It has to be said, and there’s no sugar-coating it: Donald Trump is on a path toward war. And he just took his most dangerous step yet.
Trump announced that he will violate President Obama’s historic diplomatic agreement with Iran by unilaterally imposing sanctions on the Iranian people.
This action undermines a deal that was painstakingly negotiated by six countries —
and it’s a disaster for diplomacy. It puts the U.S. closer to engaging in another war in the Middle East and sends a global message that Trump does not respect — and will not support — America’s agreements with other nations. Trump’s decision is already being called “possibly the greatest deliberate act of self-harm and self-sabotage in geo-strategic politics in the modern era.”
In his statement, Trump all but called for war with Iran and offered no coherent explanation for why he was exiting the deal — using rhetoric reminiscent of the lead-up to the Iraq War. He made ominous statements: “The United States no longer makes empty threats. When I make promises, I keep them,” and threatened that Iran “will have bigger problems than it has ever had before.”
If you look at all of Trump’s actions and rhetoric together, you’ll see a man assembling a war Cabinet, laying the groundwork to roll out military action, and hungry to push our nation into combat. Add to that the fact that Trump is a man with aggrandized notions of his own worth, a penchant for provocation and bullying on Twitter, and a record of pushing out advisers who disagree with him, and we have the recipe for disaster.
The only thing standing between Trump and a war is what happens at the ballot boxes this November to change Congress.
We can speculate about this week and Trump’s insatiable appetite for war: Was it to deflect from sagging poll numbers and legal troubles at home; to prepare for an “October surprise” that could affect the midterm elections and save his agenda; to feed the voracious macho militarism of a man who fantasizes about being a “war president?” Or maybe he’s just paranoid and foolish enough to think that war is the answer regardless of the question.
But speculating about Trump’s motives is not the most important act right now — it’s far more important that we recognize what Trump and his war-hungry advisers are doing, and even more critical that we do all that we can to resist and be prepared to confront a massive Trump-led war.
If we wait until Trump’s plans are clear, it will be too late.