Trump’s Compulsion to Appease the GOP Establishment Finally Leads to War?
An unstable president desperately trying to hold onto his defenders provokes an international maelstrom that he’s unable to contain or control.
President Donald Trump ordered the assination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. It was likely a harebrained, self-interested, politically motivated effort to hedge his longer-shot-by-the day re-election prospects. Trump probably believes that the American electorate will, once again, rally behind an unpopular president waging a good old fashioned war on foreign soil. He’s wrong.
The state sanctioned murder, lauded by chest thumping Republicans as a testosterone driven counterpunch, is quickly devolving into a domestic, political debacle and a dangerous international crisis. For House and Senate Republicans it’s just another weak-willed effort to tolerate the dangerous whims and rantings of an un-informable President who would deliver long desired policy initiatives in exchange for head-buried-in-the-sand subservience. Republican lawmakers have taken a hear no evil, see no evil approach to congressional oversight and encourage their constituents to do the same. They quietly agreed to let an unstable Donald Trump burn down the Republic to achieve preferred policy initiatives, willfully enacted by executive fiat.
In typical Trump-era fashion, the President and his dwindling cast of submissive administrative enablers are lying ineffectively about rationale for the attack. This has become standard operating procedure for all matters, small and large. It’s yet another cover up, happening in real time, disguised as a transparent Public Relations push. Ineptitude rules the day and administration officials wasted little time stepping on one another’s messages.
Shortly after the drone strike on Soleimani the Department of Defense said that it was a deterrent, “This strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans. The United States will continue to take all necessary action to protect our people and our interests wherever they are around the world.”
The Pentagon, on the other hand, called the attack retribution, “General Soleimani and his Quds Force were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more. He had orchestrated attacks on coalition bases in Iraq over the last several months — including the attack on December 27th — culminating in the death and wounding of additional American and Iraqi personnel.”
Several hours later Secretary of State Mike Pomepo told CNN that the assination was necessary to stop an imminent attack to “save American lives”. Unsurprisingly he was, almost, laughably unwilling to share information about the alleged, imminent threat. “I’m not going to say anything more about the nature of the attack but know that this was not just in Iraq, it was throughout the region. It was using these proxy forces he has manipulated for so long.”
Never to miss an opportunity to weigh in on his administration’s fumbling efforts to justify wrongdoing Trump tweet-regurgitated his latest, absurdist, distortion. Cultivated in his unstable mind, a limited space forever littered with incomprehensible word salad, Trump made up new facts about the communal mindset of the Iranain people. He wrote that Soleimani was “hated and feared by his own people” and that Iran’s leaders are lying to the world about the general’s popularity. Trump claimed that Soleimani should have been “taken out many years ago”. For good measure he tweet-asked a now enraged Iran to come back to the negotiating table, “Iran never won a war, but never lost a negotiation!”
There’s a reason previous administrations didn’t kill Soleimani, who was a horrific state actor. Emotionally stable past-presidents carefully considered the geopolitical reality. The ends-could-never justify the means. De-escalation would be nearly impossible and deadly tit-for-tat reprisals would lead to all out war. Previous president’s had the good, common sense to counterbalance the longer term security of US interests against the short term passions of a small, if not very vocal group of burreractic, US Neocons.
Unfortunately for the US, for Iran, for Iraq and for a complicated web of other interests in the region, those Neoconservative squawk minders now have easy access to a simple minded President bereft of moral conscious, intellectual stamina, baseline emotional stability and the foundational principles of foregin policy. Que characters like former Director of National Intelligence John Bolton and the Senior Senator from South Carolina Lindsey Graham.
Republcian strategist and political pundit Rick Wilson sarcastically suggested in a Tweet last week that Bolton, a decades-long advocate for open war and regime change in Iran, brokered a deal with Trump. Wilson suggested a Trump/Bolton quid pro quo. Bolton would agree not to testify against Trump in impeachment hearings in exchange for a war with Iran. Wilson tweeted, “In my darkest imagination, I just envisioned a Trump call to Bolton. ‘Keep quiet and I’ll give you a war with Iran’…” It’s a crazy thought and, in any other era, would be a snarky political punchline. Today, it’s entirely plausible.
Trump is a weak, desperate man masquerading as a global tough guy. Averaging just over a 40% approval rating, he’s facing an impeachment trial, an extraordinarily difficult election effort and, once out of office, probable prosecution in the Southern District of New York. He surely believes that a war will help him remain in office, at least long enough to wait out the statute of limitations for campaign finance violations. So far in over his head, he desperately needs the support/loyalty/subservience of establishment members of Grand old Party right about now.
If the question still remains whether Trump was/is an electoral puppet for Rusisan President Vladamir Putin, there is no doubt that he’s a malleable, useful idiot for whatever is left of the Republican’s flailing old guard.