I’ve been so hard at being consistent at blogging that I asked my niece to help me by nagging me to write and to ask questions she wants answered. Honestly, she keeps telling me I should write a book of tidbits that I know about politics and the world but I don’t know where to start or what to cover or if anyone would be interested.
Her first question today was hard so this could be a real challenge to keep up but I’m going to try my best. So what is going on with Trump and Iran. I think Trump gets the majority of his information from Fox news (and CNN/MSNBC despite what he pretends). You can tell by his reactions and the way that he says things that he isn’t speaking with more information than we have. When he say “I just heard that” or “you know as much as I do” that is actual truth. He doesn’t have the attention span, the interest or the knowledge of what a President is supposed to do.
He decided that the “Iran deal” was a bad deal because that was how Fox News and the Republican machinery branded it. That and it was an accomplishment by President Obama which meant it must be undone. The problem is that it was a good deal. It did what it was meant to do. There was no reason for us to violate the agreement and by doing so and then by ramping up sanctions he’s left the Iranians with few options. They are an independent and strong country and they can’t be bullied into submission. Added to that, Iran has no reason to trust Trump after he broke a standing agreement.
Now we are at a place where we are very close to war and Trump went right up to the line and pulled back. Why? How close to the truth is the story he is telling today and what will he do next. What is Trump’s goal and how does that work with the goals of the hawks and lobbyists advising him.
My best guess. His old and new acting Defense Secretaries are lobbyists. They don’t know what questions to ask or what information to supply. Pompeo and Bolton both want war with Iran so they are unlikely to provide information that might deter Trump so I think it is very likely that no one had thought (or cared) about casualties until Trump thought to ask at the last moment or he was told about casualties at the last minute. I hope that “the generals” were trying to avoid a spur of the moment action that could lead to war. It’s also quite possible that someone else got into Trump’s ear and provided the casualty numbers as a handy excuse for just backing off as bullies often do. From reports coming out as I write this it sounds like that latter is true. Trump knew about the casualty estimate and didn’t care about it until someone, probably a Fox News host got in his ear to stop it or “the generals did”. Either way what could have been a fatal mistake was avoided – for the moment.
So what is Trump’s goal with Iran. He wants a photo-op. Like the one he got with Kim Jung-un. He wants the pomp and circumstance. He likes strong men. He doesn’t know what diplomacy is and he doesn’t know how to negotiate. He thinks somehow he’ll make a personal connection and do something that President Obama didn’t. He wants Iran to be a distraction when he needs it and something that he can tout as a boogeyman and a victory as he needs them.
The scarier question is what are the goals of the foreign governments that manipulate Trump are. One big one might be very simple. A lot of countries depend on oil for revenue – from Putin to MBS – and the price of oil is increasing. And Iran is damaged which suits Saudi Arabia and Israel. Trump serves many masters – the American people are not one of those.
It’s my best guess. Hope this answers todays question. If you’re interested pepper me with new questions and my niece and I will try to keep it going. Hope you find it interesting.