Carnes: Cocky and unloaded
With his usual humble grace, the president has once again created a crisis and immediately taken credit for solving said crisis.
Perhaps “created” and “solving” are hyperbole for this one, but it doesn’t diminish the fact that we wouldn’t be in this specific predicament if not for the man’s narcissistic impulses to speak before thinking.
Or is it tweet before reading?
He started, when asked how the United States would respond to Iran shooting down an American drone, with his go-to phrase: “We’ll see.”
No, wait, that’s what he usually says, but this time he uttered this succinct, well-thought-out phrase providing Americans with the pacifying comfort of knowing their future is in capable hands: “You will find out.”
This was followed by the security-enhancing, “I have a big, big feeling … it was a big mistake … someone loose and stupid who did it.”
Certainly helped me sleep better.
No, not really. In fact, aborting the strike at the last minute served no real purpose. There’s nothing strategic about it, no apparent geopolitical benefit, just an international projection of ineptitude that makes our military leaders look weak and our allies confused.
Don’t get me wrong though, as “The Don” and I are on the same page when it comes to keeping the U.S. out of pointless armed conflict in the Middle East, but I’m pretty sure we’re looking at different versions of perhaps even different books.
Anyway, so is it damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t?
Well, yeah, but not quite as clear cut as it sounds, and besides, in spite of how he approaches the job, leader of the free world is not a popularity contest. There’s no such thing as pleasing all of the people all of the time.
We had a multi-national agreement in 2015, a working, living document subjected to periodic negotiated changes, that took years to come to fruition, and like Obamacare, the Trans-Pacific Partnership and others, Donny Boy tore it up to replace it with absolutely nothing.
He then pointed a giant gun at Iran, yelling he was going to pull the trigger (a warning act he eviscerated past administrations for doing), and when the trigger was pulled a giant “BANG!” flag plopped out instead, leaving the Iranian mullahs (who equate brute force with diplomacy) more emboldened than ever and our allies shrugging in confusion.
I don’t think “Twitter Warrior” had any meaning to Sun “The Art of War” Tzu, but is the screaming man-child all bark and no bite? Is the bully afraid to actually fight or a strategic warmonger biding his time to use it as a campaign issue? Or is the whole thing really just a steppingstone towards a major sit-down with the Iranians for appeasement.
Yes-yes, just like the Munich Agreement was a steppingstone to prevent World Ware II by appeasing Hitler.
Syria, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, the Wall, Mexico, Canada, China, North Korea, NAFTA, the deportation of illegals, Bette Midler, Hillary Clinton, etc. — all threatened in one way or another, yet none affected by any actual follow through.
This constant “boy crying wolf while shouting the sky is falling” routine is for some reason appealing to all the little sycophant trumpettes, but all talk and no action seems pointless to those actually paying attention.
Richard Carnes, of Avon, writes weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.