Americans are living within the chaotic, and perhaps unhinged, thinking of the unchecked bully in the White House.
From the president elected to ensure the safety of the nation, we are receiving uncertainty and fear. From the president elected to speak straight, we have gotten a stormy sea of outright lies, fabrications and nonsense.
That sea now threatens to engulf the nation and mire it further in the Middle East, the region that President Trump promised to leave.
In the wake of President Trump’s order to attack and kill Iran Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the president asked Americans to trust him. He asked Americans to trust an intelligence community that he repeatedly has claimed is corrupt.
He asked Americans to trust the judgment of his office—and his office alone—in choosing an option for responding to Iran’s ongoing provocations that two presidents before him had deemed to be like throwing a match into gasoline.
He struck the match while standing in the shadow of impeachment.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s press conference on Tuesday was more of the same. Hopes were high that Americans might finally learn from Pompeo what “imminent threat” had prompted the drone strike that killed the general.
Pompeo delivered nothing new. He just repeated flimsy claims that the killing was justified as a pre-emptive action that will save American lives. He simply stated, “We got it right.”
He offered no evidence of imminent threat to the nation or Americans in the Middle East. He offered no evidence of why killing Iran’s No. 1 general made America safer.
Yes, Iran-supported militants stormed the U.S. Embassy in Iraq. Yes, Iran operates through surrogate groups like Hezbollah that rocketed a military base near Kirkuk and killed an American contractor and wounded other Americans and Iraqis. Yes, dealing with Iran in the region is a frustrating game of whack-a-mole.
The response, however, was disproportionate and invited reprisals from a country with strong military and cyber capabilities.
Idaho’s senators and congressmen supported Trump’s decision with statements that ranged from claiming that a terrorist had been brought to justice to praising it for giving Iraq an opportunity to get out from under the thumb of Iranian control.
The latter apparently won’t happen, given that Iraq’s parliament subsequently voted to kick American troops out, which is an invitation to Iran to come in.
America’s 50,000 troops in the region, with 4,500 more on the way, await Iran’s promised response. It’s madness.