Thursday, August 20, 2015

Donald Trump Continues to Bloviate

Trump appears to have only a minimal understanding of politics. He doesn't understand, for instance, that John Bolton was one of the architects of the Iraq War. George W. Bush (another clueless wonder) made Bolton ambassador to the UN. Bolton didn't recognize the authority of the UN and tried to sabotage it every way he could. But Trump didn't understand that. You see, Trump thinks talking tough impresses other countries.

Trump says the Iraq War was pointless, and he is right about that, but his administration would start other pointless wars that would end up killing American soldiers for no purpose. Trump's promise to have a "tough" foreign policy, and his praise for Bolton's toughness, seem to indicate that he would let the neoconservative cabal convince him to invade Iraq and Syria.

Chuck Todd interviewed Donald Trump on MSNBC last Sunday. Todd, whom most pundits criticize as a lightweight, made Trump look like a schoolboy. Trump seemed unable to complete a sentence.

Trump and most of his supporters believe foreign policy as a kind of football game. In a football game, you pretend you are tough. You wear fierce animal emblems on your helmets. You talk tough to the opposing players, calling them sissies or worse. During the action of the game, you use all the underhanded tactics you know to harm or permanently injure the opposition.

And you cheat. You take the air out of the footballs to give yourself an advantage. You steal their plays. You punch opposing players when the referees turn their backs. You use your helmet as a battering ram and later whine that it was an accident, that the refs are unfairly picking on you. Naturally, if a ball hits the ground before you pick it up, you claim loudly that it didn't and dance around the field inciting the crowd to roar their disapproval. If you are successful with these sorts of tactics, the referees will be afraid to call close fouls against you. So you win by cheating.

The big difference between football tactics and foreign policy in the real world is that football is a game. You schedule a game every Sunday. It's great fun. Everyone goes home alive. In the real world, the same tactics used in football games result in real wars. People get killed. People flee their homes and become refugees. Bombs explode in cities and kill innocent civilians. 

That's why most real diplomats don't threaten to go to war every time there's a border dispute. It's also why a Trump presidency would be a disaster for the world. The Neocons see Trump as the second coming of G.W. Bush. Their hearts are filled with bloodlust.

Foreign affairs is a dangerous game. Let's hope Trump never gets a turn at bat.

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