A uniquely wayward president, Donald Trump, has managed to isolate the United States equally uniquely, and contrary to the stated position of his Secretaries of State and Defense and the National Security Adviser (respectively Rex Tillersen, John Mattis, and H.R. McMaster) by scuttling the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, citing issues outside its scope. His charges have been dismissed categorically by the European Union foreign-policy chief Frederica Mogherini. Again uniquely, the Pentagon and the State Department agree with her (and not their president) that Iran has not violated the agreement.Britain, France and Germany in the persons of their leaders took the unusual course of issuing a joint statement reaffirming their support for the deal. Germany's foreign minister, Sigmar Gabriel, accused the U.S. of "replacing the rule of law with the law of the strongest," adding the "issue will drive us Europeans into a common position with Russia and China against the U.S.A." Trump's only support on the issue rests with Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu.
Trump has also joined Israel in withdrawing the US from UNESCO membership, claiming it has an anti-Israel bias. This when the newly elected Director General awaiting confirmation is Audrey Azoulay, a Frenchwoman who is of Moroccan-Jewish heritage.
Soiling newsprint and public life has been the disgusting tale of Harvey Weinstein, the movie mogul. Three or more women have accused him of rape and countless of indecent assault; others have their own singular stories of escape. So Weinstein joins a celebrity list including Fox News chief Roger Ailes, comedian Bill Cosby, and even 'I-like-to-grab-'em-by-the-pus
The 58 deaths could have skewed the statistics but not by much. It so happens there are 93 firearm deaths per day and an average of one mass murder (defined as the killing of four or more persons) a day in the US. With statistics like this can the US seriously claim to be a cultured and civilized society; or are there pockets of civilization in a desert of barbarism.
Ignorance is the handmaiden of prejudice. So we find in the wanton 2012 attack on a Sikh Gurdawara (temple) in quiet Oak Creek, Wisconsin. The gunman killed himself after a responding officer shot him in the stomach. The Sikhs have a wonderful custom of langar, a community kitchen run by the temple offering a free meal to anyone who comes. The temple members were busy preparing just such a meal, to be served in the evening, when the incident occurred.
For sheer scale, Las
Vegas is but a drop in the ocean compared to military action. Wholesale
destruction in Iraq, Libya and Syria. Afghanistan in agony for more
than two decades. A million-plus dead and millions displaced leading to
EU tensions and Britain's exit. Absent Libya's heavy hand,
fundamentalist groups are operating even as far away as Nigeria. Then
there is also Yemen, Somalia, Ukraine and now Niger ...
So it goes on. A nation in distress causes the same abroad.