The looming threat of war with Iran

Donald Trump is a man under an awful lot of pressure. From the lingering Mueller / Russia investigation (that categorically failed to state that he hadn't obstructed justice), to any number of examinations into his sordid personal and financial life, through to accurately being called out as a huge racist, Trump is feeling the heat, despite all of his hot air to the contrary. And yet, there's more pressure building on him all the time – in particular the increasingly tense stand-off with Iran in the Persian Gulf.

The looming threat of war with Iran is no doubt creating an enormous amount of cognitive dissonance inside the Trump's head. On the one hand, he is an isolationist. His crude, clumsy “America First" doctrine is built on an insular America that places considerably less emphasis on cooperation with allies and on America’s traditional role as the world's policemen.

That's why he has been so keen to denigrate the likes of NATO, the UN and the established post-war order of international relations and multilateral cooperation. However, and crucially, on the other hand, Trump wants to be seen as a strongman. As we know, Cadet Bone Spurs loves a military parade, rubbing shoulders with the military and continually bragging about American military might (all the while as we know him to be at least a five-fold draft-dodger – but that’s a story for another time.)

And it’s that fundamental dichotomy inside Trump’s head that is so very dangerous. Trump is very much a binary creature with a complete absence of being able to think in the abstract. In stark contrast, the government in Tehran may not be the most agreeable people on the planet, but the Iranians are much more adept geo-political players than Trump will ever be. They keep laying the bait and Trump will inevitably end up taking it.

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