Guest post: Violent jihadis need Trump, and he needs them

Originally a comment by AJ Milne on They cried all day.

I do not, for an instant, believe the Trump administration has any real interest in reducing tensions with the Muslim world, nor actually encouraging modernisation, secularisation, there or anywhere else, nor undercutting the appeal of violent Islamism. Let alone, of all things, encouraging women to succeed in STEM disciplines, in Afghanistan or anywhere else.

… on that former thing: it’s no more in his interest than it’s in the interest of any would-be strongman who relies upon a perceived/created need for ‘security’ to maintain power. An infinite supply of visceral but largely ineffectual terror events supplies that need perfectly. Polarised, broken, angry, powerless populations supply these, in turn.

There’s always been a hand-in-glove relationship between extremists at odds with a security state and its masters. Violent jihadis need Trump, and he, in turn, needs them. He doesn’t want education, development, opportunities that make good on the promise of a prosperous, plural, healthily interdependent world. He wants missiles, death, and photo-opportunities in which he can strut the power of his security services. Violence overseas or at home, stirring the fear of his domestic population, either way, that’s a message he can use. Women who build robots? Hardly. Two strikes, right there. Smart women–probably among his greatest fears–and technology that doesn’t deliver missiles? Neither goes anywhere helpful for him.

And yeah, it’s an obscenity. What these women do and have done should be hope for the world, hope for the future…

So, there’s a certain horrific, depressing perfection in this story, in short. For my money, this is Trumpism in a nutshell.

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