To say that the Trump presidency has been nothing but a series of unforced errors would be an understatement. Each one seems to top the previous one, leading up to the actual threat of a widespread war.
For what? Because Donald J. Trump has an unhealthy obsession with Barack Obama.
Think about this for a moment. Every scandal this president has been involved in has to do with some policy or action that Obama was involved with.
From the Russian interference in the 2016 election to now, everything that Trump has gotten himself into trouble has to do with his attempts to erase Obama’s legacy. If Obama has his signature on it, Trump is trying to erase it.
Take for example, the latest mess that Trump has gotten us into.
This didn’t start with Trump assassinating a high-ranking Iranian General along with another high-ranking Iraqi militia leader in the sovereign nation of Iraq. No, this started when Trump decided to unilaterally upend the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreed upon by the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, France, and China—plus Germany) and the European Union by pulling out of the agreement and re-imposing crippling sanction on Iran.
The world was in agreement: Iran should not have nuclear weapons. Iran was willing to deal with the world on this. Diplomacy had opened a dialog between the US and Iran for the first time in decades. We were still at odds over a LOT of things, including Iran’s involvement in destabilization in the Middle East, but with the JCPOA we had at least an opening to further dialog and agreement.
In other words, the JCPOA was just a START to resolving our differences with Iran. If only there was a president who recognized an opportunity when it was staring him in the face.
Iran has spent the past forty years cultivating proxy groups throughout the Middle East. They’ve used these proxy groups to create turmoil in the Middle East and abroad. The JCPOA was never meant to address any of those issues, but was widely seen as a stepping stone for further agreements to reign in Iran’s nefarious activities.
The US has been at ‘war’ with Iran since 1979, when the people of Iran rose up and overthrew the US-backed government. The US government has never gotten over that — and we should.
When Trump decided to get out of the JCPOA, and impose sanctions on Iran, that is when Iran started stepping up its proxy activities in the region.
WHY? Well, they see “America” as a problem. If the shoe were on the other foot, WE would see it as a problem if the world were to have us under economic sanctions too. “Death to America!” is not a chant against Americans, it is a chant against the American POLICY that affects Iran’s well-being and success.
Like the US, Iranians are patriotic citizens. Nationalists as well. Just two weeks ago, Iranians were out in the streets protesting their government. The sanctions Trump put on Iran was having an effect on the people of Iran and they weren’t happy with the direction their government was heading in. But following the assassination of one of their generals, the Iranian people quickly united behind their nation and their government. Imagine how we would feel if Iran had sent a drone to JFK and assassinated one of our officials. Trump’s approval rating would shoot up into the 90 percentile. We would be invading Iran in hours.
There was a reason why both George W. Bush and Barack Obama didn’t take out Qasem Soleimani over the past twenty years. It wasn’t for a lack of opportunity, nor was it a lack of guts. Qasem Soleimani was a monster, and deserved a good killing, but almost every military expert and political strategist didn’t feel that the juice was worth the squeeze. Killing Soleimani would NOT stop Iran’s nefarious activities in the region, and that it probably would make it much worse.
It was easily predictable by most people that if you assassinate an Iranian Major General in another sovereign nation without that nation’s knowledge or permission, that the turmoil it would cause could engulf the entire region in a hot, asymmetrical war. Unless, of course, you are Donald Trump looking for a distraction from is own domestic problems. Then, you are going to be looking for a distraction.
Let’s kill a bad guy. My base will love me, and Democrats will look bad by complaining about it.
That was Trump’s thought bubble.
What is the damage assessment from all of this?
- Iraq is trying to expel US troops from their country. The Iranian Parliament has voted to expel US troops from Iraq. DoD “accidentally” sent a letter to the Iraqis informing them of our departure. Now the Iranian Prime Minister is expecting the US to follow the letter.
- Iran is now united against the US. Just two weeks ago, the Iranian people were protesting their government. People died in those protests. Now, they are united with their government.
- European allies are angry that they weren’t notified. NATO had European troops in Iraq and the greater region. Trump told his guests before the assassination, but he didn’t see fit to notify Congress or our allies.
- Soleimani was immediately replaced by his right-hand man who has been with him since the Iran-Iraq war. The ‘threat’ represented by Soleimani was not eliminated. His successor was just as involved with their terrorist activities as Soleimani was.
- NATO Suspends Training Mission in Iraq. With Americans potentially being evicted from Iraq, it is likely that NATO will not come back to train Iraqi military to deal with ISIS. ISIS will immediately regroup and build up again.
But hey, this is all Obama’s fault, right?
Trump’s obsession with Obama came out again today, in Trump’s address to the nation. You couldn’t help but notice that he didn’t make one mention about taking out the Iranian general, but he had a LOT to say about the missiles Iran used in their retaliation yesterday:
“Iran’s hostility substantially increased after the foolish Iran Nuclear Deal was signed in 2013 and they were given $150 billion, not to mention $1.8 billion in cash,” he said. “The missiles fired last night at us and our allies were paid for with the funds made available by the last administration.”
This is a lie that Trump has been kvetching about for years: that $150 billion and the “1.8 billion in cash”.
HERE ARE THE FACTS:
That $150 billion belonged to Iran. The US froze the bank accounts of Iran in 1979 when they took over the US embassy in Tehran. The $1.8 billion was money that Iran paid US military contractors for weapons that were ordered but frozen in 1979. In other words, all of this money that we “gave” Iran, BELONGED to Iran. It was always their money. Trump might have a long history of stealing money from other people and organizations, but that doesn’t mean the US should be doing that.
Secondly, Iran has had a working ballistic missile program for decades, and they have gotten better at it over time. $150 billion does not by much in the way of ballistic missiles, so the idea that the dozen or so missiles they fired off last night wouldn’t have been there if it hadn’t been for that reckless Obama — is ludicrous.
The bottom line here is that once again, Trump has gotten us into yet another situation because Obama is living rent-free in Trump’s head.