Trump's 'beautiful' failures
How the US president's salesmanship trumps his
By Marwan Bishara
July 22, 2020 "Information
Clearing House" - Listening to
US President Donald Trump tell Fox News on
Sunday that "We won two world wars, beautiful
world wars, that were vicious and horrible," one
does not know whether to laugh or cry.
It is certainly a shocking statement, but the
fact that it is no longer surprising to hear
such crudity from the American president is, in
The president boasts of having an Ivy League
education and knowing the "best words", but his
poor and slurred speech and repetitive use of a
very few words like "tremendous", "amazing" and
"beautiful", tell a different story.
The use of "beautiful" in this context of
world war may be another slip of the tongue,
caused by dementia - something psychologists
have claimed he may have.
But this is different from "Belgium is a
beautiful city" which slipped Trump's tongue in
It signals something more sinister.
Regardless of whether Trump meant it or not,
the record shows his use of "beautiful" may
rather be associated with his long history of
salesmanship. Well, "used-cars"-style
salesmanship to be precise.
In other words, it is linked to deception.
Trump has boasted of reviving "beautiful
clean coal" and called the environmentally
controversial Dakota Access oil pipeline
"beautiful" as well. He has lamented the taking
down of "beautiful" Confederate statues that are
associated with the dark past of fighting to
maintain slavery in the South, and bragged about
his appointment of "brand new, beautiful
Trump has spoken of a "beautiful" healthcare
bill to replace Obamacare, although it is yet to
materialise as the administration continues its
assault on what is left of the much-needed
programme amid a pandemic.
Trump has also committed to building a real,
high and "beautiful" wall along the border with
Mexico, which Congress and most Americans have
opposed, prompting the president to declare a
national emergency for the sole purpose of
paying for it.
Trump has justified his extraordinary
decision to build his "beautiful wall" on the
grounds of ending undocumented immigration,
stopping drugs from coming into the US, and
making Mexico pay for it. He has even warned of
threats to national security.
In reality, the construction of the border
wall has not curbed border crossings, which have
recently increased. It is also unlikely to have
much effect on drug trafficking, as drugs are
mostly smuggled through legal ports of entry.
And, last but not least, Mexico is a trade
partner, not an enemy - it has not and will not
pay for the wall.
Nowhere is the use of "beautiful" more
disturbing than in association with weapons and
the Middle East.
During his first foreign trip in 2017,
Trump boasted in Riyadh of his eagerness to
sell "beautiful weapons" worth tens of billions
of dollars to Qatar and other rich Gulf
countries to create more American jobs and
better Gulf security.
But a few days later,
Trump sided with Saudi Arabia, the United
Arab Emirates and Bahrain when they imposed a
blockade on Qatar based on false pretexts and
Trump soon reversed his position, but has not
been able to pressure his Gulf allies to end
their siege on Qatar and cease the unnecessary
divisions and instability.
Instead, the Trump administration has
inflamed regional instability by walking away
from the Iran nuclear deal and, along with
Israel, escalated tensions with Tehran.
After the assassination of General Qassem
Soleimani, the head of Al Quds Force of Iran's
Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Trump boasted
of spending $2 trillion on arms and
threatened to target Iran with "brand new
Trump bragged about these and other Middle
East policies to the Israeli American Council,
which is subsidised mainly by his own
"patron-in-chief", casino owner Sheldon Adelson.
There, he sang the praise of a "beautiful and
mighty" Israel and ridiculed Arab and other
leaders, who appealed to him not to recognise
Jerusalem as the capital of Israel or recognise
its annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights.
And to top it all off and take it to a whole
new level of absurdity, Trump later described
the happy reaction of his once personal lawyer
and present US ambassador to Israel, David
Friedman, as that of a "wonderful, beautiful
The preposterousness of the image is matched
only by the farcicality of the story behind the
decision on the Golan Heights. As Trump tells
it, he asked for a "quickie" explanation about
the Heights, then "I went Bing! - it was done".
This has all been part of the "big, big
beautiful difference" between his and his
predecessor's commitment to Israel - one which
comes at the expense of its Palestinian and Arab
neighbours, and which ended up torpedoing
decades of US Middle East diplomacy.
Trump's beautiful policy failures in the
Middle East are only matched by his failures in
Trump praised and mused about his "love"
relationship with the North Korean leader, Kim
Jong Un, who apparently sent him "beautiful
letters". After their 2018 summit, he
declared that Americans can "sleep well at
night" knowing that North Korea was prepared to
give up its nuclear weapons.
The following year, Trump praised Kim's
"great and beautiful vision" for his country
which, as anyone who knows anything about the
totalitarian regime knows, is a big lie, a
political heresy, an utter humbug.
And soon enough, it turned out his buddy Kim
has been using their bromance to perfect his
vision of North Korea as a nuclear power with
long-range missiles capable of carrying
For the record, Trump also said he received
"beautiful" letters from Russian President
Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader, Xi Jinping.
Need I say more?
Trump even got a "beautiful birthday card"
from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as
the latter cracked down on royal family members,
journalists and human rights advocates.
And so the president with the "beautiful
temperament" and "beautiful [some say small]
hands" promises to continue to work for a "bright
and beautiful" future for the new
generations across the Middle East and beyond.
A beautiful man indeed.
The question is: Would you buy a beautiful
used car from him?