SHOOTING FROM THE HIP
Following the attacks in Lahore, leading Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump tweeted to his 7 million followers, “Another radical Islamic attack, this time in Pakistan, targeting Christian women & children. At least 67 dead, 400 injured. I alone can solve.” We speak to British-Pakistani commentator Tariq Ali about Trump’s candidacy, as well as Bernie Sanders.
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
AMY GOODMAN: Following the attacks in Lahore, the killing of, what, more than 72 people, injuring close to 350, the presidential front-runner of the Republican Party, Donald Trump, tweeted to his 7 million followers. Quote, “Another radical Islamic attack, this time in Pakistan, targeting Christian women & children. At least 67 dead, 400 injured. I alone can solve”, Trump tweeted. Tariq Ali?
TARIQ ALI: Complete fantasist, Amy. What can this guy do to deal with the problem in Pakistan? He doesn’t even understand it, if he speaks of only Christians being killed. That’s bad enough. Lots of Muslims, as you said earlier and as the country knows, more Muslims than Christians, have died. Why didn’t he mention that? Why, if he’s a serious politician, didn’t he say that these terrorist attacks do not only take place in Europe or North America, they actually target other Muslims in Muslim states regularly, and more people die there? It’s simply this one got more publicity because it came very soon after Brussels, so it made the front pages of The New York Times and various European papers. Had it happened six months later, it would have been inside-page news. But for Trump to be so completely ignorant of what’s going on is hardly a surprise. And this is just empty bravado. “I can deal with it.” What—how can you deal with it? By nuking the country? I mean, it’s just ridiculous!
AMY GOODMAN: Well, Donald Trump, his first television advertisement certainly created a lot of controversy, as it demanded a ban on Muslims entering the United States, while vowing to decapitate the militant group ISIS.
TARIQ ALI: Well, I mean, you know, how can you decapitate a group that has been created as a result of your own actions? Everyone knows, it’s not a secret—and Trump himself actually has said it; Obama has said it, too—that had we not invaded Iraq, there would have been no ISIS, which is absolutely true. So it’s U.S. policies, which create these groups, and then more wars are proposed to deal with them, to decapitate them, when the actual problem isn’t understood.
But I think, Amy, that Trump’s popularity, whether we like it or not, doesn’t come from stupid, absurd remarks like this, but comes that he appeals to a layer which feels—social—a social layer in American political life which has been ignored by mainstream politicians, and which is poor, white, working-class families. That is where his appeal is coming from. And thank God we’ve got Bernie Sanders also appealing to this layer, and others, and saying there is an alternative on the other side. My fear is that if Bernie is not the presidential candidate of the Democrats—which might be the case, though I hope not—and Trump has to deal with Hillary on the issue of war, on the issue of TTIP and all these trade treaties that have been signed, on the issue of doing something for poor whites, he’ll trump her, to use an awful pun. He will do better than her. She has absolutely no reply on any of these issues or of being a creature of Wall Street.
AMY GOODMAN: We have less than a minute, but you have the interesting political phenomenon in Britain of Jeremy Corbyn rising to be Labour leader. The Independent just reported that Jeremy Corbyn overtakes David Cameron in leadership satisfaction ratings. If you can very quickly comment on Jeremy Corbyn now in his tenure as Labour leader?
TARIQ ALI: Amy, I’ve written a long essay on his progress in the last London Review of Books. He’s doing well. He carries on addressing meetings. He’s very similar in many ways to Bernie Sanders, except that he’s actually the leader of a political party. If the Blairites stop sniping at him from inside the Labour Party and let him get on with it, I don’t think it’s at all impossible that Jeremy Corbyn could be the country’s next prime minister, because David Cameron is in a fix with the euro referendum coming up, with his own party divided. So we could have an election sooner than 2020, and a unified force behind Jeremy could actually propel him into Downing Street.
AMY GOODMAN: Tariq Ali, I want to thank you for being with us, political commentator, historian, activist, filmmaker, novelist, editor of the New Left Review. His latest book, The Extreme Centre: A Warning. He’s written a number of books on Pakistani politics and history.
This is Democracy Now! When we come back, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald on the FBI versus Apple. Stay with us.
Tabacco: That’s the British ‘Guardian’ Newspaper, folks!
Note: Trump is AGING FAST, but NOT WELL!
Women who have illegal abortions should be punished, Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump said on Wednesday.
Trump was asked by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews to define his “pro-life” stance and assertions that abortion should be banned.
“Do you believe in punishment for abortion – yes or no – as a principle?” asked Matthews, during the taping of a town hall event.
“The answer is there has to be some form of punishment”, said Trump.
“For the woman?” Matthews said.
“Yeah, there has to be some form”, Trump replied.
“Ten cents, 10 years, what?” Matthews asked again, pressing.
“That I don’t know”, said Trump.
Asked about a ban, the Republican frontrunner said that people would circumvent it: “Well, you go back to a position like they had where they would perhaps go to illegal places, but we have to ban it.”
The 90-second exchange is likely to inflame Democratic pro-choice advocates, Republicans who have criticized Trump for flip-flopping on the issue, and anti-abortion advocates who may call Trump’s comments a misunderstanding of their stance.
In a 1999 interview, Trump described himself as “pro-choice in every respect”, and also said he would not “ban abortion” if he was ever elected president. But his position as a presidential candidate has changed starkly.
Tabacco: That’s called “PANDERING TO THE CONSERVATIVES”! If you saw him say it, you know he doesn’t really believe that nor is he committed to it. But you know how Billionaires, who want anything a whole lot, will say or do anything to get it!
You don’t become a Billionaire by being Truthful, Honest or Fair-minded! Donald Trump is a Billionaire, 4-Corporate Bankruptcies in 18-years notwithstanding!
Trump later tried to clarify his position in a statement, but stopped short of retracting his view stated on MSNBC that women should be punished.
However, Trump seemed to acknowledge that the establishment of any anti-abortion law would fall to Congress or state legislatures.
“If Congress were to pass legislation making abortion illegal and the federal courts upheld this legislation, or any state were permitted to ban abortion under state and federal law, the doctor or any other person performing this illegal act upon a woman would be held legally responsible, not the woman. The woman is a victim in this case as is the life in her womb. My position has not changed – like Ronald Reagan, I am pro-life with exceptions”, the statement said.
Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton called the comments “horrific and telling”.
The Pot Calling The Kettle
DONALD’S BIGGEST PROBLEM
Foot-In-The Mouth Trophy For 2016 Awarded To
GOP Presidential Candidate, Donald Trump
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