Trump’s reckless killing of Iranian General Suleimani is already having dire consequences for our Middle East policy. Iran announced over the weekend that it is walking away from its commitments under the Iran nuclear treaty and will begin enriching uranium again. They also announced that they will retaliate on their terms, on their timing. Trump’s response was to threaten them with actions that amount to war crimes. He warned that we might destroy certain Iranian cultural sites (a war crime) and that we might also respond in a disproportionate way (also a war crime), and when he was criticized for proposing war crimes he doubled down on his threats, drawing fierce criticism for conduct unbecoming a president and an American.
Meanwhile, the Iraq parliament passed a resolution to kick the United States military out of their country, which would be a stunning blow and would bring them closer to being a satellite state of Iran–a tragic situation President Bush and Dick Cheney spent significant treasure and American lives to avoid. Such an outcome would be a dream come true for Russia and Vladimir Putin, however, as it would further diminish our footprint and reach in the Middle East.
So why did Trump authorize the hit? It’s been reported that there was no “imminent threat” to America despite lies to the contrary from Trump and Mick Mulvaney. No credible explanation of any specific threat has yet surfaced. It was even reported that Trump asked Iraq to intervene in the growing tensions between America and Iran, and Suleimani was on his way back from meeting with Iraqi diplomats with a message from them to the Iranian leadership.
A three-reporter team from Forensic News published a bombshell article on January 3rd suggesting Trump’s massive loans from Deutsche Bank, underwritten when Trump was nearly bankrupt, were backed by a sanctioned Russian bank, VTB, which is owned by the Russian state. The journalists informed Deutsche Bank of the upcoming publication on January 1st, which according to White House reports was the same day Trump suddenly decided to assassinate Suleimani. The decision was so abrupt that the State Department itself was in shock. Was this timing a coincidence?
It’s been infuriating to Trump that his impeachment trial in the Senate is looming, and it has clearly been bothering him that more damning emails continue to leak confirming that his close advisers were furiously lobbying Trump against a hold on Ukraine aid to no avail. And it is surely concerning to Trump that Congress now wants to see an additional 20 emails between a Mulvaney aide and a staffer at the OMB discussing the aid freeze. But it may have been Forensic News’ VTB report that broke the camel’s back and forced Trump into a desperate ploy to distract us, which the Suleimani hit surely was. He had no plan, no long-term play, no thought-through strategy. His actions are almost always taken on impulse, to change the script of the Trump reality-show to suit the moment and gratify a pressing need, and the Suleimani hit looked like one more of these.
We already know Trump is a danger to our democracy. He’s badly damaged our image and credibility abroad, and he’s badly damaged our agencies and institutions in Washington. The more we learn about his finances, the more corrupt his history becomes and the more nefarious his tenure in the Oval Office appears.
Keep resisting and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”