When Donald Trump was announced the winner of the American presidency, there was a sharp intake of breath internationally. That this oddly bronzed, blonded business magnate had succeeded against other highly qualified candidates was bizarre to say the least. His first few months in office have been charged with controversy, contention and criticism. His latest move has been to bomb Syria, following the harrowing imagery of chemical assault on civilians. Trump’s sudden decision to move against the Syrian regime comes after months of declarations that the Assad presidency should remain in place without challenge. There are, however, mutterings that Trump’s move against Assad’s regime in Syria might not have been all that it seems.
The doubt that many have about Trump’s ability to lead in a transparent manner is the tip of the iceberg in a political career that has so far involved refusing to speak to journalists due to claims of ‘fake news’, accusations that his team have been fraternising inappropriately with the Russian government and a first lady who is apparently ensconced in a gilded tower in New York, to huge expense. It is possibly the strangest start to a presidency ever.
2017 sees a world in crisis. The rise of religious extremism in the form of violent groups such as ISIS and Al Qaeda has seen huge swathes of populace forced from their homes in the Middle East. The mass of refugees seeking safety has alarmed many, especially the inability of border control to ascertain for certain who many of the fugitives really are. Trump seized upon this fear with alacrity, attempting to block whole groups of nationalities from entering the United States; his whole-scale moves to deal with perceived problems often seem hasty, ill thought out and lacking in depth and complexity.
The question of whether the Trump campaign was aided in any way by Putin continues to rumble, investigations are still underway. His latest move in bombing Syria may be seen as a new division in the relations between the USA and Russia – or it may not. Only time will tell whether Trump’s latest manoeuvre, like so many others, was really what it seemed.