On the day that the Turkish Armed Forces were about to launch the cross-border operation in Syria, US President Donald Trump did not only hold a call with President Tayyip Erdoğan, but also wrote a letter to him. When you read the letter today in newspapers, you will notice that Trump is warning his addressee about his responsibility to history.
History. . .
No doubt that what are happening today will be the subject of history books in future.
As I encountered the sentence concerning ‘responsibility to history’ while reading the letter, this question has come to my mind: How will history judge Donald Trump himself?
Trump is the 45th president of the USA. There are all kinds of idiosyncratic characters among the US presidents from past to present, including the ones who swam nude in the Potomac river, served as a hangman before becoming president, changed pants several times a day. Nevertheless, I believe that history will remember Trump as the most idiosyncratic one who ‘changed the international status of the USA’.
Don’t believe in fortune telling and prophecy. . .
Have you ever heard the name, Baba Vanga?
I’m sure you know Nostradamus (1503-1566). Baba Vanga (1911-1996), a Bulgarian woman famous for her prophecies, corresponds to Nostradamus in recent times. Some of her prophecies are about the USA although she never saw this country in her lifetime. It is said that she prophesied the September 11 terrorist attacks long before this event took place. She is also said to have predicted the 44th US president would be black, and the following one would be the last chief commander of the country.
This female prognosticator died in 1996. Americans chose Barack Obama to be the 44th president (2008), then Donald Trump as the 45th president (2016).
Yes, I don’t believe either in prophecies such as those of the blind Bulgarian woman. Nevertheless, when I follow Trump’s deeds and words -like the ones in recent days- I can’t help but recall her prophecy about the last US president.
Of course, the USA won’t lose its peace and unity through Trump or because of him; however, if what he does nowadays become perpetuated and he continues his foreceful conduct until the presidential election next year, and succeed in getting himself elected again and those like himself as members of the Senate and the House of Representatives, the USA will drift apart by 2020 from being the country that I know my whole life.
Trump is in a fierce fight with every significant figure of the US political scene in last two days. The media is the ‘public enemy number one -i.e. enemy of Trump’ according to him anyway. Looking reporters in the eye when being asked challenging questions, “The USA will continue to have the strongest army in the world, but there won’t be American military presence in abroad” he says.
[The USA has over 800 military bases in around 70 countries throughout the world, having considerable number of troops in each of these bases. It comes at the top of the list in the world regarding allocating financial resources for all sorts of arms and military equipment. This is why it is often mentioned as ‘imperialist’ or the ‘gendarme of the world’ anyway.]
Trump said during his press conference yesterday that he ‘may send additional troops to Saudi Arabia these days’, adding that he considers this ‘after the Saudis agreed to pay all expenses.’
[Trump seems to be determined to withdraw troops from the Middle East. It is understood that there won’t be any American military presence in other countries, except offering military aid in the form of mercenaries. Saudi Arabia must have been aware of this intention of the US president that Russian president Vladimir Putin received a more pompous welcome in the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh than Trump three years ago.]
The number of people calling Trump ‘crack-brained’ gradually increase. We learn from media that he lashed out at the speaker of the House of representatives, Nancy Pelosi, yesterday in the White House in front of a large crowd of politicians, saying “You are a third-class politician” right to her face, and Pelosi, leaving the meeting in anger, said Trump was ‘meltdown’.
By doing so, the US president has brought a new discourse into American politics.
If you look again at his letter to President Erdoğan where he advises him not to send troops to Syria, you can easily guess that the letter would cause just opposite feelings on its addressee. Whoever you may be, how could you ever dare to tell president of a country, “Don’t be a fool” in such a letter?
Trump places this statement right before ending his letter with the line that reads, “I will call you later”.
Even though this man seems to be ‘crazy’ when viewed from outside, it appears that Americans -at least half of them- think differently. This is the reason anyway why his Democrat and Republican opponents seem to have decided to try to end his term in office before the next presidential election through the impeachment process.
I don’t know, of course, what Baba Vanga had meant when she predicted that ‘the 45th US president would be the last chief commander of the country’; but I guess I too have started to believe that Trump will be the one of a kind President.
[Translated by Bernar Kutluğ from the article appeared in this site’s Turkish section on October 17, 2019]