The brazen killing of Iran’s second most important leader, General Qassem Soleimani, a revolutionary freedom fighter with enough personal charm and charisma to be worshiped as a folk hero, and considered as a presidential candidate, was not the smoothest move that the United States could have made in foreign policy. But then, we have a person in power who has not the slightest clue about diplomacy. Diplomacy is about a step by step approach, a loosening of boundaries and gradual widening of parameters — but not to Donald Trump. He lacks the intellect and life experience to conceive of solving anything in other than a disruptive, turn the table over, kind of fashion. Well, he’s certainly done so now. There is no way that Iran can or will sit by quietly in the face of this level of insult and the entire world is watching and waiting for the other shoe to drop. Der Spiegel:

Soleimani was considered to be the second-most powerful man in Iran and his assassination is nothing short of a declaration of war. At almost the exact same time, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un threatened to carry out new nuclear weapons tests. Two crises that Trump had promised to contain have now become more acute and threatening than they had been for some time.

The killing of Soleimani is the epitome of Trump’s capriciousness. The ploy of unexpectedly changing directions, of making threats and surprise attacks has not managed to extricate the U.S. from the Iraq-Iran-Syria quagmire. Washington has continued to be dragged into conflicts in the Middle East. Ever since the U.S., under Trump’s leadership, backed out of the nuclear deal with Iran, Tehran has changed course. It has responded to the Trump administration’s strategy of “maximum pressure” with provocations, for example by attacking American facilities in the Middle East. The Iranian regime had hoped the approach might force the Trump administration back to the negotiating table. […]

That [war with Iran] is the greatest danger currently facing the world, but it isn’t the only potentially dangerous consequence of Trump’s instinctual foreign policy. North Korea’s Kim Jong Un also remains unpredictable. For a brief moment, it looked as though he might respond positively to Trump’s personal approaches and scale back his nuclear program in exchange for economic concessions. Since his bellicose New Year’s address, however, in which he directly threatened America, it has become clearer than ever that the Bomb is more important to Kim than economic relations with the U.S.

Trump has no respect for experts. The derailment of the State Department and diplomacy has been going on since day one of this misadministration. Rex Tillerson gutted the State Department and under Mike Pompeo things are no better. This has resulted in internal problems, where diplomats and career professionals like Marie Yovanovich have felt the lack of support that they previously were able to take for granted, but it goes far beyond that. The ignorance of this administration is known world wide. America has lost all credibility as a world power under Trump and that’s the long and the short of it.

Trump is beyond the bull in the china shop, he’s a bull in a china shop on roller skates and the roller skates are rocket powered.

Trump’s failure holds a lesson both for the U.S. government and for the Europeans: Namely that blatant pugnacity may be appropriate for political campaigns, but it has no place in diplomacy. Foreign policy is both arduous and dangerous. It requires endurance, humility and a willingness to compromise.

The bottom line here is that all Trump can do is campaign. He cannot govern. He lacks the training and the temperament and the experience. He’s a snake oil pitchman, nothing more. And now his ignorance and hubris may trigger a war. Yesterday’s events are going to reverberate and be with us for quite some time to come, possibly decades.

Trump lives in his bubble world and he has no concept of even American culture, beyond his uber wealthy associates and television, let alone a sense of foreign cultures or of how the dots connect in the world of international diplomacy. Friday, the very stable genius made a brief statement in Palm Beach, where he defended his unwise and inflammatory action as a defensive one that “should have been done long ago,” always a key Trump talking point.

He’s actually talking about “lives that could have been saved” and has no concept of the lives that are about to be lost. Iran will not take this lying down. They’ve said as much. Trump took his shot. Now I hope he’s ready for the return punch. The problem is, are we?

 

 

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24 Comments on "Trump’s ‘Instinctual Foreign Policy, Devoid of Experts’ Could Trigger A War — and He’s Oblivious"

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chris whitley
Member

Does this moron actually think he can kill top general in Iran and they will do nothing. That must be some really good drugs he’s getting because he has to be high to think killing a general linked to terrorism and just go back to his golf game. Americans are going to die because he needed a distraction since new emails show he personally ordered the hold on aid to Ukraine which was against the constitution. You know the document that trump tossed in the trash!

Bareshark
Guest

Never hope for the impossible when it comes to Trump, Ursula. The fact is he’s got a glass jaw and Iran is going to break it with a sledge. I rather like Jason’s idea of Iran hitting Trump properties internationally but that won’t necessarily get the job done. I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a few more allied oil refineries get hit.

CAZ
Guest

Again, I think Israel should be almost as nervous as our troops in the middle east.

Bareshark
Guest

Hell to the yes, CAZ. And much like us, they’re dealing with their own crisis of leadership at the top at arguably one of the worst possible times.

Carol O
Guest
We need to clean up the language we use regarding tRump. I get agitated hearing talking heads say he goes by his gut, his instincts. He has no connection to either. Gut instincts refer to an inherent intelligence at the cellular level, an innate wisdom to draw from. What dummkopf uses is impulsiveness, fueled by hyperactive, attention deficit tendencies, as well as his inherent ignorance and inability to be educated, to learn. Just as with ‘fake news’ (read lies), alternate reality (read lies), ‘he says what he thinks’ (read blurts), this nonsense about instinct and going with his gut is… Read more »
Bareshark
Guest

Oh, I have never acknowledged him having either guts nor instincts of any kind, just a pair of mental disorders (narcissism and dementia) that inform all his decisions. I expect the sugar high for Republicans on this to last the weekend…only to watch it all collapse by the end of next week.

CAZ
Guest

We always hear of his dumbness querying his peeps at Mar a Lago about how they feel about his optics. It is not his prodigious gut that is driving ‘strategy’. It is his studio audience.

Bareshark
Guest

And those ass-kissers can’t be counted on to be an objective jury.

Steve
Member
Ursula, Thank you for this article and many others by you and your writers. I like to use the twitter icon to instantly retweet articles like this to my twitter followers. I wanted to bring to your attention – if not already aware – that since about 1 week ago Twitter placed a hold and has now suspended PolitiZoom’s twitter account entirely. Must have made it onto a Magat hitlist and resulted in a ton of magats reporting and twitter acting on false information. This is one of the Russian cyberterrorist/magat/GOP-Nazi tactics intended to mute and silence the resistance on… Read more »
chris whitley
Member
Normally I would let this slide. But hell it just doesn’t hunt! Ron Howard called trump out on Twitter. A Stoneman Douglas dad whose daughter was killed jumped on him. He jumped out an said trump gave up his billionaire lifestyle (he didn’t) and donates his salaries every year (he doesn’t). Trump still golfs every week spending millions to play at his own clubs where the secret service even has to rent their own golf carts. His salary he does donate only after claiming it on his taxes and taking the charity deduction. Of course he can’t put it in… Read more »
Bareshark
Guest

Patience, Chris…look close at recent pictures of the man. His health struggles only get worse from here and none of his money will buy him enough good health or comfort to make it bearable except in short increments.

chris whitley
Member

That’s the way I see it,too. I have watched him a long time. He never was sharpest knife in the drawer. Now he has Putin after him which is downright unhealthy and majority of America thinks he may have gone to far. He only has McConnell propping him up now and that won’t last because even the turtle can recognize a bad bet!