Green Party Condemns Trump’s Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Deal

The Green Party of the United States condemns President Trump’s reckless withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Tuesday afternoon, May 8, 2018, and rejects the President’s baseless statement that “this was a horrible, one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made.”

In spite of the saber-rattling rhetoric, Iran has remained compliant with the deal, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The Green Party notes the one-sided nature of this deal, which punishes Iran while allowing Israel to proliferate nuclear weapons for “self-defense,” a move that increases the possibility for escalated conflict in the Middle East. As stated by Michael J. Koplow of Haaretz Tuesday, “Netanyahu has convinced Trump that leaving the Iran deal protects Israel. But the U.S. walkout means a full on Israel-Iran war in Syria now becomes far more likely. ”


Green Party of the United States
http://www.gp.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 9, 2018

CONTACT
Ann Link, Co-Chair, Media Committee, ann.link@gp.org
Justin McCarthy, Co-Chair, Media Committee, justin.mccarthy@gp.org
Marie Spike, International Committee member, MarieLMHC@gmail.com


According to Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), “Donald Trump has committed what will go down as one of the greatest acts of self-sabotage in American’s modern history.”

“The US has been the clear instigator in reviving a global nuclear arms race and remains the only nation to use nuclear weapons as an act of war. The United States has committed to nuclear weapon modernization program with a price tag of more than a trillion dollars, with the goal of ensuring a clear first-strike global advantage,” noted Tony Ndege, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States.

The Green Party vice presidential nominee in 2016 and noted human rights activist, Ajamu Baraka, stated, “The first item is to call for the agreement to be respected as a framework for further agreements, including a de-nuclearized Middle-East region.” Mr. Baraka went on to point out that the Green Party condemns any moves toward the justification for military conflict, and he continued, “we oppose war, nuclear weapons and militarization, without any hesitation.”

Bahram Zandi, co-chair of the Green Party International Committee sharply pointed out that “the United States never did its share of diplomacy, holding only Iran to the terms of this deal to stabilize the region, while Israel kept its nuclear weapons and threatened, attacked and killed people in neighboring Syria, including Iranian soldiers on the ground.”

The Green Party calls for equilibrium in the Middle East and for all regional stakeholders to be held equally accountable for peace. “The United States should call for a nuclear weapons freeze for all including Israel, in order to level the playing field of the responsibility of keeping the peace,” remarked Dr. Zandi.

Resource links:
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/08/world/middleeast/trump-iran-nuclear-deal.html

https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/focus/iran

https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-donald-trump-is-about-to-put-israel-in-immediate-danger-1.6070248

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Sign Against War In Syria

http://www.gp.org/oppose_military_action_in_syria 

No Military Action in Syria!

Stand with us: Demand an immediate end to ongoing US military intervention in Syria!


Far too often, the victims of US military intervention have been innocent civilians.  Already, over 400,000 have been killed and millions more have been displaced in one of the worst humanitarian crises since World War II.

Since his inauguration, President Trump has ordered raids in Yemen and air assaults on Mosul and a mosque near Aleppo that have killed scores of civilians. These crimes are compounded by his administration’s anti-Muslim immigration proposals and deportations, especially targeting Syrians fleeing their country’s civil war.

Continued US strikes inside Syria will inflict even more civilian casualties and risks further escalation of the war in Syria into a proxy war between the United States and Russia.

We live under a bipartisan system where launching 59 tomahawk missiles is a humanitarian act, but accepting Syrian refugees and others fleeing violence is considered just too dangerous.

The Green Party is calling for the immediate imposition of an arms embargo on all sides and an open door for Syrians feeling the conflict.

We are also demanding an impartial probe of the Idlib gas attacks and emergency negotiations are necessary to stop further bloodshed.

Please sign our petition and tell President Trump and Congress that military solutions won’t bring peace and stability to Syria or any other country.

 

Why 55 U.S. Senators Voted for Genocide in Yemen

Tuesday’s debate and vote in the U.S. Senate on whether to end (technically whether or not to vote on whether to end) U.S. participation in the war on Yemen can certainly be presented as a step forward. While 55 U.S. Senators voted to keep the war rolling along, 44 voted not to table the resolution to end it. Of those 44, some, including “leaders” like Senator Chuck Schumer, said not a word in the debate and only voted the right way once the wrong way had won. And conceivably some could say they were voting in favor of having a vote, upon which they would have voted for more war. But it’s safe to say that at least most of the 44 were voting to end a war — and many of them explicitly said so.

