If we are to believe the explanation offered by Trump’s supporters, the president somehow came under the control of the “deep state” and it convinced him to bomb Syria.
If we are to believe this, we might conclude Donald Trump is sort of like a Stepford wife, a mindless robot who does not have an opinion of his own and submits to the will of others.
I don’t believe this is the case, although I do believe Trump is a novice on foreign policy.
Trump gave us plenty of warning in the months before he won the election.
1) He said the United States should have stolen Iraq’s oil after it destroyed that country. Recall Trump portrayed himself as opposed to the war, only to be exposed as supporting it, albeit somewhat ambivalently.
“We should've kept the oil … maybe you'll have another chance,” President Trump tells the CIA about Iraq pic.twitter.com/RNFVWioqRF
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) January 21, 2017
2) In 2015, he said the US has to “take out” the families of suspected terrorists. “The other thing with the terrorists is you have to take out their families, when you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families. They care about their lives, don’t kid yourself. When they say they don’t care about their lives, you have to take out their families,” Trump told Fox News and Friends. He did this soon after his inauguration when he raided Yemen and killed Nawar al-Awlaki, the eight year old daughter of Anwar al-Awlaki (who was invited to dinner at the Pentagon soon after 9/11). In addition to allegedly killing Anwar, the US used a drone to kill his sixteen-year old son, Abdulrahman.
— Sorry Charlie (@chuckburke13) February 3, 2017
3) In January, Trump said the US has to “fight fire with fire” and waterboard suspected terrorists. “When ISIS is doing things that no one has ever heard of, since medieval times, would I feel strongly about waterboarding?” Trump said in an interview with ABC News. “As far as I’m concerned, we have to fight fire with fire.” Even the neocon Sen. John McCain thinks this is illegal.
— Briefing 2016 (@briefing_2016) November 20, 2016
4) In November 2015, he said he would “bomb the shit” out of the Islamic State. Islamic State fighters, however, are not lined up like ten pins in the desert. Bombing the “shit out of them” would necessitate killing a whole lot of innocent civilians. “I would just bomb those suckers, and that’s right, I’d blow up the pipes, I’d blow up the refineries, I’d blow up ever single inch, there would be nothing left.” He then said he’d send in Exxon to rebuild Iraq and Syria’s oil production infrastructure. Trump went on to pick Rex Tillerson, the CEO of Exxon, to be his secretary of state.
Do you think they'd believe him now?https://t.co/XcG52pngh0
— ChristopherUnderwood (@cbunderwood) April 8, 2017
5) Trump has continued and enhanced the “special relationship” with Saudi Arabia despite its well-known record of supporting fanatical Wahhabi terrorist groups in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East.
Trump appeasing Saudi Arabia https://t.co/H2R6bvLCdG
— Ann Diener (@a_diener) March 29, 2017
Since assuming office, Trump has signed off on killing at least 1,000 civilians. According to Chris Woods, founder of Airwars, a nonprofit group that monitors civilian deaths from international airstrikes in Syria and Iraq, Trump’s attacks in Yemen and Iraq “are among the deadliest U.S. airstrikes in the region since the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.”
Why the recent jump in likely civilian deaths around Raqqa from Coalition strikes also has us worried https://t.co/oOyaYVrISe
— Airwars (@airwars) March 31, 2017
It’s obvious Donald Trump suffers from a narcissistic personality disorder. He displays at least five out of the nine traits related to the disorder, namely: a craving for attention and admiration, grandiose dreams and illusions, an obsession with power and materialistic gain, and a superiority complex and sense of entitlement.
I would characterize this as psychopathy, but I’m not a mental health professional, so I will leave it at that.
Trump’s defenders are wrong. He did not come under some sort of deep insider or neocon voodoo spell. His generals made proposals—bomb the shit out of them—and Trump followed up. He has shown he has no concern for civilians including children and women. It’s all about him. Donald Trump wants to be seen as a decisive leader willing to kill without remorse. Again the image of a psychopath comes to mind.
The alt-right will continue to support Trump, even with disenchantment and betrayal now making the rounds in the ranks.
Donald Trump is not a Stepford wife. He is a high functioning businessman and we know sociopaths and psychopaths often excel in business due to their ruthlessness and lack of empathy.
Trump supporters need to face up to this. They also need to understand that Trump’s reckless behavior may get us into a serious war with Russia or North Korea.
In the meantime, more civilians will die in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, and now Somalia.