The apparent truth is that the Trump Administration lacks the personnel and skillset to effectively govern …
First, there is the President himself – who runs the White House and attendant political operation like he ran the Trump Organization. Walking up each morning, checking his press clippings, and diving in to the swirling mass of people in his office that are seeking self-serving favors or selling their own version of the Trump agenda. Trump appears to be a “helicopter president,” dropping in to deal with an issue, continuing his “meet and greet” diplomacy and the leaving for Mar-a-Lago for a dual-purpose weekend: promoting himself and the Trump brand. The idea that Trump’s spawn, daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, can take the place of seasoned political advisers is ludicrous. Perhaps made more ridiculous by Trump claiming that these two are geniuses.
Second, the scarcity of experienced hands is allowing Obama holdovers to remain in place and continue Obama’s third term under Trump’s very nose. It appears that Trump is having a difficult time attracting first-rate people to his Administration, primarily because serious people do not want their reputations compromised by Trump’s mercurial manner and gross lack of professionalism when it comes to his petty, vindictive, and counter-productive tweets.
And third, Donald Trump appears to be totally transactional, learning more toward the progressive socialist democrats than the constitutional conservatives. It is this lack of core beliefs that is most troubling as Trump styles himself as a “great dealmaker” even though we will never see what Trump has conceded or provided to the other side to get even the appearance of a deal. In this area, Trump is more lake former President Obama than a Ronald Reagan.
Here is Trump today …
In his speech to Arab heads of state in the Saudi capital, Mr. Trump repeatedly attacked Iran, claiming it “funds arms, trains militias that spread destruction and chaos” and pointing to Iran’s support for Syria’s Bashar al-Assad as he committed “unspeakable crimes”.
While campaigning ahead of the US election, Mr. Trump said the 2015 nuclear agreement Tehran signed with international powers was the “the worst deal ever” and that he was determined to “dismantle this disastrous mistake”.
Since then the Trump administration, despite grudgingly admitting that Iran was complying with its obligations under the agreement, has made repeated threats against Tehran. This, it was feared, would play into the hands of the hardliners in Iran, who attacked Mr. Rouhani for signing the nuclear deal. <Source>
Under what scenario can we accept Trump’s official lies to Congress and the American public?
President Obama stood before the American people and told us we can keep our doctor. The Obama State Department told us the Iran deal was “open and transparent” – except for all of those secret side-deals which ran contrary to the talking points and assurances used to sell the program to a distrustful population. And Trump promised he would be tough on Iran and their nuclear ambitions.
During a speech at AIPAC's Policy Conference, Trump explained how he would deal with Iran as president. He said, "My number one priority is to dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran. I have been in business a long time. I know deal-making and let me tell you, this deal is catastrophic - for America, for Israel, and for the whole Middle East. The problem here is fundamental. We have rewarded the world's leading state sponsor of terror with $150 billion and we received absolutely nothing in return. I've studied this issue in greater detail than almost anybody.
The biggest concern with the deal is not necessarily that Iran is going to violate it, although it already has, the bigger problem is that they can keep the terms and still get to the bomb by simply running out the clock, and, of course, they keep the billions.
The deal doesn’t even require Iran to dismantle its military nuclear capability! Yes, it places limits on its military nuclear program for only a certain number of years. But when those restrictions expire, Iran will have an industrial-size military nuclear capability ready to go, and with zero provision for delay no matter how bad Iran's behavior is.
