Here we are, life in the fast lane with President Trump at the wheel. It hasn’t been boring. It hasn’t been reassuring, either, as he gets on-the-job training.
We’re owners of four escalated wars as I write this in mid-April. I say this because who knows what will have happened by May 1. Can it continue on at this pace? What’s the next measure of war after perpetual?
Yemen, in late January, was first. The mission was to attack an al-Qaeda compound, but intelligence hadn’t been updated. Killed were one Navy seal and 30 civilians — adults and children. A $75 million military helicopter was destroyed.
Iraq, in late March, was second. Mosul was attacked by U.S. aircraft and caused a civilian apartment building and other buildings to collapse. Killed in the airstrikes were nearly 300 civilians — one of the largest attacks on civilians and said to be a war crime.
Syria, on April 6, was third. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad allegedly used poison gas (possibly sarin) on civilians, killing 70 people. The following day, in response, the U.S. launched 59 Tomahawk missiles — about $100 million worth of weapons — toward a Syrian airfield. Some missiles didn’t hit the airfield and some did little damage. The airfield was back in use the next day. No investigation yet to determine who actually did the chemical attack.
Afghanistan, on April 12, was fourth. The Pentagon used a 22,000-pound Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb on militants thought to be in a network of caves and tunnels. The MOAB was supposedly used to spare troops from fighting in the caves.
The Guardian newspaper reported 36 suspected militants were killed. The cost of the bomb was $314 million.
Much ado was made about this bomb, the “most powerful conventional weapon in the American arsenal.” Nicknamed “Mother of All Bombs,” the explosion equaled that of 11 tons of TNT, with a mile-wide blast radius.
It’s argued that President Trump has no authority to go to war with Syria because the Constitution gives final approval to Congress, our elected representatives.
The president’s ratings were scraping bottom after his series of failures, but after the escalation of the war in Syria, his ratings jumped. However, even with four escalations, the general conclusion is that nothing has changed, except more death and destruction in those countries.
North Korea is still testing missiles and nuclear weapons after being told to stop by the United Nations. North Korea’s testing seems to enrage the president and it sounds like he’s threatening a preemptive war against North Korea. Not to be bullied, North Korea is warning of thermonuclear war. China is acting to stop both.
What could possibly go wrong?
At home, our heads are still spinning, wondering what could possibly happen next in the process to make America’s military great again.
For the time being, we’re sorting out the administration’s fiascoes — Russia hacking the election, the highly unpopular de-funding of Planned Parenthood, the failure (so far) of health care reform, trashing of regulations and departments, and that long list of conflicts of interest.
Life in the fast lane isn’t always the best one to be in.
Mr. Anderson, thank you for reading my opinion columns and for sharing your opinions with us on Obamacare (“Trump has inherited a disaster in Obamacare,” April 10 Kitsap Daily News).
I must admit I’m more interested in your opinion on how Trumpcare could be better.
1) The first Trumpcare bill, unfortunately, had little to do with making health care “better or more affordable.” The bill’s priority was to promptly defund Obamacare, health care for millions of us.
2) The bill forces the elderly, poor and disabled to lose their health care by making it more expensive and unobtainable. Many agree it shows a serious lack of reason or respect.
This is our new government and this is why the bill didn’t pass. The most frightening of all is that it most likely won’t be getting any nicer while they try a new one later on.
Millions of us strongly disapprove of our government’s priorities. Please don’t shoot the messenger.
— Marylin Olds is an opinion writer who lives in Kingston. For comments or questions, reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.