The man behind the curtain
“As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!).” President Donald Trump, Oct. 7, 2019.
When I read that tweet from Trump, my first thoughts were about the Wizard of Oz. Trump’s claim of “great and unmatched wisdom” sounds like something the Wizard would have said.
In The Wizard of Oz, each character was hoping for something. The scarecrow wanted a brain, the tin man wanted a heart, and the lion wanted courage. Through the story, each character’s actions showed that they actually already had what they wanted; they just didn’t realize it.
Trump’s abandonment of the Kurds, who fought ISIS alongside American troops for five years and lost over 11,000 troops, is proof he has none of the above. (America lost eight troops total during that time). Without the Kurds, the U.S. could never have pushed ISIS out of its caliphate. Now Trump has abandoned them to be slaughtered by Turkey, just as over 1 million Armenians were slaughtered by Turkey between 1915 and 1923.
Trump’s decision shows his lack of a brain (not thinking through the consequences, including a resurgence of ISIS), a heart (leaving civilians to be slaughtered) and courage (caving in to Turkish President Erdogan and ultimately Russian President Putin). Even the Wizard couldn’t fix Trump.
One of Trump’s most inane comments is that the Kurds didn’t help us in World War II or at Normandy, so it’s OK to abandon them now. The Kurds did fight in WWII alongside the Allies as a crucial part of the Iraq Levies. Just four countries were involved in the Normandy landings, so if Trump is going to betray every country that didn’t participate on D-Day, he’s going to be very busy.
As the Turks moved into Kurdish territory and their atrocities became visible to the world, Trump’s administration negotiated a five-day cease-fire beginning Oct. 17. Trump called it “a great day for civilization,” but giving people just five days to pack up and move their whole life, creating thousands of refugees, is appalling. On Oct. 18, Trump said, “The Kurds are very happy about it,” just another lie among the over 13,400 documented lies Trump has told while president.
In reality, the Turks have not stopped their assault on the Kurds. Civilians, including babies, are being murdered. Erdogan has achieved everything he wanted. Trump handed it all to him. Trump’s “pro-life” supporters don’t seem to have a problem with this. Evidently, “pro-life” is selective.
In Trump’s “great and unmatched wisdom,” the slaughter of civilians is apparently not off limits, since he has not totally destroyed and obliterated Turkey’s economy. Fortunately, some Republicans seem to have reached their limit in enabling Trump’s lawlessness, so there may be hope for our country.
Trump has another developing crisis, the ongoing impeachment inquiry. To defend himself, he lies about the Democrats in Congress, saying they aren’t doing anything, when in fact they are regularly passing new legislation in the House. It’s Trump and the Republicans in the Senate who seem paralyzed by the impeachment inquiry. Democrats can legislate and investigate at the same time. All Trump can do is whine.
On Oct. 8, on Fox News, Trump operative Joe diGenova called the impeachment inquiry “regicide,” the killing of a king. This is disturbing for two reasons. It demonstrates that Republicans see Trump as a king, which may be why they refuse to oppose him, and that their minds run to violence.
Democrats don’t want to kill Trump, just make him accountable. They are following the lawful impeachment process outlined in the Constitution, and mounting evidence is proving them right.
Trump is very much like the Wizard of Oz. The Wizard acted as if he had great power, calling himself “Oz the Great and Powerful.” In reality, he was small, weak and cowardly. He used bluster and fear to control people. When Toto pulled the curtain back, the Wizard was exposed as a powerless little man. All his threats were based on a fraud.
This is a perfect metaphor for Trump. The curtain is being pulled back, and people are beginning to see who is behind the curtain – a cowardly, corrupt, incompetent man lashing out in fear. The difference is, the Wizard finally realized he had been wrong. Trump is incapable of such insight, and his treachery is destroying America.
Jeanette Strong, whose column appears every other week, is a Nevada Press Association award-winning columnist. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.