Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Category: America

American Presidential Contest

Have you heard of Benjamin Solomon Carson, Christopher James Christie, James Richard Perry, James Stuart Gilmore, John Ellis Bush, Michael Dale Huckabee, Piyush Jindal, Rafael Edward Cruz, Randal Howard Paul, and Richard John Santorum? Never heard of them. Surnames are familiar, not names. Don’t worry. These are Americans who are or were in race Republican nomination for American Presidential Election. They are better known by their pet names Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Rick Perry, Jim Gilmore, Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Rick Santorum. Other contestants are or were Donald John Trump, Carly Fiorina (born Cara Carleton Sneed), George Elmer Pataki, John Richard Kasich, Lindsey Olin Graham, Marco Antonio Rubio, and Scott Kevin Walker.
One fascinating thing about American Presidential Election is Election Day is Tuesday between 2nd and 8th November every fourth year. This year it is 8th November. Voting takes place on that day even if there is World War.
When the presidential contest began many presumed Jeb Bush will get Republican nomination and Hillary Clinton will get Democratic nomination. It was supposed to be a cakewalk for both them. Soon things turned out differently. Jeb Bush had many rivals who did better than him in polls. Bernie Sanders (Bernard Sanders) emerged a strong rival to Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton.
Donald Trump’s candidacy was first seen with amusement. Last time also he had announced his candidacy and had backed out after some days. This time it was different. There was disbelief when he was second in polls. When journalists asked him he said he was surprised why he was not first.
Carly Fiorina presented herself as rival to Hillary Clinton who wanted to be USA’s first woman president. For some time she did well in polls.
First Republican Presidential Debate was on Fox News. There were 17 candidates. They were split into two groups. Seven candidates who had lower ranking in polls were in a debate before prime time. Ten candidates who had higher ranking participated in prime time debate. Rick Perry was the first to drop out of contest. Gradually some others dropped out.
First Democratic Presidential Debate was on CNN. There were five candidates. Two of them dropped out after a few days. Martin Joseph O’Malley dropped out after Iowa Caucus.
Donald Trump dominated news. He did not worry about political correctness.
Donald Trump had problem with Megyn Kelly of Fox News and skipped one debate and held a Veteran programme. Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum attended Trump’s Veteran programme after finishing their debate. Ted Cruz was also angry with Fox News.
Many women above 30 want a woman president. Many women below 30 do not want Hillary Clinton as president. Madeleine Albright came in support of Hillary Clinton and said for women who do not help other women there is a place in hell. Someone countered it by saying there is a place in hell for women who vote for women just because they are women.
Among Republicans Ted Cruz was first in Iowa caucus, Donald Trump second, Marco Rubio third. Soon Ted Cruz was accused of fraud for sending forms about voter record and lying that Ben Carson had quit. Many said the contest in Republican Party was between two freshman senators and a reality TV star.
Among Democrats the contest was tough between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. For three seats winner was decided by toss and Hillary Clinton won all three. Result was Bernie Sanders 697 seats – 49.4%, Hillary Clinton 701 seats – 49.6%, Martin O’Malley 8 seats – .6%.
After Iowa caucus Martin O’Malley, Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum quit.
Donald Trump came first in New Hampshire primary. John Kasich coming second was a surprise. Ted Cruz was third. Jeb Bush was fourth. Marco Rubio was fifth.
Bernie Sanders got 60% votes, Hillary Clinton 38%.
After New Hampshire primary Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina quit.
Jeb Bush avoided mentioning his father George H. W. Bush and brother George W. Bush for a long time. He said he was his own man. After Iowa caucus and around the time of New Hampshire primary his mother Barbara Bush joined the campaign. Then George W. Bush joined and addressed meetings.
On 17/2/2016 Barack Obama spoke against Donald Trump. He said “They recognise that being a president is a serious job. It’s not hosting a talk show, or a reality show. It’s not promotion or marketing. The American people are sensible, ,and I think they will make a sensible choice in the end.” Jimmy Kimmel said “Excuse me. I host a talk show and it is a serious job. I hope he will say that to Oprah.” Trump hit back at Obama and said “This man has done a lousy job and set us back so far and for him to say that actually is a great compliment.”
On 18/2/2016 while on flight from Mexico to Rome one reporter asked Pope Francis about Donald Trump. Francis said “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, in not Christian.” Once asked about gays, Francis had said “Who am I to judge?” He was judging Donald Trump. Donald Trump said it was disgraceful for a religious leader to question someone’s religion or faith. He was proud to be a Christian. He further said “If and when the Vatican is attacked by the ISIS, which as everyone knows is ISIS’s ultimate trophy, I can promise you that the pope would have only wished and prayed that Donald Trump would have been president.” Mark Burns, a pastor and Trump supporter said, Vatican is surrounded by walls.
Another Trump supporter said there is nothing more Christian than building walls. After all Jesus Christ was a carpenter. Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio did not speak against Trump. Jeb Bush said he gets his spiritual guidance from pope, not political or economic guidance.
On 1/3/2016 21 states will have caucuses and primaries. Republican candidates, who are six now, may be reduced to two.