I use the phrase “end a war,” despite the fact that Saudi Arabia could continue its war without U.S. participation — in part, because it’s easier, and in part because experts have suggested that Saudi Arabia could not do anything like what it is doing without the participation of the U.S. military in identifying targets and refueling planes. It is of course also true that were the United States to go beyond what was under consideration on Tuesday and cease providing Saudi Arabia with planes and bombs, and use its influence as an oil customer and general war partner to pressure Saudi Arabia to end the war and lift the blockade, the war might end entirely. And millions of human lives might be spared.

Virginia Senator Tim Kaine has for years been a leading proponent of getting Congress to authorize wars, making clear that he wanted to keep those wars going but with Congressional authorization. This time was different. Kaine pushed publicly for votes to end U.S. participation in the war on Yemen. He and even his colleague from Virginia Mark Warner (!) voted to end the U.S. war. I’m not sure any senator from Virginia had ever done such a thing before. And, in fact, no senator from anywhere had ever voted on a resolution raised under the War Powers Act before, because this was the first time any senator had bothered to try such a thing. Kaine tweeted:

“Millions in Yemen may starve and 10,000-plus are dead because of a war with no end in sight, that the U.S. has stumbled into. Proud to support this proposal to direct the removal of U.S. armed forces.”

“Stumbled into”? Forget it, he’s rolling.

And Kaine was the least of it. To watch Dianne Feinstein argue for ending a war had a very Twilight Zone aspect to it. Look through the list of who voted “Nay” and re-define them in your mind as people who under just the right conditions (possibly including guaranteed failure to reach a majority) will sometimes vote to end a war. I’d call that progress.

But if you watch the debate via C-Span, the top question in your mind might not be “What incredible activism, information, accident, or luck got 44 people to vote the right way?” but rather “Why did 55 cheerful, well-fed, safe people in suits just vote for mass-murder?” Why did they? Why did they take a break for political party meetings in the middle of the debate, and debate other legislation just before and after this resolution, and walk around and chat with each other exactly as if all were normal, while voting for genocide?

The facts of the matter were presented very clearly in the debate by numerous U.S. senators from both parties. They denounced war lies as “lies.” They pointed out the horrendous damage, the deaths, the injuries, the starvation, the cholera. They cited Saudi Arabia’s explicit and intentional use of starvation as a weapon. They noted the blockade against humanitarian aid imposed by Saudi Arabia. They endlessly discussed the biggest cholera epidemic ever known. Here’s a tweet from Senator Chris Murphy:

“Gut check moment for the Senate today: we will vote on whether to continue the U.S./Saudi bombing campaign in Yemen which has killed over 10,000 civilians and created the largest cholera outbreak in history.”

Senator Jeff Merkley asked if partnering with a government trying to starve millions of people to death squared with the principles of the United States of America. I tweeted a response: “Should I tell him or wait and let his colleagues do it?” In the end, 55 of his colleagues answered his question as well as any history book could have done.

The ridiculousness of arguments for continuing the war was called out by senators on the floor. Senator Mitch McConnell and others made the claim made to them by Secretary of War (“Defense”) James Mattis, that ending U.S. participation in bombing civilians in Yemen would mean more civilian deaths in Yemen, not fewer. Others trotted out the claim made by Trump’s lawyers, parroting Obama’s lawyer Harold Koh, that bombing a nation flat is neither “war” nor “hostilities” if U.S. troops are not on the ground being shot.

Senator Bernie Sanders put a stop to such nonsense. He recommended trying telling the people of Yemen being bombed with U.S. bombs and U.S. targeting and U.S.-fueled planes that the United States is not really involved.

The idea that the full Senate should leave to a committee a matter the committee had not bother to touch in years was also appropriately laughed out of court.

Senator Mike Lee reassured his colleagues that ending the U.S. war on Yemen on grounds of illegality wouldn’t slow or halt any other illegal US wars. (I’m sure you’re relieved to hear that!)

