As relates to telling truth, Donald Trump has assumed the status of pin-striped legend.
The Bambino of BS. The Sultan of Squat.
Or as historian Douglas Brinkley dubs him, “the Babe Ruth of lies.”
This title, every bit in keeping with the superlatives Trump assigns himself, is his to keep because as Brinkley observes, Trump “lies as if it were a form of breathing.”
Americans, by and large, made that very determination quite some time ago.
An astounding Quinnipiac poll last March found that by a wide margin Americans assigned more credibility (55 percent) to Michael Cohen, Trump’s former fixer, than the man Cohen was doing the fixing for (35 percent). And Cohen is behind bars, possibly holding a place for his one-time boss.
So, sell us on this Iran thing, this “imminent threat” for which you have put so many in harm’s way today, Mr. President.
According to the Washington Post’s Fact Checker, you average 22 lies per day. Will this be No. 1 or No. 22 today?
It might be, as Trump asserts, that Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani was planning an attack on Americans in Iraq. To what purpose, one can’t imagine. But one can certainly imagine Team Trump drumming up lies about it.
Say what you will about what a villain Soleimani might be. The same was said about Saddam Hussein, and certainly was true.
That said, “Saddam’s a very bad guy” never would have sanctioned the rolling of U.S. tanks and the launching of U.S. missiles into Iraq.
The war that ensued never would have been supported without the bogus “imminent threat” of weapons of mass destruction never found. WMDs were simply a pretext to a pretextual war that wasn’t necessitated by an actual threat to the American people.
Should today’s Iranian matter escalate, it will be exactly the same thing.
However, Trump will have the type of military build-up he can use to distract the nation from his impeachment.
What this president has done in the Middle East, from deserting the Kurds, to further emboldening Russia, Turkey and Syria, to inflaming matters with Iran, is irresponsible and dangerous.
Trump has never given a reasonable explanation about why it was imperative to pull out of the Iran nuclear agreement negotiated by President Obama, except to call it “the worst deal ever.”
To American allies it was doing its job of constraining Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
Since Trump nixed the pact, Iran has resumed enriching uranium and is back on the path of nuclearization. This is better than the alternative negotiated by Obama? Please explain.
And now, what possible good could come from armed conflict with Iran? Do we assume that the Iranian people would become more peaceful in such circumstances except when vaporized?
Thinking back to the crushing of Saddam Hussein’s government in that war of convenience: President Bush said “the world is safer.” Was it? ISIS, for one, had a few things to say about that.
Now ISIS rejoices over newfound instability in the region, and Iraq wants American troops to leave.
Was an attack “imminent”? Regardless of the veracity of the claim or claims, we are at a juncture where a president who tells lies at the rate Babe Ruth launched long balls tells us to trust him with the lives of young men and women in uniform.
A war? If it comes time for Trump to sell this to the nation, he should consider getting someone with more credibility to make his case — say, Michael Cohen, out on furlough.
Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.