The President Who Lied Wolf

This week, a Japanese ship was attacked in the Strait of Hormuz. Although there is a claim from our DoD and State Department that the attack came from Iran, the source of the attack is not clear, and the Japanese owner of the ship disputed Trump administration claims that it was an Iranian landmine that caused the fire on the ship.

The neocons in the administration, Bolton and Pompeo, as well as their Saudi allies, have been beating the drum to start a war with Iran, which would make the Iraq war look like a picnic. Iran is much bigger, and much more technically advanced than Iraq was in 2003, and they would probably take a much more aggressive stance than Iraq did. The American people are, understandably, hesitant to follow our leaders into a war, having been lied to by the Bush Administration about WMD in Iraq.

The larger problem for Trump is that, regardless of the source of the attack (which COULD be Iran), he and his administration are having a great deal of difficulty selling this war to our allies, largely because he is not seen as credible, and also because he has not proven to be a reliable partner. Trump has now told, since taking office, almost 11,000 verifiable lies. He lies the way most of us draw breath. This is nothing new; he has always been a liar. He also has never shown loyalty to anyone. If you doubt that, ask Mike Pence, who after being the most sycophantic of sycophants for the last 22 months, can still not count on an endorsement from Trump in 2024.

This President also has a startling tendency to blab intelligence secrets to perceived friends (witness his May, 2017, meeting with Former Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak, in which he revealed top secret intelligence information gathered by Israel to Kislyak). It is certain that even the Russian leadership would use a trust-but-verify approach to anything Trump tells them. As if to highlight the seriousness of this issue, the New York Times just published an article in which, buried well down the column (I believe it was paragraph 21 or so), the DoD and State Department revealed that they do not provide Trump with unvarnished information for fear he’d reveal it. He is, in Ralph Kramden’s words, “a blabbermouth.” We can afford one of those as a mother-in-law, but not as a President.

This creates a very serious problem for US foreign policy going forward (to say nothing of domestic policy). If our leaders cannot be trusted, there is little point in believing them. This threatens our place in the world, and thereby, the stability of our alliances. Thus, the utter failure of the GOP in Congress, the State Department, the DOJ, and the DoD to adequately rein in Trump has caused huge problems for us, well beyond any benefit to them of protecting the man’s fragile ego. He is certainly not a man who can be trusted at any level.

I have already stated how harmful a President like this is domestically and with regard to human rights, but this is a new wrinkle that must be appreciated. Trump is not only a clear and present danger domestically, but also one internationally. He must be removed from office.

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