MONDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2020
Disordered man's closing act: Why has commander-in-chief Donald J. Trump fired his Secretary of Defense? Why is he suddenly putting unqualified hacks in place within the Defense Department?
Yesterday, Chris Wallace and Gillian Turner delivered a good post-Halloween scare to Fox News Sunday viewers. Concerning these sudden personnel moves, they discussed what they've been told by Pentagon sources.
Fox produces very few transcripts. (At this point, MSNBC is even worse.) For that reason, we'll have to make a longer story shorter:
Turner had already offered some scary rumblings about what "multiple sources" have told her and Jennifer Griffin about this general topic. She said Trump wants to get all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan before he leaves office, but also that that the recent personnel changes are intended to further a second "very specific policy aim."
Wallace chose to continue. As he spoke, he raised the possibility of a military strike on Iran:
WALLACE (11/15/20): Gillian, let me follow up with you on that. Because one, I talked to a top Pentagon source this week who said they very much doubted we could get our 4500 troops out between now and January 20 and that—raised serious questions about it, saying it would really weaken our ability to negotiate a deal with the Taliban and to protect the Afghan government.
So first of all, what about the merits of pulling out all of our troops from Afghanistan before the end of the Trump presidency? And the second thing is, they talked about the possibility that this was clearing the way for, whether it's the U.S. or Israel, an attack on Iran's nuclear structure.
Say what? Trump may go out with a military attack on Iran's nuclear structure? We thought of all the times we've heard future experts weeping about the conflagration they've been willing to describe only as "Mister Trump's War."
Wallace said that, according to a top Pentagon source, Trump may be clearing the way for a military attack. Could that possibly be true?
Here's what Turner said:
TURNER (continuing directly): So I think both things are correct, Chris.
There are serious questions, as your source told you, about the ability to pull out so many troops, just under five thousand, in a few weeks. But people tell us that, despite this, this is something that President Trump and his core team of advisers is really intent on doing. And they believe that, if there is any iota of getting it done, they now have the people in place who can facilitate it.
Whether this sets up the Biden administration in a good way to prepare them to protect the homeland and national security interests in the Middle East remains to be seen.
On the Iran nuclear issue, the Biden team has basically said, as of now, that they are going to try and rejoin the Iran nuclear deal. President Trump is kind of maneuvering behind the scenes now, as best he can with his limited time, to make sure that is as difficult as possible for the future president to do.
Is the commander hoping to leave the stage with a military attack on Iran? First, Turner seemed to say yes. After that, her answer became less precise.
Is it possible that the commander-in-chief is mentally ill in some serious (and "dangerous") way? The press corps has steadfastly refused to discuss this fairly obvious question.
Will a disordered Samson be willing to pull the temple down around him? Wallace and Turner seemed to say that, according to sources, the answer may be yes.
Crazy people will sometimes do crazy things. A group decision to look away may not be the best approach to such a state of affairs.