Happy New Year everyone!
There’s always a tweet.
As 2019 drew to a close, the Middle East reared its ugly head, as it usually does for every American president. And one of the big questions going forward in 2020 is how President Trump will navigate the eternally troubled waters of the region.
In the last 48 hours, several hundred protestors rushed the American Embassy in Baghdad, in response to an airstrike by the U.S. military on an Iranian-backed militia group on Sunday. For now, the situation seems to have stabilized, as security personnel fired tear gas and rubber bullets to keep the protestors at bay. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper announced that an additional 750 troops are heading to the Middle East as a precautionary measure.
Trump’s tweet above, from 2012, shows how private-citizen Trump never waisted a moment to tweak or criticize the former president. I find it ironic, though, that Trump is now facing some of those very same issues that confronted Obama in 2012. But of course, there’s a significant difference. He enters the 2020 presidential campaign as being the only Commander in Chief ever to be impeached during his first term.
So now we have a president who’s poll numbers are low. Plus, he’s awaiting an impeachment trial in the Senate. I’ll do President Obama a favor here so that he will not have to tweet to Trump, what Trump tweeted to Obama: Beware, Trump’s poll numbers are low, and he’s an impeached president– watch for a massive airstrike on Iran.
It’s funny how things come full circle. Remember the ‘Obama golfs all the time, I would never do such a thing because I’ll be too busy’ mantra? We know how that’s played out. The guy is perpetually on a golf course somewhere, costing American taxpayers millions. Reports are that he was on Trump International Golf Course near Mar-a-Lago for about an hour when things started to get sticky in Iraq. I wonder what hole he was on? Oh well, he’s already making up for it today.
But all sarcasm aside, we do need to pay attention to what’s going on with Iran. The rhetoric seems to be inching up several notches in recent days. Trump, believe it or not, has shown a propensity for restraint as it pertains to the Middle East, at least in the first three years of his presidency. But with his reelection on the line this year, is it out of the realm of possibility that he would get us involved militarily with Iran?
Nothing should, or will surprise us when it comes to this president. If his back is against the wall, he’s capable of just about anything. We know there’s probably an indictment or two awaiting him if he fails to win reelection this year. It’s why in his mind, everything is on the table.
We know he’ll cheat. They caught him red-handed already. But it won’t matter because he’s likely to survive in the Senate. An emboldened president should be feared, especially one who has autocratic and dictatorial tendencies.
The truth is, Trump’s been lucky so far. He hasn’t had to deal with any significant catastrophes, especially on the foreign policy front. How much longer will his luck hold out, however? Several hot spots are percolating in the world as we speak. We’ve heard Chairman Kim of North Korea bombastically proclaim a major missile test is imminent. There are massive protests in Hong Kong going on. And, there’s the Middle East. There’s always the Middle East.
We can never forget that Trump’s Republican predecessor created the current problem in Iraq. Perhaps the most significant foreign policy blunder since Vietnam, the invasion of Iraq, and subsequent removal of Sadaam Hussein created a vacuum that Iran was more than happy to exploit. It’s been said that removing Hussein was like popping the cork on a bottle of champaign: instead of bubbly though, it was hundreds of years of religious and ethnic animosity that spilled over. Obama had to deal with the aftermath; now it’s Trump’s turn.
I wish we wouldn’t have to spill another drop of American blood over there. But I know it’s wishful thinking. As with nearly everything Obama did during his two terms in office, Trump seems hell-bent on reversing it all. The Iran nuclear deal, which Trump opted out of, was supposed to serve as a catalyst for future peace. It was supposed to keep the nuclear issue off the table for several years, with strict inspections and goals for compliance. Whatever diplomacy and leverage we may have had, has all but dissipated, thanks to Trump’s insatiable desire to render Obama’s legacy worthless.
And now we have a petty, desperate president in charge. No, not the man Trump referred to in the 2012 tweet. Never for a minute did I think Obama would do such a thing to pump up his reelection bid. But now, all bets are off. What happens is anyone’s guess.
If anything that’s transpired over the past three years told us, it’s that this president is capable of anything — yes, even bombing another country to enhance his reelection. Just remember, there’s always a tweet.