The man without an exit strategy goes to war

In mid-October President Trump abandoned Kurdish allies in Syria. This resulted in deserting American military holdings in the area, Turkish assaults on Kurds, the escape of ISIS prisoners, and Kurdish leaders looking to Russia and the Syrian government for support against Turkey. On Tuesday, January 7th, dictators Vladimir Putin (Russia) and Bashar al-Assad (Syria) met in Damascus  as Syria’s ally, Iran, surely finalized plans for attacks on Iraqi bases where American forces are stationed.

Amid heightening tension with Iran last summer, when asked about the possibility of armed conflict with Iran, Trump said he “doesn’t need exit strategies.” With a lifetime of multiple bankruptcies, $2Million in court penalties for abusing Trump foundation charity funds, failing to pay cities over $1Million for campaign security costs, bilking contractors for work done on his hotels, and shuttered casinos , clearly Trump is a man who won’t be bothered with planning for a smart exit.

Before we were 72 hours into this new year, Trump put American lives at greater risk by ordering, from his Mar-a-Lago country club, the assassination of Iran’s General Soleimani. Americans who have volunteered for our country, many of whom struggle to pay bills while getting a government paycheck, who chose the military over their rural communities where jobs are scarce, and, people of color whose numbers as commissioned personnel continue to lag, are at the mercy of a man who used bone spurs as his “exit strategy” during the Vietnam War.

With a dismissed national security advisor willing to testify during his former boss’s impeachment trial, talk of additional impeachment charges, a record $22Trillion debt, oil prices already climbing, farmers beginning to squirm harder under tariff restrictions, working family budgets stretched thin despite promises from  tax cuts, and a base that requires larger and louder lies to keep them fed, Trump needed a distraction. He hoped to find one in Iran, but may learn he overplayed his hand.

I’m not pinning any hopes on the spineless Trump Republican Party-controlled Senate to remove him from office. Sadly, because the November election and January 2021 inauguration are so far away, and so much is at risk, the exit strategy may not take place until the fall.

 

Required reading

The public intelligence report on Russian interference in our Presidential election last year was released from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence yesterday. It is less than 25 pages long in content.

Reading this is where the work of being an engaged citizen begins. Showing up at the voting booth isn’t enough.

Why did Trump wait so long to rescue the United States?

Donald Trump and Matt Lauer during candidate forum, September 7, 2016, NBC
Donald Trump and Matt Lauer during candidate forum, September 7, 2016, NBC

Jay Bookman’s column at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is extra brilliant today.