Tomorrow the world will wake up to a slightly changed, slightly more deranged world as Donald Trump officially becomes the President of the United States, dragging the rest of the planet kicking and screaming into a new epoch of post-fact political psychopathy. We all thought President George "Dubya" Bush was an imbecile, worthy only of mockery, derision and disdain as he made blunder after blunder and began the birth pangs of this new alternate universe that has engulfed Planet Earth. Then came the Commander-in-Speech, outgoing President Barack Obama, who would offer the world naught but lofty speeches, jigs and excruciatingly "cool" mic drop moments that had the clueless liberals fawning over him, as he launched more drone strikes than even Dubya.
And now, after the Obama nursing period that made the world's soft-hearts find their "safe place", international neo-fascism executed a stealth coup and managed to sneak The Trumpster into the White House. Trump is so unbelievably surreal that famed Star Wars actor Mark Hamill, Luke Skywalker himself, created The Trumpster villain and began doing voiceover renditions of Trump's most outlandish tweets, but in the voice of Batman's archnemesis The Joker. The Joker's psychotic tendencies and Hamill's excellent interpretation of his deranged voice perfectly matches Trump's rhetoric and stage show lunacy, designed to cause as many "WTF!" moments as possible amongst impotent liberals whilst making hateful "alt-right" neo-fascists squeal in delight.
Where Bush was cretinous going beyond the point of a major character flaw and into the realms of a genuine medical malady, Trump will instead be calculatingly bombastic and murderous. According to not only Trump, but his pick for Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, the number one priority for US foreign policy will be Daesh extremists and "radical Islam". In October 2016, and just before he clinched the election for the world's most powerful job, Trump said that the priority for him was to deal with Daesh and not to topple Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad. This, presumably, would avoid the World War Three apocalyptic scenario he painted Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton as creating by butting heads with Vladimir Putin's Russia if she had won.
So, the most pressing US foreign policy priority is not the Kremlin who not only invaded Europe's backyard in the Crimea, but has completely shunted the White House from the top spot when it comes to who wields the most influence in the Middle East. It is not China, that almost silent economic monster lurking in the East that made Obama's "pivot" towards Asia collapse spectacularly by militarising the South China Sea. Nope, the biggest threat to the United States, a country now almost a mockery of the term "superpower", is a low-tech force of less than 30,000 terrorists with no nuclear weapons, no air force, no navy and barely any ground forces left. The way the Trump administration is talking about Daesh, you would think they had panzer divisions steamrolling Western Europe.
In light of the above, and like many wielders of great power around the world today, Trump more or less confirmed that he would pursue aggressive foreign policy ventures and military misadventures by brandishing the convenient excuse of "Daesh!" whenever he needed to bomb a country. More often than not, that country is likely to be situated in the Middle East and North Africa. In that respect, he is no different from Dubya, who destroyed Iraq completely and handed it over to Iran's mullahs on a golden platter, beginning a sectarian bloodbath that gave birth to Daesh, ironically now Washington's number one threat.
Create problems today, fixes tomorrow
The West, led by the United States and now joined by a resurgent Russia, engineer the circumstances that lead to extremism by pillaging resources, supporting savage dictators, bombing civilians relentlessly and clamping down on any free expression of ideas if it does not match their conception of the "democratic dogma". They then bomb the region again, seemingly surprised at what their own actions have wrought.
Take one of Trump's more contentious forays into Middle Eastern politics – his pledge to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Speaking to an enormous audience of Israel's AIPAC lobby while he was still on the campaign trail in March last year, Trump said: "We will move the American embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem." His comments were met with rapturous applause, as he continued to state that he may be a newcomer to politics, but he was not a newcomer to being a friend to the "Jewish State". To make matters worse, America's noisiest president yet reaffirmed his commitment to igniting this barrel of gunpowder in comments to the Israeli media yesterday.
Not only has The Trumpster pledged to reverse decades of US policy with regard to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and to essentially rubbish a landmark UN Security Council resolution that has taken the first step to legally ending Israeli violations and illegal settlement construction, but he has also decided to incite against his own country's interests. What does he hope to achieve by emboldening and encouraging Israeli aggression, rewarding the Jewish State's ceaseless violations of international law by establishing Washington's diplomatic presence in Jerusalem, land deemed holy to three world religions?
When the inevitable backlash and militancy occurs in retaliation at this stripping of Jerusalem from its mainly Muslim occupants who have lived there for almost a millennium and a half, Trump is likely to declare that attacks against US interests at home and abroad is terrorism linked to Daesh or whatever organisation is flavour of the month at the time it happens, precisely how Al-Qaeda was used as a pretext to invade Iraq, along with bogus WMD claims.
When that happens, The Trumpster's military will carry out what their president spoke about in September 2016, and steal yet more of the Middle East's resources while calling it "reimbursement" for "liberating" the region from terrorism that their policies created. With such blatant acts of provocation designed to extract a response that Trump can then use as an excuse to level yet more cities in the region, the best way to describe him is to say that he is a walking war crime waiting to happen, and his behaviour is a continuation – if exaggerated version – of American policy in the region since time immemorial.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.