In 1957 Canadian Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson won the Nobel Peace Prize for his role as Canada’s External Affairs Minister, expounding upon what would later become known as a doctrine of non-interference.That policy has been reflected in Canada’s refusal to participate in the Vietnam War and more recently, our refusal to invade Iraq under the guise of ridding the world of weapons of mass destruction.
It was during Pearson’s role as Prime Minister of Canada that a 6’ 1” California motorcycle cop and want-to-be scriptwriter conceptualized a television program that would prove to outlast any other in regard to social commentary, adventure and sheer imagination. The TV project was Star Trek and the writer, of course, was Gene Roddenberry.
“Trump has been sharply criticized for his approach to foreign issues…”
While warping from planet to planet within the Star Trek universe, the United Federation of Planets (much like the United Nations) maintained a moral doctrine they called the Prime Directive, the noninterference with other cultures and civilizations. In some episodes the Prime Directive is touted as being of such significance that a Star ship Captain should give his or her own life before violating this solemn oath.
Donald Trump has violated the Prime Directive, worse yet, at a time when Londoners and the world at large needed his support rather that his interference.
Trump has been sharply criticized for his approach to foreign issues. In his recent European tour while the Republicans lauded has trip as a success, the rest of the world flogged images of Trump literally pushing to the front of the line for a photo opportunity and riding in a golf cart while the rest of the world leaders walked in unity.
But what many agree was his most publicly humiliating moment may very well have been his lack of reiteration of the United States’ commitment to Article 5 of the NATO treaty, while he and the rest of the leaders of the free world stood just feet from the 9/11 memorial in Brussels. Where there should have been praise, he held only scorn for the members whom he believed had not paid their fair share.
“Where there should have been praise, he held only scorn for the members whom he believed had not paid their fair share.”
Where there should have been admiration for the global effort to eliminate terrorism, Trump used it as an opportunity to play to his base back home. This is the America First base who, on the most part, sat safely and securely in their homes while Manchester writhed in pain. Young girls with nails pulled from their limbs.
And now this, yet another terrorist attach in London. More death. More pain and the blatant disregard for the Prime Directive when the president of the United States openly criticized the actions of London’s Mayor, Sadiq Aman Khan in a stunningly callous barrage of tweets.
Yes, in 140 characters or less Trump demonstrated his childish lack of self-control and empathy around social media. Trump then committed the ultimate violation of the Prime Directive when he used the misery of another sovereign nation, an ally no less, in an attempt to bolster support for his own floundering administration at home. Not only did he interfere, but he did so for his own gain stating, “We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety!” Trump then turned his wrath towards Mayor Khan, “…Mayor of London says there is ‘no reason to be alarmed!’” “Pathetic excuse by London Mayor Sadiq Khan who had to think fast on his ‘no reason to be alarmed’ statement…”, Trump tweeted from his high-handed orbit.
This criticism has lead Mayor Khan to suggest that Mr. Trump’s planned state visit should not be allowed to continue, stating, “I don’t think we should roll out the red carpet to the president of the USA in the circumstances where his policies go against everything we stand for,”. Where is the White House Counselor, Kellyanne Conway amidst the controversy? She remains standing like a steadfast Romulan beside her isolationist leader.
No final word as yet from Prime Minister Theresa May. Perhaps the Prime Minister is neither a Pearson nor a Star Trek fan, but she does appreciate that diplomacy, empathy, a willingness to work towards a common goal, is still the most civil way to save relationships, societies, and ultimately a planet often at war with itself.
First published June 8, 2017