Trump Times Entry 231 – Shiny Object Politics – Syria

Shiny Object Politics – Syria

June 28, 2017

With a seventeen percent approval rating and Republican senators abandoning ship like proverbial rats, the latest version of alt Health Care reform seems doomed – at least for now. Senate majority leader and Kermit impersonator, Mitchell McConnell, has decided to postpone the planned vote, abandoning the “Conceive in Darkness – Deliver While They’re Not Looking” strategy he hoped would bring home the Senate’s first big legislative win.

Oh well, they’ll try again after the Independence Day break. Rest assured, Republicans are committed to killing Obamacare regardless of collateral damage, but for now they need something to fill the media vacuum. The last thing they want is the media focusing on Trumpcare while they take another vacation. The bill was intended to be a dark-op and voters don’t need to know.

Lucky for Mitch, the Donald saw it coming and has already taken steps to bring the attention back to where it belongs – back to the Donald.

In a surprise (if there be surprises anymore) move yesterday, the Donald issued a public warning to Syria, accusing Bashar al-Assad of planning another chemical weapons attack. Trump threatened a “heavy price” if an attack were carried out.

Yeah, that’ll work – saber rattling followed by some tasteful bombing of a decided bad guy over the 4th of July holiday. It’s gonna be a media bonanza, the press will eat it up and public discussion of Trumpcare will cease. And as a plus, it gives the appearance of Trump – Russian discord. Nice, Trump may be new to Washington politics, but he seems to be catching on.

After two-hundred-thirty-two days of on the job training, the Donald has finally accepted that blowing shit up is the traditional way to distract the public. While calling attention to himself on twitter, accusing former presidents of crimes and Hillary bashing have served him well so far, the pros use special effects – not just words.

(The republic finds it odd that our government willingly spends nearly $100 million each time we bomb Syria, but is reluctant to fund women’s, children’s or veteran’s healthcare. It’s almost like the regime prefers hurting over healing.)

In Peace and Justice,
osv

Trump Times Entry 150 – Transactional Retaliation

Transactional Retaliation

April 7, 2017

The guns and the bombs, the rockets and the warships, are all symbols of human failure.
Lyndon B. Johnson

Frankly, I hate LBJ. Still hold him responsible for wholesale death too personal to objectify – of people I knew, lots of us. He led the country into a military quagmire through a series of escalations – all justified as retaliation to enemy atrocities, some real, some (like today) fake. Each act of retaliation, of course, drew a counter-move from the enemy. Then we countered. They countered…

That’s how it works – until someone stops. Not wins, not loses – stops. In modern warfare distinction between winner and loser trends political, while loss is handed out to all. That’s how it works. Shitty game.

That’s why the Donald lobbing Tomahawk missiles into Syria last night is more than troubling. Yeah, it was a retaliation for illegal gassing of a rebel held town by the Syrian government. I understand the desire to do something in response to the atrocity – the impulse to hit back. But, this isn’t a bar fight and we’re not fighting with fists. We’re launching rockets and acting on impulse is what got us here.

If Syria retaliates, even ineffectively, will Trump let it go? (Oh, please!)

Will they respond? They already have. A couple hours after we (yes, we) leveled the airfield, they bombed the town that was gassed on Tuesday.

Russia condemned the American action and is now reinforcing the Syrian air defense. They also cancelled an air access agreement with us. And just to keep it interesting, Trump warned the Russians before the rocket attack, but not our Security Council. This shit sure gets complicated fast .

If I were a cynical man, I’d think this looks kind of like the Donald and Putin setting up the board to play proxy war in Syria. The Russian economy could sure use a boost and the Donald can’t walk away from a fight – even a fake one. Kind of like LBJ.

Except, of course, LBJ was doing what he thought best for the American people. While I passionately disagreed with what Johnson did, I never doubted he believed he was acting in the county’s best interest.

I can’t say the same thing about Trump and suspect the question of what’s best for the country never enters the Donald’s head. Trump acts in his own self-interest only and always, we’re just along for the ride.

I suppose we should be grateful that in the one-hundred-fifty days since elected, this is the first time Trump shot at anyone. But, the republic suspects retaliation will be recursive – repeating indefinitely.

In Peace and Justice
osv