Donald Trump on Muslims

Donald John Trump is making news all over the world for his comments about Muslims. He said visas should not be issued to Muslims till a system is in place. He said some mosques should be under surveillance and there should be detention centres for Muslims. In London and Paris there are areas inhabited by Muslims where policemen fear to go. His statements were in the context of San Bernardino shooting on 2/12/2015 by married couple Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik.
Scotland said Trump will not be its business ambassador. Trump products were taken off shelves in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and UAE. One university withdrew his doctorate. I did not know that university existed. Time nominated Angela Merkel as Person of the Year. Trump said he knew Time will not nominate him and they nominated someone for ruining Germany. Boris Johnson contradicted Trump. There was a petition in UK not to grant visa to Trump. UKIP supported Trump. David Cameron and French PM Dominic Valls opposed Trump.
Trump’s Republican rivals and many others condemned his statements. Some of them have just 1% votes in polls. There was wide publicity for such statements. Some people said something in support of Trump. Those statements did not get much publicity.
After the San Bernardino attack where a couple of Pakistani origin killed 14 persons and wounded many more, many welcome Trump’s statements. Trump is not politically correct. He says political correctness has gone too far. He wants to say things as they are. His supporters are glad. He leads in the polls.
Trump has justified his proposals by pointing such things have been done by former presidents. Franklin Roosevelt had put Japanese, German and Italian residents in USA in detention camps. Dwight Eisenhower had deported officially a million Mexicans. People said “I like Ike.” Ike was Eisenhower’s pet name. James Carter stopped issuing visas to Iranians.
Ever since Trump announced his candidature for Republican Presidential nominee he has dominated news except when there were terrorist attacks or some great events. At first his candidature was seen with amusement. Soon he ranked second in numbers. After that he has been first most time. Three of his rivals left the race: Rick Perry, Scott Walker, and Bobby Jindal. Other candidates have moved up and down. For long Ben Carson was close in numbers. Now Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio are close to him.
Trump said San Bernardino terrorists were animals. He was wrong. Comparing terrorists to animals is an insult to animals.
Someone said Trump rides on fear of Muslims and also adds to it. A survey conducted about Muslims showed most Americans agree with Trump. Trump knows the mind of the majority.
India has been a victim of cross-border terrorism of Pakistan. Occasionally USA is a target or victim of Pakistani terrorism. Times Square bomber was a Pakistani. Pakistanis were involved in World Trade Center attack that took place some years before 9/11. The attack mostly failed.
Boston bombers were Muslims who came from Dagestan. Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan was a son of Palestinian immigrants and psychiatrist in US army.
Some Muslims have a grouse that mass shootings by white male Christians are not referred to as terrorist acts but such acts by Muslims are referred to as terrorist acts. They have a point. They also resent calling San Bernardino shooting as the greatest act after 9/11 as there were many acts where more than 14 people had died.
Trump has supported Binyamin Netanyahu in Israel’s elections. He was to visit Israel on 28 December and meet Netanyahu. Netanyahu said “The State of Israel respects all religions and strictly guarantees the rights of its citizens. At the same time, Israel is fighting against militant Islam that targets Muslims, Christians and Jews alike and threatens the entire world.” He said he meets all presidential candidates who come to Israel and meeting does not meet endorsement. Israel does not fight ISIS. It assists ISIS against Syria. Trump said he will visit Israel at a later date after he became president of USA. Trump should be careful about Netanyahu’s bitch Kaiya which bit Sharren Haskel and Or Alon at Hanukka dinner.
India’s Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar was in Washington to Meet American Defence Secretary Ashton Carter. He was asked about Trump’s comments. He said “I will not comment on what has been talked about in the US, but as far as India is concerned, we have the second largest Muslim population in the world and we gel well.” Not long ago intolerance was a topic in India and many had returned their awards.
Sikhs in USA suffer collateral damage when there are hate crimes against Muslims. Many Americans cannot distinguish between Sikhs and Muslims. Sikh men wear turbans and keep beard. They resemble Arab Muslims who wear turbans and keep beard and have carried out terrorist acts. Gurudwaras are mistaken for mosques. Sikhs come under attack for what they are not.

