Trump’s most dangerous distraction yet: war with Iran

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Iranians woke up to terrifying news Friday morning: the U.S. president had authorized airstrikes near Baghdad’s international airport killing Iran’s top general, Qasem Soliemani. The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeni, declared “severe revenge” for Soleimani’s death. If there remained any doubt as to whether Trump was willing to risk American soldiers and Irani civilians as for his maniacal political ambition, the answer is clear.

And so, it’s upon us — the malignant narcissist in the White House finally got his hand on the big red button. The “you’re fired” guy and his acting Defense Secretary, Mark Esper, have shown that no law is too mighty for them if it stands in the way of getting what they want. Trump and his administration had already proven they were willing to circumvent the Constitution for political gains, which ultimately led to his impeachment. But we now know that this administration is also willing to go around the Constitutional mandate that gives Congress the sole authority to declare war in order to win political battles at home and fire up a base that doesn’t understand, or care, about what happens to innocent civilians in Iran, or American soldiers sent to fight yet another unnecessary war.

None of this is surprising. While yesterday’s strike was allegedly in response to the killing of an American contractor in Iraq by Irani forces, Trump has been threatening Iran for months. In his infamously articulate fashion, Trump warned in October that the U.S. “may have to get in wars”, referring to potential military strikes in Iran. But Trump’s Tweet on December 31, 2019, was the most straightforward indicator of what was to come, when, in refence to rocket strikes by Irani forces, he Tweeted that he wasn’t giving Iran a warning, he was issuing a threat.

But Trump has been warmongering since the minute he took office and began to dismantle the diplomatic structures in place between Iran and the U.S. And, after leaving the Iran nuclear deal brokered during the Obama-administration, Trump re-imposed some of the harshest sanctions ever issued in US history affecting banking, oil, energy, and other important economic sectors. The sanctions made it nearly impossible for other countries to do business with Iran and had devastating consequences for everyday Iranian citizens. With economic life in Iran in the US’s vice grip, Tehran retaliated last year by shooting down a U.S. military drone and seizing oil tankers. Trump has clearly been setting up for an excuse to bomb Iran and he finally gave himself the green light.

The former TV showman has now brought the U.S. to the brink of warfare with a nuclear power in an attempt to make Americans forget his impeachment and provide his administration with a rallying cry for the 2020 presidential elections — a war in the name of national security.

The US and Iran haven’t had official diplomatic ties since the Iran hostage crisis of 1979 and there are at least four Americans currently being held in Irani custody. With a malignant narcissist at the helm of the U.S. military and with a cabinet of warmongering sycophants unable to speak truth to power — it will take measures from Congress to stop him from doing more damage.

Trump’s impending trial in the Senate presents a unique, historic opportunity to prevent a third world war and save American and Irani lives. Congress must not let the president hide his abuses of office and breaches of Constitutional law behind the false banner of patriotism and national security. We never asked for this war; our politicians cannot afford to let it happen.

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