President Trump continues to act like the proverbial ‘bull in a china shop”! Except that the ‘china shop’ is the world and the ‘bull’ is the powerful US President. Much damage can be done by his hasty decisions about important global issues.
Already, the President’s ill-advised utterances and Executive Orders have shaken the world, and, it seems, there is more to come. British Sikhs are affected by ‘Brexit’ – UK leaving the European Union – and also by what goes on in the US and how President Trump’s decisions impact on the UK and the global situation. This column will continue to cover these developments from a Sikh perspective.
It is some relief that not all President Trump’s doubtful Executive Orders have gone unchallenged. Of the Executive Orders rushed through by the President, the attempted blanket travel ban imposed on 27 January, on people from 7 Islamic countries – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – caused total chaos. Thousands of travellers were delayed for hours, denied entry to the U.S and, according to one report even “coerced into signing forms abandoning their U.S. visas, and placed on flights out of the country….The order also sought to shut down all refugee entry for 120 days, and indefinitely in the case of refugees from the ongoing civil war in Syria.” Trump justified the immediate ban saying that it was “done for the security of our nation”.
The states of Washington and Minnesota sued and a Seattle-based U.S. District Court Judge, James Robart, issued a temporary restraining order blocking Trump’s order nationwide. When Trump referred to the judge insultingly as the “so called judge” even his own nominee to the Supreme Court, Judge Neil Gorsuch, commented that such criticism was “disheartening and demoralising”. Later, the Federal appeals court refused to reinstate the ban and the matter is likely end up in the Supreme Court. Maybe even leading up to a constitutional crisis. Nearly 100 technology companies and many immigrant rights advocacy groups are opposing the reinstatement of this Executive Order.
There have been recent raids in which hundreds of ‘undocumented immigrants’ have been arrested. This would seem like a reign of terror to those arrested. According to Congressional Hispanic Caucus, “These raids have struck fear in the hearts of the immigrant community……”
The language Trump uses is popular with those who voted for him, but it is causing much concern. Regarding promises to these voters he will soon realise that the clock cannot be turned back to the good old days when e.g. the local manufacturing industries flourished. Automation has taken over and international trade restrictions can result in major global conflicts involving super powers.
The Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, has opposed President Trump addressing the British Parliament when he visits the UK. His decision is provoked by the President’s actions and remarks which offend sensibilities relating to religion, race and sex.
With North Korean ballistic missile test and the Middle East wars, the world is a dangerous place. There is much at stake and we hope good practical sense will prevail.
Gurmukh Singh OBE