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AlCarroll

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Name: Al Carroll
Gender: Male
Home country: United States
Member since: Sun Oct 18, 2020, 05:46 PM
Number of posts: 17

About Me

Al Carroll is Associate Professor of History at Northern Virginia Community College, a former Senior Fulbright Scholar in Indonesia, and author or editor of six history books and numerous articles for Beacon, Bristle, Counterpunch, History News Network, Indian Country Today, LA Progressive, Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Truth Out, Wall Street Examiner, and elsewhere.

Journal Archives

Trump's Body Count: War Crimes Against Iran and Venezuela

Trump’s Body Count:
War Crimes Against Iran and Venezuela
By Al Carroll

Trump has been trying to overthrow the governments of Iran and Venezuela since he first took office. Both nations are bogeymen for American nationalists, successfully defying the US and leading opposition to what they see as western or imperialist and colonialist domination for over 40 years from Iran’s Shiite fundamentalist point of view, or 20 years from the vantage of Venezuela’s Bolivarian movement.

Trump’s hostility to both nations is not unique, only the level of it, his willingness to kill, sacrifice, or risk innocent lives, literally by the tens of thousands. Trump’s anger was also for a time equally directed at North Korea.
The US came close to war with North Korea several times, including close call false nuclear alerts. Trump humiliated himself repeatedly with empty threats and obvious lies, earning the insult “dotard” from North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong Un. (Most of the world had to look that up, and were then greatly amused. It means a senile fool, or a weak old man losing his mind.)

Finally, North and South Korea’s leaders had enough and sat down and began negotiating peace on their own, with zero US involvement. There were a series of delusional claims from Trump and his supporters he would win or deserved the Nobel Peace Prize. A fellow bigoted white nationalist from Sweden even nominated him, and Trump earned further derision by pretending he had won in public speeches. But even that debacle is nothing compared to the widespread lasting harm Trump caused to two entire nations.

Trying to Start a War with Iran

Before Obama, every US president since Jimmy Carter has denounced, sanctioned, and occasionally bombed Iran. Obama was pragmatic enough to try to reconcile with Iran’s leaders in the interest of avoiding another possible nuclear armed nation.

Since the early 2000s, American nationalists and Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu had been hysterically claiming, without credible evidence, that Iran was seeking to develop its own nuclear arsenal. But none of Iran’s nuclear facilities ever had, or sought, capability to enrich nuclear material to the level needed for weapons.

Obama negotiated a landmark treaty with Iran, on the same historic level as Nixon’s arms control agreements with China and the Soviet Union and Carter’s peace treaty between Israel and Egypt, striving to bring an end to generations of confrontation. Iran agreed to inspections and limits and the US returned billions of Iranian funds taken during the Carter administration. It was an unqualified glorious success.

Such peace, justice, and success by a Black Democratic president was something that warmongers and bigots who hated both Blacks and Muslims could not abide. American foreign policy right wingers spent years spouting hysterical falsehoods that Iran would somehow cheat, or still find a way to build nuclear weapons without weapons grade material. Israel’s Netanyahu threatened to bomb Iran, and came close to it in 2011. The pro Israel lobby in the US pushed Congress for Obama to give Israel the OK, or for the US to bomb Iran on its own. Obama fended them off.

As soon as Trump got into office, he ordered all Iranians banned from the US as possible terrorists. This was part of the notorious Muslim ban and was quickly thrown out by the courts. Six other mostly Muslim nations were part of the ban. Three other versions of the ban were ordered before they finally formulated one that was not thrown out by the courts. Thousands of travelers were held, tens of thousands of visas revoked, many more immigrants discouraged, and a ban in all but name carried out by “extreme vetting.”
Trump spent most of 2018 trying and failing to intimidate Iran and provoke a war. In April he began a blockade, an illegal act of war under international law, hidden under the euphemism “sanctions,” keeping other nations from buying Iranian oil. Later he ordered a blockade of Iran’s metal exports. In May, he pulled the US out of the treaty negotiated by Obama. Then he sent an aircraft carrier group and nuclear capable B-52 bombers to threaten Iran. Then he added an amphibious invasion ship and a missile battery.

Both sides blustered in a war of words. From Trump, “We have information that you don't want to know about. They were very threatening.” “If they do anything, it'll be a very bad mistake. If they do anything, they will suffer greatly.”

Some news accounts reported Trump planned to send 120,000 troops. Trump answered he was ready to send “a hell of a lot more.” Then all nonessential US government staff were ordered to leave Iran and the Revolutionary Guard were declared “terrorists.” This is unprecedented, roughly equal to another nation declaring the US Marine Corp or any other elite though large in numbers military branch to be “terrorists.”

Not content, Trump next outright threatened genocide. “If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran.” This was, like much of Trump’s most embarrassing acts done by tweet, without warning, surprising and alarming his own staff and supporters as much as Iran.

Two attacks on Japanese tankers were blamed on Iran, even though no clear evidence proved it. Some accounts claimed it was mines, others “flying objects,” even debris. Many, from Japanese authorities to neutral governments to American officials outside of Trump supporters, found it very suspicious that Trump and his people seized upon a report of alleged attacks on a non American ship not carrying American goods or people. There were some reports of planned US attacks on Iranian nuclear facilities that didn’t happen since there was no clear proof of Iran’s involvement.

Instead, Trump sent 1,000 more US troops. Both Iran and the US shot down one of each other’s drones. Trump threatened an air strike, then backed down. Two Saudi oil fields were attacked by Yemen’s Houthi rebels, which Trump falsely blamed on Iran, though Iran sends no aid to the Houthi.

Trump then sent a childish New Year’s Eve threat by tweet, again surprising his own supporters as much as Iran. “They will pay a very BIG PRICE! This is not a Warning, it is a Threat. Happy New Year!” Two days later, Trump ordered the assassination by drone of the commander of the Revolutionary Guards.

The attack backfired badly. Even anti government protesters in Iran mourned the general’s murder and demonstrated against Trump. Iran launched missile attacks on two US bases in Iraq. Over 100 US troops suffered traumatic brain injuries.
Trump at first insisted no troops were hurt, tweeting “All is well!” Then he sneered at troop injuries as only, “I heard they had headaches.” Some of the more cynical thought the attack was intended to avoid deaths, since Iran’s government informed Iraq’s of the attack in advance. But either way, Trump backed down and did not even respond to over 100 American troop casualties.

