Trump Desperately Wants A War. ANY War.
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Let’s not even get into domestic politics for the moment. Let’s ignore the fact that crops in California are rotting with no immigrants to pick them. Let’s not talk about banning transgender folks from the military at a cost upwards of $960 million. And let’s not talk about how Trump himself is making insurance premiums go up.
Let’s focus on the insanity ― the madness specifically brought upon on Friday, Aug. 11, 2017. In the midst of Trump’s “tough talk” on North Korea. The AP reported that back-channel negotiations between the U.S. and Pyongyang have been going on for months. In other words, calm down ― cooler heads will prevail. That’s how the world is supposed to work. The threats coming from North Korea are nothing new. Most experts seem to agree their primary purpose for a nuclear weapons program is a deterrent and to be taken seriously.
North Korea’s messaging also changed subtly after their threat to “envelope” Guam. The language changed, they started saying “IF provoked,” meaning they were backing off. However, Donald Trump continued to double down on his “tough” rhetoric. However, Trump made a critical error ― he doesn’t have a clue what’s going on. At the same time as Trump’s latest threat, the AP story about back-channel talks broke. All of a sudden, you had North Korea being North Korea and a U.S. president who now looked and sounded like a senile, foolish old man. Trump looks idiotic and weak.
As many generals, pundits and experts have also pointed out, neither the U.S. nor North Korea has made any military moves that would suggest either side is preparing for an imminent attack. You add in the news that it’s that time for the U.S. and South Korea to run their annual joint military exercise, and suddenly everything makes a lot more sense.
Amidst the talk of nuclear war and the reboot of Bert the Turtle, there were a few other things of note. The news of Paul Manafort’s raid and legal team shake-up made headlines, but there was also news of Trump’s longtime personal secretary being wanted for questioning in the Russia probe. That is significant. Back to this point a second.
Additionally, Trump said that Iran was not complying with the nuclear deal without providing any credible, sourced information. Unfortunately for Trump. that’s not his call to make. There are many more countries involved and a governing body. A week ago, Iran said the new sanctions imposed by the U.S. violate the deal and said they would take it to the governing body.
Finally, the most mind-boggling moment of Friday, Aug. 11, 2017 came when Trump told reporters that he had not ruled out military action in Venezuela. Both Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley ― standing next to Trump ― looked mortified at the suggestion. Earlier this week, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster ruled out military action in Venezuela. Pure and simple, this is madness. There is much political turmoil in Venezuela, and the situation is dire, but why on Earth would the U.S. military go into Venezuela? Trump ― a multiple time draft-dodger ― has no idea what the U.S. military can, can’t and should or shouldn’t do in the world.
If it’s not obvious by now, let’s go back to that point about the Russia investigation. It’s heating up. Manafort got raided by the FBI, Trump’s longtime secretary is wanted for questioning and Bob Mueller has convened grand juries. About two weeks ago, the big story was that Trump was going fire Bob Mueller. That idea was met with near-universal condemnation from both sides of the aisle, with Democrats and Republicans both saying that would mark the end of the Trump presidency. Shortly after we endured the Scaramucci era and then the firing of Reince Priebus. It’s fair to assume at this point Trump knew he was screwed.
So what is a wildly unpopular president, who is sinking in the polls and under investigation for colluding with our sworn enemy, to do?
Syria and Yemen are basically the world’s Wild West. But Trump wants a new war ― ANY war ― and he’ll look to start one wherever he can. Namely, Iran, North Korea or Venezuela. Trump wants a war to distract from Russia and to make himself look “strong” by certain moronic conservative standards. It’s painfully obvious now. Every time he tries to say Iran is noncompliant, he’s met with resistance and the fact he’s wrong. The entire North Korea crisis of the past week could very well have been fabricated to keep your mind off of Mueller’s investigation. This point is supported by the reveal of back-channel negotiations and China staying completely out of it. So now it’s Venezuela. He’s even refusing calls from Venezuela’s president.
Trump is playing a dangerous game and putting millions of lives at risk by trying to start any war he can, while in the process crippling U.S. credibility in the world because he thinks this will stop or keep you from caring about the Russia investigation.
Congress, the cabinet and the vice president have the power to stop this mad man within hours and they should, because he’s willing to destroy the world to keep his life of crime and corruption from being exposed.
For more opinion and analysis, check out my politics-centric blog here: http://practicalamerican.blogspot.com/