7 Jul, 2019
US President Donald Trump’s erratic policies regarding Iran could lead to war at the slightest provocation, the UK’s American envoy has been warning his London superiors in internal memos leaked to media.
Troves of diplomatic cables sent to London by British Ambassador to the US Kim Darroch, which contain stinging remarks about US President Donald Trump’s temperament and policies, were leaked to the Daily Mail, which first reported the scoop on Sunday.
The oldest files go back to 2017 and the most recent ones were penned just last month, including a dispatch from June, 22, in which Darroch shares uncensored insight into the erratic policies his country’s top ally is pursuing in regards to Iran.
He talks about Trump’s recent claim that he called off at the last moment a strike against Iran in retaliation to Tehran downing an American drone.
Trump at the time tweeted he did so because he was told around 150 Iranians would die if he went ahead with the strike – but Darroch’s internal memo ascribes the decision to the president’s 2020 re-election optics.
“It’s more likely that he was never fully on board and that he was worried about how this apparent reversal of his 2016 campaign promises would look come 2020,” Darroch reportedly wrote.
Darroch, who was appointed ambassador a year before Trump came to power, describes Washington’s Iran policies as ill-conceived, and says they are unlikely “to become more coherent anytime soon.”
Trump might have an “aversion to new military adventures,” but he is goaded on by his military advisers who have become “a more hawkish group” with time, the UK diplomat wrote, predicating that “just one more Iranian attack somewhere in the region” might become the catalyst for “yet another Trump U-turn.”
In general, Darroch’s telegrams refer to Trump as an “inept,” “dysfunctional” leader who “radiates insecurity,” and whose presidency could “crash and burn” – but give him credit for his ability to emerge unscathed from any shenanigans, and call on London not to “write him off.”
Speaking of Trump’s phoenix-style powers, Darroch compares him to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s portrayal of the Terminator at the end of the original movie.
“Trump may emerge from the flames, battered but intact, like Schwarzenegger in the final scenes of The Terminator,” he writes. While describing the rhetoric Trump uses to fire up crowds at his campaign rallies as “incendiary,” and “a mix of fact and fiction,” the diplomat at the same time marvels at the zeal with which Trump supporters continue to stand by their candidate, comparing the atmosphere of a MAGA rally to a “mega-church” or a “major sporting event.”