Assholers Versus Ayatollahs, on the Brink of War

Donald Trump, tired of threatening to invade Venezuela, nuke North Vietnam, or appoint Boris Johnson PM of GB, last week launched a new round of brinkmanship with the rulers of Iran. 

Their underlying argument is about oil – plus the fact that America’s plutocracy hates Iran’s theocracy, which hates America’s bullying, also its multiple degenerate lifestyles.

The immediate cause of our current crisis is that Iran blew up an American drone 60,000 feet above the earth, in their airspace, say the Iranians, in international airspace according to the US Navy.

BAMS-D Drone - Wikimedia Commons

BAMS-D Drone - Wikimedia Commons

This drone (called a BAMS-D) was one of four flown daily by the US Navy over the Straits of Hormuz and other hotspots, for which the US Northrop Grumman corporation charges $200 million apiece. 

The day after the attack Trump twitter-told his military to bomb something in Iran, then called that off for reasons unknown, possibly even to him. His two top advisors on war, National Security boss John Bolton (big grey moustache) and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (big red neck), have long lusted after attacking Iran, but they can’t get Trump to stick to their course from one tweet to the next.

It’s good that while Trump appointed these two war-mongers because they play tough guys on television, he seems to be resistant to letting them start wars – and bad that these guys collectively hold us all at the mercy of an American policy that The Nation magazine calls “belligerent incoherence”.

John Bolton’s finger on the button by Steve Brodner -  stevebrodner.com

John Bolton’s finger on the button by Steve Brodner - stevebrodner.com

The “belligerence” is long-standing: Wikipedia lists 118 wars the USA has engaged in since 1775, it has been at war (officially or undeclared) 226 of its 243 years as a nation, it presently has about 800 formal military bases in 80 countries with at least 138,000 soldiers stationed around the globe, and it spends approx one trillion dollars on military and war-related intelligence every year.

And the “incoherence”? Trump is a man obsessed with the idea of himself as a tough guy, a business tycoon, and a genius (in ascending order of absurdity) – and his ever-changing picks for running government departments share a dedication to the dismantling of social enterprises other than their own. These are not people with an interest in social equity, or the common good, anywhere on Earth.

Meanwhile there are 20 plus contenders for the Democratic Party nomination for President, and that fact plus their likely party platform signal more incoherence.

Democratic front-runners right now are: septuagenarians Bernie and Biden, both polling well but with problems. Sanders scares the party bosses because “socialism” and dandruff, but they could be forced to accept him much as Repubs had to go with Trump because he got the primary votes. Biden reassures deep-state Dems because he’s one of them, but everyone knows he’s thin on top (beneath the hair plugs), and his voter support might be equally lightweight. Elizabeth Warren has a well-presented package of progressive policies, and serious brainpower, and might inspire a burst of public enthusiasm in the upcoming candidates debates. Kamala Harris’s parents are/were Indian Tamil and Jamaican which will expand her voter appeal, and since California has moved its primary up to March, Harris (who’s Californian) might get unstoppable momentum early. She has the mind-set of a public-interest lawyer, though some say she’s also got a bit of the mean cop in her. 

Most if not all contenders regularly ignore political and human rights sins committed by America’s “great allies” Saudi Arabia and Israel. 

The 2020 election will feature two big game-changers: (1) while 75% of eligible voters in 2000 were “white” that will be down to 66% next year, and (2) people born after 1981 made up 4% of eligible voters in the 2000 election while they will be 37% in 2020, with a corresponding drop in those of us born before 1965. 

Among the young Democratic wannabes Beto O’Rourke has the gift of rhythm and the gab, but not so much content, Tulsi Gabbard and Mayor Pete Buttigieg are each engaging and intelligent while pushing for changes which you suspect, after the warm glows fade, are not as laudable as they sound. Rolling Stone reckons Stacey Abrams is a long-shot chance, though not even a wannabe candidate yet.  

So, whichever Democrat wins the nomination will have to wrestle with the incoherent belligerent himself, Donald Trump, the guy who puts the Id back into ideology. That is, unless Trump isn’t the Republican candidate. I reckon that’s now an even bet, not because he’ll be impeached or have a hearty on the green (though both would be well-deserved fates) but because he’s pissed off just enough powerful people and broken about 100 too many laws in his relentlessly sketchy career as an orange-haired people-eater. What’s holding them back is how to bury the body.