Trump spent his Monday tweeting and raging on a variety of subjects, including the “failing” New York Times, the Mueller “witch hunt”, the recent “unfair” Kavanaugh revelations, and his friends the Saudis. His response to the drone strikes on Saudi oil refineries included saber rattling and threats against Iran, ignoring the fact that Trump’s own reckless policies and actions have once again destabilized the Middle East.
Trump pulled us out of the Iran Nuclear Deal despite substantial evidence that it was working by keeping Iran from building nukes. But Trump is obsessed with undoing everything Obama did so that Trump’s racist base can cheer, even if it makes us less safe and ruins our foreign relations. Our running away from the nuclear deal has backed Iran into a corner and made Saudi Arabia happy.
So why does Trump care so much about Saudi Arabia? American is a huge producer of natural gas and we import much of our oil from other suppliers, so we no longer need Saudi oil. Instead, Trump cares about the Saudis because they loaned his family money in the past and they can help make him personally more wealthy when he leaves office. Keep in mind that 4 of the 5 bills Trump has thus-far vetoed concerned the Saudis, including selling them a mountain of weapons that Congress did not want them to have. Saudi Arabia was the first country Trump visited in office and we also know that the Saudi Crown Prince has stayed at Trump properties in a big way, and the Saudis own a full floor of Trump Tower in New York City. They have real money, unlike Trump, and can help lift him and his family into true oligarch status if he does them favors. They can continue to patronize his businesses and they can allow him to build hotels in Riyadh or loan him money when nobody else will. It’s all about Trump’s personal greed.
As Rula Jabreal said last night MSNBC’s Chris Hayes show,
The Saudis want to fight the Iranians to the last American. And America’s foreign policy since Donald Trump was elected is about how much cash [Trump] can get. So he’s selling America’s policy exactly like he’s selling oil crude and he’s selling apartments. It’s the same thing, it’s the same kind of transaction frame. Except that you’re dealing with murderous thugs like MBS and others…
We can’t let Trump rush us into an unnecessary and wasteful conflict with Iran. Maybe Iran did provide Yemen with the weapons used to strike the Saudis. So what? We provide tons of weapons to Saudis and others that are used in grotesque and tragic assaults on civilians and so on. It’s quite possible that Trump is feeling so much heat in so many areas of his crumbling presidency that he is trying to drum up a conflict with Iran to distract from all his scandals. He is certainly that mercenary. Yesterday Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance issued a criminal subpoena for eight years of Trump’s tax returns, which is something Trump will have a very hard time avoiding, so this is just another looming problem Trump would rather we not hear or talk about.
We need to be vocal and vigilant against any armed conflict with Iran. No bombing should occur without an act of Congress, nor anything more severe. We can’t let Trump exploit this situation for his own agenda, since it’s obvious he doesn’t care about our nation or its safety unless it happens to dovetail with his own ambitions and greed. Keep your eye on this developing situation and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”