The coming back of Amerika

What a wonderful feeling it must be to plunge again into the familiar waters of anti-Americanism, where one imagines that the individual in the White House is the leader of a worldwide conspiracy, which is anti-Third World, anti-women, anti-gay, anti-Semitic, and against decent people overall.

It happened to Reagan and both Bush Sr. and Jr. However, such depictions haven’t plagued solely Republican presidents, but also Democratic ones, including the anti-Soviet Kennedy, and Clinton who was portrayed as the emissary of international Zionism, and Lyndon Johnson, the “president of civil rights,” who became the warmonger who destroyed Vietnam… There has been no end to Amerika until President Obama, to whom the label of an imperialist advocating a ruthless economic hegemony was not pasted.

Many liked Obama, he earned an international consensus, but now we can see that this did not help neither the internal not the international public opinion: the American people were less impressed, and therefore they didn’t grant him the royal privilege of a programmed succession, and the world now goes back to the old America bashing, this time under the shape of Trumpism. Without a doubt, the elections of Trump stepped beyond the rules of progressivism which provided Clinton as successor.

A woman after a black. It didn’t happen: this upsets a way of being, of speaking, of thinking. So that the violated have chosen to criminalize the rival through hysteria and violence: the Democrats have repudiated democratic legitimacy in the way they protest against Trump election.

That Trump is “S.I.X.H.I.R.B.” — Sexist, Intolerant, Xenophobic, Homophobic, Islamophobic, Racist, Bigoted — as the columnist Dennis Prager has summarized … is known to us by now because we’ve not only read it in almost every newspaper, but have also heard it repeatedly stated on numerous television networks, without any doubt. In Italy this happens as in the rest of Europe even if the articles of the Corriere della Sera, La Repubblica, Il Fatto Quotidiano, Le Monde, The New York Times, The Guardian, etc., say that Trump won’t be, at the end of the day, that racist warmonger.

For example, maybe he doesn’t hate women given that he has already chosen two to be part of his cabinet (Nikki Haley, of Indian descent, and Betsy De Vos)… and perhaps, as he declared during his campaign, he will not build the wall (which already partly exists) with the Mexican border; maybe he will not kick out all the immigrants but only the illegally entered… And crazy and authoritarian as he is, he’s talking about the possibility of giving one of his harshest critics, Mitt Romney, the role of Secretary of State.

But what does that matter? It doesn’t. Whatever he is going to do now, the Trump administration will be the embodiment of absolute evil, which is how America has always been characterized. Even E.U. skilled politicians like Federica Mogherini and Martin Schulz have treacherously relented by saying that whoever is elected, fine, nevertheless America is important and we must deal with it.

The panic is understandable: here is the monster. So many media constantly portrays Trump as the emanation of the Devil himself. The choice of Michael Flynn as National Security Advisor, Jeff Sessions as Attorney General and Mike Pompeo as head of the CIA, is depicted by the press as an hysterical crisis led by the right: Flynn is certainly not a sugary figure (but maybe not everyone should be!).

Anyhow, he’s a general who has distinguished himself in the battle against terrorism and has dismantled some of its networks in Afghanistan. Flynn is a man who Obama himself had selected, but according to the Corriere della Sera became a man Trump liked precisely “for his lack of equilibrium.”The worst crime was a tweet in which he wrote the following: “Fear of the Muslim world is RATIONAL.” He’s truly a monster.

And Pompeo, who is described as an “astute, bright, and quiet” member of the House Intelligence Committee, sees (but how dare he!) the agreement with Iran as a huge mistake, justifies “non-conventional methods” of interrogation and thinks it’s right to keep Guantanamo open, which Obama himself has long struggled to dismantle with no immediate success.

And Sessions, even if many praise him for his balance and skill, is presented as the man who, basically, was voted down by the Senate Judiciary Committee when Reagan nominated him as a federal judge in the mid-1980s, and thirty years later, the poor guy, is still “accused of racism and hostile to illegal immigrants,” states one of Corriere della Sera’s headlines even though he has vigorously denied such accusations.

Another case is that of Steve Bannon, now White House Chief Strategist, who heads the right-leaning Breitbart website: everybody knows, in the world, that he is by now depicted as a patented anti-Semitic because his ex-wife claimed during divorce proceedings that “he didn’t want his girls going to school with Jews.” Bannon, if you look closely, has never written or said one anti-Semitic remark. It is true, yes, that his readers have written inflammatory, disturbing and even anti-Semitic things on Breitbart’s website.

However, nobody is responsible for everything they say on his website or Facebook account, or affirm publicly: otherwise what about Obama, who was following the public anti-Semitic sermons of pastor Jeremiah Wright, a man who officiated his wedding ceremony and was later put on the American Religious Leadership Committee? No one has ever accused Obama of being an anti-Semite because of his connection with Pastor Wright. That’s probably because Obama epitomized America, while Bannon and Trump are there in order to show that Amerika must still be written with the letter K.

Translation by Amy K. Rosenthal

This article originally appeared in slightly different form in Italian in Il Giornale (November 25, 2016)

About the Author
Fiamma Nirenstein is a journalist, author, former Deputy President of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, and member of the Italian delegation at the Council of Europe.
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