JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE REMARKABLE CLAIM THAT TRUMP UNDERSTANDS WHAT CONGRESS DOES NOT: SYRIA IS NOT AMERICA’S WAR – MY GOD, THAT’S TAKING POLITICAL SUPPORT INTO THE TWILIGHT ZONE – HERE IS EXACTLY WHAT TRUMP UNDERSTANDS ABOUT SYRIA AND WHY HE MAKES THE BIZARRE EFFORTS HE DOES – “FOREIGN POLICY” IS A TERM YOU CAN’T EVEN APPLY TO THIS MANIC FIGURE READY TO DO ANYTHING FOR RE-ELECTION – WHEN A WITHDRAWAL IS NOT A WITHDRAWAL   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE AMERICAN SPECTATOR

 

“President Trump Understands What Congress Does Not: Syria Is Not America’s War”

 

He does?

That sure comes as news to me.

All he has done in Syria is play election games with the different interest groups. The “withdrawal” was about re-attracting the alienated anti-war vote of 2016. He had done nothing about the wars as he had promised he would, and his own base constituency – the Wall and hate-migrants crowd – is just not quite big enough to re-elect him.

Well, as soon as you touch anything in Syria, you touch Israel because it is at the center of what the proxy war was always about, weakening Syria for Israel’s benefit and maybe even breaking the country into pieces.

He thought he had done enough for Israel – in the way of giving away things he had no legal right to give, such as Jerusalem and Syria’s Golan Heights – so that he wouldn’t hear complaints over a withdrawal that they strongly disapproved of, that they would understand his political need going into the next election.

But he was wrong. You can never give a man like Netanyahu enough of almost anything.

The truth is that Trump has no foreign policy. His “policy” is a set of ever-changing responses to various political pressures. They display absolutely no principle or understanding concerning Syria, or indeed any of other places receiving his malign touch.

He is madly driven by a compulsion to be re-elected, to receive that personal adulation, and he is ready to try just about anything to get what he needs – in votes, campaign funds, and favorable publicity.

So, now the “withdrawal” – which has gone through several shape-changes and flip-flops, and never was all that much to start with since the number of troops in Syria never was large – has been turned into an Election Foreign Policy Political Blue Plate Special by withdrawing just enough troops to get some favorable headlines back home for anti-war voters while sending more troops back in, reinforced with heavy armor and ready to steal Syria’s oil, to get favorable headlines in Israel.

The only understanding displayed in any of it is that of a truly manic politician responding to various pressures. None of it can be graced with the term, “foreign policy.”

Now, he’s literally stealing Syrian oil because one interest group – that for Israel – wanted a consolation prize for losing the long proxy war against Syria, a country towards whom it has long displayed great animosity.

The oil Trump is stealing is not about greed for resources, as many seem to believe, so much as it is a mechanism for hurting Syria, although I’m sure the revenue will be happily pocketed. America is deliberately hurting Syria as it faces the needs for massive post-war reconstruction, a reconstruction Trump has made a number of efforts to be very unhelpful about.

How can anyone say Trump shows understanding when he has shown only contempt for that basic building block of all societies and of all relationships between them, the principle of rule of law, in his mad rush to insure his re-election?

He did so again with his arbitrary behavior over the Iran nuclear agreement, a smoothly-working, much-praised international treaty for about four years, and one representing the interests of half a dozen other states who were signatories.

Trump just ripped it up like an angry child, in defiance of everyone else’s interests. Then he hurled harsh, war-like sanctions against eighty million people in Iran who had been meeting all their obligations and made serious military threats, even once incoherently talking about their “obliteration.”

Why did he do that? Because immensely important political contributors back home wanted to see what had long been a demand of Netanyahu’s fulfilled. Netanyahu has always thought it fitting that a huge, proud, and ancient country like Iran should be reduced to a supplicant in the Middle east, rather than a competitor for influence.

Trump’s violation of basic principles hurts everyone on the planet, and it will come back to haunt America. To hurt the people he wants to hurt with sanctions, he has effectively weaponized the dollar, using America’s various mechanisms and institutions controlling the dollar to impose what is a set of American domestic laws upon seven billion people, something widely resented, by friend and foe alike.

The dollar is gradually losing its special place in the world for various reasons, just as America’s relative economic importance declines. Trump’s efforts only increase the rate of decay. And the same goes for America’s place in the hearts even of allies. How do you trust a law-breaking, dishonest state which behaves like a schoolyard bully?

In the end, you cannot.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: