An Extreme Embarrassment …

Donald Trump, the man who was selected to represent us all, is an embarrassment. I am ashamed and embarrassed by the way this “man” treats the people of this nation, but even more ashamed and embarrassed by the way he treats our friends and allies. I would like to sincerely apologize today to Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for the bad behaviour of our elected representative.

turnbull

Malcolm Turnbull

Australia is not an enemy of the U.S., but is, in fact, one of our staunchest allies. Historically the U.S. and Australia have shared intelligence, supported one another diplomatically and have fought together in wars including in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, when Trump called P.M. Turnbull last Saturday, he was rude and obnoxious.  Some details of the call leaked to the press this morning, and a senior administration official later acknowledged that the conversation with Turnbull had been “hostile and charged”, although the ‘official’ White House record shows a more toned-down version.

It seems the main source of conflict was a previously negotiated agreement that the U.S. would accept approximately 1,200 refugees from two detainment facilities off the coast of Australia, subject to passing security screening.  Trump’s immigration ban, signed last Friday, included a special provision allowing for exceptions to honor “a pre­existing international agreement,” a line that was inserted to cover the Australia deal. Nonetheless, it appears that he now does not want to honour the agreement and made his displeasure known in ways consistent with his venomous personality.

refugees-2.jpg“I don’t want these people,” Trump said. He called it “the worst deal ever”, and told P.M. Turnbull that he was seeking to export the “next Boston bombers.” Then yesterday he tweeted, “Do you believe it? The Obama Administration agreed to take thousands of illegal immigrants from Australia. Why? I will study this dumb deal!”  There are approximately 2,000 people in the two detention centers, and the agreement calls for the U.S. to accept half of that number.  And they are refugees, asylum seekers, not illegal immigrants.

This morning, Republican Senator John McCain tried to smooth things over with the Australian government, calling Australia’s ambassador to the United States, Joe Hockey, “to express my unwavering support for the U.S.-Australia alliance.”  At least somebody in the administration has a sense of propriety.

“I asked Ambassador Hockey to convey to the people of Australia that their American brothers and sisters value our historic alliance, honor the sacrifice of the Australians who have served and are serving by our side, and remain committed to the safer, freer, and better world that Australia does far more than its fair share to protect and promote.”

When the news of his call to P.M. Turnbull, as well as another contentious call with Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto became public knowledge this morning, Trump responded with this:

“When you hear about the tough phone calls I’m having, don’t worry about it. Just don’t worry about it. The world is in trouble, but we’re gonna straighten it out, OK? That’s what I do, I fix things.”

Prime Minister Turnbull has been gracious about the call, refusing to criticize or condemn Trump.  That is what is called ‘diplomacy’, something about which Trump knows nothing.  The refugee crisis is ongoing.  We are talking about people living on two islands, in detention centers that are, in the words of one aid worker, “inherently toxic … akin to torture”.  These are families with children whose only crime was being born in a country that has been at war and being Muslims.  The conditions in these centers are so bad, and the plight of these people so hopeless that many are suicidal.  “I felt like my job was just convincing people to stay alive,” said another aid worker.

Even putting the humanitarian issue of the refugees aside, whether Trump likes it or not, we, the United States, signed an agreement with an ally, to which we are legally and morally bound.  It is unacceptable for Trump to be rude and berate the leader of another nation, one who is our friend and has done nothing to deserve such treatment.  This, in and of itself is bad enough, but consider for a moment … what happens when he throws diplomacy to the wind when speaking to a leader who is not so tolerant as Turnbull?  How will he negotiate with Kim Jong Un of North Korea or President Xi Jinping of China?  If he cannot even communicate civilly with our friends, how will he ever manage to communicate with our enemies?  Think about that one for a minute …

This is our new leader.  And I am ashamed and embarrassed.

20 thoughts on “An Extreme Embarrassment …

  1. Dear Jill,

    Words have consequences. Iranian hardliners have tried for many years to incite hate towards the US by their citizens without success. Within 12 days, DT has done what the hard liners failed to do. Here’s the result. Moderates were winning elections but now this trend could be in peril.

    The three musketeers, Steve Bannon, Mike Flynn and Jeff Sessions need to have their power of influence reduced.The scariest, smartest, and meanest of the three is Steve Bannon. Now his side kick from Breitbart, Julia Hahn is now ensconced at the WH.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

    • And yet … some people still don’t understand what they have wrought. I was just reading about Hahn … before long perhaps they will just move the Breitbart offices into the White House. There is no doubt in my mind that Bannon is still calling the shots at Breitbart. Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We are going back in a time machine. I’ll bet Trump doesn’t see the harm in the Japanese internment camps of WWII. Why is this happening? His mom was an immigrant, for goodness sake. Is Bannon behind this? I just don’t know what we’re headed for.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wow, Don! It’s true what they say … great minds think alike. On the Bannon thing … check out my post of this a.m. … that was exactly my thought … who is running the show — Trump or Bannon? Bears thinking about. Internment camps were, in my opinion, one of two darkest, worst decisions FDR made (overall I think he was a great prez), but what we did would look like a garden party compared to what Trump would have done … I suspect under Trump they would have more nearly resembled Nazi death camps. I don’t know what we’re headed for and I try not to think about it, but I cannot stop my mind from taking that direction.

      Liked by 2 people

        • Yes, Bannon is scarier than Trump in some ways … Trump is a buffoon, but I see Bannon as cold and calculating … Trump might have you arrested or beaten, but I think Bannon would have you killed and not even think twice about it.

          Liked by 2 people

  3. I recall seeing pictures of some of the people in detention centres who had sewn their lips together in protest. Name-calling is a tactic that our own government here in Britain has used – illegal immigrants for refugees and asylum seekers is the most obvious but there have been other uses of words to vilify people fleeing terrors we can only imagine – swarms, for example – which raise fears of old failures of humanity. We have to stand against these injustices – here all around the country volunteer groups sprang up to collect and send clothes and tents etc to refugees in Calais and Greece. Not so easy from America I guess! Anyway, remember, we know what you are going through – and we are sending sympathy if nothing else!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, there used to be another blogger on here who spent a year volunteering in the refugee camps and I shared a few of her posts … heartbreaking. How can we have forgotten that we are all members of the HUMAN race? To hate somebody because of where they were born, the colour of their skin, their religious beliefs … I simply cannot understand it. I don’t want to understand it. Sigh. Thanks for sending sympathy … we need that and one more thing, but I won’t mention that here, as it could get me arrested! 😀

      Like

  4. Likewise. Of all the unmitigated gall: “The world is in trouble, but we’re gonna straighten it out, OK? That’s what I do, I fix things.” He fixes things, all right, by tearing them apart. This man must go. Period!!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I saw a joke the other day that really made me laugh ( a rarity).
    Two thirds of Trump’s wives are immigrants proving that America needs immigrants to do the jobs American’s won’t. It’s left me wondering in fact how he managed to get a wife at all. Does he have a side he’s shown to these women that we haven’t seen, heck, that no other woman has ever seen.
    He shows no sign of being a gentlemen in life,, and has now proved not to be in politics either. He’s a boor and a bully.
    When those who voted for him read that 3.3 million acres of Federal lands (National Parks) are being sold off and that there will be drilling for oil and coal mining there I hope they’re as sick as I feel. No-one ha the right to say “Give him a chance” anymore as he’s selling your country out from under you. He’s making sure you have no friends left ready for the day of the final sale, to Russia.
    I’m sorry for your loss.
    xxxx Huge Hugs xxx

    Liked by 1 person

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