Last night as the news was being flashed around the world that Donald Trump had authorized the assassination of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani in Baghdad a thought came to me from the election campaign of 2016. At the time 50 national security officials wrote and signed what they knew to be a source of great concern.
Most fundamentally, Mr. Trump lacks the character, values, and experience to be President. He weakens U.S. moral authority as the leader of the free world. He appears to lack basic knowledge about and belief in the U.S. Constitution, U.S. laws, and U.S. institutions, including religious tolerance, freedom of the press, and an independent judiciary.
In addition, Mr. Trump has demonstrated repeatedly that he has little understanding of America’s vital national interests, its complex diplomatic challenges, its indispensable alliances, and the democratic values on which U.S. foreign policy must be based. At the same time, he persistently compliments our adversaries and threatens our allies and friends. Unlike previous Presidents who had limited experience in foreign affairs, Mr. Trump has shown no interest in educating himself.
I knew they were correct years ago. Their insight and awareness are all the more confirmed today as we consider the staggering action Trump took against a top part of the Iranian government. This action is as pivotal and consequential as what happened on 9/11. This assassination will be remembered by the events which will follow.
Just last night at a gathering to celebrate two birthdays I heard a member of a Califonia symphony express fear that Trump would eventually take an uneducated action that would land our nation and the world into a hot crisis. I would argue that what has now transpired demonstrates how far out of his depth Trump truly is, and how unprepared he is to deal with the real world. He is more than an imposter in the White. He is an unhinged and most dangerous person needing to be brought under control.
Couple this assassination with his antagonism of our allies, the purging of our intelligence services and military leadership, intimidating independent thinkers and punishing expertise and it is clear to see why this is the direst place which this nation now finds itself since Trump took office.
Is it any reason this blog will not use the term president in the same sentence with his name.
I have argued since Trump undermined the nuclear treaty with Iran that our mission seems to be all about applying power against Iran without any actual policy outline or goal associated with our actions. In so many areas of international policy, the lack of any formulated policy or constructive set of steps to be attained is missing from the Trump White House. This was demonstrated most clearly when a push for a meeting with the leader of North Korea took place without the very needed framework which any such high profile meeting should have first had established.
Why I find this so troubling is that this killing was not retaliation for any particular wrong on Iran’s part but an act of war against the Iranian government. This blood-letting has the feel of the same senselessness and lack of reasoning that took place when Archduke Franz Ferdinand was shot and killed. Any action taken, even of a far less degree than the killing of a top government official, would require our government to consider a series of possible related consequences that would then precipitate other counter-actions from us. Mature minds in government clearly did not wish for this action to occur.
There is no way this murder can lead to anything other than the stationing of more American military personnel in the Middle East, and more loss to this nation in blood and treasure. For the region that has seen too much conflict, there is nothing that can be seen but far more grim headlines.
For the Trump voters who are beating their chests and slugging back cheap beer let it be said they had never heard of Suleimani before Fox News told them he was dead. And that, too, is part of the reason our nation is in such a dire place. We have allowed the shallow end of the DNA stream to have control and now we are feeling the further results of their votes.
And so it goes.