Today's Paper Search Latest Core values App Traffic map Listen In the news #Gazette200 Digital FAQ Weather Newsletters Obits Puzzles/Games Archive

Donald Trump has pined for dictatorial power. He did on Twitter, saying he loved tariffs because he could impose them without having to bother with Congress.

It's more than frightening, most immediately for the Kurds, but in the longer term for the world.

That's owing to the uncommon regional and global instability that can be fomented--is being fomented--by a megalomaniacal madman besmirching the world's leading political office in a once-respected nation.

Trump wants to run the country the way he ran his business empire, as one man barking self-obsessed orders and erecting edifices in his own delusional image.

It's an operating manner grounded in high-wire Manhattan real estate principles. It's a business style producing bankruptcies and income-tax returns we must never be allowed to see.

Only the voters of the United States can do anything about this global nightmare, assuming the Republican Senate wouldn't convict Trump on impeachment charges no matter what he did, which is a fair and informed assumption.

The unfolding Turkey-Syrian atrocity is at least as impeachable--as much a high crime--as Trump's anointing himself as the personification of the state and tying foreign policy and federal aid to his political self-interest.

Joe Biden is not going to get hurt by that atrocity, most likely, though, yes, we should wait for House Democrats to emerge from secret hearings to tell us all they've got on this preposterous second-place and Russian-endorsed president regarding Ukraine.

We need to see the full extent of illegal messes Rudy Giuliani has made at his client's personal and illegal behest.

But in the meantime, Kurds are being executed by Turkish forces in northern Syria because Trump, on a Sunday night whim, or for possibly corrupt considerations, told Turkey's leader that, sure, he'd withdraw stability-imposing, ISIS-containing U.S. troops from that area.

He said he'd do it to facilitate Turkey's clear intention to barrel in and kill our ISIS-fighting Kurdish allies. He said he'd do it and thus invite the Kurds to abandon their detainment of ISIS prisoners to focus on resisting the assault. He said he'd do it and thus invite the Kurds to turn for new allies to the horrid Assad regime and surely the Russians, who are always willing to take our stead as world leader.

Trump explained that we can't fight endless wars and that we shouldn't worry about securing the Syria-Turkey border if we're not going to secure our own southern border.

It's the falsest equivalency imaginable, as if asylum-seekers walking openly across Mexico for our help are as menacing as ISIS terrorists, and as if we need to let this president build a wall between us and Mexico in order to defend us against terrorists in the Mideast.

I've come across one argument that there is a defense strategy to what Trump is doing. It comes from the full-time social-media Trumpian fealty of local guy Bud Cummins.

He linked on Twitter the commentary of a former CIA operative who blames Barack Obama's abandonment of the Syrian red line for everything Trump has done. This fellow alleges that our intelligence community spied on the Trump campaign and maintains a campaign to discredit him.

This commentator is named Bryan Dean Wright. You might have seen him on Fox, asserting that the intelligence community whistle-blower should have stayed out of politics.

He writes that Trump is deliberately drawing in Turkey, the Syrian government and Russia because they'll end up fighting ISIS while America gets some well-deserved rest.

The theory is that Turkey and Russia won't like it that we've essentially let loose those jailed terrorists and will handle the terrorist menace for a while.

Three problems:

One is that we'd be deliberately revitalizing dormant ISIS to engage in terrorism again on the premise that others can kill it next time. We'd be deliberately undoing our great accomplishment to invite new danger.

The second is that, as this commentator acknowledges, "Yes, we lose a Kurdish ally made up of both honorable and terroristic fighters." I guess the argument is that betrayal is a small price to pay for giving yourself a moral pass.

The third is that Trump, ever contradicting himself, is now talking of damaging sanctions against Turkey for doing the very thing that this theory has him wanting them to do.

I'll admit that, on that third problem, no one much believes Trump means anything by the sanctions.

He's saying they'll get worse unless Turkey imposes a ceasefire, which merely means that--by warning of long-term punishment for a short-term operation--he's giving Turkey time to complete its Kurd-killing, after which it can do its ceasefire and suffer no economic consequence.

Meantime, we'll wait to see if this supposed master plan to re-strengthen ISIS so that someone can fight it for us reveals itself ... and, if so, how it works out.


John Brummett, whose column appears regularly in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, is a member of the Arkansas Writers' Hall of Fame. Email him at Read his @johnbrummett Twitter feed.

Editorial on 10/17/2019

Print Headline: JOHN BRUMMETT: Oh, but there's a plan!


Sponsor Content

COMMENTS - It looks like you're using Internet Explorer, which isn't compatible with the Democrat-Gazette commenting system. You can join the discussion by using another browser, like Firefox or Google Chrome.
It looks like you're using Microsoft Edge. The Democrat-Gazette commenting system is more compatible with Firefox and Google Chrome.