The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Trump’s unpopularity: is it spurring him on to make missile strikes?

Is Trump Turning to Missile Strikes to Salvage His Failing Presidency? Truth Out, , April 14, 2017 By Michael Meurer, Truthout | News Analysis Donald Trump’s April 6 missile strike against a Syrian airfield, purportedly in response to photos of injured children from President Bashar al-Assad’s April 3 sarin nerve gas attack against his own people in Idlib province, was not only a dizzying reversal of policy in only three days, but also a possible harbinger of things to come, most likely in Iran.

The missile strike came just two days after the release of a Quinnipiac University poll showing Trump’s approval rating at a historically unprecedented 35 percent for a presidency less than 90 days old. His 3 to 1 negative rating was mirrored in a March 29 Gallup poll. In response, his aides cooked up something they billed as “leadership week” to introduce Trump as Commander-in-Chief as he was also meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Iran is Assad’s strongest backer next to Russia. Any military engagement in Syria increases the chance of direct conflict with Iran. And under Trump, the US is already engaged in a series of aggressive actions against Iran that may be designed to trigger a war.

The Danger of Trump’s Failing Presidency As Trump’s knee-jerk decision to strike “the pose he needs in the narrative du jour” by attacking Syria clearly demonstrates, there is palpable danger that the precedent of provoking war for purely political reasons that was established under the presidency of George W. Bush could be reproduced under Trump in a much more condensed timeframe.

Fearing a descent into unelectability as Bush’s approval ratings plummeted in 2002-2003, Karl Rove, Dick Cheney and the White House Iraq Group manufactured the political strategy of making Iraq a nuclear weapons threat and declaring war in early 2003 to improve Bush’s chance of election in 2004. It took Bush two years of declining polls before he resorted to war as a political remedy.

Trump’s approval ratings have collapsed to historically unprecedented levels after less than three months in office. His disapproval ratings are already approaching 60 percent.

Having surrounded himself with hawkish generals, there is a risk that Trump will use war as a political remedy much more quickly than Bush did if current public opinion trends continue. The Syria attack may be the first in what could quickly become an escalating series of foreign policy aggressions………..

If this sounds alarmist, it is because it needs to be. The Iraq War that was started in order to salvage the failing presidency of George W. Bush has now destabilized half the planet half the planet. It was created with the same kind of bombast and threat inflation that is already coming out of the Trump administration. This is not a lesson that the US and the rest of the world can afford to learn anew.

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska) has correctly observed that the Trump presidency has created “a civilization-warping crisis of public trust.” This crisis will continue to deepen even among his core supporters as Trump leaves a trail of abandoned campaign promises and investigations widen into his financial conflicts of interest and Russian connections. Trump’s false allegations of treasonous wiretapping by a former president may also spur an investigation, with legal scholars saying they constitute an impeachable offense.

Some polls show nearly 50 percent public approval for Trump’s impeachment.

Impeachment would only be a start in the long and difficult process of rebuilding a republican civic society driven by citizens, not ideologically deranged billionaires. But without it, there may be nothing left to rebuild.

April 15, 2017 - Posted by | politics, USA

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