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The first 100 days of Trump: decisiveness or unpredictable?

President Donald Trump delivered his first Commander-in-Chief moment as he ordered a strike on a Syria airfield use in that week’s chemical attack on civilians

By: EBR - Posted: Monday, April 10, 2017

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Yet, Trump is working and he is working hard. During the first 70 days of his mandate, the President has taken more actions and signed more Executive Orders than any other US President before him ever did. The Dow-Jones has climbed to astronomic levels and unemployment in the US is already in sharp decline. Trump calls terrorists by their name. He uses the words “Islamist terrorists” because this is what they are and he vows for their complete eradication, from their ‘complete elimination from the surface of the earth’. Trump does not call Israel’s capital but Jerusalem and not Al-Quds. He does not regard the Jews and the Israelis as foreigners in the Holy Land, as fifty-six so-called ‘Islamic’ countries call them, in the very chart of their political body the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC). He does not regard them as usurpers, or culprits, or suppressors.
Yet, Trump is working and he is working hard. During the first 70 days of his mandate, the President has taken more actions and signed more Executive Orders than any other US President before him ever did. The Dow-Jones has climbed to astronomic levels and unemployment in the US is already in sharp decline. Trump calls terrorists by their name. He uses the words “Islamist terrorists” because this is what they are and he vows for their complete eradication, from their ‘complete elimination from the surface of the earth’. Trump does not call Israel’s capital but Jerusalem and not Al-Quds. He does not regard the Jews and the Israelis as foreigners in the Holy Land, as fifty-six so-called ‘Islamic’ countries call them, in the very chart of their political body the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC). He does not regard them as usurpers, or culprits, or suppressors.

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by Hans Izaak Kriek*

Trump’s decision to launch fifty-nine Tomahawk cruise missiles at an airfield in retaliation for a chemical attack that killed score of civilians ratchets up the intensity of a complicated regional conflict, increases the risk of clashes with Russia, and will generate a vigorous debate about the US role. I spoke with a high-ranked politician who said: “Be honest, especially if you’ve never liked Donald Trump. Didn’t it make you feel good to hear the president explain his decision to attack Syria by declaring, “no child of God should ever suffer this horror”? I think he’s right.

Trump addressed the nation calling the strike in the US ‘national interest’, which requires a revision to Trump’s stated ‘America First’ foreign policy. Instead, Trump appears to be veering into humanitarian strain he has long decried as outside the American interest. Similarly, the strike creates more questions than answers, as it more fully inserts Trump into the Syrian conflict after a week of confounding statements. Trump aides said he was deeply moved by footage of the victims of the attack, which strengthened his resolve to strike, but he - like his predecessor – has little in the way of a strategy for a problem that offers no easy solutions.

Donald Trump did what Obama has not done, firing missiles on Syria after a chemical attack on civilians. Question: Legitimate action or act with far-reaching consequences? Is

Trump making a turn to an ordinary presidency? Suddenly the hawks of the Republican Party welcome Trump.

On other interesting point, Neil Gorsuch has been confirmed as the next US Supreme Court Justice after Republicans triggered the nuclear option the other day. Trump is set to swear-in Gorsuch in what is likely to mark his most substantial achievement of his first 100 days. Senate confirms Trump’s first Scotus pick. Gorsuch is now expected to be formally sworn in and will join his eight fellow justices in an investiture ceremony to be held later in April.

The last remarkable pronunciation of Donald Trump is about North Korea. Trump: “If China does not participate, the US does if necessary debunks the nuclear program of North Korea. The President said this in an interview with the Financial Times. He challenges with this statement China, three days before his first meeting with his counterpart, President Xi Jinping of China. The nuclear threat from North Korea was high on the agenda of the meeting in Trump's Mar A Lago in Palm Beach Florida. Trump said: "The US is 'fully' in charge to catch North Korea without the help of China." Trump doesn't say how he wants to do it.

