The President Doesn’t Know What He’s Doing

Donald Trump

Qasem Soleimani deserved what he got but this doesn’t redeem the clueless incompetence of the President

✎  WAYNE K. SPEAR | JANUARY 3, 2020 • Current Events

I HEARD ABOUT Qassem Soleimani’s killing, by American drone, on Twitter—the same place where I found a National Post article describing him as (I’m not making this up) a “hugely prominent Iranian military leader and Instagram celebrity.”

Everyone could tell prima facie this was a big deal. Of course the Iranians would retaliate: the fact was so obvious, even Lindsey Graham soaked it in. Beyond that though everything was wild speculation. This attack is a diversion from impeachment; the President is going to declare martial law and suspend the Constitution; it’s going to be the Iraq War all over again. And so on, and so on. Alas and alack each and every reach for an analogous moment stretched into an era when wars were not conducted by drone and rumours of war were not arbitrated by Instagram celebrities. In other words, and in case you need to be told, it’s 2020 and not 2003.

ABOVE: One of the President’s agitprop stooges with a turd of a proposal. Last December, Trump abandoned the Kurds, and in doing so gave Syria and Turkey permission to undertake ethnic cleansing. The Kurds have watched Trump oblige dictators and would be fools to trust him.

It would be bad enough if history repeated. The American effort to bring democracy and peace to Iraq has fared poorly, to put it in the most bland of terms, but the proxy and cyber warfare that the United States is now likely to face will be even more challenging to its military and security capabilities. At the same time news of Soleimani’s death was making the rounds, a Haaretz article (Trump Envoy to Visit Israel, Discuss Middle East Peace Plan After Months of Standstill) put into my mind the terrible thought that the Trump administration will be as effective at war as it has been at peace, and for the same reason: the placing of loyalty above competence. On this principle the President has shaped the White House and the Departments of Justice and State. What does nepotism at war look like, you ask?

The Peace Team
ABOVE: Jared Kushner and Avi Berkowitz, the President’s Middle Earth Peace Squad. Neither of these kids have ever had a real job.

Donald “End the Endless Wars” Trump has threatened to bring fire and fury, the likes of which the world has never seen, to North Korea. (This was before he fell in love with Kim Jong-un.) He once bombed a Syrian airstrip. Momentary reactionary rage and impulsive but pointless bombings are what he does best and indeed his only military strategy, so far as we know. If he has anything else up his badly-tailored sleeves, he’s kept it a secret. Don’t misunderstand me. Soleimani deserved what he got and, yes, war with Iran hasn’t been so much declared as it has been acknowledged. What happens next is beyond everyone, including the incompetent President. ⌾

The Roundtable Podcast 70: War & Religion

Week of 24.08.2014

3D_Mosque_Sky_Scape_HD_Wallpaper-Vvallpaper.Net

Pastafarians | Ferguson, MO | Toronto Election 2014 | The Islamic Caliphate: past and present | Religion and War | Why Care What Goes on in the World?

Download entire podcast (320 kbps mp3) | Visit The Roundtable on Facebook.

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How Ethnocentrism Blinded the War’s Critics to the People of Iraq

president_bush

SCANNING THIS WEEK’S renewal of the Bush and Blair trials, I wondered: do I alone notice the toxic ethnocentrism lurking in the belief that the world’s political disasters are the result of, and response to, America’s policies and actions?

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Kerry channels shame of Munich in bid for strike against Syria

1938 Munich Agreement

ONE DECADE AGO, the French distaste for war against Saddam Hussein inspired Freedom Fries, the conventional name for this ubiquitous side-dish having been removed from Congressional cafeteria menus at the direction of Republicans Bob Ney and Walter Jones. On US Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent visit to Paris, to make the case for a limited strike against Syria, the reception was by contrast positive. Yet the forms of the arguments reveal a tension in the prevailing views of military engagements whose roots reach back to the First World War.

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An Attack on Syria for Whose Benefit?

Damascus

IN THE YEARS leading up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, a commonplace indictment of Saddam Hussein was that he was guilty of using chemical weapons against “his own people.” The notion that Iraqis, to say nothing of Kurds or Kuwaitis, could be considered the people of the Ba’athist regime was not lost on the dictator. The Hussein family indeed treated all of Iraq as its personal property, inclusive even of the private lives of Iraq’s citizens, and revealed itself ever eager to extend these possessions beyond its own borders.

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The Roundtable Podcast 44

Week of 01.06.2013

Dr. Henry Morgentaler

How to Get Rob Ford to Call You a Racist | Henry Morgentaler | Town in Northern Ireland Turns into Virtual Potemkin Village Ahead of G8 | The Zombie Plan for Middle East Peace | Recommended Article: How the Rob Ford Crack Scandal Could Save Toronto | Game: “The Puffster” | The 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee | Nigeria Lawmakers Pass Bill Banning Gay Marriage | 32 Killed in Iraq Attacks as May Toll Crosses 600

Download entire podcast (320 kbps mp3) | Visit The Roundtable on Facebook.

The Conservative Party’s courting of China is shameful

I KNOW FROM experience the most efficient way to start a fist-fight in some circles is to use, without irony, the word evil. As in the phrase Axis of Evil. On this principle, George W. Bush was mocked for years by lefties who noted condescendingly (though correctly) that the President’s eyes were just a bit too close together for the nation’s good. One afternoon in the mid 90s, the man who would memorably link Iran, Iraq and North Korea — Bush Jr’s speechwriter, David Frum — passed in front of my car while I was at a red light. I confess repressing an urge to step on the gas. Some years on, however, I’ve a greater respect for Mr. Frum, and in part it’s due to the fact that I think there really is such a thing as evil, perhaps even in axis form.

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Living in the Age of The Endless War

ON A WALL at the National Capital’s War Monument are inscribed these words, past which I walk each day and derived from the ninth book of Virgil’s Aeneid: “nulla dies umquam memori vos eximet aevo.” Here I shall provide some context, deferring to Robert Fitzgerald’s 1983 translation for Random House:

Fortunate, both! If in the least my songs
Avail, no future day will ever take you
Out of the record of remembering Time,
While children of Aeneas make their home
Around the Capitol’s unshaken rock,
And still the Roman Father governs all.

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A Shame Indeed: The Persecution of Christians Considered

The predictable and vile business of the Christmas attack has produced a renewal of concern with worldwide persecution of Christians. An idea now tendered is that these acts are outcomes of the Iraq war. Accept at your own risk this counterfeit of history, which requires you to believe nothing like this could have occurred eight years ago. Religious persecution is an old habit of our species, a primal barbarism which establishes the enduring threat and generalized impediment to our evolution. Continue reading “A Shame Indeed: The Persecution of Christians Considered”