Trump escalated a conflict with Iran because the president needed something to brag about and the Secretary of State was feeling morose because he couldn’t get an assassination the last time he asked the president for one.
We are living in chilling times as we continue the descent into the dystopian hell that Trump promised his cult. We should not be surprised. Trump told us he had no clue and that he’s too arrogant to listen to anyone who does. He does this every time he talks about committing war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Hillary Clinton warned us too. But too many of us cared more about her emails than about what a Trump presidency would do to America and the world.
Donald Trump started the New Year with a taste of blood when he ordered the assassination of Qassem Soleimani.
This screw-up is too big to fix. Notwithstanding Secretary Pompeo’s multiple television appearances in which he sounded more like a Trump stooge than a graduate of West Point, one need only look at the international response to know that we are not safer. We are isolated, we are weaker and we are in more danger. Certainly, Trump’s defenders will point to the fact that Israel is pleased, as are some factions in Iraq and Lebanon.
Yet even Russia admitted the assassination violated international law. Also, our traditional allies in Canada and Europe are distancing themselves from Trump’s actions and will feel some of the fallout, such as a request to remove troops from Iraq. Both urged restraint and tried in vain to keep the nuclear agreement intact.
Still, Iran took a step back from it. Ostensibly to make us safe and great again, Trump managed to rekindle another country’s interest in developing nukes (the first being North Korea).
We’ve become the skunk at the international picnic.
The one positive development is Speaker Pelosi’s Resolution to claw back war powers from an unwell and power-hungry president. Under the Constitution, Congress is supposed to declare war, but in practice, the president’s war power increased in the time since 9/11. Trump showed us why it’s essential to claw that power back, as Speaker Nancy Pelosi explained in a letter to her colleagues.
“This week, the House will introduce and vote on a War Powers Resolution to limit the President’s military actions regarding Iran. … It reasserts Congress’s long-established oversight responsibilities by mandating that if no further Congressional action is taken, the Administration’s military hostilities with regard to Iran cease within 30 days…”
This came after the assassination of Soleimani, and following reporting by the Daily Beast and others that Trump bragged about it to guests at Mar-a-Lago. But, he didn’t consult the Gang of Eight or anyone on the appropriate Congressional committees.
Eddie Gallagher, the war criminal, was one of Trump’s guests. Maybe Trump figured war crimes would make great conversation with the man he pardoned recently and whom he hopes will be an effective shiny object for the campaign season. What better topic than announcing plans to commit another war crime?
Too bad for Trump that the Church Committee condemned killing foreign leaders https://www.justsecurity.org/27407/assassination-ban-targeted-killings/ The rule against assassinations was reaffirmed in executive orders by Presidents Carter and Reagan, and later again in the Parks Memo.
So it isn’t like this is something the Democrats came up with to spoil Donald Trump’s fun. And it isn’t even the worst thing about the assassination.
Since Soleimani was killed, Trump threatened to hit 52 Iranian cultural targets (a war crime)
….targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD. The USA wants no more threats!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 4, 2020
Iraq asked our troops to leave, which means it is siding with Iran over the US. Trump responded with a threat to sanction Iraq for exercising its sovereign rights.
(As of this writing, the Secretary of Defense has no plans to withdraw troops from Iraq.)
The latest tantrum is Trump’s Tweetleration that he will “inform” Congress about war actions via tweet.
These Media Posts will serve as notification to the United States Congress that should Iran strike any U.S. person or target, the United States will quickly & fully strike back, & perhaps in a disproportionate manner. Such legal notice is not required, but is given nevertheless!
The combination of a power hungry president and a Secretary of State who doesn’t understand that his job is to prevent war is too dangerous to ignore and just hope nothing happens until the general election.
According to several reports, VP Pence and Secretary of State Pompeo urged Trump to okay Soleimani’s assassination.
“Pompeo had lost a similar high-stakes deliberation last summer when Trump declined to retaliate militarily against Iran after it downed a U.S. surveillance drone, an outcome that left Pompeo “morose,” according to one U.S. official. But recent changes to Trump’s national security team and the whims of a president anxious about being viewed as hesitant in the face of Iranian aggression created an opening for Pompeo to press for the kind of action he had been advocating.”
There’s a cumulative effect to all this. Unlike at any other time since WW II, we are vulnerable and alone and have an aspiring dictator with the emotional maturity of a toddler in the White House. In short, we’re likely going to war with Iran and we’re going because the Secretary of State was morose and the President needed to brag to his pet war criminal on New Year’s Eve.
Ms. Woodbury has a graduate degree in political science, with a minor in law. She is a qualified expert on political theory with a specific interest in the nexus between political theories and models and human rights.
Based on her interest in human rights and the threats that authoritarian regimes are to them, Ms. Woodbury’s masters thesis examined the influence of politics on the enforcement of international criminal law was cited in several academic studies.
Published work includes case summaries for the War Crimes Research Office.
She has an extensive background doing legal research in international and domestic law.
Ms. Woodbury’s work for politicusUSA includes articles on voting rights, the right to asylum and other civil/human rights.