The Trouble with Trump

August 9th, 2019 - by Gar Smith / The Berkeley Daily Planet

Threats, Lies, and Lives Are at Stake

Gar Smith / The Berkeley Daily Planet

(July 31, 2019) — An increasingly unhinged Donald Trump is once again entertaining fraught Apocalyptic fantasies.

Sitting alongside Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in the Oval Office on July 21, Trump proclaimed: “If we wanted to fight a war in Afghanistan and win it, I could win that war in a week. I just don’t want to kill 10 million people.”

Asked to elaborate, he added: “I have plans on Afghanistan that if I wanted to win that war, Afghanistan would be wiped off the face of the Earth. It would be gone. It would be over in — literally in ten days. And I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to go that route.”

Turning to Khan (whose nuclear-armed country has battled India, his nuclear-armed neighbor in the past), Trump repeated: “If we wanted to, we could win that war. I have a plan that would win that war in a very short period of time, you understand that better than anybody.”

It’s beyond troubling that Trump equates “winning” with “total annihilation.”

Trump’s swagger did not set well with Washington’s supposed allies in Afghanistan who were understandably alarmed and demanded clarification. An agitated note from the office of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani advised America’s self-proclaimed “stable genius” that Afghanistan “will never allow any foreign power to determine its fate” and reminded Trump that “foreign heads of state cannot determine Afghanistan’s fate in absence of the Afghan leadership.”

Trump threatens Iran with a new round of economic sanctions.

Trump v. Iran: Anger Management Issues

In his relationship with Iran, Donald Trump resembles a cheating spouse.

He starts off by leading a country that has agreed to a union with Iran to constrain the proliferation of nuclear weapons. At the same time, Trump is “cheating” on Iran (by playing nuclear-nookie with his own personal arsenal).

Then Trump suddenly declares he has decided to divorce Iran (which has remained obedient and chaste) citing unexplained “irreconcilable differences,” Trump unilaterally announces he is breaking his vows—vows solemnly overseen by the international community—and storms off in a huff.

He then turns on his former mate and accuses Iran of infidelity. He threatens to punish his partner for the divorce he himself initiated.

Trump then announces he will refuse to pay alimony. Instead, he takes steps to seize all the financial assets claimed by his ex.

Next up, Trump mounts a blockade around the entire Iranian homeland to further punish Tehran by impeding the delivery of fuel, food, and medicines. He threatens any independent shopkeepers (aka allied nations) that might try to supply his former partner with groceries. (All under the theory that continued damage to Iran’s household economy will cause so much misery inside that the children—trapped in their foodless, barren rooms—will rise up and kick their parents into the street.)

He berates his rejected partner and boasts of new conquests with more deserving companions. Trump gleefully informs Iran and the rest of the world’s jilted leaders that Kim Jong Un “wrote me beautiful letters and we fell in love.”

Like other frustrated male malcontents obsessed with exerting power over a former partner, Trump tweets endless insults directed at Iran and quickly becomes a stalker, sending massive armadas to float menacingly off Iran’s doorstep. He launches drones to peer in the bedroom windows to look for signs of “Russian influence.”

Trump’s angry tirades directed at Iran resemble the taunts of spousal abusers, especially as they raise the stakes to include threats of violence. Trump calls Iran’s leader, Hassan Rouhani ‘very ignorant and insulting.’ He threatens Washington’s former partner with “overwhelming force” and the threat of “obliteration.”

In a just world, Iran would have the option of applying to the International World Court for a restraining order to protect the country from Trump’s on-going-and-visible threats of armed violence.

Given the possibility that Trump might trigger a war that could go nuclear, it’s time for the citizens of our country and our political leaders to issue a retraining order. Remove Trump from office and get this hands away from the nuclear buttons.

Trump’s Lies Threaten Lives

Omar has received death threats in the wake of Trump’s “fake news” attacks.

In July, Presidential Son Eric Trump went on Fox & Friends to boost his dad’s Dem-demonizing. “I love the tweet: ‘If you don’t love our country, get out, leave,’” Eric declared. “If you complain about our country [you should] go experience somewhere else in the world. I’m telling you, 95% of the country is behind him in this message.” (Fake News Alert: A USA TODAY/Ipsos poll found 68% percent of respondents found the tweets offensive and 59% characterized Trump’s tweets as “un-American.”)

Young Trump continued to pile on insults, calling the young congressmembers “the most hate-filled group I’ve ever seen before.” And then he proceeded to accuse them of imaginary crimes: “They’re letting ICE offices get stormed, and have the American flag ripped down and have the Mexican flag put up. They say anti-Semitic things every single day.” 

Eric ended his screed by accusing the four representatives of engaging in (of all things) “name-calling.”

Reckless, inflammatory speech has consequences. On July 22, two Louisiana police officers were susspended after suggesting on Facebook that Rep. Ocasio-Cortez should be shot. Ocasio-Cortez says is regularly getting “hateful messages” and a “flood of death threats.” Meanwhile, USA Today quotes Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund telling lawmakers: “We continue to see the threat assessment cases we’re opening continue to grow.”

No president should be allowed to shout falsehoods that put people’s lives at risk. Trump’s false accusations, slurs, and insults seem designed to turn his critics into targets of a partisan rage that he (and now his sons) are stoking.

Such actions are usually met with defamation lawsuits. But, given Trump’s position and power, these heedless attacks go even further, amounting to an “incitement to violence” that should be treated as a crime.

ACTION: Public Citizen’s Robert Weissman suggests “one thing that could really make a difference right now”: Sign the petition to Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel: Condemn Trump’s outrageously racist comments targeting the four new congresswomen.

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