Trump to World: Happy New Year!

By now, anyone who expected Donald Trump to keep his campaign promises has figured out that isn’t going to happen. Unfortunately, one of the things the serial liar in the Oval Office made a big deal about back in 2016 was getting us out of our endless and win-less wars scattered across the globe.

Instead, as was announced late last week, Trump authorized a drone assassination of Iran’s top general while he was in Iraq. Moreover, he did so with no congressional authorization or notification, plunging our nation into more Middle East chaos with potentially disastrous consequences both at home and abroad.

Jennifer Rubin, one of the Washington Post’s longest-standing conservative columnists, hit the nail on the head when she penned the line “Trump has raised strategic incoherence to new levels.” And indeed, there appears to be exactly no plan for what happens next.

This is quite the situation in which the world’s most militarily powerful nation now finds itself under the most inept commander-in-chief in history. While Trump claims the assassination was in response to the killing of a military contractor in Iraq the effect he hoped to accomplish has resulted in, as do so many of his blunders, just the opposite.

Iran has suffered economically under U.S. imposed sanctions, resulting in domestic protests there. But thanks to the assassination, the Iranian population is now in the streets not protesting their government, but vowing revenge on ours.

There’s almost no limit to the hubris of the president and his closeted advisors when it comes to the military might of the United States. But Sept. 11 should have taught us that we cannot stop everyone determined to do us serious harm.

Moreover, this foolish provocation occurs when Trump has alienated many of our traditional allies and further created and enraged even more enemies. For those who may not get the picture, a recent article outlining the concurrence of Russia, China and Iran holding joint military exercises in the Gulf of Oman is enlightening. The U.S. has considered the Straits of Hormuz, through which some 16 million barrels of oil a day are transported, as if it belonged to us. It does not, however, and the recent exercise was and is intended to signal an end to American hegemony in the Gulf.

Add to this the unnerving announcement last week that Russia has developed and is deploying hypersonic missiles that travel at 27 times the speed of sound. Not only don’t we have hypersonic missiles, our current missile defenses are useless against them. In other words, the massive aircraft carriers we have deployed in the Gulf for decades are now large, slow, and vulnerable targets.

As a friend said when the news broke, “One place I wouldn’t want to be staying is in a Trump hotel abroad.” And indeed, while Iran’s promise of “severe revenge” for the assassination has rattled Congress and the nation, there’s no guarantee whatsoever that it will not also be directed at Trump and the world-wide holdings he has refused to relinquish while occupying the White House.

This sure isn’t what most Americans hoped for when starting a new year and new decade in the 21st century. Yet, thanks to most feckless and incompetent president in history, we are now faced with the devastating potential of a wide-ranging Middle East war with an enraged antagonist who has powerful allies.

The only one we have to thank for this “Happy New War” is Trump — and that’s even more reason to remove him from the presidency as soon as possible.

George Ochenski is a columnist for the Missoulian, where this essay originally appeared.