Just Sociology

Trump’s Military Actions and Noam Chomsky’s Perspective on Neoliberalism

The military actions conducted by President Trump have caused a stir both within and outside the United States. Trump’s decision to attack Syria with tomahawk missiles following claims of a chemical weapons attack left many questions about the legality and efficacy of the move.

Similarly, the Afghanistan attack with the Mother of All Bombs (MOAB) caused many to question the gravity of such a move. However, it is important to recognize that these actions must be investigated in a broader context of international relations, foreign policy, and domestic politics.

This article delves into Trump’s recent military actions and Noam Chomsky’s perspective on the current administration’s policies. Trump’s Recent Military Actions:

The Syrian Attack

The Syrian attack raised concerns on various fronts, including its legality as well as its effectiveness. In April 2017, President Trump authorized the use of tomahawk missiles against a Syrian airbase in response to claims of a chemical weapons attack on civilians by the Assad regime.

The move was controversial as it violated international law, which only allows the use of force in self-defense or under authorization from the United Nations Security Council.

The use of chemical weapons is a heinous act and there is no question that the Assad regime must be held accountable.

However, it is essential to recognize that international law exists for a reason and any breach of it could have significant consequences. Furthermore, the attack also had to be viewed within the context of complex geopolitical relations, particularly with Russia, which is a key ally of the Syrian government.

The Afghanistan Attack

In April 2017, the United States dropped the MOAB on a target in Afghanistan, which was claimed to be an ISIS stronghold. The MOAB, which stands for Massive Ordnance Air Blast, is a non-nuclear bomb that delivers a massive explosive impact.

While it is the most powerful non-nuclear bomb in the US arsenal, the attack still raised questions about the strategic importance of such a move. The move was criticized by some as an unnecessary show of force and a distraction from other pressing issues facing the administration.

Additionally, the attack came at a significant cost, estimated to be around $16 million, which was questioned in light of the current administration’s efforts to cut costs in other areas. Trump’s Campaign Promise:

During his campaign for presidency, Trump promised to focus on domestic policy and ordinary Americans.

However, his recent military actions call this promise into question. While claims of humanitarian intervention may justify the Syrian attack in the eyes of some, it must be noted that there are numerous domestic issues that need urgent attention, including healthcare, education, and income inequality.

Therefore, the decision to divert resources towards military actions outside of the country appears to contradict this promise. Noam Chomsky’s Perspective:

Noam Chomsky is a prominent American linguist, philosopher, and social critic who has been a vocal opponent of US foreign policy for decades.

His perspective on recent administration policies sheds light on some of the deeper issues. He argues that neoliberal policies, which prioritize big business over ordinary Americans, have contributed significantly to income inequality and poor working conditions.

Neoliberal Policies:

According to Chomsky, the economic policies adopted by the US government have focused on the promotion of free-market principles that have failed to benefit ordinary Americans. The policies have often resulted in stagnant wages, lack of job security, and poor working conditions, particularly for low-wage earners.

Chomsky asserts that anti-wage-theft legislation, which would protect workers from exploitative employers, and health and safety laws, have been blocked by big business interests that prioritize profits over people. Trump’s Repeal of Obamacare:

Chomsky’s perspective is particularly relevant in light of the current administration’s efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare.

The repeal of Obamacare threatens to leave millions of Americans without access to affordable healthcare, particularly the poor and underserved populations. Chomsky argues that the repeal is a deliberate attempt to cater to big business interests, who view healthcare as a marketable commodity rather than a basic human right.

Distraction Tactics:

Finally, Chomsky asserts that the Trump administration’s military actions are a form of distraction tactics to divert attention from pressing domestic issues. The focus on bombing foreign countries not only distracts the public from internal problems but also serves as a self-fulfilling prophecy that leads to more wars and destruction.

Conclusion:

Trump’s recent military actions and Chomsky’s perspective offer insight into the complex interplay between foreign policy, international relations, and domestic politics. It is essential to recognize the broader context in which these actions are taken and their impact on ordinary Americans.

While claims of humanitarian intervention may justify military action, it is important to explore alternative solutions to address the root causes of conflicts. Chomsky’s critique of neoliberal policies and the focus on big business interests over people provides a lens through which to view the current administration policies.

Ultimately, it is essential to prioritize the needs of ordinary Americans and work towards building more inclusive and equitable policies. Connection to Naomi Klein’s ‘The Shock Doctrine’:

The military actions conducted by the Trump administration cannot be viewed in isolation from broader policies and economic systems.

One such framework that offers insight into the linkages between military actions and economic policies is Naomi Klein’s ‘The Shock Doctrine’. The book, published in 2007, explores the evolution of neoliberalism and its impact on global politics and economics.

