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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 8/11/20

Rivers of blue blood

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America is teetering on the brink of catastrophe, and which side of history this behemoth nation ends up on, will have existential implications for the entire planet. The foundations of America are mired in controversy; an inescapable legacy, which has dogged and peppered every defining and accompanying narrative. Against this backdrop, are the astronomical human progress and advancement that have been made, and which have come to represent the zenith of human potential and achievement.

This has led to the apotheosis of America as "God's own country." The moniker conjures notions of phenomenal powers, limitless resources, grandeur, perfection, invincibility, dominance and perpetuity. Having the imprimatur of 'America' affixed to a person, place or thing; was until recently, the universal coin of the realm, and a mark of differentiation. The moral leadership of America had been axiomatic in global geopolitics. The expectation was that such leadership would be projected and utilized, in direct proportion to its immense powers. For this reason, the prospect of an ignominious fall, from such a stratosphere, of this leviathan of nations, beggars belief.

After a non-stop, conveyor-belt series of non-presidential, reckless, dangerous and malevolent rhetoric and actions, it is now glaringly obvious, that Trump's political currency, is that of helter-skelter chaos, subterranean ploys and diabolical division. These modi-operandi can be summed up as his native language, gold standard and leadership hallmark. Trump has crippled the well-honed juggernaut of democratic governance, whilst, simultaneously shredding the US constitution, single-handedly. Thereby, rendering his vaunted, slick MAGA slogan, a sick mockery, as he pilots his country, and the world on a tempestuous, titanic, ocean odyssey. It is a journey fraught with great peril, and without an off-ramp. Add to the toxic brew, a raging, deadly global pandemic. This piping hot, radioactive mess, which encapsulates the Trump presidency, has been dumped into the lap of the American electorate. This body politic will determine how much further they are prepared to sink into the black hole of Trumpism.

It is estimated that Africa is home to close to 3000 tribes. Historically our nation states were cynically cobbled together as a by-product of self-serving European imperial interests. Tribalism continues to remain the bane of our young and fragile democracies, with omnipresent tribal tensions, incessantly percolating below the surface on the continent.

Ethnic cleansing is defined by the Cambridge Dictionary as "the organized, often violent attempt by a particular cultural or racial group to completely remove from a country or area all members of a different group." Ethnic cleansing campaigns result in targeted mass killings, orgies of mindless violence, and other sundry inhumane actions, such as physical and mental torture. In an overwhelming number of instances, victims undergo debilitating, lifelong trauma. Equally significant, is the lengthy toll such conflicts have on national cohesion, progress and development. Furthermore, the bloody episodes exacerbate the frayed socio-economic fabric of these societies. Sudan, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central Africa Republic, are countries where ethnic cleansing has occurred. The debate within the US used to be whether the US should intervene in ethnic conflicts. However, the burning issue we should be addressing with Trumpism in "full flower," is whether Trump is summoning similar, fiendish forces, to take center stage and exercise full expression in the US.

The recent, highly explosive "Vanity Fair" article, by Katherine Eban, expounded on the curious fate of coronavirus testing in the US, as cases and deaths were climbing astronomically in states, which lean politically, towards the Democratic Party.

Initially the pathogen had a death grip on so called "blue states," which bore the brunt of its fury. However, at the time, states which traditionally support the ruling Republican Party, seemed to have escaped its fearsome visitation.

It is in this context, that Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, was working on a coronavirus testing program. According to Eban, Kushner, "had assumed a sprawling role in the pandemic response," and oversaw, "a secret project to devise a comprehensive plan that would have massively ramped up and coordinated testing for COVID-19 at the federal level." In furtherance of his efforts, Kushner assembled a team comprised of a motley crew of young business associates, including a former college roommate, and diagnostic-testing industry experts. Eban states: "Rather than have states fight each other for scarce diagnostic tests and limited lab capacity, the plan would have set up a system of national oversight and coordination, allocate test kits, lift regulatory and contractual roadblocks, and establish a widespread virus surveillance system by the fall, to help pinpoint subsequent outbreaks...But no nationally coordinated testing strategy was ever announced. The plan just went poof into thin air."

The national plan which did not see the light of day, was aggressive and ambitious. Trump did not want to spook the stock market, by the rising number of cases which testing would reveal, and thereby, impact his reelection fortunes. He was simultaneously, cocooned in his phantasmagorical world of magical thinking, wishing the virus away. In her article, Eban notes: " Most troubling of all, perhaps was a sentiment the expert said, a member of Kushner's team expressed: that because the virus had hit blue states hardest, a national plan was unnecessary and would not make sense politically. That logic may have swayed Kushner - It was very clear that Jared was ultimately the decision maker as to what plan was going to come out, the expert said."

This was ultimately the clincher for Trump. The death knell for the covert, national testing plan was sounded by him, as he formally withdrew federal government responsibility. Whether tyrannical leaders cause mass targeted deaths, within their respective populations, by perpetrating ethnic cleansing, or genocide, and do so by acts of commission or omission; the outcomes fall into the same category i.e. "crimes against humanity." Widespread death does not have to be meted out publicly or savagely, to make it any less criminal. Malice, hatred, power-lust and a reckless disregard for human life, are the common denominators. Other key areas of convergence, of repressive regimes responsible for such persecutory conduct include: electoral malpractice, rampant economic corruption, human/civil rights abuses, nepotism, cronyism, vilification of the press, erosion of an independent judiciary, corruption of co-equal branches of government, unbridled lawlessness and chaos.

Kushner's aborted national coronavirus testing program was a good faith, science-led, critical first-step strategy, in tracking the presence, prevalence and path of the virus. Needless to say, given the lack of a definitive cure or vaccine, early detection and interdiction, would have saved multitudes upon multitudes of lives. The deep-sixing of the official pandemic response mission; was a betrayal of the government's weighty and sacrosanct duty, to serve and protect its citizens. The hard-hit "blue states" were deliberately targeted. They were deprived of desperately required life-saving testing facilities, leaving them flailing and submerged, in a sea of mounting deaths and misery. The mindless, relentless, tireless and vicious virus was deployed as a stealth weapon, against the denizens of these states, and their leaders. The Machiavellian political ploy led to avoidable deaths, annihilated livelihoods, decimated families, damaged communities and prolonged physical and mental suffering.

In 1992-1995 - Yugoslavia led by President Milosevik attacked Bosnia after it declared its independence, killing approximately 100,000 people, majority of who were Muslims.

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Irene Fowler Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linked In Page       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Nigerian International lawyer (LL.M Harvard),based in Lagos, Nigeria. My career spans the United Nations Geneva, Switzerland (World Health Organization, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), Nigerian energy sector(Shell Petroleum, (more...)
 

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