What Does Hillary Clinton Do These Days?

Hillary Clinton will perhaps most be remembered as the politician who lost out on becoming the President of the United States, twice in her life. The second time was the most surprising turn of events, given that she had a good campaign backing her, a horrible choice from the Republican-side opposing her and also, just imagine the immense amount of experience she had gathered over the years with politics, or everything-politics-related.

But despite so much of good going on, Hillary failed to impress the American public – she should most definitely share the blame-game over it, along with other Democrats, because it was most certainly not America’s fault Donald Trump got elected. The truth is that despite Hillary winning the popular vote, the political choices she made in life sometimes impressed the nation even less than whatever it is in the world that Donald Trump stood for during the elections the past year, so the blame-game should really swing from Hillary to the Democrats, back-and-forth, and nothing else.

On the eve of her finding out that she lost the election to Donald Trump, Hillary appeared more emotional than I had expected. What I had expected to find was an angry young woman, distressed with what was happening and in complete disbelief, more in tune with the kind of ‘high and mighty female’ image Hillary has always portrayed in the public eye. But Hillary instead turned out to be a shadow of her former self with her newfound electoral loss: there was a sense that she may have disappointed others with the loss, she wanted to ring Barack Obama after the Democrats lost the election, and she also wanted to appear as a dignified woman, as someone who had integrity, during the immediate moments that followed Trump’s win.

Hillary found the loss tough, and she, for her part, even today feels her campaign was fault-free, perhaps because of the people who worked on it, and were also leaders there. Actually, the campaign wasn’t too bad itself – in fact, a very good development was when women numbering in thousands expressed the desire to become President, so both the campaign and Clinton did get plenty right, at times. A portion of this was echoed in the editorial endorsements, which Clinton had received in the run-up to the elections of 2016. Clinton recently remarked she wants to be buried with all of her editorial endorsements on top of her, in an open casket, so that no one can even look at her. But all this political talk over the election campaign is in the past, however, and Clinton is really in a different phase of her life now: she mentioned in her concession speech, the last year that Clinton, for America, will work with President Trump but so far it’s really been more of a quiet-time scenario of appearances at Broadway shows and working on her latest books.

Africa’s Changing Tide

Drought, famine and an uncertainty over nation rebuilding efforts is hampering the growth of the African continent

In the West, Africa is often associated with never-ending poverty, death, disease and violence but there is another equally compelling side to the continent and it is a developing angle: in the midst of war and famine, there is pouring in of China’s local might in nation rebuilding efforts.

A lot of towns still remain in the dust in Africa, as plenty of China’s new money is poured into creating hospitals, airports, and schools. This investment in Africa is a two-way street: money raked in from it is going to act nationally useful as a stock and it is being built on lucrative investments that had happened in the seventies in the continent, which even safe-earned a seat at the United Nations for China.

There is word on the street that unjust colonialism could at be play here but is it really a justified thought? China’s willingness to invest in the region may also be looked at something more than just a goodbye to a colonial past that had shackled the fate of many – it is also a chance for growth in Africa.

There is a rising concern present however, over whether or not China’s investment efforts may be long-term since good relations need to exist with every African government that comes and goes for all of this growth to happen in the continent and at the moment uncertainty is brewing. This brings to the surface questions over how serious Africa really is about growth and development, there is absolutely no doubt about that but what is horrifying is that uncertainty couldn’t come at a much worse time.

Most of the African population (a staggering 90percent) are unbanked, and in Nigeria, villages are still reeling from having to evacuate because of violence brought upon by the Islamic extremist group, Boko Haram. The last eighteen months of success by the military in curbing the spread of the extremist rebellion in Nigeria is now being looked upon as a call to villagers that it is safe for them to return home.

Villagers cannot change homes because they have farms and a means to earn an income in those villages. Farms were destroyed, livestock was lost, many locals were displaced but fortunately, the displacement period has seen support from the British charity, Tearfund and local partners, which supplied each family, with a subsidy grant of 11,000 naira, along with farming tools and training in how to farm during off-season; the grants have gone into revitalizing the villagers’ farms, whilst some even bought home appliances and more agricultural tools with it.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in Africa famine horrifically has spread to several African states, from South Africa to Ethiopia. The primary cause for this has been attributed as failure of crops and a really bad dry spell, connected to natural disasters and abnormality in weather conditions, stretching across years. In Ehiopia, for example, people are living off water lilies or eating only a singular meal each day and there are also reports of an arm of the German pharmaceutical company, Bayer, based in Zimbabwe, losing out on making profits because of scratchy follow-throughs in southern Africa to utilize technologies they provide, and also for the drought presiding over Africa.

