Celebrities are Not Brave Standing Up to Trump, They Never Said a Word about Obama’s Abominable Policies
After the presidential election, it was a surprise to many people and media pundits, that Donald Trump won the oval office. To counter this, many Hollywood celebrities voiced objection to Trump’s rhetoric and polices. While Trump was president-elect, actress Streep took the time to show her disapproval of Trump’s misogyny. During the Golden Globes, actress Meryl Streep took the time to call out president Trump’s actions of imitating a disabled reporter, “It sank its hooks in my heart”. While I do believe that ridiculing any reporter’s health is derogatory and hideous, Streep never took the time to criticize former president Obama’s attack on the free press. The Obama administration has used the Espionage Act indiscriminately, against whistle blowers revealing unlawful acts the United States government was found perpetrating. In signing the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) in 2013, the military is authorized to detain foreigners or American citizens indefinitely accused of terrorism indefinitely ,without a trial. The fact that Obama is handing president Trump the keys to holding detained persons, without a trial, should be criticized immensely.
Another actress, Taraneh Alidoosti, decided to boycott the Oscars to protest president Trump’s executive order. Trump’s executive order calling for the suspension of immigration from seven predominately Muslim countries (Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Iran, Libya, Sudan, and Iraq). She claimed on twitter, “Trump’s visa ban for Iranians is racist”.
However, what Alidoosti doesn’t understand, is that the underlying problem was not caused by Trump, but rather the policies that have taken place during the last decade. When the Bush administration pushed the war in Iraq, it was only the beginning of the end for civilians in the Middle East. At least 1.7 million Iraqi civilians have died, as a result of ten years initiated in the “War on Terror”(U.N). Former president, Barack Obama, didn’t help the situation in the least. In fact, he only made it worse off.
Obama greatly expanded the drone warfare program, that was previously implemented by the Bush administration. According to the Bureau of Investigation, the U.S carried out an estimated ten times (563) as many drone strikes during the Obama years, than the Bush era (57). The Obama administration claimed drone strikes were not putting “innocent men, women and children in danger”. In all actuality, the White House released a report in direct contradiction to the White House’s previous claim. However, human rights organizations feel that in fact these numbers underestimate the actual data. According to a paper by Gregory McNeal, seventy percent of strikes were used on collateral damage. According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, the estimate is six times higher(308–801)! As the majority of American troops left Afghanistan in 2014, there was a forty percent increase in U.S air attacks. According to the U.N, there was at least eighty-five civilian casualties. In 2010, at least eighty-nine civilians were killed, after 128 CIA drone attacks. In Yemen, commanders believed they were targeting terrorists, but instead killed fifty-five people (21 children, 12 women(5 pregnant)). Now, the U.S is currently bombing up to seven countries, and dropped over twenty-six thousand bombs last year alone.
One of the most prominent air attacks, occurred in October 2011. A sixteen-year-old U.S. citizen named Abdulrahman Awlaki, son of Anwar al Awlaki, died in a JSOC (Joint Special Operations Command) strike. During a press account, an anonymous official called Abdulrahman’s death “an outrageous mistake”. In turn, these types of actions caused human rights organization to take quick action. The ACLU launched a legal battle, over the fact that American citizens were getting killed, over the controversial targeted killing program. The U.S Constitution and international law prohibits the use of lethal force outside of armed conflict zones unless it is used as a last resort against a concrete, specific, and imminent threat of grave harm. Clearly this person was not a grave threat to the United States, especially because he is over eight thousand miles away, eating dinner with his cousins. These types of actions, not only called for, but forced Trump to continue this lavish force on civilians in the Middle East. According to the Guardian, president Trump personally approved a raid that killed the daughter of Anwar al-Awlaki, an eight year old American girl.
Even if you do not take all of the violent tactics used by both the Bush and Obama administrations, believe it or not, Obama was the one that allowed president Trump to implement his so called “Muslim Ban”. If Alidoosti were remotely an advocate for immigration, she would have criticized the Obama administration in February 2016. Why do I bring this date up? On this date, the Department of Homeland Security announced that it would continue the implementation of the Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015. The Act set forth, during the Obama years keep in mind, would add three countries to the Visa Waiver Program travel, from individuals in Libya, Somalia, and Yemen. From March 1st, 2011 and on, it was U.S policy under the Obama administration, to restrict and target people from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan. Still don’t believe Obama’s policy was a big deal to certain nationalities? Some civil rights groups voice their discontent, “ These restrictions have provoked an outcry from the Iranian-American community, as well as Arab-American and civil-liberties groups, who say the restrictions on dual nationals and certain travelers are discriminatory and could be imposed against American dual nationals.” Wait! I thought Trump did everything horrible and caused all bad immigration policies! Nope, the failed policies of neo-liberal democrats, caused president Trump.
The victory of Trump was not based of racism and xenophobia, but anger against the political establishment who has lambasted the middle and working class of this country for years. After the financial collapse, not a single bank executive went to jail, for the illegal fraud orchestrated selling toxic mortgage packages to home buyers. The Obama administration made some of the Bush era tax cuts permanent, and proposed cuts to social security early in his administration as a “Grand Bargain” with republicans. One of Obama’s touted accomplishments, the Affordable Care Act, originated from a conservative think tank, the Heritage Foundation. In fact, it was written by lobbyists, so that pharmaceutical industries could make a profit off. It’s laughable to call this piece of legislation, “healthcare reform”, when the law never included the importation of cheaper prescription drugs from Canada or even the public option. These policy initiatives, presented by democrats beholden to their donors, allowed corporatism to take the strong hold of the Democratic party, over the principles of progressives.