Trump’s blockade of Iran has certainly killed large numbers of average Iranians who had nothing to do with its government, many of them children or elderly. 85,000 cancer patients in Iran went without chemotherapy or radiotherapy. 40,000 hemophiliacs could not get blood clotting medicine. 23,000 AIDS patients could not get needed medicines. 8,000 Iranians with the inherited blood disorder thalassemia cannot get the medicine deferoxamine. Medical autoclaves in Iran began to break down, making both sterilizing medical instruments and manufacturing many other drugs harder.

Trump even refused to lift the blockade in the face of the COVID pandemic, which hit Iran far harder than any other nation in the Middle East. Exactly how many Iranians have been directly killed is hard to say. But it is certainly in the many thousands, perhaps even tens of thousands. And all achieving nothing in the end.

One Failed Coup After Another in Venezuela

Both GW Bush and Obama tried to force first Hugo Chavez and then Nicolas Maduro out of office. But neither tried to overthrow that nation’s government as often, and failed so spectacularly and with such a high body count of innocents, as Trump. The first attempted coup against the government of Venezuela was by GW Bush, against Maduro’s predecessor and mentor, Hugo Chavez.

Chavez’s early successes in building an anti imperial anti colonial alliance, ALBA, often called the Pink Tide, angered American nationalists. Chavez built up Venezuela’ economy using oil revenues, redistributed wealth to cut poverty and especially extreme poverty by more than half, and built a collective movement the strongest seen in Latin America in decades. Chavez’s Venezuela allied with Evo Morales’s Bolivia, Ortega’s Nicaragua, and worst of all in many eyes, Castro’s Cuba. Other nations like Argentina, Brazil, and Chile were not formally allied, but their leaders and most of their public were sympathetic. Only deeply corrupt and brutal Colombia and Mexico remained as close US allies.

So in April 2002, Venezuelan opposition leaders funded by the US struck, with full knowledge and later approval by Bush. Pedro Carmona tried to overthrow Hugo Chavez using mutinous troops and a strike by elites. But it collapsed within 48 hours when the public rallied behind Chavez.

Hundreds of American academics specializing in Latin America signed a letter urging Obama have better relations with Venezuela. Obama ignored it, falsely accusing Chavez of backing FARC terrorists in Colombia and labeling the elected leader a dictator. Chavez died of cancer in 2013. His successor Nicolas Maduro faced sanctions imposed by Obama in 2014 over deaths during protests where both sides, government and opposition, committed dozens of murders.
Venezuela was also bizarrely declared a “threat to US national security” by Obama. But no Venezuelans were killed by any of Obama’s actions. Trump, on the other hand, has recklessly killed tens of thousands. Where Obama tried diplomatic and limited economic pressure, Trump has tried coup after coup and repeatedly tried to invade.

Trump first proposed invading Venezuela in August, 2017. He asked the Joint Chiefs of Staff why they just didn’t go ahead and invade Venezuela. The generals and admirals spent the rest of the meeting trying to talk him out of it. Only weeks later at a meeting of the Organization of American States, a Latin American alliance typically dominated by the US, Trump proposed to every single Latin American president there that they invade Venezuela together. Like the Joint Chiefs, every single other president there spent the rest of the meeting talking him out of it.

So Trump resorted to trying to choose Venezuela’s president himself. Juan Guaido, a young opposition assemblyman, was selected by rotation as “president” of a rump parliament. The rump was of opposition who boycotted Venezuela’s actual parliament. Guaido went to US Vice President Pence, asking for US support to make him president.

Having been openly appointed by Trump and not Venezuelans, in January 2019 Guaido tried to declare himself president. It backfired badly. Opposition demonstrations, in the tens of thousands and mostly of well off often openly racist whites, were vastly outnumbered by pro government demonstrations in the hundreds of thousands by the nation’s poorer nonwhite majority, mixed race, Black, and Native peoples. Maduro, whose popularity was under 20%, saw it rocket to over 70%.

Guaido next tried to get Venezuelan soldiers to desert in a call outside La Carlota army base. Only a few dozen did so. Then in May 2019, Guaido publicly called for the US government to overthrow Maduro for him. Trump backed away from his support for Guaido, and even his own opposition party began to desert the would be president. Currently Guaido is recognized as “president” only by the US and its allies, but rejected by 135 nations, over two thirds of the world.

The last attempted coup was in May 2020, when over 60 mercenaries, at one time working for Juan Guaido until payment fell through, were mostly killed or captured trying to land on Venezuela’s coast. Their plans were to kill or kidnap Maduro and kill as government officials as possible, hoping to start a spiral of violence that led to the government’s fall. Trump denied any involvement, but US intelligence definitely knew about it in advance. The coup leader was a friend of Trump’s longtime private head of security.

Side by side with one failed attempt at coups or invasions after another, Trump has used an economic blockade in a uniquely cruel, brutal, and illegal way. Trump and one of his lieutenants after another, Bolton, Abrams, and Pompeo, all admit their goal is Maduro’s overthow. The end result of the US blockade has been a minimum of 40,000 deaths in less than three years:

Venezuelan mortality went up by 31%. Over 300,000 people were put at risk by lack of medicines or treatment. Over 80,000 people with HIV could not get antiretroviral treatment. Over 16,000 could not get dialysis. Over 16,000 cancer patients can’t get medicine. Over 4 million with diabetes or high blood pressure could not get insulin or blood pressure medicine.
The embargo means less access to water or soap, Almost four fifths of hospitals and clinics had water shortages. Some people died from power failures in hospitals.

Some academics tried to defend the blockade by victim blaming, arguing there was economic decline before the blockade. But there were not mass deaths. And the Bolivarians have made enormous efforts to defeat the blockade and keep Venezuelans from this manmade mass starvation imposed by foreign powers.

The Bolivarians can point to 48,090 community councils, 3,173 communes and 15,000 cooperatives that grow food and feed Venezuelans. The government also distributes food to over six million families a month. The Bolivarian movement has also built over three million homes for over ten million people, over a third of the nation’s entire population.

International aid has also helped the nation. Cuba had sent medicine and thousands of doctors. Iran has also sent food, doctors, and oil. The government also signed over 500 trade deals with China.

