Thursday, June 20, 2019

"Cry 'Havoc!," and let slip the dogs of..." uh, no, let's not do that after all

The invasion of Iran by Poppy Bush wasn't accomplished with a carrier group and 1000 troops.  It took W. 2 years to get the country ready to invade Iran, using most of that time to build up military forces to actually conduct combat operations.  It took Poppy almost a year, too, if memory serves.

Current force estimates are we need at least 120,000 troops to invade Iraq.   Moving that many troops, and the personnel and equipment to support them, is done in months, not minutes.  It's a disastrously bad idea anyway, but Trump told his rally he was removing troops, even as 1000 more were being sent over.  Trump will have to decide he's serious about invading, and then lay the groundwork for a war, not just authorizing a few cruise missiles be sent in to retaliate for losing a drone that may, or may not, have been in Iraqi airspace.

War, in other words, requires planning, and time, and even some patience.  These are not skills Trump has in abundance but, as commander in chief, he'll be expected to use them.  He'll have to explain to the American people, for months, why this buildup is necessary, why this war has to happen.  He'd rather apologize to Nancy Pelosi for calling her "Nervous Nancy."

Trump sounds bellicose now, but he's a bully.  He always sounds bellicose, until it comes time to put up or shut up.  At that point, he always shuts up.  Had Obama confronted Trump directly and personally on the birther nonsense, had he called Trump out by name and insisted they meet face to face to discuss the issue, in public, in front of cameras, Trump would have folded like a cheap suit.  His hardcore racist supporters might not have been discouraged, but Trump would have simply refused to show, or been so obsequious in person to Obama, the whole issue would have disappeared.

Trump won't go to war because he doesn't want the responsibility for it.  He might shoot off a few missiles and then go to Mar-A-Lago to have people tell him how tough he is, but he doesn't want people complaining that he went to war for no good reason.  He not only remembers what happened to Nixon after he fired Cox, he remembers what happened to LBJ.  That's his excuse in public, anyway; in reality, he's a coward.  The time it takes to build up troops to prepare an invasion of Iraq is time Trump will spend chasing the next shiny object of his attention.  It will be time, too, that the American public will reflect on the fact this "war" was prompted by the loss of a drone; not the invasion of a country, not even a direct assault on our country.  How popular is that "war" going to be by the time we can engage it? Is he really going to commit to war with Iran, commit to waiting months to begin an invasion over a lost drone, even commit to the threat of war by retaliating for the loss of one drone?

Don't be ridiculous.

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