I have a confession to make.
I voted for Donald Trump during the 2016 election.
I did so for two reasons. First, I considered my vote for Trump as one great, big, metaphorical middle finger to the political establishment and mainstream media, who tried to coronate Hillary Clinton as President. Second, I thought that if Clinton wasn’t elected president, we would avoid going to war with Russia.
Boy, was I a fucking idiot.
The US attacks Syria
Last night, the US military launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles against a Syrian air force base, in response to Syria’s presumed chemical attack against civilians earlier this week.
I say “presumed” for two reasons. First, there has yet to be an independent investigation of the incident. Rather, the elite’s assumption that Syria is guilty is presupposed in their collective Zeitgeist. Second, this attack is eerily reminiscent of an incident in 2013 that Obama tried to use as a pretext to attack Syria then. However, there is significant evidence to suggest that Syrian rebels mishandling of its own chemical weapons led to those deaths. Fortunately, opposition across the Western world, including the UK Parliament, did not allow Obama the popular support for such an attack.
That opposition included one Donald J. Trump.
Besides, the timing of Syria using chemical weapons at this juncture makes absolutely no sense. Its military, with Russian help, has made significant progress against ISIS, particularly in western Syria. Why would Assad use such weapons when he told a Croatian newpaper that he so other “option except victory”? In fact, Peter Ford, UK’s former ambassador to Syria, argues that not only is there no evidence that Syria conducted such an attack, but that such an attack would have been “self-defeating.”
Trump’s attack gave the neocons the jollies
Such inconvenient things as facts, history, and logic rarely have seemed to have troubled Trump in the past, and have certainly not gotten in the way of his attempt to “act decisively”. In his remarks at Mar-a-Lago that were reminiscent of a third-world tinpot dictator, Trump said that:
There can be no dispute that Syria used banned chemical weapons, violated its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention, and ignored the urging of the UN Security Council.
(Notice that his statement says that there can be no dispute rather than doubt, thereby implying that there can be no discussion even though we may not know the full truth…)
Meanwhile, neocons in both parties are having collective orgasms in response. They are elated that Trump is flexing American military muscle once again in the Middle East. And Trump has gathered enormous support from left and right as a result.
So much for Trump playing 4D chess
Nevertheless, Trump now finds himself with three huge problems he didn’t have before yesterday’s strike. First, many of his supporters who voted for him feel betrayed. Some of the most vocal Trump supporters, including Alex Jones, Paul Joseph Watson, Mike Cernovich, Justin Raimondo, and Ann Coulter have been withering in their criticism of Trump’s decision. A significant portion of his base has permanently evaporated, and rightfully so.
Second, Trump will now be facing calls from both left and right within Congress about whether their authorization is required before any further action. Whether there will be sufficient pressure within Congress for such authorization remains to be seen. However, Trump’s unilaterial action won’t be quieting Constitutional questions anytime soon.
Lastly, nothwithstanding the U.S. warning Russia of the attack before it happened, the nuclear power is furious at Trump’s actions.
Furious Vladimir Putin has called the US airstrikes on Syria an ‘illegal act of aggression’ and suspended a deal to avoid mid-air clashes with American fighter jets over the war-torn country.
The Russian President warned of grave damage to relations between Washington and Moscow after 60 Tomahawk missiles were fired at al-Shayrat airbase near Homs.
Syrian Army officials described the attack as an act of ‘blatant aggression’, saying it had made the US ‘a partner’ of ISIS, the ex-Nusra Front and other ‘terrorist organisations’.
While Putin warned of grave damage to US-Russia relations, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev went one step further and warned that the attack “was on the brink of military clashes with Russia.”
(Yes, I know there’s a grammatical error in the tweet. I was pissed. Sue me.)
Where do we go from here?
There have been several theories floating around the internet about why Trump initiated the attack. Frankly, I don’t care. Trump’s attack on Syria was idiotic, illegal, immoral, and irresponsible. It could lead to the US clashing with a thermonuclear power over a country on the other side of the world. We have literally everything to lose, and next to nothing to gain.
We need to figure out a way to stop this madness before it’s too late.
St. Francis, pray for us!