I interrupt my discourse on the unity of the human race and the political tolerance that should be its natural result to discuss one of the most embarrassing moments in American presidential history.
No, I’m not referring to the massive pile of evidence that the House has shown to the Senate concerning Donald Trump’s corruption and unfitness for office. Not even the Putin-powered defense his co-conspirators mounted. This is much worse; it demonstrates his unfitness as a person and an American person at that.
On Jan. 8, five days after Trump ordered a drone strike that killed Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani, the Iranians retaliated with a rocket attack on a U.S. base in Iraq.
Forget the litany of lies Trump and his minions advanced and repudiated during the days after killing Soleimani. No, there were not four U.S. embassies in immediate danger of attacks. There wasn’t even one.
The only immediate risk was the increasingly bad publicity Trump was receiving for his nefarious actions. Having once predicted (incorrectly) that President Obama would use a foreign air strike to divert attention, Trump did just that.
The justification for the assassination finally devolved down to Soleimani was a bad guy, an enemy. Such unreasoning puts a bull’s-eye on every American in the world – diplomat, tourist, elected official.
We’re not talking about the idiocy of such an assassination, which the Islamic State that we are fighting characterized as “an act of divine intervention that benefitted jihadists,” according to the BBC. (The Iraqis were so pleased by the killing on their soil that they ordered U.S. troops out of the country. That they remain makes us an unwelcome occupying force.)
We’ll skip, too, the subsequent chaotic conditions which led a nervous Iranian defender, on-guard against future U.S. air strikes – since our president had proclaimed a list of 52 Iranian targets he was prepared to attack – to shoot down a passenger plane, killing 176 people. Two-step reasoning is likely too hard for Trumpistas to grasp, but that blood is on our hands as well.
What we will address is our president’s callous disregard for American soldiers put into harm’s way by his recklessness.
Following the Jan. 8 missile attack on the U.S. base, Trump proclaimed that there were no American casualties. In the Trumpverse, that meant that his assassination of Soleimani was a slick maneuver with no repercussions.
Repercussions? Try concussions.
First the Pentagon announced 11 Americans had been injured in the missile strike. The number of casualties has since grown to 34. They suffered traumatic brain injuries as the result of the concussive effects of the bombs within their shelters.
Many were airlifted to our armed forces’ main hospital in Germany for evaluation and treatment.
According to the Associated Press, Navy Capt. Bill Urban, spokesman for U.S. Central Command, which oversees military operations across the Middle East, said last Tuesday, “As medical treatment and evaluations in theater continue, additional service members have been identified as having potential injuries….Given the nature of injuries already noted, it is possible additional injuries may be identified in the future.”
With the new information at hand, CBS News reporter Weijia Jang lobbed Trump a slow-pitch softball question Wednesday in order for our commander-in-chief to express support for our troops and show them that their risks are appreciated.
But, doing so would show the Trump narrative as the lie that it is.
The Huffington Post reported his response: “I don’t consider them very serious injuries relative to other injuries that I’ve seen,” the president said. “I’ve seen what Iran has done with their roadside bombs to our troops. I’ve seen people with no legs and no arms. … I can consider them to be really bad injuries. No, I do not consider that to be bad injuries.”
Huffington Post also posted the obvious response of Susan Connors, president and CEO of the Brain Injury Association of America.
“A brain injury changes the way you move, act, think, and feel ― it has the potential to change who you are at your core,” Connors said. “What could be more serious than that?”
I suggest that it is just as serious that a commander-in-chief has so little regard for the dedication of our troops and even less consideration about the sacrifices they have made for purely political ends.
This is the same president who diverted $7 billion in military funding last year to his Barrier of Bigotry on the southern border and who plans to swipe another $3.7 billion this year to please his racist base.
And he’s even bragged about renting our troops out to Saudi Arabia as if Hessian mercenaries.
The U.S. military is just another political tool to this president. And the men and women who serve – not having the wealth to escape such service as he once did – are expendable pawns, whose well-being concerns him not.