If one person, with one tweet, can sum up the dangerous, even deadly problems that President Trump’s unilateral withdrawal of the U.S. today from the international agreement with Iran on nuclear weapons may cause, it is retired Major General Paul Eaton.
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Today, Eaton took to Twitter to speak for John Kerry, the former Secretary of State under President Obama, who has been on the receiving end of a considerable amount of criticism lately from President Trump.
John Kerry can’t get over the fact that he had his chance and blew it! Stay away from negotiations John, you are hurting your country!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 8, 2018
As much as Trump is obsessed with undoing President Obama’s legacy, he seems nearly as crazed about Kerry, who served with distinction in the Congress and launched an unsuccessful presidential bid before being tapped to run the State Department after Secretary Clinton’s departure.
Eaton, since retiring from the military in 2006, has worked for Secretary Clinton, spoken out on cable TV news frequently, and now works at a progressive think tank, the National Security Network.
His background gives Eaton a special gravitas to comment about what Trump is doing and to speak out for Kerry.
A highly decorated Army veteran who served during the early days of the Iraq war, Eaton is a graduate of West Point, the son of an Air Force pilot lost during the Vietnam War, the husband of a former Army Major and daughter of a Marine, and now father to a son, also a West Point graduate, who is currently an officer in the Army infantry.
Mr. President my father took your place in Vietnam and was killed in action. By throwing out the #Irandeal my sons still serving will take your children’s place in the war you’re starting. @JohnKerry knows war, and you don’t. That’s why as a retired Major General I’m with him. https://t.co/5pZuIRiLof
— Major General (ret) Paul Eaton (@PaulDEaton52) May 8, 2018
It is hard to tell just how much of what Trump did – or un-did – today concerning Iran is just his way of trying to further bury the Obama-Kerry legacy, but he had been joined in his criticism by a chorus of conservative crows who see Kerry as a kind of secret agent of the alleged-Deep State that they have turned into a political boogeyman.
Chris Hayes, the host of “All In with Chris Hayes” on MSNBC, is one of those who has a perspective on the excessive, irrational attacks on Obama and Kerry.
An unnerving amount of conservative commentary I’ve seen on the Iran deal is laser-focused on how ripping up the deal really sticks it to John Kerry and assorted Obama staffers. #priorities
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) May 8, 2018
The attacks have not silenced Kerry, who was always a statesman who knew how to act under pressure. Here is his response to what Trump did today:
My thoughts on President Trump’s Iran statement: pic.twitter.com/E5A12PKnnx
— John Kerry (@JohnKerry) May 8, 2018
Here is the part that stands out about Kerry’s thoughts as the words of a sane man in an insane world:
“He has literally taken a situation where there was no crisis and created crisis… what the president has done is unilaterally broken a multilateral agreement that was working to prevent Iran from having a nuclear weapon.”
Trump loves to cook up a crisis whether it is inflating the dangers of immigration to pass draconian laws to clamp down on immigrants or sending troops to the southern border when the number of alien entries is at an all-time low to push financing for the border wall we don’t need.
Now he is doing the same thing with Iran, with the result a great danger to America of starting another unnecessary Middle Eastern war and at the very least driving a wedge between the U.S. and its North Atlantic Alliance allies like France, Germany, and the U.K.
Trump is a danger every day he is in office to world peace, American progress, and sanity, and it is heroes like General Eaton and Secretary Kerry who stand up and call him out on his inflammatory “fake news” agenda.
They are like the lighthouses of American democracy as the light flickers and fades and it is incumbent on all of us to pay attention – while there is still time to save the system that in fact really has made America great.