Anybody who has ever thrown a birthday party for a kid knows that there are two basic forms of entertainment. There are clowns, and then there are magicians. Donald Trump is a true cross over, a magician clown. He lumbers around the yard with his big flopping feet, knocking over the folding table with the cake on it, while he makes a cute little bunny out of a long pink balloon, which somehow or other ends up with a hard on on it.
Donald Trump has been pretty transparent since day one in regards to his response to problems with his Presidency or his administration. That’s Trump the magician. Throw a handful of sparkling pixie dust into the air to attract attention, while your other hand puts the rabbit into the hat. But because Trump is a clown, he throws the damn pixie dust directly over the hat. Every time.
Never has Trump needed a major distraction more than right now. His approval numbers are in the toilet, and there’s a hand on the pull chain. People are finally seeing the bait-and-switch in his tax cut dodge with lower IRS refunds, and he’s taking friendly fire from the right wing media over the wall. Oh yeah, and Robert Mueller is making his Cornholeone family look more like the “Kid Sally” Palumbo family in The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight. There is one whopping distraction required here.
For a while there, sane minds worried that he would actively try to engineer a war with North Korea if he were backed far enough into a corner, the ultimate distraction. But no, as long as in Dung Pil keeps sending His Lowness 3’x4’ Valentines cards hand delivered by an envoy, they’re golden. Then people worried that he would manufacture an incident to enable him to go big into Syria. But Vlad the Imp shook a finger and made tsk-tsk-tsk noises, so that is now one of the few options in Trumpmenistan that is actually “off of the table.” Which leaves us with Iran.
Trump has been laying the groundwork for a pissing contest with Iran for quite a while now. All the way back when he was a candidate, he slammed the Iran nuclear deal, but that was back when Trump honestly thought that whatever he said wouldn’t matter in the long run. It was just his way of raining on Baravk Obama’s parade for being able to craft a goddamn deal that actually worked. Once he got elected, common sense and realpolitik never entered into the equation, he had a reputation of “excellence in ignorance” to live up to. He wiped his ass with the Iran nuclear deal and threw it into the toilet, and then he unilaterally restored sanctions on Iran, doing everything in his power to poke the tiger with a stick, just to prove that his obstinance was as overpowering as his stupidity.
For quite a while, none of this mattered as much, for one simple reason. That’s because “Mad Dog” Jim Mattis had the keys to Donald Trump’s cage. Trump could howl at the moon all he wanted, but it was ultimately Mattis who would decide whether or not to let slip the dogs of war. But now Mattis is gone, and The $1 Store Caligula has a chickenhawk piece of shit like John Bolton whispering sweet nihilist nothings in his ear, and an acting Defense Secretary whose knowledge is restricted to the fact that Boeing can’t sell jets to Iran, so what good are they?
As we speak, the US is co-hosting a “security conference” on Iran with Poland. The only good thing about this is it means that Andrea Mitchell is currently pestering the denizens of Warsaw. The obvious question what begs to be asked is “What the fuck do the Poles care about Iran?!?” My guess is that they were the only active NATO ally that would sign on for this war drum banging tent revival. And as a result, we get to sit in embarrassment while Trump’s tulip proctologist, Mike Pence, thumps what would pass for a chest on a 9 year old boy, grunting “USA food! Iran bad! Bomb Iran!”
This is incredibly dangerous. Mainly because Trump’s precipitous nonsense is placing our NATO allies in an untenable situation. Ever since Trump pulled out of the Iran deal, their only course of action has by necessity been, “Fuck Trump, we gotta save the rest of the world!” Iran is not North Korea. While they may not have nukes, what they do have is a strong, battle tested army, plenty of conventional arms to make life miserable for their neighbors and most of the rest of the world that will be sucked into a conflict, and a rigid national and military structure.
So far, Iran has been content to treat Trump like the insignificant mosquito that he is, nothing but a buzzing irritant. But if Trump continues on this track, egged on by two legged stools like Bolton, Iran is going to react, in one way or another. And if they do, they will place NATO in the no-win situation of either having to scrap the Iran nuclear deal in support of the US, or isolate the US and continue to deal with Iran, pretty well ensuring the US departure from NATO in another signature Trumper tantrum.
But forget about the specter of an actual shooting war with Iran for a moment. If that actually takes place, it will take place in Iran, far from our shores, and posing no domestic risk. What is the ultimate nightmare scenario of Iran’s long history of supporting and equipping terrorism organizations. What is to stop a sufficiently irked Iran from whispering in the right terrorist ears that the US is weak, and distracted by Iran, so now is the perfect time to strike a blow to the infidel dog, right where he lives?
Up until now, it has been comparatively easy for this nation to rationalize Trump’s nonsense and buffoonery, because it could be controlled by one guard rail or another. But the most critical guard rails are now gone, and Trump is edging right up to the lip of the chasm of becoming a clear and present danger to the United States, a literal national security threat. The real problem at this point is what in the hell can we do about it?
Follow me on Twitter at @RealMurfster35