President Trump’s White House press statement on Wednesday following retaliatory Iranian airstrikes on U.S. bases in Iraq was packed more than usual with lies and irrational claims.
His outlandish accusations against Iran mean that no serious dialogue can be found with the U.S. under his leadership. Furthermore, his rambling address (full transcript here) also shows that this administration is hopelessly divorced from reality. That makes it delusional and dangerous.
The press conference started with Trump walking through a light-filled double doorway, then it proceeded with him surrounded by military commanders as he spoke while breathing heavily and feigning gravitas. He opened by saying the American people “should be extremely happy and grateful” because “Iran was standing down” from further escalation.
It was as if Trump was looking for congratulations for averting all-out war in the Middle East, when the truth is that it was he who had recklessly pushed the region to the brink of war by personally ordering last week the assassination of Iran’s top military commander, General Qassem Soleimani.
We may indeed be grateful that the tense stand-off between the U.S. and Iran seems to have eased – at least for now. But certainly Trump deserves nothing except condemnation for having created the abysmal, explosive situation.
He is the one who unilaterally abandoned the international nuclear accord with Iran nearly two years which has since seen tensions mounting to the present precarious impasse. What’s more, Trump in his address this week called on the European, Russian and Chinese signatories to the accord to follow his example of bad faith and quit the deal. Trump’s absurd advice would only make matters worse for international relations.
During his press conference, Trump dredged up threadbare cliched talking points against Iran.
“For far too long – all the way back to 1979, to be exact – nations have tolerated Iran’s destructive and destabilizing behavior in the Middle East and beyond. Those days are over. Iran has been the leading sponsor of terrorism, and their pursuit of nuclear weapons threatens the civilized world. We will never let that happen.”
The inversion of reality here is breathtaking, coming from the leader of a country which has invaded, illegally occupied and pulverized numerous countries in the Middle East. Not just in the Middle East, but all around the world. A country which has actually used atomic weapons within living memory for wiping out civilian populations.
Trump repeated the scandalous lies defaming General Soleimani. “Last week, we took decisive action to stop a ruthless terrorist from threatening American lives. At my direction, the United States military eliminated the world’s top terrorist… In recent days, he was planning new attacks on American targets, but we stopped him.”
In reality, General Soleimani had been a principal architect in the war to defeat Islamist terror groups which the U.S. and its allies had unleashed in Iraq and Syria. If American forces were killed by Iranian-backed Shia militia in those countries it was because they are resisting the illegal occupation of U.S. troops whose presence is a war crime stemming from the genocidal invasion of Iraq back in 2003.
Besides, this week top officials in the Trump administration failed to provide any credible evidence for the decision to assassinate Soleimani. The claim that he was “planning new attacks on American targets” is dubious assertion bordering on outright fabrication. His death was a foul murder by America. An act of war.
Trump went on to say: “As we continue to evaluate options in response to Iranian aggression, the United States will immediately impose additional punishing economic sanctions on the Iranian regime. These powerful sanctions will remain until Iran changes its behavior.”
That means that Trump’s hostile agenda towards Iran is relentless, despite the apparent de-escalation this week.
He again accused Iran of mis-using the limited reparations it received legally from the nuclear accord to go on a “terror spree” and “created hell in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Iraq”.
The total lack of self-awareness by the American leader of his own nation’s depredations and crimes in the very countries he lists is astounding. One can only surmise that Trump is delusional, as many politicians in Washington also seem to be.
“Peace and stability cannot prevail in the Middle East as long as Iran continues to foment violence, unrest, hatred and war. The civilized world must send a clear and unified message to the Iranian regime: your campaign of terror, murder, mayhem will not be tolerated any longer. It will not be allowed to go forward.”
The above quote only makes objective sense if the word “Iran” is substituted by the “United States”.
The deeply disturbing thing is that Trump and large sections of the U.S. establishment are convinced by their own crass propaganda on Iran. They believe that Iran is seeking to build a nuclear weapon and to sow perpetual chaos in the region, as if America’s conduct has no precedent in this; and therefore they are locked into a one-dimensional policy of confrontation with Iran, which eventually means war.
Trump’s seeming offer of goodwill at the end of his press conference does not inspire hope. Far from it.
“Finally, to the people and leaders of Iran, we want you to have a future – and a great future, one that you deserve, one of prosperity at home and harmony with the nations of the world. The United States is ready to embrace peace with all who seek it.”
In the space of a few minutes, President Trump went from condemning Iran as a terrorist evil to then “embracing” Iran for prosperity and harmony.
No wonder an increasing number of psychiatric professionals have concluded that Trump is clinically delusional, irrational and a danger to world peace. Such a conclusion goes beyond the usual attempts by U.S. political opponents trying to oust Trump from the White House by underhand means. We don’t have to take their word for it. Trump’s own crazy words are self-indicting.
It has to be said too that the concern goes way beyond the foibles of just one individual – Donald J Trump. It is much bigger, and more serious than that. It concerns the unhinged mentality of the entire U.S. government in its irremediable, belligerent view towards Iran and indeed towards the rest of the world.