Author: Fuad HILALOV
The shooting in Las Vegas is the deadliest massacre in the modern history of the U.S. A 64-year-old resident of Las Vegas, Stephen Paddock, fired at participants of a country music festival from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort using automatic rifles. The police identified 20 more firearms, several thousand cartridges and explosives during the search at the gunman’s house. Investigators still do not know the motive of Paddock’s assault.
The incident has revived the issue of gun control, constantly discussed in the U.S.
But this is not the only difference between the Democrats and the Republicans over the period of Trump's presidency.
Peter M. Tase, Special Adviser of International Affairs to the Dean of Chicago - Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology (USA), answers our questions on the recent tragedy in Las Vegas, the U.S. international policy, as well as the cooperation between Washington and Baku.
The Democrats have long advocated the cancellation of the Second Amendment. Now, with a majority in both the Senate and the U. S. House of Representatives, the Republicans are against the cancellation, as the amendment protects one of the most fundamental democratic rights in the United States. What can these disagreements lead to in your opinion?
The Las Vegas mass killing of October 1st (2017) is a horrendous event in the history of the United States. On this tragic day Stephen Paddock, killed 58 people and wounded 489 music loving citizens who were attending a country music concert. Paddock, the son of a bank robber (who had been in jail various times in the 1960s), changed the lives of many American Families, on the other hand such a massacre has not yet mended the dialogue of both sides of U. S. political spectrum in order to strengthen the current legislation pertaining to all citizens who carry fire arms. I am afraid that leaders of the democratic and republican parties in the U. S. Congress will have certain challenges to find a common ground and a substantial consensus on a sensitive issue such as the gun control, that our urban and rural communities are threatened daily.
I am confident that Speaker Ryan and leaders of both political parties will take a swift action to ensure the safety and security of our nation. Moreover the White House and President Donald Trump is committed to find a lasting solution to the most pressing issues that our country is facing today.
Authorities found quite a few firearms in the hotel room of the gunman, later identified as Stephen Paddock. Apart from being a global playground, Las Vegas is a city where huge amounts of money are spinning, its atmosphere attracts all sorts of adventurers, desperate and risky people. Hence the professionalism of security personnel at the Las Vegan hotels would have to be different from that of other hotels. It is unlikely that Paddock acted alone. His victims are the lovers of country music and mostly Republicans. Therefore, it is unclear why this crime is not classified as a terrorist attack. Is it possible to call Paddock's shooting a terrorist act and a message to the Trump administration?
The massive shooting of murderer Stephen Paddock, is clearly an act of violence that has no affiliation with any foreign terrorist group. He was a lone wolf, that loved obsession, pedofilia, was paranoid and enjoyed conspiracy theories. Paddock has not left behind any trace that could lead US Authorities on his real motivations sitting behind this brutal mass killing at the heart of Las Vegas. He is known to have hired multiple prostitutes, in the past, and now police are questions some of them, based on a list of phone numbers that was found on his hotel room, from where he committed the crime. There is no doubt that after such a terrible mass killing in U. S. History, Police and Security officials in Las Vegas, are working on bolstering their state's public security and taking preventive actions. This is not a terrorist attack, influenced from abroad, such an attack on over 500 innocent civilians in Las Vegas, is the result of excessive liberties that we enjoy in America; therefore every citizen mustalways be on alert and report to the authorities every little suspicious behavior or action. In Las Vegas, there were a number of prostitutes that experienced first-hand the evil character Paddock, and unfortunately they, inadvertently, turned a blind eye; ignoring such a psychopathic behaviour, is lethal and could lead to monstruous violence. The U. S. Congress, must urgently take legislative measures that reduce and prohibit access to automatic firearms that are mainly used in battlefields. There is no need to carry such weapons on the streets of America, knowing that the level of public security in our country is among the best in the world.
Inauguration of Donald Trump took place almost a year ago but his critics continue accusing the president of conspiring with Russia, corruption, and so on, although there is no evidence of these accusations. What do they wish to achieve? What is the source of driving them forward? Who is behind these guys? What influence groups on Capitol Hill support them? Do they want to tame Mr. Trump or bring him to impeachment?
