It is not enough that under Donald Trump the United States has withdrawn from major international organizations at a time of global need; that its president has humiliated and withdrawn from longtime allies; that it has undermined the professional public servants in environmental protection, intelligence, and diplomacy; that it has reversed historic agreements with Iran and Cuba; that it has defied international law, such as by denying amnesty applications to people south of the border; and that it has abandoned traditional openness to the “tired and poor” from countries where repression and injustice rule.
No, in the last days of Trumpism, we have a final embarrassment: More troops are protecting the new US president’s inauguration than are on duty in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria combined. Washington, DC is an armed camp. Can you wrap your minds around that? The new US president cannot take office in a traditional ceremony without protection from a formidable assemblage of national guard, capitol police, and other forces. That’s what we expect in banana republics. Mind you, I’m not saying such a show of force is unnecessary. The point is that it is necessary to guard against home-grown white nationalist terrorism.
We must now consider that the most immediate national security threat comes from within, not from Russia, China, or North Korea. And in all those countries, not to mention countries that wish us well, governments and people wonder: What has become of the once-upon-a-time solitary superpower, the arsenal of democracy?