Saturday, February 04, 2017

Trump's Dangerous Foreign Policy Games

Thankfully, my son-in-law is no longer in the military given the dangerous and reckless games that the delusional Der Fuhrer is playing.  That said, living in Hampton Roads with its huge military presence, we know many men and women who may find themselves in harm's way because of the mentally ill commander-in-chief occupying the White House. Indeed, for the first time in many years some residents of the region are once again conscious that the area would be a first strike target if Trump were to trigger a nuclear war. Obama's steady hand is gone and madness now reigns in the White House.   Much of the world now worries what this foul individual might unleash either deliberately or through his own delusions.  A column in the New York Times looks at Trump's dangerous games which are likely to continue to distract his cretinous base from the reality that coal jobs and others promised by Der Fuhrer are never coming back.  Indeed, the strategy mirrors that of Putin who seeks to distract the average Russian from the reality of the economic disaster over which he presides.  Here are article excerpts:
For the past couple of months, thoughtful people have been quietly worrying that the Trump administration might get us into a foreign policy crisis, maybe even a war.
Partly this worry reflected Donald Trump’s addiction to bombast and swagger, which plays fine in Breitbart and on Fox News but doesn’t go down well with foreign governments. But it also reflected a cold view of the incentives the new administration would face: as working-class voters began to realize that candidate Trump’s promises about jobs and health care were insincere, foreign distractions would look increasingly attractive.
The most likely flash point seemed to be China, the subject of much Trumpist tough talk, where disputes over islands in the South China Sea could easily turn into shooting incidents.
But the war with China will, it seems, have to wait. First comes Australia. And Mexico. And Iran. And the European Union. (But never Russia.)
And while there may be an element of cynical calculation in some of the administration’s crisismongering, this is looking less and less like a political strategy and more and more like a psychological syndrome.
The Australian confrontation has gotten the most press, probably because it’s so weirdly gratuitous. Australia is, after all, arguably America’s most faithful friend in the whole world, a nation that has fought by our side again and again. . . . . But this is the age of Trump: In a call with Malcolm Turnbull, Australia’s prime minister, the U.S. president boasted about his election victory and complained about an existing agreement to take some of the refugees Australia has been holding, accusing Mr. Turnbull of sending us the “next Boston bombers.”
[A]t least Mr. Trump didn’t threaten to invade Australia. In his conversation with President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico, however, he did just that.
The blowups with Mexico and Australia have overshadowed a more conventional war of words with Iran, which tested a missile on Sunday. This was definitely a provocation. But the White House warning that it was “putting Iran on notice” raises the question, notice of what? Given the way the administration has been alienating our allies, tighter sanctions aren’t going to happen. Are we ready for a war?
There was also a curious contrast between the response to Iran and the response to another, more serious provocation: Russia’s escalation of its proxy war in Ukraine. Senator John McCain called on the president to help Ukraine. Strangely, however, the White House said nothing at all about Russia’s actions until Nikki Haley, the United Nations ambassador, issued a condemnation late Thursday night to the Security Council. This is getting a bit obvious, isn’t it?
Oh, and one more thing: Peter Navarro, head of Mr. Trump’s new National Trade Council, accused Germany of exploiting the United States with an undervalued currency.
[W]hat we’re hearing sounds like a man who is out of his depth and out of control, who can’t even pretend to master his feelings of personal insecurity. His first two weeks in office have been utter chaos, and things just keep getting worse — perhaps because he responds to each debacle with a desperate attempt to change the subject that only leads to a fresh debacle.
America and the world can’t take much more of this. Think about it: If you had an employee behaving this way, you’d immediately remove him from any position of responsibility and strongly suggest that he seek counseling. And this guy is commander in chief of the world’s most powerful military.
As noted in past posts, America could not prevail in Iraq yet Trump seems to want war with Iran - a far larger and more advanced country than Iraq ever was.  Yes, it would make the white supremacists and Christofascists happy and distract the bubba's in the hinterland, but how many American lives would be thrown away and how many billions of dollars squandered?  And that doesn't even factor in the countless innocent civilians that would likely be killed.  Oops, I forgot.  With Trump's base, if you aren't a white, heterosexual right wing Christian, you're not really human, so your death doesn't matter.  Trump needs to be removed from office NOW!

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