President Donald Trump is one of the very best presidents in the U. S. history, even though he has been in office for almost ten months. President Trump’s courage, patriotism, transparency, dynamic leadership and vibrant economic policies are taking our nation forward and are strengthening the national economy and the general wellbeing of every American Family. In regards to President Trump’s connections with the Russian leadership; there are no reliable documents that suggest extra-official ties between the White House and the Kremlin, such unsubstantiated information is not even supported by the international intelligence community. Indeed, the U. S. main stream media and various segments of the Democratic Party that have highly benefited from the corrupt government of President Barack Obama, are attempting to tarnish the prestigious reputation of President Trump and denigrate his impeccable business career. Indeed, the U. S. Media is very biased and it supports various neo-liberal groups that are financed by George Soros and other ‘philanthropists’.
The course of the U.S. foreign policy has shown clear signs of contradictions after Mr. Trump became a president. On the one hand, Trump said (including during his inaugural speech) that Washington should no longer interfere in the affairs of other sovereign countries; on the other hand, we see his attacks on countries such as Venezuela, North Korea or Iran. Why do the words of Mr. President contradict his deeds?
The words of President Trump do not contradict his actions, in fact his moral duty and constitutional obligation is to defend and protect the interests of the United States. Imposing financial burdens and travel restrictions to the leadership of Venezuelan government and strengthening the U. S. Military’s presence nearby the Korean Peninsula, is of strategic interest to Washington and further strengthens the implementation of U. S. Foreign Policy in the World.
Moreover, on August 28th, U. S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced major reforms and drastic cuts that will take place under his leadership in the U. S. Foreign Service. There are currently serving 66 special envoys, Ambassadors at Large or Representatives, only 30 of them will continue with their duties and the rest will be abolished. Furthermore, the government of President Donald Trump will continue to maintain the current positions for fighting anti-Semitism, religious freedom and LGBT rights. The U. S. Peace Corps is expected to experience major cuts on its upcoming annual budget; its number of volunteers serving abroad will be heavily reduced. The significant cut back in human resources and trimming of the State Department’s budget is necessary and the right course of action in order to increase efficacy, accountability and transparency in the U. S. Foreign Service. For Washington, it is strategically important to bolster the Defense Department; ensure the necessary funds, support the moral and service of members of the U. S. Army, U. S. Navy, and all branches of the Armed Forces.
During the election campaign, Trump repeatedly voiced his intentions to get closer with Russia including cooperation in the fight against terrorism. However, we can see that the relations between the two countries have worsened considerably. People with an explicit negative attitude towards Russia rapidly get onboard the Trump administration. Do you think this is due to the pressure on Trump by the above powers?
The dialogue and cooperation between Washington and Moscow is currently frozen and unfortunately I have little optimism in regards to the future of these relations; in June 2017, after the official visit of Ukrainian President to the White House, U. S. Treasury Department announced the implementation of new sanctions against Russia until the latter would fully meet its obligations under the Minsk agreements; including the 2015 cease fire between Russia and Ukraine. A major source of friction between both nations is Washington’s support, defense and protection of the territorial sovereignty of Ukraine. During the Obama Administration we also had absence of a strenuous dialogue between both parties, at the present day we at least have a regular communications channel established between the Pentagon and the Russian National Defense Officials, on matters pertaining to the war in Syria and NATO exercises. The Russian Federation is a major world player and an important geostrategic actor that helps preserve peace, global stability and is poised to support international economic prosperity. Strengthening NATO’s cooperation and dialogue with Moscow, is an important step towards softening the currently unyielding western posture against the government of President Putin.
How do you evaluate the relations between Azerbaijan and the U.S. under the new administration of the White House? As a member of the OSCE Minsk Group, will the United States adjust its position on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia?
The bilateral partnership between the United States and the Republic of Azerbaijan is at the highest levels. I am confident that in the near future Washington will take proactive measures towards solving the Nagorno-Karabakh armed conflict and continue to defend the territorial sovereignty and national integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan. In order to observe tangible contributions by the White House towards solving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, United States Government must have a special envoy that is only dedicated: to shatter the current status-quo advocated by Armenia; denounce the ongoing Armenian fascist crimes committed against the Azerbaijani innocent civilians (for over two decades); work with the U. S. Treasury Department to impose economic sanctions against Yerevan’s leadership; promote in the U. S. Congress a bi-cameral resolution that denounces Armenia’s crimes against humanity, and draft an executive proclamation that commemorates the anniversary of the tragic Khojaly Massacre (where over 620 civilians were ruthlessly killed by Armenian Armed Forces).