Trump’s foreign policy might mark Peak America

Summary: No analysis by Trump’s foes shows the danger he poses so clearly as his own speeches. But we have lost the habit of listening to our leaders, instead relying on trusted tribal voices to filter and mold their words into pleasing poems. See Trump’s statement about Iran – and fear for America’s future.

Thelma and Louise ending

The essential insight explaining the Trump years

Bill Bonner writes about finance at The Daily Reckoning and is a founder of The Agora (see this article about it). He is a doomster and perma-bear, but has an interesting perspective on our situation. See these terrifying words from his column “Corrections” in March 2001

“Men do stupid things regularly and mad things occasionally. And sometimes, the impulse to self-destruction is so overwhelming it overtakes an entire nation. …The best a person can hope for when he goes mad is that he runs into a brick wall quickly …before he has a chance to build up speed. That is why success, in war and investing, is often a greater menace than failure. …

“People seem to make such obvious and moronic errors that it seems as if they were driven to it by some instinct of self-destruction — like lemmings periodically exterminating themselves in a march off the cliffs. What’s more, this diabolical instinct seems to report for duty at the very moment when the future seems the brightest — that is, when it is most needed! Just when men are most proud, most confident, most expansive in their ambitions and hopes …that is when they make the most lunkheaded judgments.”

King Trump

Exhibit one, from President Trump

See the ignorance, hubris, and belligerence in the President Trump’s January Statement by the President on the Iran Nuclear Deal. It gives his justification for the US to attack Iran with every tool short of (so far) force. This might be Peak America.

“It {Iran} props up the murderous regime of Bashar al Assad, and has helped him slaughter his own people. …Within Iran, the Supreme Leader and his Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps use mass arrests and torture to oppress and silence Iran’s people. …”Iran’s ruling elite has let their citizens go hungry while enriching themselves by stealing Iran’s national wealth.”

That’s an incredible statement given the number of murderous  regimes the US has installed and supported during its history. Look at Wikipedia’s list of nations using Death Squads. See how many are allies – or regimes installed by America. And so many kleptocratic rulers! Plus those who did all of the above, such as America’s long ally – President Marcos of the Philippines.

“The regime’s destructive missiles threaten neighboring countries and international shipping.”

The number of instances is beyond count in which America has threatened other nations with military force. Also, is Killing Iranian Nuclear Scientists Terrorism? (Spoiler: yes.)

Now for the pièce de résistance of Trump’s statement.

“{W}e are calling on all nations to lend similar support to the Iranian people, who are suffering under a regime that is stifling basic freedoms and denying its citizens the opportunity to build better lives for their families – an opportunity that is every human being’s God-given right.”

We are working to punish Iran, even overthrow its government, for the Iranian people. Without asking if they want help from foreign infidels. Infidels whose CIA in 1953 overthrew their democratically elected government (Operation Ajax) to prevent it nationalizing Iran’s oil reserves. The CIA installed the Shah, who gave favorable treatment to western oil companies and whose secret police (SAVAK) crushed all opposition. Even in exile – leaving much of his wealth behind – he was one of the richest men in the world.

If the people of Iran did consider asking us to overthrow their government, the people of Afghanistan and Libya would scream “don’t!” We (and our allies) helped overthrow the rich, secular, stable Libyan regime — plugging it into chaos (making Islamic fundamentalists powerful) – to boost the profits of western oil companies. The CIA’s Operation Cyclone gave a black eye to the Soviet Union — and helped plunge Afghanistan into civil war from which it has not recovered (see how the lives of Afghanistan’s women have changed with our “help” (much as the women in Iraq and Libya have changed) – a reverse liberation back into oppression.

If Iran’s people decided they did want our help, they might stop when reminded of Trump’s frequently stated belief that we should have stolen Iraq’s oil as payment for our “help” (wrecking so much of their nation).

Only a President ignorant of our history could pose as a liberator of the Iranian people. Only a people ignorant of their history would treat such a statement with anything but ridicule.

Trump’s megalomanic closing!

“Those who, for whatever reason, choose not to work with us will be siding with the Iranian regime’s nuclear ambitions, and against the people of Iran and the peaceful nations of the world.”

 Trump declares himself the voice of the world – or perhaps King of the World. Without bothering with consent of the governed.

A picture of American foreign policy

Alice in "Madness Returns"
From The Art of Alice: Madness Returns.

It is our foreign policy. It need not be delusional. It need not take America off a cliff. Our only hope lies in our hands, as it should.

