It has been said that when the American President speaks “the truth must be self-evident.” A President’s character is based on the level of integrity perceived by the American citizens, our foreign allies, as well as our foes. Without this trust, words are meaningless and deeds are dubious.
Let’s take a step back in time. When Nixon said “I am not a crook,” he fooled us once. When Clinton said he didn’t “Have sex with that woman” — we were not fooled. When General Colin Powell claimed that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and that America was justified in invading a sovereign nation, even he had to admit he was played; and to this day he regrets his words and deeds.
However, when The New York Times documented over 1,000 untruths that spewed from President Trump’s mouth from the day he claimed President Obama was not born in the USA until most recently, a pattern of utter disregard for truth and accuracy was tossed aside by Trump and those who claimed there were ‘alternate facts” and “fake news.”
So now Mr. Trump expects Americans to believe this latest crisis with Iran was not of his making? That Iran is singularly at fault because they were planning an “immanent’ attack? In the words of The Who: “We won’t get fooled again.”
Of course, I support the American soldiers who are simply following orders. We all should.
Ben Rhodes, the United States Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications under President Obama, noted on 5 January 2020: “This is a lie, offensive, obscene and an absolute disgrace. This man (Pompeo) and his boss (Trump) have destroyed America’s reputation and made a shambles of Iran policy in part because of their pathetic obsession with Barack Obama who they will never, ever measure up to.” He is referring to the assassination of the Iranian General Suleimani.
Peter Baker of The New York Times explains, “An accelerated Iranian nuclear program and Iraq trying to kick the US out are just the beginning of the consequences of what Trump has done. This will unfold over years and it all began with withdrawal from JCPOA (the nuclear arms abandonment treaty). How could anyone think Trump was up to this job?”
Even Senator Lindsey Graham told Jake Tapper on CNN before Mr. Trump was elected, “South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham on Donald Trump: “I’m not going to try to get into the mind of Donald Trump because I don’t think there’s a whole lot of space there. I think he’s a kook. I think he’s crazy. I think he’s unfit for office.” (Feb. 17, 2016)
Mr. Trump’s Vice President continues to blatantly misinform the American people on Fox News when Mr. Pence falsely linked Suleimani to 9/11. The truth was that the 9/11 Commission concluded this regarding Iran: “We have found no evidence that Iran or Hezbollah was aware of the planning for what later became the 9/11 attack….” (NY Times 1/2/2020)
Of course, I support the American soldiers who are simply following orders. We all should. But I, for one, am not foolish enough to follow along with this utterly disgraceful president and his political sympathizers, who fear the Twitter wrath of a man who himself used five deferments (bone spurs!) to avoid service in Vietnam.
Character is molded in a lifetime of service, not just to one’s self interests, but in the resolve to speak the truth, with grace and dignity. On this singular quality, Donald Trump has failed the nation and made a mockery of his oath of office.