3 Minutes to Midnight, and counting…
So, we are all of three weeks into the Trump administration and it is already apparent that for those of us with an interest in international geopolitics, the next four years are going to be a looooong haul. So much so, in fact, that I for one am already feeling exhausted by the effort of trying to keep up the constant barrage of insanity emanating from the White House. As your stalwart chronicler of the farce, I feel a certain obligation to try and add a morsel of levity to the ever increasing sense of doom that we are all feeling at present, but to be perfectly honest, I am finding it difficult to maintain my natural, cheery disposition. Much like young Freder (above) I am finding it harder and harder to keep up with the constant barrage of lightbulbs, and find myself crying out in desperation “Father – Father – will 10 hours never end?” – or words to that effect.
Therefore, instead of taking an in-depth look at any one of the countless calamities our Commander-in-Chief has cast carelessly into the cauldron of our communal consciousness, let us simply list out a few of the more choice diplomatic faux pas he has graced the international community with so far.
And remember, dear reader, this is only week 3…
- Plunged relations with our neighbor Mexico to an all time modern low, to the point that President Peña Nieto simply canceled a scheduled visit. Or did he? President Trump insists that he broke up with Peña Nieto, and not the other way around like you might have heard. Oi vey!
- Seriously offended Australia, one of our closest allies, by picking a fight over the phone about refugee policies, and then hanging up on the Prime Minister. Classy!
- Alienated another significant ally, France, by having an all out shouting match with the Prime Minister over the phone, concerning the need for other countries to “pay us back” for all that money we have wasted by providing the world with a bulwark against the enemies of democracy – i.e NATO.
- While on the subject of enemies of democracy, President Trump rushed to defend the honor of Valdimir Putin – a man who is one step removed from being an actual, real life Bond villain – by suggesting that his reputation as a “killer” was no big deal – after all, we kill folks too, am I right? I always knew that moral equivalency was an underrated concept on the State plane, despite what the Regan administration insisted.
- Speaking of which, the President has also ratcheted up the Nuclear rhetoric, suggesting that a new arms race might be just the ticket, and prompting China to move their ICBMs as close to America as they possibly can. We know they did this because, taking a leaf out of The Donald’s playbook, the pictures were tweeted out over Chinese social media!
- Trump also found the time to complain about how unjust it is that the US is being held to a higher moral standard than ISIS on the subject of torture. After all, if they can behead people and burn them alive, then why can’t we use the old thumb-screws, eh? It’s common sense people! The President understands this because he studied the Medievals, and torture worked out great of them.
- Instigated a (probably unconstitutional) “Travel Ban” on citizens of 7 countries, all of which share a number of common features: they are all majority Muslim states, they all have seriously at risk populations in desperate need of help, and they all lack a Trump brand golf course or hotel – go figure! Of course, any suggestion that this ban has a religious basis to it is scurrilous rumor mongering. Despite the fact that Trump campaigned on this very notion, the current presidential order is in no way a “Muslim Ban” and anyone unkind enough to suggest such a thing is being very unfair.
- Just as an aside, 5 of the 7 countries involved are ones in which we are currently engaged in hostilities, meaning that a variety of local support staff (such as translators and other people who risk their lives on behalf of the US of A) are not only at risk from hostile local forces, but also “persona non grata” with our own, oh so grateful nation. We truly are a “light unto the world. A shining city upon a hill.”
- Escalated the ongoing disaster that is Yemen, with one of the most spectacularly catastrophic Special Forces raids in living memory. On the negative side, the raid cost the lives of one US Navy Seal, 14 “terrorists”, and 3 score civilians, 9 of which were children. On the positive side however, the raid did net some “intelligence”; namely, videos that have been publically available on the web for a decade, so kudos to us on that hot scoop!
- Pushed through the appointment of a life-long oil tycoon as Secretary of State, despite any mild concerns raised about his relationship to both Middle East despots and Eastern European authoritarians alike. No possible conflicts of interests there whatsoever, of course! Also, our Republican dominate legislative branch has quickly attempted to repeal a bill that made bribery illegal in the Oil business – a bill that was strongly opposed by out new Secretary of State in his capacity as a captain of industry when it was enacted under Obama. What a shocker!
- Just to cap things off on a global scale, El Presidente has also threatened to withdraw the US from the Paris Climate Agreement, sparking off outraged disbelief amongst, well, everyone on Earth with a vested interest in not drowning or choking to death. Damned liberal hippies!
Just to be clear, these are not listed in any particular order, as it frankly becomes harder and harder to identify what is most horrifying from one day to the next. I could go on and on with this stuff, but it is exhausting just thinking about it. There is so much more happening that has strong geopolitical implications (gutting Dodd Frank for example) but at some point you just have to take a step back, right?
Given all that has happened over the 21 or so days since the beginning of the end, it is perhaps no surprise that the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists advanced the Doomsday Clock by 30 seconds to 2 and a half minutes to midnight, suggesting that the Presidency of Donald J. Trump might actually be one of the signs of the apocalypse after all. In essence, dear reader, be sure to hold your loved ones close, while there is still time to enjoy the small pleasures in life, and before the barren wasted hellscape of global collapse consumes us all. Or at least, until the midterms come along and we can all go out there and do something constructive to reign this madman in again.
Now, where was my copy of Fallout 4…?