As with Iran, Trump’s attacks on Venezuela have led to nothing but failure for Trump and his allies, and misery and mass deaths for the average people of both nations. Both nations governments are stronger than before, their peoples rallying around their leaders in the face of foreign attacks, those who ally with Trump seen as traitors. Guaido has been harangued in public by crowds chanting “Thief!” at him. Trump’s legacy and the memory of what he has done to these two nations will be remembered as more examples of the worst of American imperialism. Except that future generations will be amazed these reprehensible crimes happened in the 2010s, not the 1910s.

Al Carroll is Associate Professor of History at Northern Virginia Community College, a former Senior Fulbright Scholar in Indonesia, and author or editor of six history books and numerous articles for Beacon, Bristle, Counterpunch, History News Network, Indian Country Today, LA Progressive, Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Truth Out, Wall Street Examiner, and elsewhere. His next book is Trump’s Body Count: The Horrific Human Rights Record of America’s Third Worst President at Amazon.

Trump's Body Count: Failed Brutal Wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen

Trump’s Body Count:
Failed Brutal Wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen
By Al Carroll

This is not about battle deaths in wartime or a president going to war, but atrocities committed against civilians and the roles any president, not just Trump, played in those war crimes. Just committing America or any other nation to a war is not always enough to get make one a war criminal. Reasonable persons can disagree about whether it was right to begin or join a particular war. But only the most vicious, immoral, or amoral would agree to mass murdering civilians, torture, carpet bombing cities, deliberate starvation, spreading disease as a war tactic, assassinations, or the pardon of those who commit such crimes.

And yet many Americans are reluctant to admit our presidents, generals, and soldiers, sailors, and airmen can commit precisely such crimes. People on both the political left and right often do so. A leftist might argue that the true guilt only falls on political leaders, or that soldiers have been so dehumanized they cannot be blamed. A conservative or others might have such a romanticized view of soldiers and veterans that they cannot believe any of them could do such atrocities. Or they may justify it by saying a soldier “had to” in order to survive. This is the deepest insult to the great majority of veterans, including combat veterans, who never have and never would commit war crimes.

The Nuremberg Trials established the precedent that just following orders is not a defense. The Uniform Code of Military Justice recognizes this precedent and incorporates it into military law in the concept of command responsibility. Not only is it illegal to commit war crimes, an officer or sergeant who fails to stop human rights violations can and should be prosecuted for failing to stop such crimes. A soldier who is ordered to commit human rights violations is bound by military law to disobey such illegal orders.

Presidents, unfortunately, are given sovereign immunity. By international law, no head of state can be prosecuted for war crimes while they are still in office. Even prosecuting them after they leave office proves difficult. Thankfully, it is getting easier. Leading war criminals from Argentina, Chad, Chile, Congo, Guatemala, Iraq, Liberia, Peru, Rwanda, Serbia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, and Uganda have all been prosecuted. Almost all were imprisoned, though a few were pardoned.

Similar efforts are deservedly aimed at American war criminals. Henry Kissinger, GW Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Alberto Gonzalez, John Yoo, and George Tenet all faced prosecution efforts in parts of the world for their war crimes. Some jurists in South Africa even called for Obama and Biden to be arrested for drone assassinations. After Trump leaves office, likely much of the world will wish to prosecute him and others in the Trump administration for the atrocities they have done.

Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria War Crimes

When Trump was elected, some of the more naive on the anti imperialist left and the libertarian anti intervention right very bizarrely welcomed him. That he posed as antiwar during the election campaign of 2016, that he slammed the Iraq War, and even lied repeatedly about opposing it, thrilled them. When Trump attacked the NATO nations along ridiculous nationalist lines, “They are ripping us off…not paying their share, etc.” many self described anti imperialists cheered him. Though he was and is an ignorant bigot and a bluster filled provocateur of the worst kinds of hatreds, “At least he was not a warmonger,” the thinking went.

Only the most foolish, blind, or ignorant could continue to believe this. Within a few months, Trump bombed Iraq on a scale not seen since the worst days of the war under GW Bush. Where Obama had drawn down both the Iraq and (after a time) Afghanistan Wars, Trump was always eager to raise the body count. After all, this was the same man who repeatedly ranted in his rallies his actual vow to “Bomb the shit out of them!” and got his audiences to roar with laughter at the prospect of torturing even the families of suspected enemies.

Sure enough, right after his election Trump immediately ordered a far higher number of bombings than Obama. In 2019, the number of US bombings in Afghanistan was at a ten year high, over 7,000. The civilian death toll was higher too, over 700 known dead. And that was itself a jump in the known civilian death toll in Afghanistan from the previous year, by almost a third.

Trump in fact has dropped more bombs at a yearly rate than not just Obama, but even more than GW Bush did. Since Bush ordered bombings prior to US troops invading, this is an astonishing rate of carnage. And since Bush’s bombings primarily targeted large rebel military outposts initially, and Trump’s bombings are targeting increasingly smaller and better hidden rebels, this is also an astonishing record of failure.

It is on top of that a record of carelessness, causing mass civilian casualties. In Iraq, the worst of this was the carpet bombing he ordered in his efforts to defeat ISIS. Upon taking office in January 2017, Trump’s massive bombing killed over 40,000 civilians in Mosul alone. The slaughter continued after, with US allies, both Iraqi and Syrian, killing still more civilians, even children, on the pretext they were ISIS.

Part of how Trump gets away with this, at least until he leaves office, is by secrecy. How many US troops are deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq, or Syria, has not been publicly published for three years. American antiwar protests were largely driven by fear or anger over American troop losses, not Middle Eastern civilian deaths.

American protesters are also understandably exhausted, occupied beyond his war crimes with the many very public wrongs done by Trump against other Americans. Trump has been sabotaging Obamacare since he got into office, and trying but failing to shut it down completely, which would kill tens of thousands per year. He stood by and let over 3,000 Puerto Ricans die, and did little but sneer and blame the victims. He has appointed hundreds of judges based almost entirely on assuring they would outlaw abortion, which would bring a return to the days of women’s deaths by coat hangers or other grim ways. And there are the dozens of white supremacist terrorist attacks in the US, all cheered by Trump and carried out by those believing they are directed by him. Meanwhile, actual civil rights demonstrations organized by online leaderless hashtags made up of mostly minority students are attacked by Trump as, bizarrely, “terrorist organizations” that he keeps threatening to outlaw.

There is still more harm that Trump has done to the region. Trump’s betrayal of the US’s Kurdish allies angered both American nationalists and the human rights community. It is guaranteed to lead to both mass deaths and long term hostility to America and Americans in the region.

