“Fake news” has become the rallying cry of the Trump administration, a catch-all excuse to discredit and dismiss any allegation, assertion, or statement of empirical fact that doesn’t support the delusional narratives put forth by the President and his extremist allies.
Donald Trump has used “fake news” to respond to everything from a dozen sexual assault allegations to rumors he’s planning to replace his Secretary of State – but now the pernicious phrase is being used to excuse a genocide.
The world has watched with interest as a bumbling idiot like Donald Trump successfully uses “fake news” to avoid having to take responsibility for anything he does, and the term is now being adopted by some of the world’s worst groups to excuse their own crimes.
U Kyaw San Hla, an officer in Myanmar’s state security ministry, recently announced that “There is no such thing as the Rohingya. It is fake news!”
But the six hundred thousand Rohingya Muslims who have been forced to flee their homes as the Myanmar army torches their villages and murders them en masse would beg to differ.
The Rohingya are an ethnic group from Myanmar’s Rakhine state who are commonly called “the most persecuted people on earth.”
Oppressed for decades under the increasingly authoritarian government of Myanmar, guerilla attacks against Myanmar security posts in late 2016 prompted the government to begin an ethnic cleansing campaign of terror against the Rohingya, using extrajudicial killings, gang rapes, arson and infanticides to drive them from their homes.
The United Nations charged the Myanmar army with attempting to “effectively erase all signs of memorable landmarks in the geography of the Rohingya landscape and memory in such a way that a return to their lands would yield nothing but a desolate and unrecognizable terrain.”
“The world can’t just stand idly by and be witness to the atrocities” lamely opined Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in October before doing absolutely nothing to beyond uttering a few empty words of admonishment.
On top of that, the United States’ tools to deal with these atrocities have been greatly hindered by Tillerson’s decision to shutter the State Department’s War Crimes office, sending a clear message to the despots and would-be genocidaires of the world about how little Trump and his fellow plutocrats care about human rights.
Of course, the Trump administration’s appalling disregard for human life is obvious in the civilian death toll from his Department of Defense’s efforts to fight terrorism; some six thousand innocents have been killed in just nine months under the relentless bombardment and the shoot first ask questions later approach that the Pentagon has adopted.
The Donald Trump administration is not just a blight on the American people and our nation; it is a malignant force that erodes democratic values and respect for human rights across the world while leaving a trail of bodies in its own wake.
Now murderous regimes are using Trump’s favorite catchphrase as a way to erase their victims and their crimes from history.