Fight against ISIS

Ever since ISIS terrorists stuck Paris, France’s President Francois Hollande is on a mission to form a coalition against ISIS. He has met UK’s PM David Cameron, USA’s President Barack Obama, Italy’s PM Matteo Renzi, Germany‘s Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. France wants to withdraw its soldiers from Mali and other African countries. Germany has agreed to send 650 soldiers to Mali.
Many countries claim to fight against ISIS but their fight is token. USA’s fight against ISIS is a farce and meant to hoodwink American people. USA and allies wanted to get rid of Bashar Al Assad and they encouraged all types of terrorist against Syria. When many in USA questioned arming Islamic terrorists hostile to USA, USA stopped openly supporting them. USA claims it is against terrorism but abets, finances, sponsors and trains terrorists against Syria and calls them freedom fighters. It claims to have spent 500 million dollars to trains fighters but says most of them were captured or killed by Al Nusra or ISIS. Turkey buys oil from ISIS. USA did not prevent it. They did not bomb oil tankers. Their excuse is that they don’t want to kill drivers and send them messages. Kurds have Peshmerga which fights ISIS but USA does not give them sufficient weapons to fight ISIS. It tells Iraq not to use Shias in fight against ISIS but Sunnis. It did not bomb ISIS training centre for 15 months. France bombed it. Israel is on the side of ISIS. Gulf countries pretend to fight ISIS.
ISIS has used internet to recruit terrorists and use them to carry out terror attacks in their countries. They don’t have to travel to ISIS territory.
Hacktivists of Anonymous have come forward to disable web sites of ISIS. How far they are successful is not known.
Turkey’s shooting down of a Russian plane and subsequent death of a Russian pilot and a Russian marine has complicated matters. Putin called the act a stab in the back and warned of serious consequences. Turkey claims the plane violated Turkish air space. Russia claims the plane was in Syrian air space. The plane crashed in Syria. Turkey is a NATO member. Iran claims it saved another Russian pilot.
Till a few days back France was against Russian intervention in Syria. Now it wants Russia’s help.
Schools and Metro were closed in Brussels for three days. Football matches were cancelled in Germany and Spain. There is talk of doing away with passport-free travel in Schengen Area and having border controls.
If France wants to win against ISIS it cannot be ambivalent and ambiguous about its allies. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius first talked about Syrian Army as an ally against ISIS. Later he backtracked and said Syrian Army after the removal of Bashar Al Assad.
To confront the problem of Islamic terrorism people have to accept the problem exists. The terrorists claim they are Muslims and carry out terrorist acts in the name of Islam. They quote certain passages of Quran in their defence. To say these people are not Muslims and their acts are betrayal of Islam is to deny the problem.
Two of the terrorists had come from Syria and that had created a backlash against refugees from Syria and other countries. Even before the terror attacks there was hostility towards refugees and Hungary, Croatia and Slovenia had begun fencing and border controls.
USA’s invasion and occupation of Iraq led to the rise of ISIS. Actions of USA and allies in Libya and other countries led to the spread of ISIS. France and UK bombed Libya and removed Gaddafi and after that it has been anarchy in Libya. Many African refugees came to Europe through Libya.
In 2011 there was talk of Arab Spring and Obama told some friendly leaders to quit. Hosni Mubarak quit in Egypt. Elections followed. Mohammed Morsi’s government was toppled by army. In Yemen it was civil war and foreign invasion. In Bahrain the government refused to introduce democracy and USA forgot about it. Bashar Al Assad is not an ally of USA. He refused to quit. Russia and China vetoed NATO attempts to bring Syria under no-fly zone.
ISIS burst into international prominence in June 2014 when it captured Mosul. The victory was not due to any bravery of ISIS soldiers but corruption of Iraqi army’s officers. They did not fight. They took money and left. Iraqi soldiers surrendered uniforms and weapons. Bank robbery, abductions and oil wells got much income for ISIS.
Ground troops are needed to defeat ISIS. Ground troops of Peshmerga, Russia, France, Syria, Iraq and Iran can defeat ISIS and win back the territory.

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