Friday, May 11, 2018

The USA’s big mistake

This week the USA made another huge mistake, the latest of several that all originated with its biggest mistake some 18 months ago, but this one could end life on earth. Or, maybe it won’t. Or, maybe it’ll hasten the downfall of the current regime in the US. Or, it’ll hasten the arrival of an authoritarian dictatorship. Which of the many options are the most likely? What will this mistake lead to?

The first and most important thing to understand is that the entire reason that the current occupant of the White House made this stupid move is blindingly obvious: The current occupant has a visceral, irrational, and childish hatred of President Obama. He’s made that clear at every opportunity, and made the opportunity to make that clear where none existed. The ONLY thing the current occupant cares about—to the exclusion of almost everything else—is undoing everything President Obama did. The only thing that the current occupant cares about more than erasing President Obama from history is glorifying himself, and the current occupant thinks his bizarre action will somehow make himself famous. It really is as simple as that.

So, where will this lead? Let’s look at the possibilities one at a time.

The final war

Axing this deal paves the way for the USA to attack Iran, and that could lead to all out nuclear war. There are good reasons to think this is the inevitable course things will take. First, Republicans need something—literally anything—to improve their chances in November, and there’s nothing quite like a war to make people rally around the current president: After the Gulf War, George Bush the first polled at around 90% approval, and all Republicans need is a boost of a of percentage points here and there to retain control of Congress. So, they all have a huge incentive to go to war.

Second, a sizeable portion of Republicans in Congress, and nearly all of the base of the current occupant, and the current vice president, all want to trigger a war in the Middle East that, they believe, will be their mythological “Armageddon” that will bring about the supposed return of Republican Jesus (so-called because that’s what they think he is…). What that means that a huge proportion of the Republican base is fully embracing a death cult. That. Is. Terrifying.

If Republicans start a war, it probably won’t be after September (because they’d be as sure that it’ll be as “quick” and “easy” as they were sure invading Iraq would be). They’re already laying the ground work with disinformation campaigns against Iran, not the least having the Israeli Prime Minister do his one man Powerpoint show. That man lied about Iraq to get the USA into war, some people may remember—or should.

Another shot in the foot

There’s also the possibility that this whole thing will be just another disaster for the USA alone as the world moves on, ignoring the USA, as it does more and more these days. Just as the current occupant has made things worse for the country with his trade war with China and other acts of stupidity, it’s entirely possible that the USA will just be ignored by the entire world.

The countries that signed the deal in the first place all still back it, and if they guarantee no sanctions against Iran, then Iran may continue with the deal [See also: “France: Europe isn’t US ‘vassal,’ should trade with Iran”]. If that happens, the USA—and American companies and workers—will be alone in obeying whatever sanctions the current occupant imposes on impulse via Twitter. This is why it could harm US companies and kill US jobs, just as the current occupant’s trade war with China has.

If this happens, then the current occupant’s stupidity won’t matter—except to the Americans who lose their jobs as similar companies in other parts of the world expand. Make America Grate Again, indeed.

The wildcard

It’s possible that Israel could decide everything. If they continue attacking Iran, literally or merely Iranian military positions elsewhere, it could force the USA into war. Given Republicans’ reflexive and unquestioning support for everything Israel says and does, they would enthusiastically back war (not the least because of their death cult). Democrats don’t have enough votes to stop them—yet.

Where we are

All we know for sure is that, at the moment, the world is a far more dangerous place than it was last week. We also know that the current occupant of the White House has an incredibly short attention span, so he could forget all about this, now that he’s undone another thing President Obama did. Or, at the other extreme, we could be headed toward nuclear war.

If I were to bet, it would be that the USA is shoved further into global irrelevance, thanks to the current occupant. That, too, could lead to war for other reasons, but probably not over this. Just keep the current occupant facing drooling crowds at his campaign rallies, and maybe he’ll leave the rest of us alone.

If that happens, there are plenty of grownups in the world to make us for the infant in the White House.

Related: “AP FACT CHECK: Analyses don’t back up Trump on Iran deal”

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