END OF YEAR ASSESSMENT OF 2017 AND RISKS IN 2018: Calamity or Peace, Stupidity or wisdom?

By

Harry C. Blaney III

OVERVIEW OF AMERICA’S TRUMPIAN IMPACT IN 2017 AND LOOKING TO 2018

No 2017 was not a fun year, in fact our nation and our planet are now more at risk than anytime since the Cuban nuclear missile crisis in 1962 and it was almost all thanks to one man Donald Trump.

Long ago I did a book with the title “Global Challenges: A World at Risk” That was in the 1970s and I did not contemplate an American president, let along a corrupt GOP Congress, would make our world not only filled with great dangers and risks but these would be accompanied by a serious threat to our own democracy.

This may seem strange that I assess that Trump after the antics of 2017 is now one of our major risks both now and likely in 2018. The reason is very simple, in every new encounter, in every crisis, and even when there is no immediate crisis, his acts aim for the creation of even more upheaval and conflict. Thus the unilateral actions so far by Trump point toward even greater dangers for us all.

On key factor in assessing dangers is the rationality and the goals and the temperament of those that are the decision-makers in any given crisis….and that means for most of the world Donald Trump, who stated main goal is “deconstruction,” (read creating chaos and harm), and that applies to almost every past great creation by the US to maintain the peace, democracy and cooperation. Note Trump’s deliberate destruction of our diplomacy tools and institutions and especially the gutting of the Department of State.

The madness will end either when the GOP sees Trump as a liability and not an asset and the GOP billionaires agree and send that signal. Or perhaps Mueller finds the smocking gun? Otherwise they are tied to him and he is tied to them. The GOP created Trump knowing his craziness and, with malice aforethought, put him in a position to be president and supported his destructive agenda. And they took the money from the super Alt-right-wing rich and large corporations and stuck it to the rest of America.

The GOP shut their eyes to all the horrors and nasty acts he undertook abroad that made others fear us and are now repulsed by America’s “new dictator.”Democracy is a risk as commentators Paul Krugman and Martin Wolf have already noted and many others. There is no shame in the Republican caucus in Congress. The battle for our nation’s values is also a battle for America role in the world.

AREAS OF CRISIS AND CONCERN FOR AMERICAN VALUES AND SECURITY:

We will be reviewing in following forthcoming posts each of the key challenges that likely confront America and provide some insight into both likely added dangers and avenues of progress that hopefully we should take.

Looking at come of the critical points of crisis and threats in forthcoming issues we will examine Trump’s impact and ask if there re more constructive options for 2018:

IRAN:

Trump was against the Iran nuclear deal and he decertified the accord and left the use of sanctions to Congress but one motivation may have been to get others to take dangerous action that would have taken the blood off his hand in case of war. that would have moved the Iranian government to withdraw from the accord and certainly then justify using a military option with Israel with us taking the brunt of the action. As I have written and many other who are experts on Iran and on nuclear strategy and risks know tht the “nuclear deal” is in fact getting Iran to sand down on production of nuclear weapon was a major gain which safeguarded as most former Israeli security senior officials agreed made their nation safer. It is clear the rest of the key world’s leaders and military share that view including our close allies.

Where in 218 will we see change and what should we do. First and foremost we should not pull out of the Nuclear Deal accord that would not only harm the security of Israel but involve us unnecessarily in a major conflict involving Iran and most of the Middle East with great damage to a vast array of American interests and with catastrophic deaths of innocent people and exacerbate the existing conflicts of the region.

The last thing the Middle East needs is even more bloodshed. In this connection we need to change course entirely and pull back from a partisan position of favoring the Sunni position with Saudi Arabia in the lead and return to our effort to fine avenues of cooperation and reconciliation between both Sunni and Shia. That will not be an easy task and will need the cooperation of the few wise leaders in the region and others  outside. But for the long-term it is a necessity.

The most recent unrest and protests in Iran is an indicator of much sense of isolation and economic decline by the poorer sector and even some disaffection by the  middle class educated for reform and especially the need to share in any prosperity. Ironically these protects threaten both the old guard regime of the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei plus his Revolutionary Guards who have now been called out according to recent reports. But the upheaval also threatens as well the somewhat more moderate and modern government of President Hassan Rouhani and most experts seem to accept the outcome will be bad in that the Revolutionary Guard, that as reportedly has now been deployed  to put down the unrest with what can only be a disaster for all. When will the leaders in the Middle East recognize that their religious and power conflicts will only result in all sides paying a very dear price?

Trump efforts, in fact are not likely done to support democracy but rather to stimulate added instability and cause as he has done elsewhere chaos which is his signature accomplishment. America must do better than that and work as we have for decades seek peace.

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