(American Vagabond) The other day I asked my audiences on Facebook and Twitter what they think are some of the most under-reported stories about the awful things the Trump administration has been doing. The Russiagate narrative has sucked so much oxygen out of the room for criticism of the actual, real horrible agendas this president has advanced in the ten months he’s been in office, and for that reason it can be tempting to view him as either a treasonous Putin puppet or a poor misunderstood hero.
He is neither. Donald Trump has been facilitating the same neoliberal, neoconservative, omnicidal, ecocidal, oppressive and exploitative agendas as his predecessors, and has even kicked the death march up several notches in some key areas. One of the many, many dangers of Russiagate is that it causes those things to go unnoticed.
What follows is not a complete list of Trump’s misdeeds, but of those which don’t get enough airplay. Trump’s demagoguery, rudeness and ridiculous North Korean brinkmanship all play well on TV — his continuation and expansion of the evils of his corporatist predecessors, not so much. Not everyone will agree with all of these, and plenty will think that other things should have been included, and that’s fine. I just want to help get the ball rolling toward a real conversation. Here are ten things this administration has been doing that are going under-reported while everyone focuses on Russia:
- Massively Increased Drone Strikes
Increasing drone strikes by 432% and removing rules designed to minimize civilian casualties.
— Abhishek Ray (@forbidden_donut) November 15, 2017
If the statistics are accurate, then this is most egregious: https://t.co/vlrFseXr8e
— Faux NY Finch (@fauxnyfinch) November 15, 2017
I still sometimes hear people referring to Obama as “Obomber”, unaware amid all the vapid hysterical nonsense that the current president has already put him to shame in that department. Numbers are hard to verify given the US war machine’s vested interest in hiding its bloodshed, but nonprofit monitoring group Airwars is reporting more civilian deaths via coalition airstrikes in the first seven months of the Trump administration than in the entire eight years of the Obama administration.
If you want a visual image to give you an idea of what that looks like, here’s one of the graphs from the Airwars website:
That’s right, the current administration already facilitated the slaughter of thousands of noncombatants under the banner of “fighting terrorism”. It would be funny if it didn’t involve so many charred human corpses.
The monthly drone strikes of the Obama administration more than quadrupled under Trump, after they’d increased tenfold under Obama. And Trump has sought to ramp it up more by dropping some of the Obama-era limitations on CIA drone strikes.
So it looks like we’ll need a new nickname for the 44th president.