Trump, Iran and answers
1/10/2020, 6 a.m.
Now that President Trump has pushed America to the brink of war in the Middle East, we want answers.
Unfortunately, at a time when the American public needs to hear the valid evidence leading to last week’s drone strike and the assassination of Iranian Gen. Qassim Suleimani, we are least likely to get the truth from the occupant of the White House who is a well-documented liar.
With Iran’s retaliatory missile strike Tuesday against U.S. military and coalition forces on bases in Iraq and thousands of American troops being deployed to the region — a tinderbox waiting to be ignited by a miscalculation, misstep or sudden irrational action or reaction — President Trump’s very presence as the U.S. commander in chief offers little to assuage public anxiety. Even the millennials are stewing over the potential global threat right now with the hashtag #wwiii.
Sadly, we are left to rely on the sensibility of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to de-escalate the situation rather than rely on our own president, who has proved in office to be impetuous and without deep thought or regard for consequences.
President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claim the decision to kill Gen. Suleimani was based on intelligence purportedly showing a threat against American diplomats and service members in Iraq and around the region was “imminent.”
Yet, he and his “yes men” have yet to show any evidence, though national security laws and policies designed to check executive war-mongering require written findings to legally justify the assassination of such a prominent national leader.
We find it ironic that President Trump, who has spent the last three years in office dogging out the U.S. intelligence community by calling them incompetent, unreliable and politically biased, is now suddenly using them to justify his actions.
President Trump also has spent the last three years insulting, bul- lying and intimidating this nation’s closest allies, including NATO. Now he has taken this high-risk maneuver in the Middle East without consulting any of them or lining up their support. So who will have our back as he continues to de-stabilize the region?
Perhaps all of this is a Trump move to turn over greater influence in the region to his buddy Vladimir Putin. The Russian president seems unfazed by the turmoil unleashed by the killing of Gen. Suleimani and is in meetings this week with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus. Mr. Putin also is set to talk with Turkey’s Recep Tayipp Erdogan.
Has all of this been part of some grand scheme by Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin to get U.S. troops out of Iraq, as the Iraqi parliament voted after Gen. Suleimani’s death, and to turn over oil and other interests to a bigger Russian federation?
Or is this all less about protecting U.S. national security and more about President Trump attempting to deflect attention from his impeachment and the upcoming Senate trial?
We laud U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia for introducing a war powers resolution to force a debate and vote in Congress to prevent further escalation of hostilities with Iran. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced a similar resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives.
According to Sen. Kaine, a member of the Senate armed services and foreign relations committees, the resolution would require that any hostilities with Iran must be explicitly authorized by a declaration of war by Congress or specific authorization for use of military force, but does not prevent the United States from defending itself against imminent attack.
What is clear is this: The United States needs a president who is calm, stable, level-headed, intelligent, reflective, well-grounded, firm, reliable, strong, able to think ahead and willing to work with others.
If the U.S. Senate is too weak to remove President Trump from office, remember this date: Tuesday, Nov. 3. That’s the day of the next presidential election. Go to the polls and vote — with your eyes open.