To their credit, Senators Murphy and Lee and Sanders were very clear that a vote to table, rather than directly vote on, their resolution to end the war, would be a cowardly vote not to have a debate and not to obey the U.S. Constitution. And to their greater credit, they went ahead and had the substantive debate prior to the vote to table. In the past on at least one occasion of the many times that we’ve seen such resolutions brought forward in the House, the war-proponents talked substance while the opponents talked only procedure. This change, too, was progress.

So, why? Why did the Senate vote for genocide? And why is nobody surprised by it?

Well, the arguments made by the Senators on the right side of the debate certainly left something to be desired. Sanders spoke of the dead in the wars on Vietnam and Iraq, and they were all Americans. He said the war on Vietnam almost destroyed an entire generation of Americans. This was a war that killed 6 million people in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, plus 50,000 from the United States. How can people come to think about one-sided slaughters if we pretend they don’t really exist?

Senator Tom Udall said that from WWII until the presidency of Donald Trump the United States was a noble, law-abiding, altruistic leader of spreading democracy, although not quite perfectly. In so saying, Udall bestows on Trump a sort of magical power, as well as rewriting U.S. history. The U.S. public was allowed no vote on Tuesday. Neither was Trump.

The resolution itself was limited, marred by loopholes, and not truly whipped for by many of those who voted against tabling it. Perhaps a stronger resolution would have failed even more badly. Or perhaps a more coherent case against war would have been more persuasive. I do not know. But the notion that you should arm and assist the Saudi dictatorship in bombing people when it’s called anti-ISIS and not when it’s called anti-Houthi seems a trickier case to make than the one that you should stop arming and assisting in the slaughter of human beings, generating more enemies, impoverishing the public, draining funds from human needs, damaging the environment, eroding the rule of law, imperializing the presidency, militarizing your culture and schools and police, and aligning your government with a brutal monarchy.

Perhaps that’s a case that has to be made to the public first and then to the senators, but many senators made clear how they were thinking. Lee was not off in trying to reassure them about the setting of precedents. One of them openly worried that if refueling bombers that were blowing up people’s homes in one country was counted as “hostilities,” then refueling bombers that were blowing up people’s homes in any country could be counted as “hostilities.” And then what kind of a world would we have?!

So, a vote against one war is never just a vote against one war. It’s a vote to challenge, if ever so slightly, the power of the war machine. These Senators are paid not to do that.

Here is a list of Senators and their 2018 bribes (excuse me, campaign contributions) from dealers of death (excuse me, defense companies). I’ve indicated how they voted on tabling Tuesday’s resolution with a Y or N. A pro-war vote is a Y:

Nelson, Bill (D-FL)     $184,675                               Y

Strange, Luther (R-AL)         $140,450                   not in senate

Kaine, Tim (D-VA)     $129,109                               N

McSally, Martha (R-AZ)       $125,245                   not in senate

Heinrich, Martin (D-NM)     $109,731                   N

Wicker, Roger (R-MS)           $109,625                   Y

Graham, Lindsey (R-SC)       $89,900                     Y

Donnelly, Joe (D-IN) $89,156                                 Y

King, Angus (I-ME)   $86,100                                 N

Fischer, Deb (R-NE) $74,850                                 Y

Hatch, Orrin G (R-UT)           $74,375                     Y

McCaskill, Claire (D-MO)     $65,518                     N

Cardin, Ben (D-MD) $61,905                                 N

Manchin, Joe (D-WV)           $61,050                                 Y

Cruz, Ted (R-TX)       $55,315                                 Y

Jones, Doug (D-AL)   $55,151                                 Y

Tester, Jon (D-MT)   $53,438                                 N

Hirono, Mazie K (D-HI)         $47,100                     N

Cramer, Kevin (R-ND)         $46,000                     not in Senate

Murphy, Christopher S (D-CT)       $44,596         N

Sinema, Kyrsten (D-AZ)       $44,140                     not in Senate

Shaheen, Jeanne (D-NH)     $41,013                     N

Cantwell, Maria (D-WA)       $40,010                     N

Reed, Jack (D-RI)       $37,277                                 Y

Inhofe, James M (R-OK)       $36,500                     Y

Stabenow, Debbie (D-MI)   $36,140                     N

Gillibrand, Kirsten (D-NY)   $33,210                     N

Rubio, Marco (R-FL) $32,700                                 Y

McConnell, Mitch (R-KY)     $31,500                     Y

Flake, Jeff (R-AZ)       $29,570                                 Y

Perdue, David (R-GA)           $29,300                     Y

Heitkamp, Heidi (D-ND)       $28,124                     Y

Barrasso, John A (R-WY)     $27,500                     Y

Corker, Bob (R-TN)   $27,125                                 Y

Warner, Mark (D-VA)           $26,178                     N

Sullivan, Dan (R-AK) $26,000                                 Y

Heller, Dean (R-NV) $25,200                                 Y

Schatz, Brian (D-HI) $23,865                                 N

Blackburn, Marsha (R-TN)   $22,906                     not in Senate

Brown, Sherrod (D-OH)       $21,373                     N

Cochran, Thad (R-MS)         $21,050                     Y

Baldwin, Tammy (D-WI)     $20,580                     N

Casey, Bob (D-PA)     $19,247                                 N

Peters, Gary (D-MI) $19,000                                 N

Feinstein, Dianne (D-CA)     $18,350                     N

Moore, Roy (R-AL)     $18,250                                 not in Senate

Jenkins, Evan (R-WV)           $17,500                     not in Senate

Tillis, Thom (R-NC)   $17,000                                 Y

Blunt, Roy (R-MO)     $16,500                                 Y

Moran, Jerry (R-KS) $14,500                                 N

Collins, Susan M (R-ME)       $14,000                     N

Hoeven, John (R-ND)           $13,000                                 Y

Durbin, Dick (D-IL)   $12,786                                 N

Whitehouse, Sheldon (D-RI)           $12,721                     Y

Messer, Luke (R-IN) $12,000                                 not in Senate

Cornyn, John (R-TX) $11,000                                 Y

Cotton, Tom (R-AR)   $11,000                                 Y

Murkowski, Lisa (R-AK)       $11,000                     Y

O’Rourke, Beto (D-TX)         $10,564                     not in Senate

Rounds, Mike (R-SD)           $10,000                                 Y

Warren, Elizabeth (D-MA)   $9,766                                   N

Rosen, Jacky (D-NV) $9,655                                               not in Senate

Sasse, Ben (R-NE)     $9,350                                               Y

Portman, Rob (R-OH)           $8,500                                   Y

Nicholson, Kevin (R-WI)       $8,350                                   not in Senate

Rosendale, Matt (R-MT)       $8,100                                   not in Senate

Menendez, Robert (D-NJ)   $8,005                                   Y

Boozman, John (R-AR)         $8,000                                   Y

Toomey, Pat (R-PA) $7,550                                               Y

Carper, Tom (D-DE) $7,500                                               N

Crapo, Mike (R-ID)   $7,000                                               Y

Daines, Steven (R-MT)         $6,500                                   N

Ernst, Joni (R-IA)       $6,500                                               Y

Kennedy, John (R-LA)         $6,000                                   Y

Sanders, Bernie (I-VT)         $5,989                                   N

Scott, Tim (R-SC)       $5,500                                               Y

Ward, Kelli (R-AZ)     $5,125                                               not in Senate

Enzi, Mike (R-WY)     $5,000                                               Y

Fincher, Steve (R-TN)           $5,000                                   not in Senate

Isakson, Johnny (R-GA)       $5,000                                   Y

Lankford, James (R-OK)       $5,000                                   Y

Shelby, Richard C (R-AL)     $5,000                                   Y

Duckworth, Tammy (D-IL)   $4,535                                   N

Burr, Richard (R-NC)           $4,000                                               Y

Capito, Shelley Moore (R-WV)         $4,000                       Y

Gardner, Cory (R-CO)           $4,000                                   Y

Mandel, Josh (R-OH) $3,550                                               not in Senate

Hassan, Maggie (D-NH)       $3,217                                   N

Hartson, Alison (D-CA)         $3,029                                   not in Senate

Brakey, Eric (R-ME) $3,000                                               not in Senate

Diehl, Geoff (R-MA)   $3,000                                               not in Senate

Downing, Troy (R-MT)         $2,700                                   not in Senate

Klobuchar, Amy (D-MN)     $2,498                                   N

Blumenthal, Richard (D-CT)           $2,090                                   N

Coons, Chris (D-DE) $2,027                                               Y

Leahy, Patrick (D-VT)           $2,002                                   N

Alexander, Lamar (R-TN)     $2,000                                   Y

Bennet, Michael F (D-CO)   $2,000                                   N

Johnson, Ron (R-WI) $2,000                                               Y

Renacci, Jim (R-OH) $2,000                                               not in Senate