Donald Trump Talks About Pakistan

It is proving to be increasingly difficult not to criticize Trump’s overt-longing for engaging with Pakistan and Nawaz Sharif

Donald Trump recently pronounced himself to be quite keen in helping with solving out any issues that Pakistan might encounter (on a daily-basis), even going so far as to praise Nawaz Sharif and people of the country. Pakistan, in recent memory, has also been known for acting overtly hostile and interfering in Indian matters, which recently resulted in India teaming up with Afghanistan, a fellow member of the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process and heavily criticizing the state. The big problem with Pakistan is it’s nation’s army, which likes to project an anti-India sentiment but India is working on countering this by showcasing Pakistan’s weakness in the region.

After falling out of financial favours with the United States, Afghanistan and India saw in each other as a natural ally, to counter Pakistan’s growing complex in South Asia. It’s not just that because Pakistan is linked to the Mumbai attacks of 2008 and also as Afghanistan would like to point out, Pakistan horrifically gives sanctuary to the Taliban. In the midst of this level of regional trouble spurred on by one isolated (and pre-dominantly Muslim) Pakistan, it is hard to figure out what Donald Trump wants to gain from his keen interactions with Nawaz Sharif. Aside from taking a diplomatic stance, Trump has already crossed out helping India and Pakistan sort out the two states’ Kashmir dispute, unless the President-elect of the United States is personally asked to do so.

Trump and his administration seem to show no understanding whatsoever of South Asian politics because relations with Pakistan is always a cautious subject for India (and Bangladesh). However, in Pakistan the phone call between Trump and Sharif have been received well because it is being looked upon as a warming of relations between United States and Pakistan, despite Sharif’s deep distrust of the US. In spite of being interested in how the free-world works, United States is perhaps influencing Trump to be a bigger leader for specific alliances the state has, one of which includes Pakistan.

It is a rather eternally hopeful message Trump is sending out to Pakistan, and the message has also been viewed as a welcome move in Pakistan. Trump is anticipating a good relationship with Sharif over the next four years, but that seems like a challenging prospect: Nawaz Sharif has already faced a very politically hurtful corruption scandal, and even suffered a military coup but he never hesitated to forge alliances with Benazir Bhutto, or Zardari, if it can serve his own political needs in Pakistan.

As former-cricketer-turned-politician, and founder of one of the three biggest political parties in Pakistan, Imran Khan pointed out (laced with criticism), Sharif might be politically critical towards Zardari’s political party in Pakistani politics sometimes but he is still an amicable critic there. There is absolutely no other way to look at Sharif except that he likes to participate in self-serving Pakistani politics, but as far as the Trump and Sharif relationship goes, it is worth observing and hoping that President-elect Donald Trump has the United States’ best interests at heart all the time.

What Can Trump Mean For The Middle East?

A victory for Donald Trump has pulled out so many questions that it’s hard to begin: what will this mean for the USA and the Middle East is one of those important questions that is poised to spell trouble rather than broker peaceful (and positive) political relationships.

Pressing rewind on the nuclear deal inbetween Iran and the United States, for example, is going to not only be a catastrophic (and horrendous) wrong, but also act as a narrow path to peaceful understandings between the two countries. The deal had managed to steer precisely that – peaceful understandings, for a country other than Saudi Arabia, for the United States, for once, and no good sense can really ever be made out of a Republican move against it, simply because the deal was overseen by the Democrats previously. Israel, quite similarly is naturally often looked upon as a US ally but like for other predominantly Muslim nations, such as Egypt, Bangladesh and Malaysia, given Donald Trump’s insensitive nonsense about Muslims and how this could also be thought of as a previous lack of interest in cultivating good ties with Islamic countries, the correct deduction from it all would be that Palestine might face hardships on a day-to-day level because of Israel (and it’s further reinvigorated relationship with the US) once more and this simply cannot be – it would be another catastrophic mistake on Trump’s part because the Israel-Palestine conflict should be on the path to peaceful resolution, and hopefully even a multi-faith reconciliation in the Middle East. Furthermore, the general idea about the Syrian conflict for the Trump administration should be that Assad in power in Syria would be a bad idea because the conflict that has happened with him in power has been responsible for a lot of bloodshed. Although, Trump has maintained that he is not pro-invasion for Syria, which is so great, perhaps a deeper idea of why rather than fork it out completely, negotiations (with Assad’s regime) would be the better alternative to reaching a peaceful end to the Syrian conflict when harbouring new (and good) ties with Russia since it would really spell more effectively democratic.

