I wholeheartedly and enthusiastically agree when American friends explain to me that Trump is less toxic than Obama because he does not share Obama's strange passion for terminating unborn black babies. But there are, sadly, similarities between the two presidencies.
One of these is that each of the two presidents is happy about ordering the assassinations of Foreign Nuisances. Another similarity is their willingness to have these extra-judicial killings done outside the countries concerned and outside America. Thus, Obama sanctioned Bin Laden's killing in Pakistan; Trump has just had the killing of an Iranian done in Iraq. In any normal system of international relationships, such actions would be universally regarded as the grossest conceivable infringement of national sovereignty, and tantamount to a formal declaration of war. Yet, when Iraq protests, he threatens them with economic sanctions!
According to the unChristian, disgusting, and totally deplorable rules of Tit For Tat, the Iranians are of course now fully entitled to kill a senior American general.
I hope that, instead of doing this in some third country, such as my own, they will at least confine their blood-letting to the soil of America itself. After all, we already have to cope with some branch of the Russky government service dropping highly dangerous poisons around our Sceptred Isle. We can do without being promoted into a killing-field for an Iranian-American spat. I make this point because Trump has threatened to rachet up his response 52-fold if Iran lays a finger on anything or anybody American ... but I haven't heard that his threats extend also to Iranian attacks on America's 'allies', which we were once considered to be. If I were Johnson, I would haul all British service personel back home immediately. Trump's 'foreign policy' IMHO is not worth one single British life ... or limb.
And there is the fact that Trump did not even condescend to inform his so-called allies before taking this action. Despite us having, I believe, a couple of thousand troops in the Middle East, thinly spread and hence extremely vulnerable. I suppose we should have taken more careful note of his handing-over his 'allied' Kurds to the untender mercies of Erdogan. Trump is a man for whom "America First" means stabbing anybody else he pleases in the back without more than a moment's thought or a day's warning. American 'guarantees' are now worth ... what?
I thought that one of the most important parts of the Magisterium of S John Paul II was his ethical teaching about the evil of "Cycles, spirals, of Violence" (titfortattery). I vaguely recall that some 'conservative' ['neo-con'?] writer called something like Weigel in an otherwise hagiographical biography expressed doubts about this element in the teaching of the Wojtila pontificate. It seems to me that it is an element which has gained increased force in the passing years, not least because of the willingness of North American regimes (often disgracefully followed by cretinously supine British administrations) to pump up the Cycle of Violence.
I had rather thought that Trump came to power laudably determined to roll back this inherited policy of murderous retaliatory adventurism. At last, I thought, an American president who has heard the prophetic messages of the popes since Benedict XV, especially that of Pope S John Paul II.
I am sorry ... genuinely saddened ... that he has changed his mind. And I am sorry that he has sabotaged the European efforts to persuade Iran not to develop nuclear weapons. In view of the substantial Israeli holding of nuclear warheads and missiles, one can hardly realistically expect other powers in that area to show restraint unless they are given convincing and attractive grounds for doing so.
Would it be cynical to suggest that, in an election year, Trump feels he needs to be sure of the pro-Israeli vote?