Rokita, Todd (R-IN)   $1,500                                               not in Senate

Masto, Catherine Cortez (D-NV)     $1,435                       not in Senate

Booker, Cory (D-NJ) $1,380                                               N

Harris, Kamala D (D-CA)     $1,313                                   N

Van Hollen, Chris (D-MD)   $1,036                                   N

Thune, John (R-SD) $1,035                                               Y

Lee, Mike (R-UT)       $1,000                                               N

Morrisey, Patrick (R-WV)     $1,000                                   not in Senate

Petersen, Austin (R-MO)     $1,000                                   not in Senate

Stewart, Corey (R-VA)         $1,000                                   not in Senate

Young, Bob (R-MI)   $1,000                                               not in Senate

Young, Todd (R-IN) $1,000                                               Y

Udall, Tom (D-NM)   $707                                       N

Lindstrom, Beth (R-MA)       $700                           not in Senate

Murray, Patty (D-WA)         $635                           N

Mackler, James (D-TN)         $625                           not in Senate

Merkley, Jeff (D-OR) $555                                       N

Barletta, Lou (R-PA) $500                                       not in Senate

Monetti, Tony (R-MO)         $500                           not in Senate

Olszewski, Al (R-MT) $500                                       not in Senate

Paul, Rand (R-KY)     $500                                       N

Faddis, Sam (R-MD) $350                                       not in Senate

Paula Jean Swearengin (D-WV)     $263               not in Senate

Vukmir, Leah (R-WI)           $250                                       not in Senate

Wilson, Jenny (D-UT)           $250                           not in Senate

Ross, Deborah (D-NC)         $205                           not in Senate

Hildebrand, David (D-CA)   $100                           not in Senate

Wyden, Ron (D-OR) $75                                         N

Singer, James (D-UT)           $50                                         not in Senate

Schumer, Charles E (D-NY) $16                             N

Sbaih, Jesse (D-NV)   $5                                           not in Senate

Roberts, Pat (R-KS)   $-1,000                                   Y

Franken, Al (D-MN) $-1,064                                   not in Senate

Kander, Jason (D-MO)         $-1,598                       not in Senate

Edwards, Donna (D-MD)     $-2,700                       not in Senate

Obviously one must look at numerous votes and other actions, and at bribes from previous years, and at the relative cost of running in each state, etc., but we do see here 51 of the 55 yes votes receiving weapons profits, and most of them near the top or middle of this list. And we see 42 of 44 no votes receiving weapons profits, and most of them near the middle or bottom of this list. Of the top 70 recipients, 43 voted yes. Of the bottom 20 recipients, 14 voted no.

A bigger factor would seem to be political party, since 45 of the 55 yes votes were Republican (plus 10 Democrats), and 37 of the 44 no votes were Democratic (plus 2 Independents and 5 Republicans). But this can hardly be separated from funding, as the amounts above are dwarfed by the money brought in and distributed to candidates by parties, with the “defense” profiteers giving the Republican party $1.2 million, and the Democratic Party $0.82 million. One can be very confident that neither party’s “leadership” privately asked its members to vote to end the war on Yemen. Publicly, the Republican party leadership urged a vote for continued genocide. If we look at party and money combined, we see that all of the Republicans who voted no are pretty low in the list, while the relevance of bribes is less clear with Democrats who voted yes. But a no vote as part of a majority — had such a thing happened — would have been unlikely to have pleased either party.

Then there’s the media problem. The Democratic Party-promoting MSNBC was silent, while NPR told its listeners that poor innocent Saudi Arabia was surrounded and under attack by the demonic Iran. The New York Timeseditorial board did better than its reporters. But if any coverage of the U.S. role in Yemen had made it onto television, then I would be able to find people when I travel around the United States who are aware that there is a war in Yemen. As it is, I can find few who can name any current U.S. wars. If Senator Sanders had opposed this war when he was running for president, instead of urging Saudi Arabia to spend more and get its blood-soaked hands dirty, progressives would have heard that — and I would have backed Sanders for president.

Or what if Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, ACLU and other groups claiming to support human rights had helped oppose the war on Yemen? Or what if pundits stopped referring to such groups as human rights groups and called them, instead, Pro-U.S.-War/Human Rights groups? Would that have made a difference?

