Upon learning of Trump’s latest foreign policy change, pulling out of Northern Syria, one couldn’t help but fear that the move represented nothing more than the latest payment made to those dark figures around the globe to whom Trump owes his current position.
Cutting and running from our duty to support the Kurds will allow Turkey’s autocratic leader to move quickly-into the gap, open up Russian options in Syria, and further inflame a Middle East already heightened with tension over Iran. The news followed upon a tumultuous two weeks in which we learned that Trump bent Ukraine’s elbow back just as the Ukrainian government transitioned into a clean, anti-Putin administration, already engaged in a warm war with Russia.
It was always destined to play out this way.
Much as Putin, the Saudis, Israel and others, might have liked to have quickly gotten their “due” for their necessary “help” to install our current despot, they knew that the U.S. required time to adjust to the dictatorial life. One doesn’t over-force dynamic change into a two-hundred and forty year old democratic superpower. It has to evolve properly. But, the international crime syndicate that worked so hard and took so many risks will get their due.
They cannot wait any longer. Trump looks “weak.” Trump is polling double digits down to every major Democratic opponent. He is facing an impeachment inquiry which – on any given day – could result in a document springing loose to seal Trump’s fate, at least as president. And even the worst procrastinators won’t have a “to do” list with three to four major things left unresolved in the midst of an election year. No, the summer-fall season of “year three” was always going to be the point in time to watch for major action.
Trump finds himself in a delectably awful position. He most needs political capital at home while his biggest international benefactors need the most “anti-American” things done. One can just imagine Putin whispering into Trump’s ear:
“Donald, it is time to weaken the Ukraine, and get your troops out of Syria, you had promised …”
And Trump whimpering: “But I am fighting this impeachment process, and if I am doing things that upset too many people, I won’t survive to get that done. You have to help me get to the point when I can …”
To which Putin might giggle viciously; “Oh, Donald, don’t worry, I will help you with impeachment. I will just continue to hold all our loan agreements here and not put a stamp on this envelope to the New York Times. After all, imagine how badly the impeachment might go if those documents found their way out? I do need my list done, Donald.”
Of course, whether such actual conversations exist (though they could) is wholly beside the point. The dynamic near surely does exist. Other explanations exist for Trump’s decisions of late, but Occam sneers at those.
The real terrifying aspect of the above summation is that we haven’t seen the worst, yet. If you had near outright ownership of the U.S. president, and you are part of the world’s biggest, most ruthless crime syndicate, one that could ruin Trump, would you be satisfied yet?
NATO still opposes Russia, Iran still sits in the Middle East, sanctions still cripple Putin’s buddies, and the United States remains vulnerable to even greater political divide, and the economy can be weakened further. No, they are not done.
As the clouds darken on the horizon, we shouldn’t be celebrating impeachment, nor Trump’s near-certain impending demise. We have known all along it would be ugly, but we didn’t, and still don’t, know the details. We do not know how many will be killed, though today we know the numbers will be horrifically higher than we might’ve imagined yesterday.
An open question remains. Will U.S. troops also, ultimately, be sacrificed as part payment for Trump’s debts? If MBS saw this as his “now or never” point, what would stop MBS from manipulating Trump into ordering forces into the Middle East to oppose Iran, on Saudi Arabia’s behalf? Think of what MBS has over Trump.
I haven’t yet mentioned possible lives lost or property destroyed here at home, as Trump trades on truth and American legitimacy to prop himself up three to five percentage points in the polls. He could call his supporters out to take to the streets. Even without doing so, Americans are already viciously turning on each other on Twitter, maybe at church, or Rotary. Trump may be told to implement far greater economic tariffs on Europe, throwing the world into a recession, or depression.
So many dark clouds, and dark forces, on the horizon. So little we can know for certain.
We know this, it is only the beginning of week three, and today is much darker than yesterday.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.