American Culture of Distraction in Pure Form

Donald Trump no longer wants to play the world’s policeman, so he declares the withdrawal of troops. This is the American culture of distraction in pure form – this way he can sweep the budget fight under the carpet.

Donald Trump is calling it quits. Don’t worry, not with first lady Melania Trump. Just with the world. “The United States cannot continue to be the policeman of the world,” the U.S. president said during a surprise visit to Al Asad air base in the western Iraqi province of Anbar.

The reason for the sudden end? The deployments are too expensive. And that seems to irritate Trump the businessman the most: that the U.S. alone is left with all of the expense. He finds fault with this kind of support – Americans are deployed around the world and no one pays the U.S. for its military operations.

It’s quite shameless that the world doesn’t assist in financing the police – and at that, in the face of the budget crisis at home that Trump actually ought to solve. If he could demand money for the military from other countries, he could build a truly big wall, maybe even far beyond the Mexican border. But because the world won’t play along, Trump needs to get creative. And he is.

In the shortest possible time, he announced the complete withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria and partial withdrawal from Afghanistan. The order met with surprise and rejection even in his own ranks; internationally, the president is drawing criticism. That the soldiers he visited in Iraq are not being withdrawn is dismissed with smiles by both sides. Both issues appear not to concern Trump at all. Nonetheless, pressing problems are waiting at home that he needs to distract people’s attention from – like the not-yet-approved budget or the endless fight over the ailing heath care system.

He will not be able to end the shutdown with a change in military plans. But returning soldiers to their homes makes families happy, delivers idyllic photos for the country and strengthens community spirit – and right in time for Christmas.

Great. This is the American culture of distraction in pure form. When Trump draws the attention of the public at home to foreign policy, the budget problems are buried in the background. The U.S. military is a large carpet under which the current U.S. president can sweep his domestic turmoil; all the same, this time with a troop withdrawal – and not with a new foreign deployment.

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About Sandra Alexander 459 Articles
I have retired after41 years of teaching German in the Philadelphia area - 33 years at a high school and 8 years at a small, private college. I have an M.A. in German and keep my German language skills current by translating.

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