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Ideas! For shopping ideas, see my recommended books and films at Amazon.

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts about reforming America, about our conflict with Iran, and especially these …

  1. Advice we needAdvice from one of the British Empire’s greatest Foreign Ministers.
  2. Continuity and dysfunctionality in US foreign policy (lessons for our conflict with Iran).
  3. Look at America’s grand strategy. Why do we believe this nonsense?
  4. We’ve attacked yet another nation. How long until somebody hits back?
  5. Madness of our elites is like dead canaries in a coal mine.
  6. The hypocrisy poisoning America.

11 thoughts on “Trump’s foreign policy might mark Peak America”

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  4. Saddam was a prescient bro, eh?

    “Saddam Hussein, the Queen, and Nasr moved to a side room, where they shared a small sofa. Nasr sat between them and translated. Hussein had already offered to assassinate Khomeini, whom he worried was stirring grievances and sectarian tensions inside Iraq, which, like Iran, was a Shia-majority society. He preferred a stable, pro-Western Iran under the Shah to a radical theological state that might be tempted to export its revolution throughout the region. The Iraqi turned to Nasr and calmly said, “Tell her Majesty to tell my brother the Shah to take out his tanks and guns and turn them against the revolutionaries. Tell him it is better that a thousand Iranians die now than a million people die later.” Nasr translated this to Farah “and we looked at each other.” After Hussein left they agreed that Farah would go back to Niavaran and relay the Iraqi strongman’s advice to her husband.”

    – The Fall Of Heaven: The Pahlavis and the Final Days of Imperial Iran by Cooper

    Wish the Shah had had some balls.

    1. Larry Kummer, Editor


      “Wish the Shah had had some balls.”

      He had balls. Just not much brains. Assassinating just creates martyrs, as has been proven repeatedly for centuries.

  5. Hah, well. I got the opposite picture from Cooper’s book; brains, but no balls. We see how it worked out for him and Iran.

    1. Larry Kummer, Editor


      If you are referring to the theory that the Shah should have killed the Ayatollah, history shows that seldom works (e.g., killing Caesar to save the Republic, killing Toussaint l’Overture to end the revolt in Haiti, killing MLK Jr. to end the civil rights movement, etc). But there is seldom a shortage of people who think a quick execution will solve all their problems. Results show that those are the ones with no brains.

  6. I was amused to read that in the early 1970s, the Shah gave a speech at MIT, saying, “I wish for Tehran University to become a Persian MIT, not a Persian Harvard or Princeton.” In other words, I want engineers thinking up ways to make my nation stronger and wealthier, not philosophers thinking up reasons I shouldn’t be Shah.

    The political trend since 1750 has been the abolition of monarchy, yet very few nations have benefited from doing so. After deposing their kings, they proceeded to depopulate themselves with civil wars, purges, reigns of terror, and artificial famines. (The USA never had monarchy — as early as 1635, Massachusetts militiamen swore loyalty oaths that made no mention of any King.)

    One of the few monarchies surviving to the present day is Thailand. King Rama IX achieved this not by torturing and executing thousands like the Shah, or buying off his people with oil money like the Saudis, but with a clever combination of intimidation and portraying democratic reformers as impious and unpatriotic.

  7. Face it, once the surge of easy wealth created by the Scientific and Industrial revolutions* has dissipated, the world will return to monarchy. Rule by committee never works, and leaders elected to short terms of office cannot afford to think long-term. Like people who live moment to moment, democracies are all fiscally incontinent, running up enormous debts that will ultimately destroy them.

    A Board of Directors does not vote on how the CEO ought to do his job. They either let him run the company as he sees fit, or fire him without warning and get someone else. Bad kings get replaced too; ancient Egypt had twenty-six dynasties. A king’s job is to be the fount of all honors, not to suppress competition among the elite, but to channel it in directions beneficial to the nation’s well-being.

    * Those revolutions began in 1660 with the founding of the Royal Society by King Charles II, in the same year he was restored to the throne after England’s failed experiment with republican rule. The scientific breakthroughs that flowed out of that Society created the unprecedented wealth that made other forms of government, such as the democratic welfare state, conceivable.

    The American colonies in 1660 were low-tech farmer’s republics, like Rome before Hannibal, based on a class of men who worked the land they owned. Such republics always devolve into oligarchy, which is worse than monarchy, as bigger farmers leverage their superior capital (slaves, machines, better land, etc.) to drive small farmers out of business.

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