Ever have non-alcoholic beer? Near-beer?
The stuff is awful. An insult to the very concept of beer.
And yet there is a faint trace of the good stuff in it, but it won’t make you feel good in the long run.
When Donald J. Trump rocketed Syrian military targets yesterday, he became a Near- President to me.
It is the first thing he has done in his presidency that shows that he has any sort of leadership and decision making skills. I will readily admit that I was not ready for him to do the right thing after the Syrian chemical attacks. I expected him to dither and blither like he always does. But it looks like he actually willed something to happen that made sense. Up until yesterday, he’d fucked up everything he touched. All of his lofty campaign promises had either run aground or been abandoned. He had done little more than affix his signature to anything that rescinded a rule or regulation that Barack Obama had authored. The tweeting. The golfing. The ceaseless bragging. Ugh.
April 6, 2017 was Duh Fuhrer’s first actual day on the job.
And this liberal reluctantly approves.
Time will tell whether Trump’s initiative here is a flash in the pan. His instincts so far have been poor, so I don’t expect this to function as some sort of epiphany that says to him that he has a deadly serious job to do. He’s still a barely literate fucking moron, on the whole.
Still, I hope he has enough firing synapses to connect the dots between what he just did and his policy towards Syrian refugees. When he waxed misty about the beautiful children that were dying in a chemical hellstorm, I hope that he had a sleepless night pondering the fact that his xenophobic policies on Muslim refugees are the very thing that could have prevented some of those babies from dying. Trump’s foreign engagement here is at cross purposes with his domestic agenda. He has a real chance here to do good if he looks at the big picture. He has to risk his deplorable support to do that, so I’m not optimistic.
It’s also worth noting here that the rocket strike did one other thing that made sense; it put the Russians on notice. I believe that this is a binary geopolitical world and further posit that the Cold War never really ended. If the United States influence recedes somewhere, Russia advances. They’ve been going out of their way to protect and strengthen their asshole autocrat in Syria, searching for a foothold in a forbidding yet critical area of the world. Make no mistake, US foreign policy looks a lot like Russian policy. It may be a wholly American conceit of mine, but I believe we are slightly less awful than Russia on balance when it comes to being an imperial power.
So. Those are some good things that Donald Trump has done, if I may be so bold to assign agency to his actions. But he’s still got the attention span of a retarded flea. You can go all over the Internet to find out that he’s done a triple-lutz volte-face on Syria over the last few years, first bitching as a candidate and wag that Obama shouldn’t get involved in Syria, then bitching that the “red line” got crossed and Obama should have gotten involved in Syria (nevermind the fact that Obama got hamstrung by the Republican Congress when he went for approval). Now, as President, his weird Secretary of State that you can’t look at goes all April Glaspie by saying Syria is none of our business and then when Assad went berserk and used WMDs, Trump suddenly finds he has lines of his own that got crossed and now Tillerson wants to give Assad the heave-ho. I’m once again going to be charitable and say that Donald came to the idea to punish Assad within his circle, and the fact that Hillary Clinton called for military action hours before Trump acted had nothing to do with it.
I’m just glad he’s doing something vaguely constructive. I’m happy that he’s decided to bunk heads with Russia instead of abet it. However, it would be the height of insanity to go much further than punitive airstrikes in Syria. An invasion and subsequent occupation would likely be as bloody as Iraq Part 2 was, and the Russians would like nothing better than for us to stick our dicks in that pile of mashed potatoes. He can push a little further in a good way by setting up the no-fly zone (the one that Hillary Clinton called for as a nominee) to stymie the Russians even more. Somehow-and far better minds than mine need to work this out-we have got to accomplish the twin objectives of dislodging Bashar Assad and stopping ISIS from calling Syria home base for their terrible caliphate. It will be a task fraught with attrition, I fear.
And I don’t trust this Near-President to not shit this up for even a minute.