Today, March 18, while at lunch, I read a couple of articles on Trump’s fabrications and falsehoods. One was Leinz Valles’s article on Fareed Zakaria’a take on Trump’s bullshitting. The other, by Frida Ghitis was on how Trump’s words are a national embarrassment and can cause us serious repercussions in international relations. Both articles caused me to start thinking about international relations in the age of Trump.
It is well within the realm of possibility that Trump could send in the military to back up one of his lies/delusions, from which he does not back down. Under the War Powers Act, the president can use the military without congressional approval for ninety days. This act was created so that the military can respond quickly to an international crisis.
Let us use a hypothetical situation.
This weekend, Trump damaged relations with Britain by repeating an unfounded report from Fox News that Obama used the British equivalent of the National Security Agency (NSA), the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), to spy on Trump Tower during the election. The British government immediately denied the allegation. Trump then refused responsibility for the accusation by stating that he was just repeating what he heard on Fox News.
Let’s take that a step farther.
Let’s say that hypothetical Fox News commentator Dr. I.M. Shifabrenz states that he has documents that prove that Bermuda was conceded to the US as part of Cornwallis’s surrender at Yorktown. Trump, angered by Britain’s refusal to back up his new allegations that Obama is responsible for 9/11 and anxious to distract from new developments in Russiagate showing that he funneled Russian hookers to Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, sends the Marines to occupy the island and transfer the inhabitants to Guantanamo Bay as terrorists. Serious credibility problems arise when CNN uncovers that Dr. Shifabrenz’s degree is in parapsychology from the University of American Samoa and that Dr. Shifabrenz drew up the Cornwallis documents on Dukes of Hazzard stationary after having a series of dreams involving a menage a trois with Cornwallis and Theresa May on a beach with six bottles of Barbadian rum and a hot tub.
Twelve of the Marines are killed by veterans of Britain’s Special Air Services (SAS), who happen to be vacationing on the island.
Britain vows to take back the island and begins rallying its military. Trump refuses to back down.
This is not that far-fetched a scenario. Trump has the power to do this.
Now, on a more serious note:
Meanwhile in the Pacific, NSA has intercepted communications between North Korean despot Kim Chong Un and the Chinese general staff indicating that North Korea plans to invade South Korea within a month.
Now Trump wants to blockade North Korean ports and cut off all trade between it and the rest of the world. He also wants to raise a coalition to repel a North Korean invasion. He announces to the world that he has NSA intercepts of North Korean communications that prove what is about to happen.
Who will join him?
With his tendency to refuse to back down, the odds are that he will send in US troops, even if he has support from no one else.
He also has the nuclear option at his disposal. He probably won’t be afraid to resort to first use.
Will China and/or Russia attempt to intervene? Will they retaliate if the US strikes first?
At the heart of all this: mindless bullshit from a self-centered demagogue put into power by one of his nation’s most long-standing enemies.