So. The indicted criminal in the Oval Office has broken yet another law - or maybe several - and set the stage for possibly another Mideast war. Why is it that my only reaction to such a dangerous, illegal and deadly action is - no surprise?
Have we become inured to his ongoing patterns of lies, dangerous unofficial undermining of diplomacy, squandering of national resources, reckless punishment of his “enemies,” debasement of our international standing and outright ignorance of how government is supposed to function?
I’m afraid the answer is yes! Yes to all. And more.
Rather than conducting our world affairs in an intelligent manner and fulfilling the duties of the office of the presidency as prescribed by law, we’re watching a pathological deviant in action. Though impeached, with what will be a personally embarrassing scarlet mark of shame attached to his name for all of history, Donald J. Trump continues to act as though our nation is his personal fiefdom.
The man has proven himself incapable of sitting through a single full-scale intelligence briefing but can reach out to assassinate someone in a foreign country in his blissful ignorance of what such an act will likely bring in retaliation.
With complete disregard for decades of diplomacy in the Mideast to keep a balance of sanity versus all-out war, he has put a target on the back of every American over there. And over here.
The Iranian general killed had been operating for decades and was well-known to intelligence professionals. His hatred of America and other Western nations was fully apparent and his fingerprints were found on many instances of terror and killing.
Alive, he was someone to be watched, his movements noted and any intelligence gathered shared with friendly agencies. Dead, he has become a martyr whose killing will certainly bring about acts of terrorism against anything American. Over there. Over here.
Since 2001, this country has been engaged in the longest war in our history - Afghanistan. More than 2,300 American military dead, another 21,000 wounded in action and all with a price tag of nearly $1 trillion.
In 45 quarterly reports since its inception, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) has officially documented our repeatedly failed efforts to “remake Afghanistan into a modern nation.” Their words.
In it’s latest summation, SIGAR put it in black and white. “U.S. officials have acknowledged their war-fighting strategies were fatally flawed and Washington has wasted enormous sums of money.” Oh, I would add, those many lives, too.
In terms of corruption alone - forget all those killed and wounded - just in corruption, SIGAR noted the Afghan government “recovered 0.2% of $185 million worth of fines and penalties issued buy the Anti-corruption Justice Center. Literally billions of dollars have been stolen or diverted from their original purpose.
And this. SIGAR plainly states “The failure of U.S. reintegration programs means it’s reasonable to assume millions of unemployed young men will remain at risk for recruitment by criminal groups and terrorist organizations.” That, the same report claims, “will only lead to the continuation of a 40-year cycle of war that has led to Afghans growing up knowing only death and destruction.”
With blatant disregard for international law - much less hundreds of treaties and other formal agreements between and among nations - Trump has ignored the bottomless pit of Afghanistan to needlessly put our entire homeland at risk.
Rather than solving - or even attempting to solve - the very real war killing our young and devouring our national treasure, Trump has opened up an entirely new front for terrorism and deadly reprisal.
Again, you have to ask “Is that surprising?” And, again, it seems not.
So, what about Congress? Will Republicans finally find enough guts to bring the hammer down on Trump? Will the GOP, at last, say “enough is enough” and mean it? Will anyone - anyone - with the power to end our “presidential terrorism” take up the challenge and stop the political destruction?
Trump has taken a first step to bring vengeance and death upon this nation as a means to perpetuate himself in office. We’re going to hear those words - or something very similar - in the coming days. They’ll come, not from an old fella in the desert, but from political types whose voices will be heard much more clearly.
We have a president devoid of a single qualification to be where he is and who’s willing to sacrifice anything or anyone to save himself. Even an international assassination.