With the recent one-two punch — the betrayal of the Kurds, our allies in fighting ISIS, and now the assassination of Iran’s top general, Qassim Suleimani — president Donald Trump has unequivocally established America as an international bully.
Bully, noun: one who seeks to harm, intimidate, or coerce those perceived as vulnerable; one who is habitually cruel, insulting, or threatening to others who are weaker or smaller (my emphases). Additionally, bullies don’t give a fig what others, allies included, think of their bullying. Taken together, this definition now fits the U.S. We are in a pantheon of bad actors we don’t really want to be in.
This is not to say Suleimani was not a bad actor himself, and a very bad one (and Republicans who call Democrats “terrorist-loving” should be ashamed). Iran is a leading sponsor of state terror and Suleimani was its chief architect, with the blood of Americans and Iran’s neighbors, including Iraq, on his hands. But to eliminate him while he was on Iraqi soil, and not consulting the Iraqis beforehand — no wonder Iraq now orders U.S. troops out. Iraq is furious at Trump for putting an ally (themselves) in the crossfire.
And earlier, the Kurds certainly deserved consulting, not the insult of betrayal. But bullies don’t care about betrayal.
Of course, Trump’s bullying was on view before this: His notorious phone call with Ukraine’s president last July, in which he asked “a favor” — dirt on Democratic rival Joe Biden — meanwhile withholding $400 million in military aid Ukraine needed in its hot war with Russia. This is behavior of a mafia capo, not the President of the United States. Plus, there is Trump’s nonstop nasty treatment of our NATO allies; his reference to various African countries as “s***hole”; the list is very long.
And now that list includes Trump threatening to bomb the cultural heritage sites precious to the countries he targets, starting with Iran. Saner heads apparently talked him out of this war crime he contemplated. But imagine if Iran threatened to bomb the Statue of Liberty, or raze the battlefield at Gettysburg…..
And not to overlook the other planned assassinations, the thousands of drone strikes and air strikes, some killing civilians — all clandestine — that the U.S. carries out, for what purpose, it is not clear, other than that we have the bullets, drones, and bombers….