The US record on the Kurds is a long one of ugly betrayal going all the way back to Nixon and Kissinger. After years of Kurdish resistance, backed by US weapons, funds, and air strikes, doing the majority of fighting against ISIS, Trump betrayed them by his sudden announcement they would be on their own. Kurdish anarchist and Marxist militias, many of them women, are the main reason ISIS went from a feared menace to losing 90% of its territory in a short time.

Trump’s arbitrary decision was his alone, derided by his own party, Congress, conservative Christians, American nationalists, and many American military officers. His proclaimed reasons were ignorant nonsense. “I don’t like the Kurds. They ran.” “They didn’t help us in the Second World War.”

His likely real reasons are the subject of much speculation. But it seems obvious. Trump abandoned them because Russian President Putin wanted him to leave. This much we do know. By abandoning the Kurds so quickly and unexpectedly, Russia received much US intelligence that was left behind. Russia also became the newly dominant power in Syria and large parts of Iraq.

Trump’s running from Syria also benefitted Turkey’s President Erdogan, a fellow rabid bigot and nationalist seeking a Greater Turkey. Erdogan has spoken for years of wanting a Turks only Turkey. The biggest obstacle to that is Turkey’s largest minority, the Kurds. The Kurds face massive persecution going back to at least the early twentieth century, and a long standing campaign against Kurdish rebels.

Turkey’s campaign extends into the Rojava, the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria, the de facto Kurdistan anarchist state. Turkey’s campaign in Syria has killed thousands of Kurds and replaced at least 180,000 Kurds with Arabs. Even the street names were changed, from Kurdish to Turkish or Arabic.

The more cynical wonder if Trump did Putin’s bidding because he owes Russian banks, or was being blackmailed with sensational claims of compromising recordings of him watching prostitutes urinate. But it’s just as likely Trump gave in to both Putin and Erdogan because he admires them as dictators and fellow bigots.

Yemen’s Civil War and Deliberate Mass Starvation

Yemen is a country so little known to most Americans, old television programs like Friends mocked it as the most remote place one could go to. The nation has been in a civil war since 2015. On one side is the national government, corrupt and brutal. On the other are Houthi rebels, their name coming from their tribal group. The Houthi are advocates for Muslim law replacing secular. But while some try to portray the Houthi as vicious fundamentalists, there actually are a very small number of Yemeni Jews among their fighters.

The Houthi argue Yemen’s government does not represent them and that it is a puppet of Saudi Arabia. The Saudis have kept up a series of brutal bombings to cripple the Houthi. The death toll in the civil war is over 100,000, at least 12,000 of them civilians. Not just the Saudis but also Egypt, Jordan, Sudan, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Bahrain have either bombed with planes, sent troops, or both.

What the last four nations plus the Saudis share is being oil wealthy repressive Sunni governments against the Shia populist Houthi movement. The Saudis argue the Houthi are proxy fighters for Iran’s Shia government. But there is no evidence of Iran giving any weapons to the Houthi, only “spiritual” support from one ayatollah.

The US under Obama did order drone strikes against Al Qaeda in Yemen, who controlled a small bit of territory. It was only Trump that ordered massive support for the Saudi war on the Houthi. Academi mercenaries also sided with the Saudis. Academi was formerly far more notorious when they were called Blackwater.

Perhaps the worst part of the civil war is the ugly famine that has killed almost as many as direct warfare. At least 80,000 Yemenis are dead from starvation. Some call it a “humanitarian disaster,” others a “catastrophe,” and some scholars like Jeff Bachmann and Harold Tavis describe it as outright genocide.

The United Nations issued a warning that 13 million were at risk from dying by starvation in the worst famine in decades. These mass deaths by famine are entirely manmade. Deliberate starvation as a war tactic fits the legal definition of genocide under United Nations and international law.

Over a million Yemenis fled their nation to neighboring countries. Several hundred thousand more Yemenis have been infected by cholera caused by the famine and spread by displacement.

Trump did not directly order the famine. But he did supply the weapons to Saudi Arabia, knowing full well they would bomb Yemen, that the Saudis were targeting civilians, and that famine was the direct result. By any reasonable standard, Trump is complicit in Saudi war crimes against Yemen civilians.

The US Navy provides logistical support for the Saudi blockade of Yemen. US planes help Saudi bombers refuel. All the nations bombing Yemen are using US warplanes such as F-18 Hornets, US attack helicopters such as the Apache, and US bombs resupplied by US companies. US complicity is direct. US Special Forces help locate Houthi targets. The Green Berets also train Saudi forces in the war on Yemen. The US intelligence community also shares its knowledge on the Houthi with the Saudis.

These atrocities, and US involvement with them, became grave and troubling enough that the US Congress voted in April 2019 to end any US military support for the Saudis in the Yemen Civil War. The vote was 247-175 in favor in the House. In the Senate, the vote was 54-46, with seven Republicans voting against Trump.

It was the first time in history the War Powers Act, passed after Vietnam, was invoked to stop war. Trump, of course, vetoed it. There were not enough Republicans voting against these atrocities to overturn his veto. Trump’s excuses for vetoing were outright lies, claiming the US was not involved in the war and that Iran was behind the Houthis.

Those praising Trump for his supposed anti intervention stance look more foolish than ever.


Al Carroll is Associate Professor of History at Northern Virginia Community College, a former Senior Fulbright Scholar in Indonesia, and author or editor of six history books and numerous articles for Beacon, Bristle, Counterpunch, History News Network, Indian Country Today, LA Progressive, Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Truth Out, Wall Street Examiner, and elsewhere. His next book is Trump’s Body Count: The Horrific Human Rights Record of America’s Third Worst President at Amazon .

Trump's Body Count: Ignoring Genocide Against Christians and Muslims

Trump’s Body Count:
Ignoring Genocide Against Christians and Muslims
By Al Carroll

There is no evidence Trump is guilty of genocide, the worst of all crimes and the most deeply immoral act any person, people, or nation can commit. As detailed in Presidents’ Body Counts, three US presidents played direct roles in genocides: Richard Nixon in Cambodian, Bengali, and Kurdish genocides, Ronald Reagan in Mayan genocide, and Andrew Jackson in genocide against the Five Tribes.

