To our British friends, we send our deepest sympathies on the recent attack in London – but we also send our admiration of your choice to carry on with life and normal activities after such a horrific and senseless event. It stands as a testament to your resolve, strength, solidarity and belief in one another. We could use a little more of that over here on this side of the pond.
We also send our admiration to your Mayor Sadiq Khan for his calm leadership in the deepest moments of the crisis and for his crystal-clear responses to Trump’s heartless tweets. Perhaps Trump just has a problem with the name “Khan,” remembering the Gold Star family Khizr and Ghazala Kahn, parents of the late Humayun Khan, who lost his life in defense of the United States to a suicide bomber in Baqubah, Iraq in 2004. Trump went out of his way to insult them, too, as he did with Mayor Khan.
Trump said in the wake of the attack on London that we should all be “smart, vigilant and tough.” I find those to be brave words coming from someone who is none of those things. A speech writer or press person’s contribution – no doubt.
I think Al Gore’s response on CNN really said it best – “I don’t think a terrorist attack like this is the time to be divisive and criticize a mayor who’s trying to organize his city’s response to the attack. The terrorists want us to live in a state of constant fear.” I would urge you to re-read that last sentence again. It seems like Trump wants us to live in a constant state of turmoil – a word not far from “fear.” I’ll leave that thought to stand on its own for now.
As you may know, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have collectively elected to break off relations with Qatar whom they accuse of funding terrorism in the region. This break in relations is a highly political and diplomatic effort to convey their sentiments on the subject. Just as Kuwait was attempting to step in and mediate the issue for both sides, Trump tweets, “So good to see the Saudi Arabia visit with the King and 50 countries already paying off.” There he goes again, pushing himself in front of another diplomat (in this case, a King) to be in the center of the picture – just like he unashamedly did on his recent trip to the Middle East.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch – or I should say Washington – our government was in the midst of preparing a balanced, tasteful and well-thought-out strategic response to this development in the Middle East when Trump’s tweet hit the press. When are they going to get it that this is a man who would do his own in, if it served him? What you do have instead is an unbriefed leader of the free world fanning the smoldering embers in a region that is deeply and passionately divided in their thoughts, ideologies and religions.
And, finally, the inevitable question has been raised: If Qatar indeed is supporting these acts of terrorism around the world, then why does the US have one of its largest overseas bases, Al Udeid Air Base, in Qatar?” Um, can you say for having a presence — a stabilizing influence — in the region? Oh, what? Did we just insult our host nation?
Which begs my final thought: Can someone please brief the President before his little fingers push the little buttons on his little phone again, leaving a wake of diplomatic debris behind him?
And a special note to all those Trump Fans out there in case you think this is another “overly-critical” analysis of the President’s actions, bear in mind, it is he who chooses to pick up the phone to use the much-criticized media to spread his tweets around the world. Believe me, we are far from encouraging him to do so.
Coming Up Next: A Thursday With James Comey / The Russia Connection