During his speech, Trump paid tribute to Ryan Owens, the Navy SEAL killed in the January commando raid in Yemen that Trump ordered (allegedly). The highlight of the speech was when cameras focused on Owens' grieving widow, Carryn, for a full 4 minutes as she cried and the house applauded her tears.
According to most of the US media, this was the point where Trump "became the President". Pretty easy, eh? Just invite a grieving military widow to your talk (there's no shortage!), turn the cameras on her and, boom! you're "presidential". It's a standard theatrical device used by many US presidents, but it's still pretty pathetic...actually, it's not just pathetic, it's monstrous.
The horror here is not just the obvious exploitation of the grief of a widow, or the manipulative way in which she (and every American citizen watching) is encouraged to believe the lie that American foreign policy is about 'fighting terrorism', it's also the fact that missing from Trump's eulogy was any mention of the 25 civilians slaughtered (8 women, one of whom was heavily pregnant, and 9 small children) in the heroic 'raid'. It's precisely this kind of extreme white-washing of the massive civilian death toll that habitually results from US foreign policy that leads the American people to continue to lend their support to massive civilian death toll in American wars of imperial conquest.
Just 1 day before Trump's speech, unnamed US "officials" told the US media that no useful intelligence had been obtained from the Yemen raid in which Owens was killed. It was no secret that Trump had invited Carryn Owens and was planning to use the death of her husband to gain some political kudos and capital, including his claim that the raid was "highly successful that generated large amounts of vital intelligence".
So it seems that the statement to the media by unnamed "officials" trashing any value derived from the Yemen raid was an, ultimately unsuccessful, attempt to sour Trump's "presidential moment".
Still, we're left with the question about the real point of that Yemen raid. A few weeks back Niall Bradley outlined a pretty reasonable explanation:
While Trump's spokesman characterized the operation as "successful", anonymous US intel officials laid the blame for why "almost everything went wrong" at Trump's feet, telling the media that "Trump approved his first covert counter-terrorism operation without sufficient intelligence, ground support or adequate backup preparations." As a result, the mission found itself dropping into "a reinforced al-Qaeda base defended by landmines, snipers, and a larger-than-expected contingent of heavily armed Islamist extremists."
With the American public abruptly exposed to the reality of 'boots on the ground' in Yemen, Trump - who campaigned, among other things, on the basis of reining in military adventures abroad - was left holding a bloody knife. [...]
The Pentagon is seriously asking us to believe that after 8 years of conducting periodic airstrikes, cruise missile strikes and drone strikes against Yemeni civilians and rebels in a hi-tech war in the poorest country in the Middle East, one week into his presidency, it gave executive oversight and operational planning for an apparently hare-brained mission to 'collect hard-drives' from 'AQAP terrorists' hiding out in a village barely located within Saudi-backed, loyalist-held territory... to President Donald 'Celebrity Apprentice' Trump?
I have serious doubts that he was fully briefed on the operation, then "gave it the green light." Nothing better illustrates the lack of real power held by US presidents - especially in foreign policy - than the seamless (and, in this case, apparently reckless) military actions carried out by the US, NATO and Gulf Monarchies during the transition from Obama to Trump
Joe Quinn is the co-author of 9/11: The Ultimate Truth (with Laura Knight-Jadczyk, 2006) and Manufactured Terror: The Boston Marathon Bombings, Sandy Hook, Aurora Shooting and Other False Flag Terror Attacks (with Niall Bradley, 2014), and the host of Sott.net's The Sott Report Videos and co-host of the 'Behind the Headlines' radio show on the Sott Radio Network.
An established web-based essayist and print author, Quinn has been writing incisive editorials for Sott.net for over 10 years. His articles have appeared on many alternative news sites and he has been interviewed on several internet radio shows and has also appeared on Iranian Press TV. His articles can also be found on his personal blog JoeQuinn.net.