The second worst act any president, prime minister, or other leader can commit is ignoring genocide if they have any power to stop it, including offering aid or refuge. Six other US presidents ignored genocides knowing full well they were going on, allowing in each case hundreds of thousands to millions to be mass murdered, enslaved, mass raped, mass tortured, forcibly removed from their homelands, and their property stolen:

James Buchanan, James Polk, and Millard Fillmore all ignored California Indian genocide. Abraham Lincoln finally ended it. Franklin Roosevelt did not try to halt the Holocaust, despite knowing about it since November 1942. Bill Clinton ignored Rwandan genocide carried out by Hutu militias and the Rwandan military when as few as 5,000 troops could have easily halted it. The Rwandan Patriotic Front, a rebel group, finally ended it. Gerald Ford ignored East Timor genocide carried out by the Indonesian military under orders from their dictator Suharto. Suharto asked Ford’s permission for invasion, and received weapons and diplomatic cover.

Trump’s crimes are similar to the six presidents above. Though Trump poses as Christian, he ignored two genocides, one in Syria and Iraq and another in Myanmar, both carried against both Muslims and Christians. By his actions, motivated by bigotry and ignorance, tens of thousands died preventable deaths.

Genocide in Syria and Iraq

The Syrian Civil War began in 2011, a rebel coalition trying to overthrow longtime Baath Party dictator Bashar Al Assad, son of previous longtime dictator Hafez Al Assad. Though the Baathists in Syria once claimed to be trying to unite all Arabs, there is a long record of hostility against Iraq and its Baath Party. The Assad family controls Syria for over 30 years now through a personality cult, police state, and extreme brutality.

The original rebel coalition, the Free Syrian Army, itself has many accusations of war crimes, though not nearly as many as Assad. This includes chemical warfare by both sides. Bad discipline and desertions plagued the FSA.
Into Syria’s power vacuum came ISIS, so notorious that even Al Qaeda condemned them for extremism. ISIS also took large parts of Iraq, recruiting both deserting Iraqi soldiers and many fundamentalists worldwide using the internet. Two thirds of ISIS fighters are foreigners. ISIS ideology argues all Muslim nations have materialistic “sheikist” governments, that they are not truly Muslim for allying with non Muslim nations like the US or Russia.
ISIS makes its money from stolen oil, drug smuggling, kidnapping, and looting. Its social media has become notorious for gruesome publicity campaigns, such as live streaming decapitations. ISIS members enslave women and girls for rape. Its fanatics recruit or kidnap child soldiers. ISIS’s worst crimes include genocide against Syrian Christians, Assyrians, and Yazidis.

As ISIS rose and its notoriety grew, more than 60 nations sent forces into Syria. Under Obama, the US military and NATO allies heavily bombed ISIS, crippling them. Under Obama, American troops recruited, trained, armed, and provided air support to those fighting ISIS, especially Kurds. The Kurdish Workers Party and women’s anarchist militias proved to be ISIS’s hardest opponents. What had once been a fearsome terrorist fundamentalist insurgency lost over four fifths of its territory.

Obama also rescued as many Syrian and Iraqi refugees as possible, given the wave of bigotry directed at them by people like Trump. When he entered office, the US took in about 55,000 a year. Obama increased the number of refugees rescued to about 85,000 a year by the time he left office. His plan was to keep gradually increasing the number of refugees the US took in to 110,000 a year, 10,000 of them Syrian. For comparison, Canada took in more refugees than the US, though it only has a tenth the population.

So when faced with Assad, one of the most brutal dictators in the world, a mass killer of Christians and officially dedicated to hatred of both the US and Israel, what did Trump do? When faced with ISIS’s genocide against Christians and others, what did Trump do?

Trump repeatedly threatened to pull out American troops, and finally removed all support for those fighting Assad and ISIS, especially Kurds. He also quickly ordered a ban on refugees from Syria and Iraq. Trump’s bigoted argument was that the number of refugee rescued by Obama was “crazy,” sky high,” “unprecedented,” and even “dangerous.”

In fact, the numbers were very limited, and Obama’s humanitarian response was very tepid and timid compared to almost every other developed nation. In Sweden, for example, one out of every eight persons is a refugee. For the US to equal those numbers, it would have to take in tens of millions. Trump was, as usual pandering to the ignorance, bigotry, and fearmongering of those who imagine the US government to be far more generous than it is, and Obama to be reckless or too trusting.

Compare what Obama had done to what previous US presidents failed to do for those facing genocide. Imagine if Franklin Roosevelt had given weapons and training to Jewish guerillas fighting the Nazi, and provided refuge to 100,000 Jewish and other refugees from the Nazis each year. The US would have rescued over a million Jews and others fleeing from the Holocaust, and Jewish and other partisans would help bring down the Nazi dictatorship that much sooner.

Now imagine if Trump had been president when Roosevelt was. FDR let in only 50,000 Jewish refugees, mostly scientists and artists. (Ironically, Melania Trump came in under the same visa, though she committed immigration fraud by working illegally without a permit.) Trump would bar those 50,000 Jewish refugees, claiming we could not be certain they are not Nazi agents. (This actually was a common argument among anti Semites and racists in the 1940s, many of them actual Nazis or sympathizers.)

Historian and psychologist Israel Charney formulated a list famous in genocide studies, the Twelve Most Common Ways to Deny Genocide: 1. Question the Numbers. 2. Attack the Messengers. 3. Claims the Deaths Were Accidents. 4. Focus on the “Strangeness” of the Victims. 5. Blame “Tribal Conflict.” 6. Blame “Out of Control Forces.” 7. Claim We Must Avoid Antagonizing the Killers. 8. Justify for Economic Reasons. 9. Claim Victims Now Being Treated Well. 10. Argue the Definition of Genocide. 11. Blame the Victims. 12. Say Forgiveness Is More Important.

But for Trump and his indifference to genocide in Syria and Iraq, one needs to add an additional argument: 13. Claim the Victims Are Actually the Murderers. In fact, Trump claims the victims are potential terrorists based on his bigoted view, far too common among many Americans, that Muslim equals terrorist, or that Muslims make up most or all terrorists.

Actually, most terrorists in America are and always have been white supremacists. White supremacists killed over 50,000 Americans during Reconstruction, over 5,000 murders from 1877-1968, and over 700 murders from 1990-now. They make up over two thirds of terrorist attacks in the past decade. Facts like these point to Trump also using elements of 4. Focus on the “Strangeness” of the Victims and 11. Blame the Victims.

