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  • Donald Trump has been   shifting explanations for his attack on  Iranian General. (Photo: ScreenCap)

    Donald Trump has been
    shifting explanations for his attack on Iranian General. (Photo: ScreenCap)

    Donald Trump appears to have impetuously ordered a lethal attack on Iran’s military leader in Iraq. He’s twice changed the reason justifying the killing, but has yet to quell worldwide outrage.

    The Pentagon said today (Jan. 3) Trump ordered the early morning strike “to protect U.S. personnel abroad.”

    Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper said the Pentagon had taken “decisive defensive action.”

    Trump Accuses Obama

    Iranian General Qassem Soleimani was “actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region,” the administration asserted.

    But within hours, the administration was rolling out a new justification–the desire to make the region and world safer from Iranian-sponsored terrorism.

    That statement came at the same time the State Department warned Americans to get out of Iraq. Numerous U.S. cities and diplomatic missions around the world beefed up security in anticipation of possible terrorist retaliation.

    Elite Army Rangers were deployed to the region and 4,000 troops based in the United States are “destined for Kuwait,” according to The New York Times.

    They are to depart in the coming days, joining 750 troops already deployed, officials said. Trump promised during the 2016 campaign to withdraw U.S. troops from the nation’s “endless wars.”

    In what can only be described as Orwellian twist, the president declared the action was taken to stop a war, not start a war.

    “We did not take action to start a war,” the president said in brief remarks at Mar-a-Lago.

    Trump, reportedly, personally gave the order for the drone strike that killed Soleimani.

    Immediately, the attack drew comparisons to the 1997 comedy/drama “Wag the Dog.”

    In the movie, a U.S. president, dogged by a sex scandal two weeks before re-election, fabricates a war to distract the public from his problems and generate election support. The media falls for it, and becomes entirely focused on the war.

    Ironically, Trump’s actions are exactly what he claimed in a series of 2013 Tweets that Obama would do to seek re-election.

    Of course, this isn’t Hollywood, this is real life, but Trump’s actions fit the same disturbing pattern.

    Trump’s approval rating is languishing at 42.4%, according to pollster FiveThirtyEight. Impeachment is posing a serious threat to Trump’s presidency.

    The House approved two articles of impeachment, clearing the way for a Senate trial. He is the first US president to face a trial while running for reelection.

    Republican Senate President Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) pledged to work closely with the White House to dispatch the charges quickly.

    In response, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) delayed sending the articles to the Senate until procedural rules were clarified.

    The move shifted the debate from the articles to whether the Senate would hold a fair trial. That includes calling witnesses. Public support is strongly in favor of an impartial hearing.

    In the meantime, more damaging information has surfaced in emails linking Trump directly to orders to withhold Ukrainian military assistance to key members of his administration.

    The documents implicate acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo . Other administration figures also played a role.

    In a key development, U.S. appeals court judges today (Jan. 3) appeared skeptical about the Trump administration’s legal justification for blocking the testimony of former White House lawyer Don McGhan before Congress as part of the impeachment probe, according to Reuters.