ISIS’ 2017 Man Of The Year: Donald Trump

Please note this article has an element of fiction to it in that I neither speak for ISIS nor am in any sort of communication with them. In fact as far as I know they do not name a Man of the Year award. (It certainly wouldn’t be Person of the Year).

Men of the Year decisions have to be made well in advance of announcement and publication. I am writing this article on the morning of Pearl Harbor Day, some 20 days in advance of publication. I will probably neglect to mention some of President Trump’s “achievements” that further the cause of ISIS and very possibly some will occur between my writing and your reading of this article. That said, Trump has done more than enough to merit this recognition.

During his campaign and first year in office Trump has repeatedly engaged in anti-Muslim rhetoric. Part of what ISIS uses to recruit is that they indoctrinate impressionable people with the message that non-Muslims, particularly Americans, hate them simply because of who they are and how they choose to worship. They use Trump as a prime example of that prejudice. His tweets and rants provide fodder for ISIS to reinforce their points.

Trump wasn’t in office a month when he made his first attempt to install a Muslim Ban. That and his next effort failed in the courts, but the third one is currently in effect pending further court action. ISIS’ message is clear. America hates you, here is the proof; and if they hate you, you must in turn hate them. Extending that, they want to kill you so you are faced with a kill or be killed situation.

ISIS spread the message that furthermore if death is inevitable perhaps I should take some of them with me. This is in large part why we have suicide attackers. They feel their death at the hands of those who hate them is inevitable and at least they “accomplish” something if they take enemies with them on their way to death. Trump’s actions not only are a great recruiting tool; they help recruit the most difficult to combat terrorists: lone wolves resigned to dying in the process of committing terrorist acts. Law enforcement has a much better chance of preventing an organized group from successfully committing a terrorist act than they do of stopping a lone wolf.

In one of his attempts to keep his base Trump actually retweeted an ISIS recruiting video. He isn’t the only fool; he got it from a British extreme right wing radical. Why would a reasonable American President even be following the tweets of such a person? (I think I answered my own question by using the word “reasonable” – Donald Trump is not!) Xenophobia isn’t rational so I guess an appeal to it can’t be either.

But Trump’s greatest gift to ISIS recruiters occurred on December 6th when he recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and ordered the American State Department to begin work on moving our embassy to there. No country in the world that recognizes Israel has their embassy in Jerusalem. There is a reason for that. Jerusalem contains many of the most holy sites of three religions: Christianity, Judaism and Islam. The Christians appear to be happy with free access for tourism – no big problem there. That is in large part because few Christians live in the region. The denizens of Jerusalem are mostly Jews and Muslims. They both desire control of the city and certainly free access to their holy sites. This is a complicated and contentious issue! In the minds of many Muslims (remember the terrorist recruiting prospects are the easily influenced ones) that is America giving the Israelis what they wanted at the expense of the Palestinians. If you were an ISIS recruiter you just got a giant early Christmas present from the President of the United States!

This award is fictitious but the danger Trump put Americans in worldwide is not. Many future terrorist attacks around the world will have their roots in Trump’s 2017 actions.

It has become my practice to take the end of the year off from writing. Therefore today’s article was written well before publishing.

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