Donald Trump is, as Keith often says, ‘a clear and present danger’ to not only the United States, but to the entire globe. A few events over the course of the past week exemplify this.
Remember the back and forth back in 2017 between Trump and Kim Jong-un, with Trump playing his usual 5th grade level game of name-calling, referring to Kim as “Little Rocket Man”. Then Kim came back by calling Trump a “Dotard”, and Trump responded by telling Kim that he (Trump) had a “bigger button” and that his button actually worked. Sigh. These are supposed leaders of nations, not 10-year-old boys on the playground. Well, eventually the two resolved their little spat, Kim sent Trump a ‘love letter’ and a bouquet of flowers, they met, kissed and made up, and now all is well … for the moment.
Trump’s latest spat is not likely to be resolved so quickly, for I don’t think that Iran’s leaders are at all likely to ‘kiss and make up’ with Trump. Frankly, Trump and Trump alone is responsible for the escalation of tensions between the U.S. and Iran. From 2015 until Trump took office in 2017, the Iran nuclear agreement between a number of European nations, the U.S., and Iran, was working just fine in achieving its goal of keeping Iran from building nuclear arms. In exchange, the U.S., EU and United Nations lifted many of the previously imposed sanctions that were crippling Iran’s economy. The agreement was working, Iran opened its doors to the inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the global nuclear watchdog, and by all accounts, Iran was upholding their end of the bargain.
Then in 2017 everything fell apart, thanks to the emotional train wreck named Donald Trump, who vowed to his base that he would undo every single thing that President Barack Obama had done. Beyond it being an ego-trip for Trump, there can be no discernible reason for him pulling out of the Iran deal, just as there was no discernible reason for him to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord. But, pull out he did, leaving our allies, primarily France, Germany, and the UK to try to salvage the deal as best they could without any help from the U.S.
All of that was bad enough but might not have led to the current escalation of tensions, had Trump not added insult to injury and re-imposed sanctions on Iran, affecting oil exports, banking and shipping. Not only that, but he threatened … literally threatened our allies if they helped Iran! Naturally, Iran’s economy has taken a big hit, and what Trump fails to understand or care about is that the people who suffer the most are the people of Iran. Everyday people, like you, like me.
Last month, two oil tankers were attacked in the Strait of Hormuz. Without a shred of evidence, Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo immediately blamed Iran. Pompeo produced a low-quality, highly questionable film clip that he claimed was proof that Iran was the attacker, but even the captain and crew of one of the tankers denied this. Even Trump’s good friends, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia disagreed with Trump and Pompeo, but Trump would not shut up. He taunted, name-called, threatened and bullied.
On Thursday, June 20th, Iran shot down an unmanned United States spy drone. Trump and Pompeo claim the drone was in international airspace, while Iran claims it was in Iranian airspace. The evidence points to the latter. But, Trump not being overly intelligent, jumped the gun and ordered air strikes on three Iranian targets. Ten minutes before the operation was to commence, he called off the air strikes. He claims that he didn’t wish to cause a loss of life, but rumour has it he listened to Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, who told him that it would cost him next year’s election if he proceeded with the attacks. In addition, it is likely that Putin expressed extreme displeasure with Trump’s plan. Could be a combination of the latter two, but the one thing it damned sure wasn’t was his “concern” for loss of life. It was estimated that 150 lives would have been lost. Trump wouldn’t concern himself with 150 U.S. citizens’ lives, let alone 150 Iranian lives!
Given the chaos of the entire operation, President Rouhani said in a statement, “The White House actions mean it is mentally retarded.” It’s nothing new … Kim Jong-un called Trump “mentally deranged” back before they kissed and made up. Can anyone argue that his actions in this situation … or any situation he’s dealt with over the past two-and-a-half years … shows any signs of intelligence or sanity?
So, not liking his mental capacity called into question, Trump then threatened to “obliterate” Iran if they so much as looked cross-eyed.
Trump claims he is not looking for war, but from where I sit, it appears that is exactly what he is ‘looking for’. He says that a war with Iran would not “last very long” nor involve ground troops. Um … folks … if you believe this, I’ve got a bridge for sale very cheap. First, he doesn’t understand what he is even saying. Second, he has told lies far more often than he has told the truth, so why would anybody in their right mind believe him? He has surrounded himself with two warmongers who have wanted an excuse to bomb Iran for decades, Mike Pompeo and John Bolton. He has bragged about his “bigger button”. And frankly, Iran is not North Korea.
A war against Iran would be catastrophic. US forces are nowhere near powerful enough in the region to contemplate a conventional war — still less to cope with a conflict that would, the Iranians have warned, involve pro-Tehran militia in attacks against the US and her allies from Saudi Arabia to Israel and Iraq.
I end where I began … Donald Trump is a clear and present danger to the world. He has limited capacity for understanding international relations and alliances, he lacks any sort of a moral compass or compassion for humanity, and he has not chosen wise advisors, but rather yes-men who will do his bidding. If we go to war with Iran, it will not be over quickly … remember Afghanistan? The only way it would be over quickly, and this is the most frightening part of all, is if Trump decides to do the unthinkable and use his “big button”. Perhaps the world would not need to worry about climate change after that. Think about that one.