Evolution of Arguments:

Klein argues that neoliberalism is an economic theory that prioritizes free-market principles, deregulation of industries, and privatization of public services. The theory emerged in the late 1970s and early 1980s, as a response to the perceived failures of Keynesian economics, which advocated government intervention in the economy to stabilize markets and promote social welfare.

Neoliberalism was embraced by conservative politicians and economists, who argued that private enterprise was the most efficient and effective way to allocate resources. However, Klein argues that neoliberalism has led to significant income inequality, privatization of essential public services, and deregulation of industries, resulting in environmental degradation and exploitation of workers.

The book also explores the concept of disaster capitalism, which refers to the exploitation of natural or man-made disasters to push through unpopular economic policies. Klein argues that disaster capitalism is closely linked to the shock doctrine, which posits that people are more willing to accept radical and unpopular changes during times of crisis when they are in a state of shock.

In the context of Trump’s recent military actions, the linkages to disaster capitalism and the shock doctrine become increasingly evident. The Syrian attack, in particular, reflects elements of the shock doctrine.

The purported use of chemical weapons and the resulting public outrage provided a convenient pretext for the use of military force. The attack was used to legitimize military action and to divert attention from pressing domestic issues, such as healthcare or income inequality.

Furthermore, it could be argued that the Syrian attack was used to normalize the use of military force as a tool of foreign policy, reinforcing a militaristic worldview. The normalization of military force aligns with the broader neoliberal agenda, which privileges corporate interests at the expense of ordinary people.

The promotion of free-market principles and deregulation to facilitate privatization and profit-maximization has often come at the expense of social welfare policies and environmental protections. Similarly, the Afghanistan attack suggests that the Trump administration is willing to use military force as a tool of foreign policy without significant regard for the consequences.

The MOAB attack was used to demonstrate military might and to distract from pressing domestic issues. The attack could also be viewed as an experiment to gauge the effectiveness of the weapon, which has the potential to cause significant environmental damage.

The Trump administration’s national security strategy document released in December 2017 reflects elements of the shock doctrine. The document calls for increased military spending and the use of military force to project American power abroad.

The document emphasizes the importance of economic competitiveness and the need to reduce regulatory barriers to trade and investment. This agenda aligns with the broader neoliberal policies that prioritize corporate interests over social welfare and environmental protections.

The shock doctrine could also explain the Trump administration’s response to natural disasters, such as Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. The administration’s response to the crisis was criticized for being slow and insufficient, reflecting a lack of commitment to social welfare policies.

The administration’s emphasis on deregulation as a way to spur economic growth and its cuts to social welfare programs, such as Medicaid and food assistance, could be viewed as an attempt to exploit the crisis to push through unpopular policies. In conclusion, Naomi Klein’s ‘The Shock Doctrine’ provides a lens through which to view the Trump administration’s recent military actions and broader policies.

The linkages between neoliberalism, disaster capitalism, and the shock doctrine suggest that the administration is willing to use military force as a tool of foreign policy, without significant regard for the consequences. The emphasis on corporate interests, deregulation, and privatization at the expense of social welfare and environmental protections reflects a broader agenda that privileges profits over people.

It is essential to recognize these linkages and to work towards more equitable and inclusive policies that prioritize social welfare and environmental protection. In conclusion, this article explores Trump’s recent military actions and provides insights into the linkages between neoliberal policies, disaster capitalism, and the shock doctrine.

It also delves into Noam Chomsky’s perspective on the current administration’s policies and highlights the need to prioritize social welfare and environmental protection. Understanding these complex interconnections is crucial to building more equitable and inclusive policies that prioritize the needs of ordinary people over corporate interests.

FAQs:

– What prompted Trump’s military actions in Syria and Afghanistan?

The Syria attack was in response to claims of a chemical weapons attack on civilians, while the Afghanistan attack was against an ISIS stronghold.

– What is the role of international law in these military actions?

International law only allows the use of force in self-defense or under authorization from the United Nations Security Council, but these actions seem to violate such laws.

– How do Trump’s military actions align with his campaign promise to focus on domestic policy and ordinary Americans? They divert resources away from domestic issues and prioritize a military-centered foreign policy.

– What is the Shock Doctrine and how is it relevant to these military actions? The Shock Doctrine is a theory that posits people are more willing to accept radical and unpopular changes during times of crisis when they are in a state of shock.

It is relevant to these military actions as they are used to normalize military force as a tool of foreign policy while distracting from domestic issues.

– How can we work towards more equitable and inclusive policies that prioritize social welfare and environmental protection?

By recognizing the linkages between neoliberal policies and its impact on income inequality, privatization of public services, and environmental degradation, we can push for policies that prioritize the needs of ordinary people over corporate interests.

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