Monday, October 14, 2019

Commander in Least

I haven't checked because I don't want to ruin my amateur standing, but as far as I can remember, the US Constitution gives only one real job to a U.S. President -- being Commander in Chief of their armed forces.
And for someone who hardly works at all, Trump is really screwing up that job lately.  
His most recent ignorant stunt was to knuckle under to Turkey and abandon the Syrian Kurds, which he announced all of a sudden last Sunday night, without preamble, planning or rationale.  Taking Care of (Putin's) Business, I guess, before he gets impeached.
Of course Turkey invaded Syria immediately -- which everybody knew would happen and which Trump even green-lit in his statement -- though the Senate has now passed sanctions on Turkey and Trump is going along with the tut-tutting.  
The invasion forced the Kurds to ally with Syria to survive.  ISIS prison camps are being abandoned, and US troops were pulled out so quickly they apparently didn't make arrangements to evacuate 50 US nuclear weapons stored at an airbase in the region (and why were they there anyway? Oops!)  
The winners in this clusterfuck will be Turkey, Syria and Russia, with Iran apparently benefiting somehow as well.  
At the same time as Trump is trying to justify abandoning the Kurds by saying he wants to get the US out of the Middle East, he also announced he is sending 2,800 troops to Saudi Arabia, to protect their oil fields apparently -- but in this case the Saudis are paying for these troops, thus making the largest and best equipped armed force in the world into mercenaries-for-hire.  Whether they are supposed to  follow the orders of Trump or of MBS, I don't think Trump even knows -- or understands there might be a difference. 
Last weekend was also supposed to mark some kind of resumption of negotiations between North Korea and the USA regarding denuclearization. But if you blinked you missed it, because the negotiations lasted only a few hours before being suspended again, likely until 2020.  Chances are Pompeo will be gone by then, and maybe Trump too.  So that means starting over with North Korea.
And last week as well, Trump pulled out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia -- even Putin wasn't happy about that.  At least the START treaty doesn't expire until 2021.
And even though Trump said there was a new trade deal with China, he lied, as usual.

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