When I am president, I will adopt a strategy that focuses on three things when it comes to Iran. First, we will stand up to Iran’s aggressive push to destabilize and dominate the region. Iran is a very big problem and will continue to be, but if I'm elected President, I know how to deal with trouble. ... Secondly, we will totally dismantle Iran’s global terror network. Iran has seeded terror groups all over the world. During the last five years, Iran has perpetrated terror attacks in 25 different countries on five continents. They’ve got terror cells everywhere, including in the western hemisphere very close to home. Iran is the biggest sponsor of terrorism around the world and we will work to dismantle that reach. Third, at the very least, we must hold Iran accountable by restructuring the terms of the previous deal. Iran has already - since the deal is in place - test-fired ballistic missiles three times. Those ballistic missiles, with a range of 1,250 miles, were designed to intimidate not only Israel, which is only 600 miles away but also intended to frighten Europe, and, someday, the United States." <Source>
And, now we find the Trump Administration lying through its teeth by “certifying” that Iran is in compliance with Obama’s nuclear deal …
Trump Administration Undergoing Interagency Review of Iran Deal
The U.S. Department of State certified to U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan today that Iran is compliant through April 18th with its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. However, the Secretary also raised concerns about Iran’s role as a state sponsor of terrorism and alerted Congress to an effort directed by the President to evaluate whether continuing to lift sanctions would be in U.S. national security interests.
"Iran remains a leading state sponsor of terror, through many platforms and methods. President Donald J. Trump has directed a National Security Council-led interagency review of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action that will evaluate whether suspension of sanctions related to Iran pursuant to the JCPOA is vital to the national security interests of the United States."
The Full Text of the Letter:
April 18, 2017
The Honorable Paul D. Ryan
Dear Mr. Speaker:
This letter certifies that the conditions of Section 135(d)(6) of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (AEA), as amended, including as amended by the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 (Public Law 114-17), enacted May 22, 2015, are met as of April 18, 2017.
Notwithstanding, Iran remains a leading state sponsor of terror through many platforms and methods. President Donald J. Trump has directed a National Security Council-led interagency review of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that will evaluate whether suspension of sanctions related to Iran pursuant to the JCPOA is vital to the national security interests of the United States. When the interagency review is completed, the administration looks forward to working with Congress on this issue.
Rex W. Tillerson
There is no doubt that Iran has violated the negotiated nuclear deal and should be subject to sanctions …
The publicly known reasons that Iran is not in compliance with the JCPOA include:
- Iran is not allowing International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors access to military sites. If Iran is engaged in covert nuclear weapons work, this is where it is taking place. As long as Iran refuses to allow the IAEA unfettered access to all military sites, it is not in compliance with the JCPOA and the international community cannot be confident that Iran’s nuclear weapons program has been halted.
- According to a March 3, 2017 report by the Institute for Science and International Security, Iran has produced and stockpiled more heavy-water than it is allowed under the JCPOA and is storing some heavy-water outside of Iran. Heavy-water is a proliferation concern because it can be used in a nuclear reactor design that produces large amounts of plutonium, a nuclear weapons fuel.
- The Institute report also said that although a February 2017 IAEA report claimed Iran was in compliance with a commitment to limit its stockpile of reactor-grade uranium to 300 kg, it only met this cap because the JCPOA’s Joint Commission granted Iran exemptions to exclude several quantities of enriched uranium from the cap. Concerning the IAEA’s reporting on this issue, the Institute report said the IAEA was being forced to use “convoluted and potentially deceptive language.”
Although the above violations are serious, it is worth stressing that Iran can continue making progress in its nuclear weapons program without violating the JCPOA since the deal allows it to enrich uranium with over 5,000 centrifuges, develop and test advanced centrifuges and construct a plutonium-producing heavy-water reactor. As Israeli Ambassador to the United States put it in an April 14, 2017 Wall Street Journal oped, the JCPOA “is so inherently flawed that Tehran doesn’t even have to break it. Honoring it will be enough to endanger millions of lives.” <Source>
Bottom line …
The real threat to America is not regional nuclear weapons, but Iran’s insistence – along with North Korea – to build Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles that are capable of projecting a nuclear weapon into the United States itself. There is nothing in the Obama-negotiated deal that curtails the development of long-range weaponry that can be used against the United States.\
Whether through laziness, incompetence, or deception, President Donald Trump needs to be reminded that words have meaning and that he will be held accountable for his actions while in office. This is not one of his dodgy deals where he can walk away from failure by removing his name from signage and disavow the horrible management for any problems and adverse consequences.
While Donald Trump probably believes what he is saying at the moment, changing his story to fit his audience or “winging it” will be his downfall.
We are so screwed.
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius