To say that Donald Trump has a bias for war doesn't begin to cover it.
You can see as much by simply watching his demeanor at his rallies and elsewhere: He comes off as highly warlike. But unlike most recent presidents, who leavened war talk with an undergirding of seriousness and maybe a streak of mournfulness at having to take this step . . . Trump sounds like he'd simply be having great fun.
On the August 10 Morning Joe program, he declared, "I am the most militaristic person there is”. Unlike so many other Trump statements, there's no good reason to doubt this one.
He just hasn't decided that country he wants to invade first.
Almost three decades ago, on a 1987 edition of Meet the Press (and what the hell was he doing on that show back then?), he said that if someone from Iran fired a shot toward an American - even by accident - that the United States should invade that country, steal its oil (he didn't say how that impossible task might be accomplished) and then “let them have the rest” of the country.
In November 2015, he said in Iowa, “I love war. . . I’m good at war. I’ve had a lot of wars of my own. I’m really good at war. I love war in a certain way, but only when we win.” Was he thinking here about real-world combat, where lives are lost and shattered and the consequences for thousands or millions of people can be drastic . . . or maybe the board game Risk. Or does he know the difference?
Put that comment in among the most drastic jaw-droppers Trump has yet uttered. But again, there's no good reason to disbelieve what he so plainly so.
Alongside a few more from the September 7 "commander in chief" forum, where he declared the current U.S. military, under President Barack Obama, a disaster. He particularly blasted the American effort against ISIS. Evidently he was unaware of the terror-nation's drastic losses of territory, personnel, financial and other resources over the last year.
The generals have been terrible, he said, but in his administration, “they’d probably be different generals, to be honest with you.” (Chosen how?)
There's been some concern on the left in this campaign that Democrat Hillary Clinton might be a little too willing to send troops into harms way. That concern, though, even if somewhat valid, has to melt under the strong likelihood that Trump, seeing a military not busy fighting enough people to keep it occupies, would give it more work to do.
After the longest stretch in our history of active warfare, the United States needs to take a break from military activism that isn't clearly and absolutely necessary, or undertaken as a defensive measure. Clinton at least seems to have some understanding of that. Trump seems only to understand he might be able to get his hands on an exciting new plaything. - rs