Donald Trump did another one of his “Sir” stories Monday at the White House. As you know, when Trump tells an anecdote wherein advisers appear as obsequious mice and beg for the Great Negotiator’s wisdom and guidance, calling him “Sir’ it is a lie of the first magnitude. The star of Trump’s story yesterday was none other than James Mattis, and if you believe this interchange took place between them, wherein Mattis assured Trump that the United States military was out of stores for it’s ordnance, I have some triangular buildings in Egypt I could sell you. Raw Story:
“I’m not blaming anybody.. But that is what he told me. Because we were in a position where with a certain country, I won’t say which one, we may have had conflict. And he said to me, sir, if you could delay it because we’re very low on ammunition. And I said, you know what, general? I never want to hear that again from another general.”
“No president should ever, ever hear that statement, we’re low on ammunition. And we now have more ammunition, more missiles, more rockets, more tanks. We have more of in everything than we’ve had before,” he added, before pausing to praise the F-16 fighter jet.
Trump concluded: “So we are very high on ammunition now. That is a story I’ve never told before. Breaking news. But we were very low. I could even say it stronger. I don’t want to say no ammunition but that gets a lot closer.”
That’s a believable conversation isn’t it? I mean, didn’t FDR and George Patton have the same interchange all the time? Trump’s idiocy may appeal to his cult, who are conditioned to believe Fox News over the CIA, but in the real world, breaths are held and the mood is somber, watching what this idiot does, and worrying, justifiably, about what he might do next. Rick Wilson, Daily Beast:
Having butted up against every American presidential administration since Carter, Iran is not inexperienced in the kind of political and intelligence warfare even a competent and determined American president would need to face in a competition like this. As our long, long engagement in Iraq and Afghanistan has proven, asymmetric warfare is tough on modern-era great powers. Iran is deeply skilled at the art, and in using terror, third-party actors and transitory alliances to offset the power deployed against it by the West.
The JCPOA Iran nuclear deal had its flaws, but one thing it did accomplish was to push back the risks of kinetic conflict in the Gulf. The U.S. withdrawal from the agreement and the subsequent “maximum pressure” campaign was a perverse incentive of the highest order: Iran sees the withdrawal as a chance to exercise its power for disruptive, asymmetric warfare in the region. If the withdrawal didn’t give the Iranians a reason, it at least gave them an excuse.
Like so many degenerate gamblers before him, Trump decided he could bluff his way past the canny and determined adversary.
The world economy will pay a brutal price if the Greatest Negotiator In History™ bumbles into a shooting war in the Gulf. The costs to American influence and power are incalculable. The human cost could be nightmarish.
Given his failure in every other international contest to date, expect a lot of sleepless nights ahead in the Persian Gulf, and around the world.
Iran sees what we see, an intelligence and defense community which is compromised, to put it mildly, and whose leadership depends upon Trump’s next tweet. John Bolton, National Security Adviser #4, was ostensibly put at the door because he leaked word of Trump’s inquiry into stopping hurricanes with nuclear bombs — and we know full well Trump’s obsession with hurricanes, so the story isn’t as incredible as it might seem. So now there’s a place holder in the NSA position, like there’s an acting Chief of Staff and other temporary provisional types in abundance in this administration, because nobody with any credibility wants to accept a real job in this shit show.
Trump has no idea what’s at stake. To him, it’s all reality TV and his only direction and purpose is to win the news cycle, not some conflict in the Middle East. He’s so delusionally discombobulated, he actually thinks his son-in-law is keeping a lid on the Middle East — and restructuring the government, and solving the opioid crisis, and keeping the roads in shape, and and and.
So, we’ve got a clown that has denounced and denied the intelligence community since he took office, done nothing but degrade the military, laughing at PTSD and banning trans-genders, and undermined generals like Kelly, McMaster and Mattis. And this is who’s going to make a decision about going to war? On our behalf? And you think Iran doesn’t know all this and more?
I’m waiting for Iran to copy Kim’s playbook: “Well, I was worried about Iran until Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei sent me the most beautiful letter telling me I am the tallest, smartest, most handsome, and well-hung president in history. So the nukes are OK. We have a good relationship.”
Iran sees an American president who has overtly chosen to relinquish America’s role in global leadership at every turn. The Iranians clearly translated “America First” as its isolationist architects meant it: America Alone. They’re salivating at the prospect of Pax Americana ending at the edge of U.S. territorial waters.
The waters are dark and treacherous, and Captains Bligh and Queeg were sane and composed compared to this guy. Drones attacked Saudi oil production a few days ago and we’ve got a fool who’s quoting dialogue from a John Wayne movie, “locked and loaded” and he thinks this is going to work? If you’re not scared, you don’t fully understand the situation. Donald Trump only understands money, and not very much about that. He sought the presidency as a money and fame magnet and like a six year old, crawling on the kitchen floor, towards an open knife drawer, he has no clue what he’s dealing with or what could happen. Unfortunately, he’s not the only one who stands to get hurt. Not by a long shot.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.