Genocide as a term often gets abused, overused, or thrown as a political football. But ironically, the term is far more underused than overused. Admitting that genocide is going on becomes the legal trigger for action by major world powers, as well as the United Nations. Admitting that atrocities are happening naturally brings the concern of many worldwide. Admitting a genocide is being carried out and no one is stopping it brings much soul searching about the world's inaction and the inadequacies of governments, especially democracies. But Trump is unique among American presidents since at least Franklin Roosevelt. He and his supporters care little or nothing about non-American lives, even, as in the case of Syria, Christians of another (nonwhite in their eyes) nation.

Trump’s refusal to halt genocide or aid in anyway its victims is morally but not legally depraved indifference, where the term genocide describes willful outright mass murder. He could not be prosecuted for this, but deserves the strongest condemnation. Trump’s callousness, and that of his followers, in allowing thousands of Syrian Christians to face persecution and death exposes their claim of being devout Christians as hollow. They were willing to let Syrian Christians die by the thousands because their bigotry convinced them these refugee victims, most of them women, children, or elderly, were somehow secretly Muslim terrorists.

Genocide in Myanmar

Myanmar, once known as Burma, was ruled by the same military dictatorship since World War II. Myanmar today is not ethnically one nation. The Burmese are the largest group, about half. The remaining groups like the Karen, Shon, and the two focused on here the most, the Kachin and Rohingya, make up the other half of the nation, both by population and by area. Their homelands are mostly on the borders of Myanmar, surrounding the central Burmese homeland.

Myanmar’s dictatorship finally ended in 2011, electing its first Prime Minister Aung Sang Suu Kyi, a human rights activist who actually won the Nobel Peace Prize for her principled opposition. But Suu Kyi not only did nothing to defend the Kachin or Rohingya from genocide, she actually publicly defended military atrocities. The military continued to rule the nation in all but name. It is the military and bigoted Buddhist militias that targeted the Kachin and Rohingya for extermination.

Rohingya live mostly in the northwest of Myanmar. They are a Muslim minority in a mostly Buddhist nation, with the hatred and genocide against them led by fanatic Buddhists, including monks. This genocide began in 2016, supposedly to crush an uprising by a minor rebel group. Over 25,000 Rohingya were killed, over 700,000 fled the country, and over 18,000 women and girls were raped. Over 116,000 Rohingya were beaten, and over 36,000 literally thrown into fires. Many villages were burned, and the victims’ mass graves then bulldozed to hide the evidence.

What did the rest of the world do? The United Nations, Great Britain, France, Canada, every Arab nation, every Muslim nation, human rights groups, and Christian churches and leaders all condemned this genocide. Australia and Indonesia offered refuge to the victims. Neighboring Bangladesh took in over 600,000 refugees. Israel froze arms sales to Myanmar. Most European, Arab, and Muslim nations, and Japan each sent up to tens of millions in aid to refugees.

The only two nations to stand with Myanmar were India and China. China’s government continued sending weapons to its ally. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the leader of an outright fascist party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), that was founded by open admirers of Hitler. The BJP favors a Hindus-only India for those they believe descended from racially pure Aryans. Modi shares Trump’s bigotry against Muslims. Under BJP, India underwent a wave of riots against Muslims and a ban on Muslim immigrants. Modi mass deported over 40,000 Rohingya from India, calling them “terrorists.”

What did Obama do? The attacks began at the very end of his time in office, barely a month before Trump’s “election.” Yet that did not stop a few conservative or American nationalist institutions like the Washington Examiner from blaming him. In fact, Obama repeatedly condemned Myanmar for its violence against Rohingya, in November 2012, November 2014, and June 2015.
Obama also explicitly condemned violence against the Kachin and Rohingya during an official visit within Myanmar. “For too long, the people of this state, including ethnic Rakhine, have faced crushing poverty and persecution. But there is no excuse for violence against innocent people. And the Rohingya hold within themselves the same dignity as you do, and I do.”

Obama’s ambassador also visited the region to investigate. Obama went to the additional step of barring US investment with Myanmar’s military. His executive order sanctioned anyone in Myanmar abusing human rights. US companies in Myanmar had to issue reports on their labor, environmental, and social conditions.

What did Trump do by comparison? His Secretary of State Tillerson did condemn the genocide. He was soon to be forced out after only a year, publicly attacked by Trump as “dumb as a rock” for daring to point out Trump’s laziness. Trump’s United Nations Ambassador Nimrata “Nikki” Haley, born Nimrata Randhawa, the daughter of Indian immigrants, only condemned Myanmar genocide as “troubling” and pointedly did not call it genocide. She resigned from her appointment, suddenly and without explanation, after a year and a half, for reasons that are still unknown. Some speculated it was because she is accused of accepting plane trips as gifts. But it is worth noting she publicly condemned both Trump’s ban on Muslim immigration and China’s abuse of Muslim Uighurs.

As for Trump himself, in July 2019 Trump’s staff set up a photo opportunity with a Rohingya activist and sixteen other victims of religious persecution. Trump’s response to hearing about the Rohingya being ethnically cleansed was to disinterestedly mumble, “Where is that exactly?”

He clearly thought Rohingya was a nation, and didn’t know they are a people. There have been no public mentions of Rohingya or Myanmar by him. There is no sign of any action taken to stop genocide, except barring a few generals from the US who have traveled to the US or shown any interest in going anyway.

Just the opposite, he and the rest of his administration refuse to call Rohingya genocide a genocide. Trump embraces India’s Modi, one of the few Myanmar supporters, as a fellow anti Muslim bigot. Trump absolutely refuses to take in Rohingya or Karen refugees from ongoing genocide.

Myanmar was explicitly included in the nations banned from travel to the US under his Muslim ban. This is even though Myanmar is over 90% Buddhist, one of the most Buddhist nations in the world. Buddhism is central to the culture, and extreme Myanmar nationalism and statehood, and many of its Buddhists are often viciously anti Muslim. The only Muslims in Myanmar that Trump’s order bans are those fleeing religious persecution and genocide. This is victim blaming at its worst, equal to banning Jewish refugees in 1942 for being likely guilty of carrying out the Holocaust.

Even more indefensible is Trump’s failure to aid Kachin Christians in Myanmar. The Kachin live on the eastern border of Myanmar. Much like Rohingya face persecution for being Muslim, Kachin are targeted for their Christian faith. Over 130,000 Kachin Christians have been forced out of their homeland. Over 400 Kachin villages and 300 Kachin churches, 90% of them Baptist, were burned down.

