Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Nation: In Trump’s Cruise-Missile Diplomacy, Iran and North Korea Could Be Next

In August 2016, four Iranian Revolutionary Guard patrol boats approached a U.S. Navy destroyer at high speeds. Then-candidate Donald Trump expressed how he would respond to such incidents: “ . . . when they circle our beautiful destroyers with their little boats, and they make gestures at our people that they shouldn’t be allowed to make, they will be shot out of the water.”

The recent Naval cruise-missile attack on a Syrian airbase is considered President Donald Trump’s first major use of military force. And now, President Trump has delegated decision-making authority to senior military officials.

“In the few months since he has occupied the White House, Trump has demonstrated  ever-increasing comfort with the use of force, giving his top military officials—“my generals,” as he likes to call them—greater leeway to plan and conduct military actions in active war zones, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen,” according to The Nation

"It is essential, then, that the attack on Syria not be viewed as a one-off event, to be evaluated exclusively on in its own terms. Yes, it says a lot about America’s ambivalence toward the ongoing slaughter in Syria (how much effect, really, did the US strike have on Assad’s capacity to wage war against his own people?), but rather should be read as a practice round in Trump’s evolution as a war president, with far more dangerous engagements to come. If we have any hopes for a peaceful future, we must take this as a serious warning sign and do all we can to prevent further steps up Trump’s escalatory ladder."

President Trump brags he is the ultimate deal maker. If he is such a magnificent deal maker, a maker of “beautiful “deals, here is his chance. The world is waiting for that big beautiful deal that brings peace to the world, not war. But Donald only makes deals that benefit his business interest, like trade, and the people who profit from war. Peace is certainly not good for Wall Street. Peace means no profit. Peace means giant layoffs when he says he is going to create jobs. Peace represents a significant conflict of interest for Trump, the armed forces, homeland security, and the defense industries.

Did you know that the 59 Tomahawk cruise-missiles cost about $49,088,000. That’s what the taxpayer paid to send those missiles into Syria. And a number of people profited from that.  

Tom Dispatch writes, If you want to read a chilling piece today, try Michael Klare's latest for the Nation Magazine. There, he describes Donald Trump's 59-missile attack on a Syrian airfield as "a practice round in Trump’s evolution as a war president" and then goes on to consider what might come next. (Think: North Korea and/or Iran.) Let's hope he's wrong. Yikes!

In Trump’s Cruise-Missile Diplomacy, Iran and North Korea Could Be Next
By Michael T. Klare