“Hello Darkness My Old Friend”: Trump Running on Fear Again
Just like day 1 of Trump’s first campaign, when we were to be scared of people from Mexico and Central America, Trump is at it again. This time it is for real: The Iranian Quds force, and their militias, now that Trump has assassinated their leaders. And, we are supposed to thank the Donald and lay wreathes at his feet for Avoiding War.
There was a militia demonstration at our Baghdad embassy, and they burned down the peripheral entrance building. Instead of just doubling down as Trump’s psyche called for, he maxed out all of his ammo in killing the Quds Force leader and Iranian Major General, as well as the local Hezbollah militia leader.
You know: Don’t change horses in midstream, unless, of course, the horse keeps heading into another waterfall.
There is the Martingale betting system, where one doubles down after every loss. The stakes double each time. Eventually, you win one flip of the coin, and collect back all that you have lost, plus win double the initial stake, which after a long streak, is the meagerest of earnings. The fallacy of this system, is that the House has vaster resources, and eventually you cannot afford the bet after a long negative streak. In practice, of course, the House has a limit on bets, and you are out of luck. Since Trump is a casino owner and bankrupter, he is very familiar with this strategy. He also uses it in doubling down on responding to every insult.
With Iran through, the problem is, of course, that an August 20, 2019 Gallup poll shows that 78% of the public does not want to go down that road, in dealing with Iran’s nuclear program. The House limit is pretty tight.
Just as with Trump’s Ukrainian Biden gambit, it should be necessary to see how much of this was the President going almost alone, ignoring the advice of his senior advisors and, as we know, not informing or consulting with Congressional Democratic leadership. Other than Obsequion Sen. Lindsey Graham, we don’t know if Trump even informed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Some say that the President does not have the power to assassinate whoever he wants, in any country that he wants. He made that mistake in his campaign, and was corrected on it.
Iran has already stated that it would respond at its own time and method, leading to further fear. They may now also go to 20% Uranium enrichment, since it looks like they cannot lose face and start renegotiating the nuclear disarmament agreement.
Politically, I think that Trump responded so strongly because he had been saying over and over that this is no Benghazi, where they attacked the consulate, and eventually killed the Ambassador, who had fled. The Republicans made such a big deal about that with Hillary Clinton, that Trump feared that he could be portrayed similarly, unless he acted tough.
If Democrats needed to find impeachment grounds, starting a war with Iran without Congressional approval violated a special law passed for Iran. Carrying out an assassination is also a crime.
Trump seems to think that only dictators run the world. Only Trump can negotiate for the United State, and only by secret, one-on-one meetings with other dictators (yes, I said that). He somehow thought that by killing the Quds Force well known leader, Suleimani, all of the other Quds Force and militias would be lost, or collapse as in the Star Wars Movie “Attack of the Clones”. Or, as if one takes the opponents King in Chess. While Trump disdains the experience of all of the dedicated government professionals, there are lots of other Generals who can lead the Quds Force and the militias. Just like Trump could easily be replaced by his Vice President, Mike Pence.
Speaking of Pence, isn’t this the critical case where we have always hoped that Pence would jump in and invoke the safety net of the the 25th Amendment, when Trump went completely bonkers and started a war? Mike, Mike, wherefore art thou? (Apologies to Shakespeare, yet again.)
Another line of “Sounds of Silence” by Paul Simon, 1964, is “Fools, said I, You do not know, Silence like a cancer grows”.