American Baptist pastors and congregations have been petitioning the White House since he entered office to punish Myanmar by sanctions and lift the ban on Burmese coming to the US. He has done nothing except hold that one failed photo opportunity where his ignorance was on display.

What is also striking is how little American conservative Christians have done as their fellow Christians are ethnically cleansed from their homeland. Few of these fundamentalists, evangelicals, Pentecostals, or other conservative denominations are speaking out or even paying attention. Baptists are, but they are not, strictly speaking, conservatives. The Baptist faith allows for a great deal of personal interpretation. The most famous Baptist politicians include Jimmy Carter and Al Gore, neither of them conservative.

What is also striking is how Trump has not suffered any political cost at all from American Christian conservatives for doing close to nothing as their fellow Christians and others face the worst of atrocities in both Syria and Myanmar. Mass murder, mass rapes of both women and girls, mass enslavement, mass burnings of churches, mass forced conversions, and what has been the response of the last two US presidents?

Obama rescued many, condemned many times without hesitation, blocked American trade with the guilt. In Syria’s case, he stepped in with force, the most forceful US intervention to stop genocide in US history, far more sustained and effective than Bill Clinton’s effort to stop Bosnian ethnic cleansing. Praise for Obama from conservative Christians was rare, other than a few articles demanding it was still not enough.

By contrast, Trump did almost nothing. Worse than nothing, he blocked victims from escaping to the US. He also betrayed those who were doing the most to fight ISIS genocide, the brave and effective Kurdish fighters. The ironies are, many of those fighting ISIS are women. Almost all of them are either proud anarchists or Marxists. And 98% of all Kurds are Muslims, mostly Sunni.
It should be enough to make a devout Christian embarrassed at the hypocrisy and ignorance of it all. That includes Trump, who began claiming to be a Christian in 2016. But then, Trump has never shown any sign of shame, much less caring about other human beings, Christian or not.

Al Carroll is Associate Professor of History at Northern Virginia Community College, a former Senior Fulbright Scholar in Indonesia, and author or editor of six history books and numerous articles for Beacon, Bristle, Counterpunch, History News Network, Indian Country Today, LA Progressive, Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Truth Out, Wall Street Examiner, and elsewhere. His next book is Trump’s Body Count: The Horrific Human Rights Record of America’s Third Worst President at Amazon.

Trump's Body Count Could Kill Over a Million

Trump’s Body Count: Could Kill Over a Million
By Al Carroll

Many presidential biographies are somewhere between pseudo profound and pure fluff, arguing presidents be judged by Hollywood-like silliness like “presidential bearing” and “leadership qualities.” In 2014, I wrote Presidents’ Body Counts, my book arguing presidents be judged based on their human rights records. How many lived or died because of their actions matters most, not pablum, not personality, not how much you personally like them, or even how much their politics agree with your own.

The rest of what I argued in that book, the first in the series Best and Worst World Leaders, hardly seems controversial to anyone but fanatics. All people have the right to control their own fates, to not die before their time from unneeded wars, or other preventable deaths, and to not be asked to approve of atrocities done in their name, often in secret. They should be able to seek out knowledge of such matters and not see control of their lives handed off to elites, whether government or corporate.

Both Americans and the rest of the world should not give control over to a president who is undeniably a brutal vicious bigot, a would be dictator, and the third worst president in American history. Only Nixon and Reagan, because of their direct roles in genocides in Cambodia, Bangladesh, Iraq (all Nixon), and Guatemala (Reagan), have higher death tolls than Trump, by the hundreds of thousands.

The two of them, though, were competent in some matters, something no one honest could say of Trump. No wonder he consistently is rated at the bottom by historians and political scientists, even though both fields, especially the latter, have many conservatives and libertarians. Presidents that were evil should be correctly remembered as such and nothing else, and when the law is broken, prosecuted as such, as eagerly and fully as a society does street criminals.

And the latest US “president,” “elected” as he was by Russian bots depressing voter turnout to its lowest in 20 years, committed many outright evil acts. Were he judged by the standards we reserve for America's putative enemies, he should have faced war crimes trials and been executed or imprisoned for life once convicted. The weak impeachment trial he faced in Congress took almost three years to begin, and was so timid and limited it did not cover even 1% of his crimes. Trump did not even face charges on the most serious ones, those resulting in mass deaths.

The fact that he was not put on trial for war crimes says much about the weaknesses of America’s theoretically republican government, and many people’s hypocrisy and double standards. Many supposed liberals condemned Trump for corruption, withholding foreign aid for a political favor. But many of those same liberals cheered Trump’s war crimes, his sanctions killing tens of thousands in Venezuela and his drone assassination program killing thousands more civilians in five other nations in the name of fighting terrorism.

I with my writing in this series, and many other individuals, make a moral and spiritual challenge. The consistent life ethic argues one must be pro life in everything, every last subject and issue, opposing the culture of death in all its forms, creating a seamless garment of reverence for life. It comes from Catholic social justice teachings and puts beliefs on abortion (for which many Catholics, evangelicals, Mormons and others ignore Trump’s deep immorality on virtually everything else) on an equal level of importance as issues like war and peace, poverty, inequality, healthcare, the death penalty, etc. But such a principle is also found in many other faiths, such as in every American Indian tradition of all creation as a web of interconnectedness all deserving equal respect.

Contrary to many claims, Trump’s base of support is not primarily devout Christians, evangelicals, or even fundamentalists. Devout Latino and progressive Catholics and Black and liberal evangelicals are often his strongest critics. Trump’s supporters are most often CINOs, Christians In Name Only, lapsed and non practicing “Christians” who were raised in the faith, but haven’t seen a church in many years. They are Christians in the same sense the Irish Republican Army is Catholic, or Al Qaeda or ISIS are Muslim.

For all three of these groups, their faith is a marker of identity tied to ethnicity (including for Trump supporters, being white) or tied to nationalism. Jesus is not a savior for Trump or his supporters. He is a mascot for their side, white American conservative or racist Christians, with the occasional minority token as their pet, to be their cover and vain attempt to claim to not be bigoted. For a virulent portion of them, they are also as equally willing to be as violent as the IRA or ISIS.

The methodology I use in my book Trump’s Body Count, and the one before and after it in the book series, is simple: Did the president commit actions that knowingly led directly to the deaths of innocents? If yes, then each president is ranked by the degree of evil they carried out, the number of mass deaths. The categories are ranked in order of how many were killed as a result and how culpable a president is for these deaths, from outright genocide down to the smaller numbers of deaths from a president’s actions.

