Let’s give President Trump the benefit of the doubt. He may not be drawing the United States into war with Iran intentionally, in an effort to increase public support, and consequently congressional support, for him.

But the evidence suggests he’s not beyond doing that.

He already has used congressionally approved military aid to Ukraine for his own political benefit. If he’d use U.S. foreign policy for his personal political benefit, then there’s reason to believe that he would use war for his own benefit.

First, he withdrew from the Iran agreement, then increased economic sanctions on Iran, and now, without consultation with the congressional “Gang of Eight,” has directed the killing of the top Iranian military official, an admittedly very bad guy. But it’s not akin to killing bin Laden or Baghdadi, each of whom was a terrorist without a country. Soleimani was a military leader and government official of Iran.

There will be grave and possibly long-term consequences to the U.S. from what many believe to be, from a military and foreign policy perspective, an ill-thought-out and provocative action.

Perhaps Trump believes that will be to his political, and personal, benefit, however.

Gary Parker


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