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NYT Trumpwashes 70 Years of US Crimes

Photo Credit: Jamelle Bouie / Flickr CC

The New York Times reports that Donald Trump “holds a radically opposite perspective of the United States’ role in the universe than many of his predecessors,” citing his miss of seductiveness in “the rules-based postwar general order.”

Trumpwashing—defined as whitewashing, obscuring or rewriting the broader US record by presenting Donald Trump as an misconception (FAIR.org, 6/3/16)—was on full dis

play Thursday in a nominally true news report from the New York Times’ Mark Landler (12/28/17) on how Trump has reshaped US unfamiliar policy. Buried in the differently prosaic research was this gem of US majestic agitprop:


Above all, Mr. Trump has remade the world’s perspective of the United States from a arguable anchor of the liberal, rules-based general sequence into something some-more inward-looking and unpredictable. That is a seminal change from the role the country has played for 70 years, under presidents from both parties, and it has durability implications for how other countries draft their futures.

There’s lots of beliefs to empty here, but let’s start with the empirically fake avowal that the “world” noticed the United States as a “reliable anchor of the liberal, rules-based general order.” Poll (Guardian, 6/15/06) after check (Pew, 3/14/07) after check (PRI, 1/3/14) via the years has shown that much of the universe views the United States as hazard to peace, mostly holding the top mark as the singular biggest threat. What justification Landler has for the universe observation the US as a arrange of cooperative global babysitter is unclear, as he cites zero to support this hugely critical explain (since if Trump’s asocial negligence for “human rights” is zero new, then there’s no genuine story here). It’s just thrown out with the arrogance the Times readership is amply nationalistic and/or amnesiac to possibly not notice or not care. It’s designed to flatter, not to elucidate.

The US advance of Iraq in rebuttal of general rules.

The second indeterminate avowal is the thought that the US is “viewed” as being (or, by implication, objectively is) endangered with “liberal, rules-based general order.” Perhaps Landler missed the partial where the US runs offshore penal colonies for unused domestic prisoners, and a decade-long drone fight that’s killed thousands—both wholly outward the range of general law. Or the time the US invaded and broken Iraq but any general authorization, killing hundreds of thousands. Or maybe he missed the partial where the United States refuses to sign “liberal, rules-based general order” treaties such as the International Criminal Court or the ban on bombs and or a breach on nuclear weapons. Or the partial where the US not only doesn’t commend the International Criminal Court, but has a law on its books (dubbed “the Hague Invasion Act,” upheld in 2002) that if an American is ever held by the ICC for committing fight crimes, the US is thankful to literally invade the Hague and free them.

And this is just in the past 15 years. Landler, even some-more laughably, starts the time in 1947, which would embody dozens of non-“liberal,” non-“rules-based” coups, invasions, bombing campaigns, assassinations, extrajudicial murders and so forth. The series of actions carried out by the US not authorised by even the thinnest stratagem of “international order” is too prolonged to list.

What accurately is this “liberal, rules-based general order,” and when did “the world” perspective the United States as its many arguable anchor? Landler doesn’t say, he simply asserts this rarely contestable and ideological claim, and moves on to pearl-clutch about Trump ruining the US’s hard-won dignified authority. He has some 100 percent untouched pro-US beliefs to pull under the guise of criticizing Trump, and no volume of simple chronological contribution will get in his way.

Adam Johnson is a contributing researcher at FAIR and contributing author for AlterNet. Follow him on Twitter @AdamJohnsonNYC.

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