The good news is that Donald Trump has chosen not to escalate with a retaliatory strike on Iran after last night’s attack and that the downward spiral into a war with Iran has been stopped for now. We can all breathe a sigh of relief that no one died in last night’s attack on U.S. military bases in Iraq due solely to Iran’s restraint and capacity to guide its missiles.
The bad news is that Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran Deal in May 2018 and to crush Iran’s economy with wave after wave of sanctions for Israel is what brought us to the brink of war with Iran last night. He is imposing even more sanctions on Iran after deploying even more troops to the Middle East. This is a foreign policy crisis entirely of his own making. He brought us from a state of relative peace and a relaxation of tensions with Iran when Obama was president to grotesque political assassinations and Iranian missiles raining down on U.S. military bases.
This is not a great victory for Donald Trump. It is a preview of what we can expect in a Trump second term. There is no reason to believe that Trump’s Iran policy will not eventually plunge us into a war with Iran especially with the 2020 election safely behind him. Over the course of the past three years, Trump’s actions have demonstrated that his commitment to Zionism is real and his commitment to the rest of his 2016 agenda is a fiction. There are more troops in the Middle East now and a greater likelihood of war than when he was elected president in 2016.
- Trump has failed to end the “endless wars” in the Middle East. In the fourth year of the Trump presidency, we are still in Afghanistan
- Trump has boasted about squandering hundreds of billions of dollars on the military to beef up the American Empire like a conventional Republican president
- Trump hired Israel First neocons like Nikki Haley, Mike Pompeo and John Bolton to run our foreign policy
- Trump has brought us to the brink of war with Iran after pulling out of the Iran Deal and dramatically escalating tensions with Iran
- Iran has scrapped the nuclear deal and has resumed its nuclear program
- Trump promised to pull troops of Syria. There are still American troops in Syria and the ones he pulled out were redeployed to Iraq. There are more troops in the Middle East in 2020 than in 2016. We are even more deeply mired in the region
- The Iraqi Parliament and Prime Minister have demanded that Trump remove American troops from Iraq. And yet, he can’t take a win
- Trump signed a huge arms deal with Saudi Arabia and has supported its war in Yemen. He even vetoed a bill passed by Congress on Yemen
- Trump has given the Golan Heights to Israel
- Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel
- Trump has paved the way to Israel’s annexation of the West Bank
So far, the only good news of the Trump presidency to come out of the Middle East is the eradication of ISIS which was largely the work of General Qasem Soleimani who Donald Trump labeled a terrorist and had assassinated while eating a bowl of ice cream. The biggest winner of “the most pro-Jewish president in history” has been Israel.
In the 2016 election, we were led to believe by Donald Trump that we had learned out lessons from the Iraq War and that we were going to bring the troops home, secure our borders and rebuild America. Today, it is clear that what we got instead was Marco Rubio’s foreign policy. Hopefully, we will be wise enough not to fall for the same bait-and-switch in 2020.