A WEEK’S DESCENT INTO MADNESS
Stupefied. That was my condition a week ago yesterday when the Chosen One, standing on the White House Lawn, boldly copped to two crimes on national telly. Dogged by reporters asking him about soliciting Ukrainian aid against his presumed opponent in the upcoming presidential election, Joe Biden, Trump turned back to the press and delivered a philippic: “China should start an investigation into the Bidens, because what happened in China is just about as bad as what happened in Ukraine.”
I was stunned. Was he doubling down against the Constitution?! Incriminating himself again—after the infamous phone call of July 25? He should call his personal lawyer back from Ukraine—and be quick about it!
He was not quick enough, I soon learned. By Friday night, before you could say “scapegoating,” the president had thrown Rick Perry, his Secretary of Energy, under the impeachment bus; Perry “made [him] do it,” Trump claimed, by insisting that he phone the newly elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Perry admitted that he pressed Trump to call Zelensky several times, but insisted it was all about a cooperative energy plan between the two nations and he never mentioned the Bidens. I went to be bed Friday night wondering who, if either, was telling the truth.
Saturday I awoke to a fierce fire fight on Twitter between President Trump and Utah’s Senator Mitt Romney. Romney had the temerity to wander off from the docile elephant herd to find fault with the president’s China request: “By all appearances, the President’s brazen and unprecedented appeal to China and Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden is wrong and appalling.”
The master of tweeting fired back in a series of scattershot salvos, including: “Mitt Romney never knew how to win. He is a pompous ‘ass’ who has been fighting me from the beginning, except when he begged me for my endorsement for his Senate run (I gave it to him), and when he begged me to be Secretary of State (I didn’t give it to him)…He is so bad for R’s!”
Before I could peer out of my foxhole another round came whistling overhead: “I’m hearing that the Great People of Utah are considering their vote for their Pompous Senator, Mitt Romney, to be a big mistake. I agree! He is a fool who is playing right into the hands of the Do Nothing Democrats! #IMPEACHMITTROMNEY”
The round turned out to be a dud. Romney remains extremely popular in Utah, as was proved days later when a Salt Lake City pro-Trump rally found itself outnumbered almost three to one by Romney supporters. It’s worth mention also that Utah has no provision for impeachment.
My hopes for a ceasefire come Monday were dashed with a bombshell that shook the geopolitical world. The Chosen One, calling on his self-given “Great and Matchless Wisdom,” announced he was withdrawing American troops from Syria. That decision was made without consultation with any knowledgeable person from either our State or Defense departments; rather, it came after an unmonitored phone call he alone had with Turkish President Recep Erdogan, a dictator who has long wanted a clear path to destroying the Kurds within Turkey’s borders, and in northeast Syria. (Trump has a hotel and other investments in Turkey, so that possible self-dealing, in addition to his admiration for autocrats far and wide, could explain his otherwise inexplicable action.)
Trump’s surprise erratic move prompted rebuke from some of even his most fanatic backers and enablers in the Senate. “A precipitous withdrawal of U.S. forces in Syria would only benefit Russia, Iran and the Assad regime,” Moscow Mitch McConnell, said. The Senate Majority Leader went on to add that the pullout would “increase the risk that ISIS and other terrorist groups regroup.”
Little Marco Rubio agreed: “I believe the decision…was a grave error that is going to have incredible consequences that potentially have not been thought through.”
Even Lickspittle Lindsay Graham, Trump’s intimate golfing chum from South Carolina, meekly chirped his disagreement: “With all due respect, ISIS is not defeated in Syria, Iraq…certainly not Afghanistan….[The] withdrawal of our forces…puts our Allies, the Kurds at risk.”
This is the first truly major international crisis of the Trump Administration, long-feared by the rational world. Astonishingly, it was ignited by Trump, all by himself, alone. Where it will end nobody knows for sure, but there will be winners and losers, and early indicators tell us who is likely to be up and down.
Turkey, which under autocrat Erdogan now is free to ethnically cleanse itself of its centuries-old foe, the Kurds, our best friends and allies in the Middle East.
ISIS, the Islamic terrorist group that will rise again, now that the 10,000 prisoners the Kurds were guarding are free to go and inflict more terror on the world, ourselves included.
Bashar al-Assad and his Syria, now that the U.S. has bailed on the Kurds and the free Syrian resistance in the country’s north, which will be left to the butcher’s mercies.
Iran, always grateful for the reduction of U.S. military presence in the Middle East.
China, in line to ascend to the world’s economic throne.
Russia, the biggest winner of all, realizing its dream of driving the U.S. out of the Middle East, as well as gaining more geopolitical influence over its southern neighbors; Putin must be smiling over his continuing success at humiliating America around the world.
The Kurds, the Middle East’s hapless besieged orphans without a secure home, our best and bravest ally thrown to the wolves again by the Americans who betray them.
Israel, our longtime friend that sees its likely foes free to unite against them to the north and the east.
American fundamentalist Christians who fear the scattered Christian communities in northeast Syria will face massacre.
Saudi Arabia, the ultra conservative kingdom with the vulnerable oil fields, fearful of a more powerful and more enlightened Iran settling some old scores.
NATO, weakened by member Turkey acting in violation the must-be-a-democracy rule, behaving as though its real interest lies not in Europe, with its commitment to democracy and tolerance, but rather in the Islamic Middle East.
USA, made the laughingstock of the world by the inexplicable actions of a both insane and dull-normal buffoon presiding over a nation that for a time stood for freedom, democracy, and fair and open dealings with others in the world community. Our handshake was our bond. Now it’s worth a degree from Trump University.
Yes, I know all nations rise and fall. I just never guessed how brief our tenure on top would be.