Sunday, October 27, 2019
When Challenged, Kill A Terrorist
I escape from morbidly ruminating about Jill’s stage 4 lung cancer and its implications regarding mortality, vulnerability, and the brevity of our journey through life.
Instead, I comment upon the Donald Trump of the last 24 hours.
It’s a welcome relief.
According to multiple sources, the House of Representatives’ impeachment process is gaining steam.
Career diplomats, most prominently Ambassador Bill Taylor—a 50-year public servant who fought in Vietnam—consistently describe how a quid-pro-quo in fact occurred regarding the Ukraine.
Trump asked for a favor, while withholding $300 million in military aid and a promise of an invitation for an official state visit.
The favor was to dig up dirt on Joe Biden.
In any event, no American President needs a quid-pro-quo.
Just the July 2019 phone call itself, from the most powerful man on the planet, suffices.
But these recent depositions establish that, in addition to the power-call, Trump held back aid and a promised official state visit—in exchange for a favor.
Recent reporting by journalists at the New York Times and the Washington Post validate the mounting evidence.
(Just last Friday, Trump ordered federal government employees to cancel subscriptions to these periodicals; what’s next, a single State-run media to which citizens of North Korea and Iran are subjected?)
Trump seems frightened.
He’s not scared about national security, or Russian aggression, or a growing disruption in the checks and balances necessary for a functioning democracy.
He’s worried about himself, his image, how he appears in the press.
This morning’s press briefing, in which Trump announced the extra-judicial killing of the ISIS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is right out of the autocrat, dictator, Mafia-boss playbook.
Trump proclaimed that al Baghdadi died in a:
daring and dangerous raid.
Baghdadi and the losers who worked for him, and losers they are, had no idea what they were getting into. In some cases, they were very frightened puppies… He died like a dog. He died like a coward. The world is now a much safer place. God bless America.
God bless America?
Jacques Lacan, the French psychoanalyst-philosopher famously wrote,
All communication is mis-communication.
He was spot on.
When we speak to another, it’s always inaccurate. If I ask a friend,
Do you want to go to the movies?
The question is necessarily incomplete.
But what Trump proclaimed this morning exemplifies not
It demonstrates, instead:
yet another classic move in any dictator’s, propaganda-oriented method of communication.
Trump’s press conference was also misleading, and in several ways:
- He claimed he’d personally arranged for the killing, even though the military and intelligence services have been searching for al-Baghdadi since 2014;
- He told the Russians of the execution before he told members of the US Congress.
- He suggested the death heralded the end of ISIS, a complete untruth.
It would have been so much better if Trump had asked, instead,
Do you want to go to the movies?
Heads up for the mounting signs of the US presidency slowly sliding into an autocracy run by a one-man dictator, Donald Trump.
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