Opinion | Trump’s Inhumanity Before a Victim of Rape


Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the Harvard professor and four-term United States senator from New York, famously noticed, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”

Today, everyone seems to be entitled to his personal details, or their personal details, since even grammar has modified. The message from the Trump White House, and from Boris Johnson’s rise to prime minister in Britain, is that details don’t matter. The bald-faced lie is completely acceptable, as long as it retains you on the heart of what passes at the moment for consideration. The essential factor is to feed the machine. Shock is the very best fodder. Social media dies with out outrage.

In the mid-1930s, a few years earlier than World War II, Robert Musil, the creator of “The Man Without Qualities” wrote, “No culture can rest on a crooked relationship to truth.” The political tradition of each the United States and Britain is sick. It is unserious, crooked and deadly. There isn’t any sincere approach to dissociate the rise of Trump and Johnson from the societies that produced them.

The triumph of indecency is rampant. Choose your details. The solely blow Trump is aware of is the low one. As the gutter is to the celebs, so is that this president to dignity. Johnson does a grotesque Churchill quantity. Nobody cares. The wolves have it; the sheep, transfixed, shrug.

Where are they now???

“They are in the mass graves in Sinjar,” Murad says. She is poised and courageous throughout in her effort to communicate her story in the face of Trump’s complete, blank indifference.

Why this extraordinary attitude from Trump? Well, at a guess, Murad is a woman, and she is brown, and he is incapable of empathy, and the Trump administration recently watered down a United Nations Security Council resolution on protecting victims of sexual violence in conflict.

At the mention of Sinjar, Trump’s unbelievable response is, “I know the area very well, you’re talking about. It’s tough.”

Let’s play how-well-does-President-Trump-know-Sinjar? It’s a wildly implausible game.

Toward the end of the exchange, Trump asks Murad about her Nobel Prize. “That’s incredible,” he says. “They gave it to you for what reason?”

“For what reason?” Murad asks, suppressing with difficulty her incredulity that nobody has briefed the president. Nobody can brief this president. It’s pointless. He knows everything. “I made it clear to everyone that ISIS raped thousands of Yazidi women,” she says.

“Oh really?” says Trump. “Is that right?”

Yes, that’s right. One reason this exchange marked me is that I found myself in 2015 in a Yazidi refugee camp in southeastern Turkey interviewing a survivor named Anter Halef. In a corner sat his 16-year-old daughter, Feryal. She sobbed uncontrollably. I had seldom seen such grief etched on a young face. Life had been ripped from her before she began to live. There was no road back for her. Her eyes were empty vessels left so by rape.

I have watched the Murad-Trump exchange several times. It is scary. This president is inhuman. Something is missing. In his boundless self-absorption, he is capable of anything.



Source link Nytimes.com

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