Going back to the first 100 days of Trump presidency. What did he do in those first 100 days? What did he show? Was it decisiveness or unpredictable? The question came already in the air during the campaign season, and sure enough Trump has followed the format. During his nomination acceptance speech in July 2016 he said that he was ‘going to ask every department head in government to provide a list of wasteful spending on projects that we can eliminate in my first 100 days”, and he followed that up with a post-election announcement of the first-100-days goals. 

The tradition of looking to that period as a presidential milestone dates back to 1933, when Franklin Roosevelt focused on his first 100 days in office in order to underscore the urgency of his mission to turn the nation around during the Great Depression. As an idea was a big hit. But, I think, it didn’t really make sense as a way to judge the new presidency back then-and it doesn’t make sense now, either.

People love or hate the Donald. And most people and politicians in Europe don't like him. Special the media have big trouble with the president. Everyone knows the expression of Trump what he said about the press 'Fake News'. In a recent interview that host Sean Hannity of Fox News did with a colleague of CBS. Hannity stated that he has never seen this before- 'the media is out to destroy this President'. And it seems an actual story. Look for instance at the ‘distinguished’ newspapers the Washington Post and the New York Times.

Trump's everything about his remarkable presidency, his style, plans and tactics, the intimates of the President and his corporate empire is the most compassionate story of my life. Rarely called a new American president so much resistance and divisions as Donald Trump. Domestically and abroad he sows confusion about his motives and plans. Trump's presidency got more headwind than any other president in US history. Trump is a businessman and not a politician. People and media doesn't sit in that reality. I follow mr. Trump critical since his announcing he wants to run for President of the United States and had the pleasure to interviewed him last year for European Business Review.

Though, Trump is still targeted by a campaign full of hatred, the magnitude of which is unprecedented in American history. The President had to overcome tremendous obstacles while seeking confirmation for the members of his administration. His choices for the White House staff, though a matter falling entirely within his sole prerogative, have been systematically and continuously undermined. 

Daily activities of his closest relatives, including his wife and children, are scrutinised and any information that may pop-up from such scrutiny, is used abundantly to undermine his position. Lately, his accusation against the Obama administration for having wiretapped his campaign and possibly himself has been dismissed and ridiculed before even any investigation was conducted to look at the matter and today, it appears that not only he was right but also that he was wiretapped included after he was elected, something which could turn being the biggest scandal ever in American political espionage.

Yet, Trump is working and he is working hard. During the first 70 days of his mandate, the President has taken more actions and signed more Executive Orders than any other US President before him ever did. The Dow-Jones has climbed to astronomic levels and unemployment in the US is already in sharp decline. Trump calls terrorists by their name. He uses the words “Islamist terrorists” because this is what they are and he vows for their complete eradication, from their ‘complete elimination from the surface of the earth’. 

Trump does not call Israel’s capital but Jerusalem and not Al-Quds. He does not regard the Jews and the Israelis as foreigners in the Holy Land, as fifty-six so-called ‘Islamic’ countries call them, in the very chart of their political body the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC). He does not regard them as usurpers, or culprits, or suppressors.

The well-known historian and philosopher Will Durant, a Pulitzer Prize winner, had a famous quote: “a great civilisation is not conquered from without, until it has destroyed itself from within” sounds like a warning for the situation in which American has fallen since Trump got elected president. It seems like powerful forces, in their resolve and actions aiming at destroying Trump, will go straight to the end including if America shall be destroyed in such course.

It is not in Europe’s interest to taking part in the anti-Trump crusade; on the contrary, Europe should find terms that will allow the European peoples to benefit for the term of a President who most likely shall be the most successful President in modern American history. European companies greatest interest is to invest massively in America, and share the profits of a policy centered around deregulation and job-creation. 

European leaderships may find in the policy and the strategy advocated by Trump a source for reforms on the continent, able to overcome challenges that are lasting for more than four decades. The European peoples must get themselves out of the cognitive dissonance that is nowadays paralysing their spirit, and look at the Trump revolution as something they might positively use for their own sake.

A new era of full solidarity and interest complementarity between Europe and America is now starting. Let it be an opportunity for the peoples from both sides of the Atlantic.

*Hans Izaak Kriek is an international political commentator for European Business Review and editor-in-chief of Kriek Media

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