What about the rest of us? I work for two groups that tried: RootsAction.org and World Beyond War. So did many others. Many formed big coalitions to try to have a bigger impact. Could we have done more? Of course. What about people who didn’t sign anything, go to anything, phone or email any Senators? It’s hard to say that any of us have clean hands.

I happened to read a column on Wednesday that proposed that everyone cease honoring any former U.S. president who owned people as slaves. I’m all for it. But the same column proposed as a noble and honorable factor being a decorated and “successful” (German) soldier. This gives me pause in denouncing slave-owners as “monsters.” Of course slavery is monstrous and those who do it are responsible for it. Their statues should all come down and be replaced by worthy ones, including ones of slavery-abolitionists and civil-rights activists, ideally memorials for movements rather than individuals.

But what if we come someday to understand that war is monstrous? Then what should we make of war supporters, including columnists? And what am I to make of things I myself thought a decade or three ago and now no longer think? Isn’t there something a shade monstrous about praising war on the anniversary of the 2003 attack on Iraq and at the same moment that the U.S. Senate is voting to kill the (non-“white”) people of Yemen? And yet, isn’t such behavior found in a column opposing racism, written by an anti-racism activist the work of something other than a monster? Perhaps senators aren’t monsters either. Perhaps we can bring them around yet. We have to try.

The Even More Dangerous Case of Donald Trump

By David Swanson
http://davidswanson.org/the-even-more-dangerous-case-of-donald-trump/

Twenty-Seven psychiatrists and mental health experts have produced a book called The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, which I think, despite stating that the fate of the world is in the hands of an evil madman, understates the danger.

The case that these authors make is one that I believe would strike most readers not loyal to Trump as common sense. The evidence that they compile, and with which we’re mostly already familiar, strongly supports their diagnosis of Trump as hedonistic, narcissistic, bullying, dehumanizing, lying, misogynistic, paranoid, racist, self-aggrandizing, entitled, exploiting, empathy-impaired, unable to trust, free of guilt, manipulative, delusional, likely senile, and overtly sadistic. They also describe the tendency of some of these traits to grow ever worse through reinforcing cycles that seem to be underway. People, they suggest, who grow addicted to feeling special, and who indulge in paranoia can create circumstances for themselves that cause them to increase these tendencies.

As the Justice Department closes in on Trump, writes Gail Sheehy, “Trump’s survival instincts will propel him to a wag-the-dog war.” Of course, this builds in the assumptions that Trump stole the election and that we will all remain dogs, that we will start approving of Trump if he starts bombing more people. Certainly this has been the U.S. corporate media’s approach thus far. But need it be ours? The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists disapproves and has moved the doomsday clock closer to zero. The Council on Foreign Relations has begun listing the United States as a top threat to the United States. A Congressional committee has held a hearing on the danger of a Trumpian nuclear war (even while feigning impotence to do anything about it). It’s not beyond the realm of imagination that the U.S. public could refuse to cheer for more mass murder.

In this regard, certainly most past presidents have been more successful, not less, than Trump at what Robert J. Lifton calls the normalization of evil. He gives as an example the creation of the acceptance of torture. And certainly we’ve moved from Bush Jr. secretly torturing to Obama refusing to prosecute to Trump publicly supporting torture. But many still deem torture unacceptable. Hence this book’s assumption that the reader will agree that torture is evil. But murder by bomb or drone missile has been so normalized, including by Barack “I’m really good at killing people” Obama, that it’s passed over by this book as simply normal. Lifton does refer to the normalization of a nuclear threat during the (previous) Cold War, but seems to believe that phenomenon to be a problem of the past rather than one so successfully normalized that people don’t see it anymore.

Most of the symptoms found in Trump have existed in various degrees and combinations in past presidents and in past and current Congress members. But some of the symptoms seem to serve only as icing. That is, alone they are deemed unobjectionable, but in combination with others they point to severe sociopathy. Obama switched positions, lied, schemed, falsely marketed wars, reveled in the commission of murder, joked about using drone missiles on his daughter’s boyfriends, etc. But he spoke well, used a better vocabulary, avoided blatant racism, sexism, and personal bullying, didn’t seem to worship himself, didn’t brag about sexual assault, and so on.

