Maribel Hastings and David Torres
Someone who evaded military service in Vietnam, saying that he suffers from bone spurs —Donald Trump— is now beating the drums of war against Iran. Not even a conscientious objector, but simply bone spurs were used as his excuse to hide the notorious cowardice of his youth. This is the same individual who mandated the deportation of an undocumented mother of a Hispanic soldier, despite being a small business owner who lived and paid taxes in this country for 31 years.
This Hispanic mother, Rocío Rebollar Gómez, whose parents did not give her “millions of dollars” in order to make a living through shady businesses, but is a woman who understood from the beginning the significance of sacrifice and contribution to this nation in diverse ways, is now suffering a deportation and the anguish of knowing that her son could be among those sent into a useless war. Something that Trump does not understand, much less care about.
That is, the draft dodger deports the mother of a Hispanic soldier on active duty, Second Lt. Gibram Cruz, who has demonstrated more valor and love for this country than a president who, to distract attention from the impeachment process he is facing, orders the death of a high-level Iranian military official, the major general of the Revolutionary Guard, Qasem Soleimani.
The “imminence” of the threat that Soleimani represented is not clear, and neither is why, after eliminating the military official, Trump has to take to Twitter to threaten Iran with the destruction of 52 targets if it attempts to retaliate against the United States.
That is, the squirrelly one challenges, attacks, offends, and kills, and on top of that puts absurd conditions on his victims so that they don’t mess with him. But due to his irresponsible, unilateral decision —without any notion of geopolitics, nor how conflicts of war function in the short, medium, and long terms— today we are facing serious consequences for this country’s national security and that of Middle Eastern nations.
In fact, the possibility of involving the United States in another invented war reminds one of Iraq, when they invaded looking for weapons of mass destruction which did not exist, but turned this ancient culture into a permanent conflict zone, where the sale of arms has become the most infamous of businesses and where new generations of people do not see, nor will ever see, clearly after decades of devastating influence of our nation.
The irony is that now Trump argues that the decision was based on “intelligence” reports, the very same intelligence that he himself has demoralized, insulted, and minimized when its members reported on Russian intervention in the 2016 presidential elections, when he himself benefited from said intervention. But his silly game is convincing to those around him, regardless of how obvious his latest scheme against Iran is, offering no proof to justify the attack on an “enemy” who had not been recently in the news.
And Trump argues “national security” when it has mattered very little to him that Russia has intruded in our electoral process. Rather, he defends Russia and Vladimir Putin, and both him and his acolytes disseminate false information like the idea that it was Ukraine who intervened in our elections.
When the drums of war sound, the skin bristles not with fear, but with anger, at how politicians make decisions based on the sacrifice of others’ lives, sitting in their comfortable seats, with their income guaranteed, easy money for pushing this or that bill that does not respond to social needs, but to the particular interests of multinational corporations or “the gods of war.” It’s true that soldiers follow orders, but obviously they will not be the children or relatives of Trump who are sent into the theater of war. They should be the first.
It will be without a doubt the children and grandchildren of that sector that defends him blindly and that, for being so blind, will find it an “honor” to follow the orders of someone who may be the most inept Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces in this nation’s history. He has demonstrated it in spades and it will be hard for someone to beat him given these examples of his ineptitude.
And, lamentably, among those who serve will also be the Hispanics that Trump has attacked so much during this devious presidency.
Hispanics like Gibram Cruz, whose deported mother would have liked time to stop so that this could not happen, while she’s also thinking about what to do to face her new situation in a city like Tijuana, where no one knows or has any idea how to begin their life and their sad present again.
It’s true that soldiers follow the orders of their Commander in Chief. But it’s hard to justify this when this Commander in Chief is an erratic being who doesn’t even love his country, because every decision, including his military ones, are made according to what is best for him and not for the country. Especially if it’s about distracting attention from his impeachment trial.
And in that dramatic way begins this electoral year, a year that will define who we are as a nation, especially if Trump is re-elected and this chaos continues.
To read the Spanish version of this article, click here.