The original rankings in Presidents’ Body Counts were:
Worst President in US History: Richard Nixon for his role in Cambodian genocide, Bengali genocide, and Kurdish genocide, the Phoenix Program, overthrowing Chilean democracy, chemical warfare by Agent Orange and napalm, Operation Condor, prolonging the Vietnam War.

Second Worst President: Ronald Reagan for his role in Mayan genocide, terrorism in Nicaragua, repression in El Salvador, bombing El Salvador, invading Grenada, chemical warfare in Plan Colombia, the Drug War, and selling biochemical weapons material to Saddam Hussein.

Third Worst President: Andrew Jackson for genocide against the Five Tribes.

Fourth Worst President: James Buchanan for ignoring California Indian genocide, worsening the Civil War by not halting secession, and actively aiding Confederate traitors with arms.

Fifth Worst President: James Polk for ignoring California Indian genocide, provoking the US-Mexico War, and expanding slavery leading to the Civil War.

Sixth Worst President: Millard Fillmore for ignoring California Indian genocide and being the presidential candidate for bigoted terrorists, the Know Nothings.

Seventh Worst President: Bill Clinton for ignoring Rwandan genocide and incompetence in the Somalia invasion and Branch Davidian standoff.

Eighth Worst President: Gerald Ford for ignoring East Timor genocide, continuing Operation Condor, and pardoning Nixon.

Ninth Worst President: Harry Truman for targeting civilians by A-bombs and conventional bombing, chemical warfare by napalm, and atomic bomb testing on Pacific Islanders.

Tenth Worst President: William McKinley for unprovoked war against the Philippines.

Eleventh Worst President: GW Bush for torture, chemical warfare in Plan Colombia, incompetence in Afghanistan and Iraq Wars and Hurricane Katrina response.

Twelfth Worst President: Andrew Johnson for protecting white supremacist terrorists and sabotaging Black civil rights during Reconstruction.

Presidents’ Body Counts was written at the end of Obama’s time in office. It also detailed the best presidents, and those with mixed records of both carrying out great good and guilty of horrific evil. (Obama was ranked as having a mixed record, based on both ending wars and ordering assassinations by drones.) The best presidents were ranked:

The Best President in US History: Abraham Lincoln for liberating both Black and California Indian slaves, ending California Indian Genocide, liberating the south from Confederate tyranny, preventing wars of aggression by the Confederacy, the first ban in history of chemical warfare, and saving 270 Dakotas by pardons in the Dakota War.

Second Best President: Martin Van Buren for delaying California Indian genocide and avoiding wars with Great Britain and Mexico.

Third Best President: Jimmy Carter for helping end dictatorships in 25 countries, preventing future wars between Egypt and Israel, saving dissidents worldwide, rescuing Cuban and Soviet Jewish refugees from communism, and continuing arms control.

Fourth Best President: Ulysses Grant for his Peace Policy reducing battles between the US Army and Natives by greater than four fifths, ending extermination of Natives as a practice by the US government, and ending KKK violence in Georgia and South Carolina.

Where would Trump belong in any ranking of presidents by his human rights record? Not among the best presidents, or even among those with mixed records. Arbitrary cruelty, deliberate sadism, and often random brutality, falsely claimed to be “strength,” are his standard practices. Trump is clearly among the worst of all American presidents, and the list of them is changed for Trump’s Body Count to this:

Worst President in US History: Richard Nixon
Second Worst President: Ronald Reagan

Third Worst President: Donald Trump for ignoring genocides in Syria, Iraq, and Myanmar; wars in Syria and Yemen; war crimes against Iran and Venezuela; assassinations in Afghanistan, Colombia, Iraq, Somalia, and Yemen; sabotaging American healthcare; deaths, disappearances, destruction of families, and rapes of immigrants; incompetence in Puerto Rico hurricanes and COVID Pandemic response; his role in white supremacist terrorism; and being a rapist.

Fourth Worst President: Andrew Jackson
Fifth Worst President: James Buchanan
Sixth Worst President: James Polk
Seventh Worst President: Millard Fillmore
Eighth Worst President: Bill Clinton
Ninth Worst President: Gerald Ford
Tenth Worst President: Harry Truman
Eleventh Worst President: William McKinley
Twelfth Worst President: GW Bush
Thirteenth Worst President: Andrew Johnson

The combined death toll from all of Trump’s many crimes is not “just” the over 222,000 COVID deaths and counting, nearly all of them preventable had almost literally anyone else been president, including Republicans like Cruz, Jeb Bush, or Rubio. It includes at least 40,000 Venezuelans. It includes Syrian Christian and Yazidi refugees from ISIS brutality who were blocked from escape, and Karen Christians and Rohingya fleeing Myanmar. It includes still more refugees from Latin America who died preventable deaths from being blocked from entering. or are abused in private prisons, their children still missing, likely trafficked. It includes thousands of Afghans, Colombians, Iraqis, Somalis, and Yemenis killed by drone assassinations, almost all civilians, some of them children. It includes at least 3,000 Puerto Ricans who are Americans, contrary to what much of Trump’s ignorant base believed as an excuse to let them die by hurricane. It includes likely tens of thousand of other Americans who died preventable deaths by Trump sabotaging their healthcare. It includes those killed by terrorist Trump supporters, white supremacists and male supremacists cheered on and taking all but direct orders from him to attack.

And the death toll will get far worse. The highest estimate for COVID deaths in the US by year’s end is over a million Americans, coming from Anirban Basu from the University of Washington. The current official death toll is actually for certain an under count, with some tactics used by Trump to deliberately try to avoid reporting all deaths. The chance of him starting a war or trying to provoke wars to get Americans to rally around him is also very real, and already being tried against Iran.

Some Trump supporters definitely will attack, kill, or bomb when he loses. And the chance of him refusing to leave office is something he’s proudly declared. Not even Nixon was ever this vicious. Trump’s volatility is such that he would rather become the worst American president by his high death toll rather than be a loser, no matter how much it wrecks the nation he claims to love.

Al Carroll is Associate Professor of History at Northern Virginia Community College, a former Senior Fulbright Scholar in Indonesia, and author or editor of six history books and numerous articles for Beacon, Bristle, Counterpunch, History News Network, Indian Country Today, LA Progressive, Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Truth Out, Wall Street Examiner, and elsewhere. His next book is Trump’s Body Count: The Horrific Human Rights Record of America’s Third Worst President.
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