Turkey’s Very Long Night

A coup d’etat leaves the Turkish government with a lot of pressure to uphold democratic values

When I think of Turkey, several thoughts come to my mind – a prominent European state, with a population that is built overwhelmingly of Muslims, of scorching sun gracing ancient European architecture, but it never involves the words: “coup d’etat.”. But that is what almost happened on July 15. That particular night in Turkey this year, was a whole lot about slashing democratic processes in the state, plenty of foiled attempts to keep the ugly side of politics intact, which basically involves a lot of regular shredding of peaceful ideals, and creating an atmosphere of chaos that breeds fear.

A foiled coup d’etat in Turkey

Kurdish militants and ISIS have been behind some of the most horrendous attacks on Turkey recently, which has managed to bring into question how stable can Turkey really be these days? Turkey is an ally of the United States of America, and a member of NATO, but the environment in Turkey is no different from the kind common in the Gulf. Some of the torturous crimes in the coup d’etat involved invasion of television studios, firing at crowds, shelling of the parliament building, killing of many people, and the raiding of a hotel in Marmaris – President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was formerly staying at that hotel in the seaside town.

The whole event can be looked upon as a failed operation to topple power in the nation, in the midst of Erdogan attempting to reassert his control once more. Erdogan has taken this moment as a sign that there is a need to restructure the country’s army. John Kerry and President Obama issued statements at the heels of the military debacle but responses to the big question about democratic processes (because of repeated foiled attempts of staging a successful coup) in Turkey still remains vague. Obama urged all parties in the nation to cooperate and support Erdogan’s government, and it is obviously the general idea that the U.S. government is strictly against any kind of use of force to shift the face of power in Turkey.

The coup poses serious questions about Turkey’s democracy

Concerns have been raised over NATO’s biggest nuclear arsenal located in the south of Turkey because it is getting in the way of the American bombing campaign against ISIS, on a base in the south. Despite the political struggles this episode may bring in the future, the U.S. government is positioned to expect democratic processes prevailing in Turkey. In response to the coup d’etat, Erdogan has removed many soldiers, civil servants etc. believed to be connected to the coup, alongside many Ministry of Education workers, and vigorously, with a lot of determination, asked for the resignation of plenty of university deans.
Turkey is momentarily hosting the tag of a “three-month state of emergency” and Erdogan has cracked down so tough because for the coup, he almost lost his office, and if the raiding episode in his hotel is anything to go by, then Erdogan might even have lost his own life. The coup has demonstrated unification in Turkey, which is a rare sight because even some who were against the government put up a united front, and it was an extremely long night of protests and fights to stave off attacks on national democracy.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan has promised effective (and better) responses to governance, in the aftermath of the coup in Turkey

People in Turkey are looking to Erdogan to join with them in this unification because on the night of the coup, people defended the Turkish government and put up a united front with it. The government now needs to avoid the cracking open of separate factions in Turkey by participating in meaningful actions to keep Turkey secure and safe in the future. Turkey is also loosening probable access for refugees, as part of an agreement with the EU, earlier this year. If democratic processes and human rights conditions go smoothly in Turkey, then Turkish people can obtain visa-free travel across Europe, granted by the European Union. European democracies seem all set to push for a non-liberal approach to governance, when it comes to the migrants issue, despite the argument that the numbers are small, and this change contrasts with the previous outlook for the states involved, but it’s still a very welcoming thought.

The Rhetoric Against Donald Trump

Donald Trump is racking up one faulty campaign point after another

If Hillary Clinton wins, then that would mean a pretty historic third term for the Democrats. But if Donald Trump wins, that could mean a problem for security in the United States, it could mean that Donald Trump is going to get into office without explaining why he feels Clinton deserves all the hype surrounding her is because she is a woman, and a disappointment for several GOP senators, governors, and so on. One of the most prominent critics from the Republican Party has been Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois, who was hoping for a more polite and honourable campaign from Trump, and has refused to back the leading Democrat nominee, but has cited Trump’s rhetoric on Hispanics, the disabled and women, as reasons for him withdrawing his backing from Trump.

