No matter that Trump just signed an executive order drastically reducing the number of Syrian refugees he will allow into the US. When he sees dead Syrian babies on TV, his grandfatherly instinct is to kill more babies, to show that he is a more virile baby-killer than Assad or Al Nusra or Al Qaeda, or whatever terrorist group is actually responsible for the latest chemical attack.
Trump's emotional response to suffering babies does not extend to the hundreds of little ones being killed by American bombs raining down on Mosul, Iraq. But to be fair, he probably didn't even see those graphic images, given that US corporate media haven't been airing them, and Congress hasn't been too bothered by them. After all, the bipartisan leaders have got RussiaGate to distract them as well as to mold us into compliance.
Trump is known to be a CNN addict, and CNN has been running the graphic images of the Syrian gas victims in a near-constant closed feedback loop for maximum public opinion-molding. It helped enormously that on the day after the gas attack, the cable channel also began running Northrup Grumman's family-friendly stealth bomber ads (see my last post) -- twice during the one after-school hour that I could bear to watch. Since the military-industrial complex has to keep making and selling weapons to make their investors happy, they've taken to marketing high-tech war directly to struggling families, whose children's employment prospects would be otherwise bleak without the prospect and acceptance of constant global violence.
It also helped enormously that the enormously popular war hawk Hillary Clinton went on TV on Thursday to urge the bombing of Syrian airfields in retribution for the gas attack. Nobody, not even Trump, can apparently resist doting grandma Hillary Clinton and the war-hungry neocons. Keep saying that Russia is the enemy, and enough people will eventually believe that her own horrible policies didn't cost her the election.
So practically overnight, Trump has gone from being liberal anathema to a humane commander in chief. He is doing exactly what Hillary wanted to do.
"Trump's Heart Came First," gushed one of today's approving New York Times pieces, comparing Barack Obama's own unmanly unwillingness to cross his own red line to The Donald's sudden pragmatic bravery. Never mind that Obama had bombed Syria ever since, with a whopping 26,000 of them dropped last year alone. The media narrative had Obama acting with his superior brain, with a veneer of decorum and modesty. But as Mark Landler writes, Trump is a more unpredictable, visceral kind of guy:
It's a far cry from 2013, when Barack Obama was considering his own vengeful mass attack, until his brain overcame his emotions and he desisted, performing one of the few independent and courageous acts of his entire war-torn presidency. But while Obama was still mulling over his options, Citizen Trump had tweeted in emotional ALL CAPS to his predecessor:President Trump has always taken pride in his readiness to act on instinct, whether in real estate or reality television. On Thursday, an emotional Mr. Trump took the greatest risk of his young presidency, ordering a retaliatory missile strike on Syria for its latest chemical weapons attack. In a dizzying 48 hours, he upended a foreign policy doctrine based on putting America first and avoiding messy conflicts in distant lands.Mr. Trump’s advisers framed his decision in the dry language of international norms and strategic deterrence. In truth, it was an emotional act by a man suddenly aware that the world’s problems were now his — and that turning away, to him, was not an option.
According to the UK's Telegraph, a few of Trump's missiles went astray overnight and killed four children.
Donald J. Trump
(@realDonaldTrump)AGAIN, TO OUR VERY FOOLISH LEADER, DO NOT ATTACK SYRIA - IF YOU DO MANY VERY BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN & FROM THAT FIGHT THE U.S. GETS NOTHING!Sep 5, 2013 · Twitter
But don't worry about World War III, soothes the liberal explainer website Vox, because this illegal act of aggression was really meant as nothing more than a Sunday school sermon delivered by the moral arbiter of the world. Quoting a "liberal interventionist" from the Council on Foreign Relations, reporter Zach Beauchamp explains:
Not mentioned was the inconvenient truth that Wednesday's chemical attack could have been a false flag operation, much like the one in 2013 described by investigative journalist Seymour Hersh. That Assad is the instigator of Wednesday's chemical assault, rather than, say, CIA-funded militants, is taken for granted. So if the false flag scenario is true, the real culprits will only be encouraged to conduct even more lethal operations. They've discovered Trump's true Achilles heel: that his instincts substitute for critical thinking skills. He is as incurious as George W. Bush.“Trump's statement makes it clear [that] US cruise missile strikes are for enhancing [the] international norm against chemical weapons use, not protecting Syrian civilians,” (Micah) Zenko tweeted.
The implication here is that Trump has no desire to launch any more strikes unless Assad uses more chemical weapons. If Assad sticks to his normal tactics, and kills children with explosives rather than banned chemicals, then the United States will leave him alone. This attack will, it seems, be a one-off — or at least part of a relatively small battery of punitive strikes.
But limited strikes, historically, don’t always stay limited. We have no idea if this will actually stop Assad from using banned weapons, or what Trump would do if he did. And a sense of “ownership” of the Syrian civil war afterward could lead to even further US escalation.“Tonight's strikes may deter Assad, compel Russian cooperation with US interests, [and] not lead to deeper US military involvement,” Zenko tweeted. “However, if these rosy scenarios do all occur, it would be almost unprecedented in US military interventions dating back to .”
So Trump has miraculously pivoted from bitter vetch to tasting as American as apple pie. Even his hypocritical critics are finding it hard to curb their suddenly unhealthy appetites for him. Because nothing brings the rich and powerful plutocrats of the media/political complex together better than war. Ka-ching goes the beat of their maudlin little hearts.
And as ever, the Invisible Guy in the Sky is totally on the side of state-sponsored American terrorism. Because the USA only commits humanitarian slaughter and bloodshed in order to end inhumane slaughter and bloodshed and promote peace and harmony throughout the world it has destabilized.
CNN takes total unabashed credit for inspiring Trump's violent instincts with its graphic TV images.