When looking for answers to the mysteries of Trump’s presidential actions, there is a lot the media cannot say because it would be strictly speculation, mostly involving intent–what goes on in Trump’s mind, his motivation. How the many pieces of his seemingly erratic behavior fit into a cohesive direction for our future may only be ascertained since Trump has increasingly insulated his actions from public view, maintaining higher and higher levels of secrecy.
Meetings with no transcripts or official records, burying sensitive, possibly incriminating records in inaccessible classified computers, meetings with no witnesses, abrupt decisions made without consultation, the termination of Whitehouse press conferences and briefings, the replacement of career civil servants with yes-men Trump loyalists, the refusal to comply with Congressional oversight, pledges to pardon illegal activities, the dangling of pardons for witnesses and veiled threats to others, attacking the press, attacking our intelligence agencies… these are not the actions of a president committed to the rule of law, the safety of the American people or our democratic system.
It’s hard to analyze any single action or decision without understanding the basis for it and since that basis is not necessarily shared and frequently obfuscated, it is virtually impossible. By refusing to answer the questions posed by the media and by taking advantage of the weaknesses and inadequacy of our current oversight system and the very nature of a bipartisan government, Trump has carved out for himself a virtual dictatorship whereby his actions go unaccounted for.
To assume that he has no master plan or that the many chaotic events he has created are not interrelated would be a grievous error, underestimating his criminal potential. Trump keeps the press and the entire country off balance and clueless with his many contradictions and lies. One day he says something never happened and the next he admits that it did, then in the next breath denies it. What’s the truth? What does he really think? No one ever knows. That’s the way he likes it. It protects his cherished secrecy, allowing him to act alone.
No, to understand the workings of his mind and therefore his intent, one must look at the arc of his decisions and actions over a broad period of time as being focused on a goal, not a random knee jerk. Take for example his decision to pull the last fifty or so American servicemen from Kurdish occupied Syria, exposing the Kurds to slaughter at the hands of the Turks.
After a phone call with Turkish President Erdogan, on Sunday October 6, Trump announced that the United States would be withdrawing the last of the American forces from Kurdish occupied Syria, paving the way for Turkish attacks on the Kurds. As could have been easily predicted by even the most casual observer, on Wednesday October 9, Turkey began a campaign of shelling and air attacks on Kurdish forces, cities and civilians and the death toll once again began rising amid the destruction of viable cities and a flood of fleeing families. It would be the epitome of gullibility to believe that Trump did not understand the consequences of his agreement with Erdogan. Trump may not be the “stable genius” he claims to be, but one thing is for sure… he is not stupid. So, one has to ask, “why did he do it?” Certainly, he knew that a slaughter would ensue. He absolutely knew that the disposition of the 10,000 or so ISIS prisoners was in jeopardy and that they might escape or be released (as evidenced in his tweet below.) The damage to international relations and the United States commitments to allies would be incalculable and he must have at the very least suspected that bipartisan pushback from Congressional leaders would be unified and swift, but with Congress on break, his timing was perfection. So, why did he do it? Trump is, if anything, a dealmaker, so what did he hope to gain? What was his quid pro quo and just who besides Erdogan had anything to gain? There is only one answer. Russia.
Before Wednesday’s assault began, Trump tweeted “As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!). They must, with Europe and others, watch over the captured ISIS fighters and families…” So far, lacking any statement to the contrary or any official response to the Turkish invasion, in Trump’s “great and unmatched wisdom” he has chosen to look the other way and allow it to continue unchallenged. One can only conclude that he does not consider the current offensive to be “off limits.” As opposition began to mount Trump volleyed back the lamest of justifications, that the Kurds did not serve as our allies in WWII, that they were not there at Normandy. This is a muddled and quite irrelevant half-truth, since there was no Kurdish nation state at the time but many Kurds fought alongside the British and the Russians.
As always, Trump’s statements are riddled with misinformation. Conscious misinformation is a lie. Does the Commander-in-chief of the United States not know that we still have about 1,000 U.S. troops remaining in Syria? Of course he does. So, why lie about it except to provide cover for his egregious decision? In making it appear that we are pulling out, he disguises his abandonment of our ally as the fulfillment of a campaign promise. But simple math tells us that 50 is only ½ of 1% of the forces in Syria, hardly a pull out. No, Trump knew exactly what he was doing. It was a gift to Russia.
Now, only in the context of his many quizzical Russian overtures can this be understood as making any sense, but we lack the legal proof to litigate the premise. Why? Secrecy, that’s why. Lack of transparency, that’s why.
So, while the many intractable Trump defenders struggle to protect their stake in the outcome of Trumpian “policies,” in their hypocrisy lies the great Trump destruction of American ideals. We must acknowledge that only through congressional oversight can we unravel the twisted knotted ball of secrecy and connect the dots that the media is reticent to connect.
All this makes sense if Trump owes Russia for assisting in his electoral victory and he found himself unable to fulfill his part of the bargain. Congressional sanctions could not be overturned by him alone and billionaire Russian oligarchs cannot access the money restricted by the sanctions. Now to be sure that’s just speculation and easily dismissed as theory, but the overall concept of payback, a return on Russian investment in Trump, in one form or another, is the only thing that makes any sense to explain his determined commitment to support Putin.