CNN‘s Anderson Cooper struggled through a list of the names of the forty-nine victims at the start of his show today. Each was accompanied by a short biography and often a photograph. That’s where the focus needs to be in the aftermath of this tragedy. Cooper himself has a policy of not naming the perpetrator in mass shootings to enable this. I’m not going to name him today either, though that will become necessary as more is known about him.
As always though, Donald Trump has managed to make himself the centre of attention via his reflexive Tweets, Facebook posts, and rants. Think about the following though:
On 1 June 2015 Donald Trump said to the Des Moines Register:
I have an absolute way of defeating ISIS, and it will be decisive and quick, and very, very, uh – it’d be beautiful.
On 12 November 2015 in a speech at Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge, Iowa:
I know more about ISIS than the generals do. Believe me.
In his foreign policy speech on 27 April 2016 he said:
And then there’s ISIS. I have a simple message for them. Their days are numbered. I won’t tell them where and I won’t tell them how. We must as a nation be more unpredictable. We are totally predictable. We tell everything. We’re sending troops. We tell them. We’re sending something else. We have a news conference. We have to be unpredictable. And we have to be unpredictable starting now. But they’re going to be gone. ISIS will be gone if I’m elected president. And they’ll be gone quickly. They will be gone very, very quickly.
However, Trump refuses to share his plan to defeat DAESH because someone might steal his ideas. Is it therefore his fault that the tragedy in Orlando occurred?
Well no, because no one with any sense really believes that he does have such a plan, let alone one that will actually work, but I’d like to see someone ask him the question. If they do that though they’ll be risking what has happened today to leading newspaper, The Washington Post: Trump has revoked their press credentials because he doesn’t like their coverage of him. They will no longer be allowed to attend his events or press conferences. So much for the constitution and a free press.
Still millions will be voting for him because they believe he will save them from terrorism, and he’s probably gained a whole lot more supporters because of what he’s been saying in the last couple of days.
Since the Orlando killings Trump has once again called for the banning of all Muslims entering the US and assured voters that he will do this when he is president. As the Orlando killer was born in New York this ridiculous policy would have done nothing to help and is just more of Trump’s hate-filled rhetoric appealing to the lowest common denominator. He’s creating a fear-filled atmosphere and presenting himself as the Saviour. In fact, such a policy would make things worse because it would increase enmity between Muslims and the rest of the community and could make someone on the verge of radicalization more likely to jump that fence.
In my speech on protecting America I spoke about a temporary ban, which includes suspending immigration from nations tied to Islamic terror.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 13, 2016
I’m also sick of the constant calls I’ve been hearing on Fox News for imams who teach against homosexuality to be banned. They go on and on about how terrible Islam is because of how Sharia calls for homosexuals to be killed, how homosexuality is illegal in multiple majority-Muslim countries, and remind us about DAESH throwing gays off buildings. However, I haven’t heard a single mention of the multiple Christian preachers who call for gays to be killed, let alone a call for them to be banned. Indeed, three candidates for the Republican presidential nomination – Ted Cruz (who came in 2nd), Mike Huckabee, and Bobby Jindal – shared a stage with one of them, Kevin Swanson, during the campaign, at an event where he called for such deaths. If imams who spew hate against gays should be banned, so should Christian preachers. What all these religious leaders are saying is revolting, but freedom of speech applies equally to Christians and Muslims.
Kevin Swanson believes we’re in the End Times and he preached on his radio show last month that Trump is part of God’s plan for bringing about the destruction of America.
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The man is completely deluded but has a strong following of people who believe everything he says. A bit like Trump really.
I’m not sure Trump hasn’t got a point here though:
As Clinton correctly stated, it’s Saudi Arabia that exported Wahhabism to the rest of the Islamic world. They fund the thousands of madrassas that are teaching this extreme form of Islam. Hopefully the Clinton Foundation put the money they got from Saudi Arabia to good use, and whatever it was used for it certainly will have been better than funding Wahhabi madrassas. However, it’s perhaps pretty hypocritical to be accepting money from such a regime remembering the way women, LGBT people, and atheists are treated there (being an atheist is illegal and considered a terrorist act).
It’s at times like this we see both the best and the worst of people.