Anyone can and is entitled to change their mind. Neil Young urged it and Ralph Waldo Emerson warned that “foolish consistency is the hobgoblin” of little ones – bringing to mine the thought that this president is possessed of a petty and easily distracted, if not small one. Whatever its size, the Trump mind and his foreign intervention doctrine could rationally evolve in just three days, from the position that Bashar al-Assad’s ouster was a matter for the Syrian people and would be a “silly” objective of American policy to attacking Assad’s Shayrat airbase and comparing his war atrocities with Hitler’s – the one from Austria, not Boston.
The new Trump doctrine, announced by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is straightforward “[w]e dedicate ourselves to holding to account any and all who commit crimes against the innocents anywhere in the world.”
This bold declaration invites, and probably demands, some reminder of where that is happening – crimes against innocents on a systematic, widespread and quantitatively large scale. So that the onward Trumpian soldiers can get cracking at this big goal, that is significantly if not diametrically opposite to the “America First” and “not the world’s policeman” rhetoric of the campaign and the administration’s first 76 days.
Rohingya Muslims, including babies are being slaughtered by Burmese government security services, according to a recent U.N. report. This long running ethnic and religious “cleansing” has evoked a “genocide” declaration from the International Alliance to End Genocide and is especially shocking since it continues under Myanmar’s new leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, the legendary human rights activist and Nobel Peace laureate.
The atrocities committed by the Arab Janjaweed Militia and Sudanese government against the Fur, Massalit and Zaghawa African peoples were once top of the American human rights consciousness, but has all but disappeared from most media coverage. The rape and slaughter continue, with more than 250,000 deaths occurring after the U.S. labeled it a genocide. One with the goal of ridding Darfur of African peoples to make way for Arab herders.
Genocides are also ongoing in Ethiopia, where the Guji are slaughtering the Burji ethnic minority and in the eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where the long running mass killing of Hema, Lendu, Banyamulenge and Hutu Banyarwanda ethnic minorities continues to be perpetrated by many of the same killers involved in the Rwandan genocide of 1994, in which 800,000 people were slaughtered in 100 days.
The same international alliance that has declared these as genocides has also warned that others may be imminent in Nigeria, Chad, Uzbekistan, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya and the Central African Republic. In all these countries widespread massacres of innocents is already occurring. And there are many others.
Now that the revised Trump Doctrine has been announced and widely reported, there is no doubt, not even metaphysical, that advocates for the innocents in all these places will be calling upon America and this administration to deliver on Trump’s change of mind pledge.