In a somewhat similar tone, senior Senator Mitch McConnell from Kentucky has also suggested Trump attack people he has competed with in the past less, along with minority groups, and contribute to ideas on how to improve America more. But that seems next to impossible for so many because Trump has always been about vicious verbal spats: over Mexicans, Muslims, President Barack Obama (for being a Muslim born in a foreign country, which is a very popular American opinion), women and Asian accents.

I am not even going on about Trump’s massive controversies surrounding the concept of “Muslims (or the immigration of Muslims) for the United States of America”, and how all of these nonsense-opinions on Muslims is going to be received globally, in particular in countries that count Muslims as a majority of the population, such as Malaysia and Saudi Arabia, if Donald Trump is elected as the next President. Does he want global opinion to run in a negative direction about how the GOP (and if elected, maybe even the White House) likes to look at Muslims in America? I doubt that sentiment alone can be looked upon at positively in nations, whose population figures dictate that the majority are Muslims, and this can really dent positive ties with these nations in the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

Trump has said that he feels unhappy about the criticism directed at him from GOP figureheads, and says that he has won more votes than any in the Republican Party, ever. Trump feels that he can handle it all and wants to push ahead charging against Clinton now for a change, but is it too little too late? And which rhetoric amongst all the many campaign mishaps that he has made in his political career, so far, does he want to avoid for the future? One good point he does make about immigration from New Mexico to the United States, is that Syrian refugees are hiding in Mexico, and massive numbers of them. On Clinton, Trump has stated that she shouts and makes him go totally mad, and that really isn’t a very sharp political criticism, filled with bountiful amounts of passion and energy like he is known to exhibit and rack up so much trouble.

Meanwhile, Mitt Romney, the former Republican presidential nominee, and Barack Obama’s former contender during the elections in 2012, has also stepped out with criticism over Trump. Romney has called Trump a con, artificial, anti-feminist and a browbeater. Romney also believes that Trump’s policies will dent America’s economy very badly and that his foreign policy would contribute to an unsafe future for America and the whole world. He then went on to take down Trump’s business ethics, stating that his business concepts have jammed smaller businesses and the people that have worked for them, even going on to state that Trump, according to Romney, is not so talented in trade.

The National Gun Violence Problem

state-of-the-union
President Obama vouches to do something about gun crime in his final State of the Union speech

How hard is it hitting American sentimentality, day-in and day-out?

In America, one of the primary causes of distress and fear seems to have become the issue of gun control. It is tough to pinpoint a moment in time when reality didn’t use to be this way and that is frankly quite hard to digest: families are nowadays worried over sending their children to school because of such a loose approach to tackling gun-crime on campuses in the country, and it is sending people down a perilous path of existence. Americans don’t have to face the terror in Syria, or the kind sometimes people do in Nigeria, but even if they are at church, or at the supermarket, sometimes because of crime, innocent people lose their lives.

Since 2013, America has witnessed 148 shooting incidents on school grounds, but hardly anything is being done on the federal level to tackle any of this. President Obama, early this year, proposed to leave office only after having implemented stricter gun control measures. Hillary Clinton, rather unpopularly in some quarters, has actually followed this Democratic Party legacy up by vouching to challenge gun-violence in key stakes affected by it. Ironically, in Connecticut, one such state, more and more people also opt out to worry about bigger issues, inclusive of the economy and the disparity in income levels. Still, these violent episodes in America have naturally isolated many people; it is the hard truth: gun crime on it’s own is alienating segments of people to go after the big question of who to elect one term after another, depending on how numerous political candidates really approach solving this horrific national violence problem.

In United States, more people own guns, than in Norway, Canada, or the United Kingdom, and homicides because of gun violence happens the most in the United States, and this is more than so for Israel. In neighbouring Canada, gun laws are influenced by reports of domesticated gun crime incidents in the past, which just goes to show that Canada is spectacularly so much tougher on cracking down on gun ownership than the United States. American families, these days, tragically, have to often grapple with that dreaded call that might be coming to inform them about how their child has been victimised in a shooting tragedy. Furthermore, parents of children with disabilities often have to think of an alternate probability there about their child having somehow gotten ’embroiled’ in such tragedies, and so now they want to push ahead with greater restrictions on gun ownership for young children. There is no denying the level of debate over gun violence in the United States has been very encouraging, and I believe it will leave people, particularly in affected towns such as Charleston, with a lot of hope about the future, when anxiety over gun-related violence, will simply become a thing of the past.