My point, I very much wish it were needless to say, is not the equivalence of any president with another, but the normalization of illnesses in society as much as in individuals. This book goes after Trump for falsely claiming that Obama was spying on him. Yet the unconstitutional blanket surveillance of the NSA effectively means that Obama was indeed spying on everyone, including Trump. Sure, Trump was lying. Sure, Trump was paranoid. But if we avoid the larger reality, we’re lying too.

The symptoms from which Trump suffers may be taken as a guide to action by his followers, but they have long been understood to be an outline of the techniques of war propaganda. Dehumanization may be something Trump suffers from, but it’s also a necessary skill in persuading people to participate in war. Trump was given the presidential nomination by media outlets that asked primary candidates questions that included “Would you be willing to kill hundreds and thousands of innocent children?” Had a candidate said no, he or she would have been disqualified. The authors fault Trump for his joining the long list of presidents who have threatened to use nukes, but when Jeremy Corbyn said he wouldn’t use nukes, all hell broke loose in the UK, and his mental state was called into question there. Alzheimer’s may be a disease afflicting Trump, but when Bernie Sanders mentioned important bits of history like a coup in Iran in ’53, the television networks found something else to cover.

Is it possible that refusing to confront reality has been normalized so deeply that the authors join in it, or are required to by their agent or editor? Academic studies say the U.S. government is an oligarchy. These doctors say they want to defend the U.S. “democracy” from Trump. This book identifies Vladimir Putin as being essentially the same as Adolf Hitler, based on zero offered evidence, and treats Trump denials of colluding with Russia to steal an election as signs of dishonesty or delusion. But how do we explain most members of the Democratic Party believing in Russiagate without proof? How do we explain Iran being voted the biggest threat to peace in the world by Americans, while people in most countries, according to Gallup and Pew, give that honor to the United States? What are we to make of the vast majority of Americans claiming to “believe in” “God” and denying the existence of death? Isn’t climate denial child’s play beside that one, if we set aside the factor of normalization?

If a corporation or an empire or an athlete or a Hollywood action film were a person, it might be Donald Trump. But we all live in the world of corporations, empire, etc. We also apparently live in a world in which numerous men enjoy abusing women. That all these sexual harassers in the news, some of whom I am guessing are innocent but most of whom appear guilty, have convinced themselves that women don’t really mind the abuse can, I think, be only a small part of the explanation. The large part seems quite clearly to be that we live in a country of sadists. And shouldn’t they get a chance to elect someone who represents their point of view? Trump has been a public figure for decades, and most of his symptoms are nothing new, but he’s been protected and even rewarded throughout. Trump incites violence on Twitter, but Twitter will not disable Trump’s account. Congress is staring numerous documented impeachable offenses in the face, but chooses to look into only the one that lacks evidence but fuels war. The media, as noted, while remarkably improving on its enabling deference, still seems to give Trump the love he craves only when he brags about bombing people.

The U.S. Constitution is and has always been deeply flawed in many ways, but it did not intend to give any individual beyond-royal powers over the earth. I’ve always viewed the obsession with the emperor that this article I’m now writing feeds as part of the problem of transferring power to him. But the authors of The Dangerous Case are right that we have no choice but to focus on him now. All we’d need would be a Cuban Missile Crisis and our fate would be sealed. The Emperor Formerly Known As Executive should be given the powers of the British queen, not be replaced by an acceptable Democratic emperor. The first step should be using the Constitution.

Similar analyses of George W. Bush’s mental health, not to mention a laundry list of abuses and crimes, never resulted in any action against him. And despite this new book’s claim to defend “democracy” it does not use the word “impeachment.” Instead, it turns to the 25th Amendment which allows the president’s own subordinates to ask Congress to remove him from office. Perhaps because the likelihood of that happening is so extreme, and because further stalling and protecting of Trump is naturally a means of appearing “reasonable,” the authors propose a study be done (even though they’ve just written a book) and that it be done by Congress. But if Congress were to take up this matter, it could impeach Trump and remove him without asking permission of his cabinet or doing any investigations. In fact, it could impeach him for any of a number of the behaviors that are studied in this book.

The authors note that Trump has encouraged imitation of his outrages. We’ve seen that here in Charlottesville. They note that he’s also created the Trump Anxiety Disorder in those he frightens. I’m 100% on board with treating fear as a symptom to be cured.