Written by Irene Fowler
You would be forgiven if in your daily struggle to harness the maximum will, energy and resources to survive and perhaps thrive, in the ever-deepening crises which characterize human existence on both a micro and macro scale, if it escaped your attention that Donald Trump, the 45th President of the U.S., proposed unleashing a nuclear bomb. Given human and mechanical error factors inherent in such an operation, the notion that the weapon was ostensibly destined for the Atlantic Ocean, to target a storm emanating off the coast of Africa, should render any African regardless of social strata, economic bracket, life persuasion or generation, apoplectic. Some who find it difficult enough on an ordinary day to hold their head above water, may not be able to do so long enough to summon righteous indignation, but will simply surrender their personal sovereignty to any potential fate, with an audible sigh of resignation. Trump’s rationale for contemplating the unthinkable, was apparently that the bomb would stop the monster weather event from making landfall in the U.S. Given the measure of the man, the fact that a Trump property is located in the general path of the storm would be all he needed to broach the subject. According to ‘Axios’ news, aides who were privy to his articulated line of thought, responded by humoring him, informing him that his idea would be taken under advisement. Following his suggestion to nuke tropical storm Dorian, the hashtag #That’s how the apocalypse started; has been trending on twitter. It is a matter of open record that when Rex Tillerson was the secretary of state in his administration, Trump asked his top national security officials to build tens of thousands of new nuclear weapons. Thus far, he has issued veiled and open threats to use nuclear weapons on North Korea, Iran and Afghanistan.
Trump’s climate science intransigence – turned outright denial, led him to renege from the Paris Climate Accord and he has since openly adopted a mockery–laced, adversarial stand to the letter and spirit of the landmark Agreement. In so doing, he yielded the traditional U.S. ‘primus inter pares’ leadership role in adopting pro-active planetary safe guards and wide sweeping environmental protections. This was clearly borne out recently during the widely televised G7 meeting, hosted by the French President, Emmanuel Macron. In response to the cataclysmic infernos in Brazil’s Amazon region, which were deliberately ignited for the commercialization of the Amazon, Macron and his colleagues convened a session to explore avenues to assist in the rehabilitation of the Amazon rain forest, otherwise known as the ‘lungs of the planet’. Trump was the sole absentee world leader at the table as he gave the gathering a wide berth. Disavowal of global efforts to stave off environmental destruction is perceived as detrimental to the survival of animal and plant species. Indeed, in the final analysis the survival of the human species is in the balance.
‘Brilliant, stupid, crazy and cowardly, enlightened, dazed, talented, crippled, insane, but always powerful. They governed half of the then known world, with hundreds of different peoples, languages, cultures, conditions and characteristics. A range of the conquered from passive to horrendously aggressive, yet some emperors performed with unbelievable ability. Others with almost unimaginable incompetence. No one can disagree with the importance of the emperors both in the growth and survival of the empire and weakening of the empire.’ (Culled from ‘The mighty emperors of powerful Rome – A collection of humans and not so human fellows.’ Google) The fact that U.S President Trump, the de facto leader of the free world, needs constant affirmation and adulation is not only palpable, but painful to digest and pathetic in the extreme. Nothing short of ‘emperor worship’ will assuage his insatiable thirst for unrestrained attention and fawning approval. At the same time, his hypersensitivity must be assuaged. Caligula (AD 12 -41) was similarly burdened with these character traits. He was supposedly prematurely bald and this was a source of great embarrassment. Consequently, he made it a capital crime for anyone to look down from a high place as he passed by, and he sometimes ordered those blessed with healthy locks of hair to be shaved. Conversely, he had copious amounts of body hair, which was equally embarrassing. Therefore, great care was taken by those in conversation with him not to utter the words ‘hairy goats’, innocuously or otherwise.
On a par with the preceding account is the dangerous level to which realpolitik has sunk in the U.S., with a dearth of Trump’s Republican Party fellow-travellers willing to publicly state that which is obvious; To wit – Trump poses a national and international threat. The specter of a holocaust wrought by acts of commission or omission is so much closer with the world pinned under the cudgel of unmitigated, multifaceted Trumpism. The fact that even in jest or on a whim, Trump would consider deploying nuclear weapons inflicts a near universal on-going trauma. In combination with the foregoing, Trump’s recent public utterance wherein he gazed skywards, placed his hand on his chest and declared himself ‘the chosen one’, does not augur well for our planet or its inhabitants.
We are pleased to publish this guest blog written by Irene Fowler, a lawyer based in Lagos, Nigeria. Ms. Fowler has a degree from the Harvard Law School, and her work appears in The Hill and other publications.