without forcing them to re-invest on US soil and in the US worker and finally with sanctions which make America a hostile rather than an attractive business environment, the average American is now more distant from the country’s wealth than at any time in recent history.
Again, during the election, candidate Trump seemed to get this, but his hands are being increasingly tied on the matter.
5. Identity politics/sectarianism
While Russia, Iran and North Korea do not pose a treat to the life, liberty or happiness of the American people, identity politics and the sectarian society it builds, threatens the very fabric of American society and could even threaten American nationhood itself.
America is a nation of immigrants, but it is one where all people no matter their mother tongue, religion, ethnicity or appearance spoke English (as the language of common and public speech), respected the same basic laws, paid the same taxes irrespective of background and did their best to live and let live.
Now though, groups of agitated people representing every obscure sect, including invented sects, believe they are uniquely entitled to shut down the free speech of others, take the state for a ride irrespective of the legality of their presence in America and have specific laws which apply to them irrespective of how obscure their lifestyles or backgrounds are, not that their right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness was ever threatened in the first place.
Donald Trump won because he said, ‘we are all Americans’, not anything more or less. Hillary Clinton by contrast associated her campaign with every sect imaginable as if the United States was the Ottoman Empire while its millet system wherein each sect had their own unique laws, restrictions and tax regimes.
For those who believe that identity politics and sectarianism are an annoyance rather than an actual threat to the United States, I would advise such a person to study the history of the Lebanese Civil War which raged between 1975 and 1990.
Prior to 1975, Lebanon was among the most peaceful, multi-cultural countries in the world. It was famed for its high living standards and excellent architecture and natural environment.
But the combination of increasingly divisive internal politics and the presence of foreign refugees that the country couldn’t cope with led to civil war. As the war raged on, Lebanon was invaded and occupied by a nuclear power, Israel and the state was on the verge of total collapse. It is no small miracle that such a state as Lebanon still exists after the constant war and occupation it has endured.
Is this really the future America wants for itself?
If not, Americans should either force their existing politics to focus on these priorities or else start a new political party that will do so.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.