By Anthony L Hall
Remember the campaign days when Donald Trump used to boast that no country would dare disrespect his presidency the way he claimed so many were disrespecting Obama’s?
For example, he routinely ridiculed Obama as weak and pathetic for
• Allowing Russian fighter jets to buzz US warships in the Black Sea; Trump boasted:
It just shows how low we’ve gone where they can toy with us like that. …
When that sucker comes by you, you gotta shoot. … [I]t’s a total lack of respect for Obama, which [sic] as you know, they don’t respect.
(Newsweek, May 3, 2016)
• Allowing Iranian dinghies to harass US warships in the Persian Gulf; Trump boasted:
[W]hen they circle our beautiful destroyers with their little boats and they make gestures that our people -- that they shouldn’t be allowed to make, they will be shot out of the water.
(CNN, September 9, 2016)
• Allowing North Korean nuclear missile tests to menace US allies in Asia; Trump boasted:
Am I ready to bomb this reactor? You’re damned right. I advocate a surgical strike against these outlaws before they pose a real threat.
(Korea Times, May 11, 2016)
Yet he has already allowed all of these things to happen on his watch.
The US military has released several photos of what it says were Russian fighter jets ‘buzzing’ the deck of a US warship in the Black Sea last week.
The images of SU-24 fighter jets off the bow of the American guided missile destroyer USS Porter emerged as the commander of the US military arrived in Baku, Azerbaijan, to meet with his Russian counterpart.
(CNN, February 16, 2017)
A US Navy ship was forced to change course when fast-moving Iranian vessels approached it in the Strait of Hormuz, US officials say.
The USNS Invincible changed direction when the other vessels came within 600 yards (550m) before stopping.
The Iranian ships are believed to belong to the Revolutionary Guard Corps.
(BBC, March 6, 2017)
North Korea launched four missiles Monday morning, a provocative barrage that coincided both with joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises on the southern half of the peninsula and with the opening of the annual National People’s Congress in China.
The launches follow a remarkable month in which Kim Jong-un’s regime tested a solid-fuel rocket that it says is part of an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting the United States and in which the regime is accused of assassinating the leader’s half brother.
Both actions have angered allies and adversaries in the region, and Monday’s launches will only exacerbate that.
(Washington Post, March 5, 2017)
Despite his campaign boasts, Trump’s only reaction has been to tweet the media down rabbit holes, chasing one carrot stick of a conspiracy after another. Incidentally, unlike the Pavlovian reporters and pundits who go burrowing every time, I won’t dignify his conspiracies by commenting on them.
Anthony L. Hall is a Bahamian who descends from the Turks and Caicos Islands. He is an international lawyer and political consultant - headquartered in Washington DC - who also publishes a current events weblog, The iPINIONS Journal, at http://ipjn.com
In any case, the real story here is not the international laughingstock Trump is making of his presidency with his disruptive and ignorant tweets, which are also destroying what little credibility he had upon assuming the office. Rather, it’s the way events -- at home and abroad -- are exposing his P.T. Barnumesque bluster as all show and no action.
At home, those events range from the sublime to the ridiculous — highlighted by the courts rejecting his Muslim travel ban to the National Park Service declaring his inauguration crowd size far smaller than Obama’s, respectively. Abroad, they are highlighted by the events bulleted above. But two others deserve dishonorable mention:
1. His No. 1 BFF Russian President Vladimir Putin forcing him to back off his promise to tear up the nuclear deal with Iran on day one;
2. His No. 2 BFF Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu forcing him to back off his promise to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem -- also on day one.
These and other humiliations explain why we are witnessing Trump behave the way all blowhard bullies do when they finally get punched in the face: He’s whining, whimpering, and flailing like a coward; anything but backing up his boasts with balls.
Actually, notwithstanding the foregoing, the fallout from his conspiratorial tweet on Saturday -- about Obama wiretapping his phone -- is noteworthy. Because, if there were ever an occasion for a president to “wag the dog,” this is it. Another rabbit-hole tweet just won’t do.
But this tweet speaks volumes about the stubborn, reckless and petulant nature of Trump’s puerile mind. It shows that he learned nothing from the folly of his birther conspiracy. In fact, his congenital gullibility is such that he probably still believes Obama was born in Kenya.
No surprise then that right-wing nutters now have him believing that Obama bugged his phone. But the wonder is that it did not occur even to his man-child mind to clear things up with his “beautiful friend” Obama before taking to twitter.
Frankly, the morning after Election Day, I warned it would be thus -- in “WTF! President-elect Donald J. Trump?! America. What. Have. You. Done.” November 10, 2016. And, trust me, it's only a matter of time before his reckless behavior triggers dire consequences.
In the meantime, I wish reporters and pundits would stop feigning consternation over Trump accusing Obama of being a “bad (or sick) guy” who would wiretap political opponents. After all, here is the definitive explanation I provided for this accusation seven months ago:
The psychopathology afoot here is called projection. And it defines and explains almost every charge Trump has hurled against his opponents throughout this presidential campaign.
(“Forget the Clinton Foundation. Shut Down the Trump Organization!” The iPINIONS Journal, August 26, 2016)
Trump 3-card monte…
WTF! Trump president-elect…
Forget the Clinton Foundation…