This will not be a post about how much trouble the president is in.
Let’s instead remember that a bling pig finds a truffle now and then, even when that pig is named Donald Trump. And that motherfucker is never right, so I’m gonna post about it when he is, in spite of himself.
It feels weird, not wanting to pounce on something dumb Orange Caligula does. His track record is so bad that I think we’ve all gotten a little used to reflexively criticizing the harebrained decisions he makes. If you were a bettor, and Trump was a racehorse and being wrong was the finish line, you would be leaving the track with your pockets overflowing every day that ends in Y if you plunked down something on him.
I am not working my way up to complimenting him. But he has stumbled into the right choice on Syria, Putin stooge or no Putin stooge.
I’m not perfect, and my views evolve as anyone’s should when he or she is off the mark (or dead fucking wrong as is sometimes the case). I have found that I have come off as something of a neocon in the not distant past, trying to think from a realpolitik perspective when it comes to our warmaking, particularly regarding Syria. I complimented Trump when he bombed Syrian assets in 2017, largely because the fledgling administration wasn’t doing anything except setting fire to anything Barack Obama signed. For four straight months I watched Trump do nothing constructive or remotely interesting; he was as much a paper tiger as he is now, just a fucking useless gum-flapper. For example, I will be genuinely surprised if he finds his balls and takes personal responsibility for turning the lights off on part of the government until he gets his stupid wall funding. Then there was the time I took Ralph Peters’ side on tangling with Russia because I needed an opportunity to call Tucker Carlson an asshole when he said we should be nice to Putin because he kills “the terrorists” in Syria-using that dumb logic of we need to fight them over there so they don’t come here. My calculation was if we don’t fill the vacuum, Russia would.
When it comes to international relations in the modern era, I have had a tendency to view it as a zero-sum game. Why?
Because it’s easy. Reality, however, is not so two-dimensional. I know I thought I was being clever, even if I had to be wrong to do so. Hey, fuck it, there’s plenty of people being paid and feted for being fucking wrong all the time.
But I ought to know better. I have seen firsthand what a just war looks like. As it happens, it is very much what an unjust war looks like. I went into Iraq in 2003 a firm believer in our mission and left a year later quite disillusioned the more I reflected and interacted with the people we were “liberating”. We drove a whole generation of American soldiers insane in the service of realpolitik and papered-over binary thinking about what we were doing there. War made us monsters, not saviors.
The bottom line is there are no real winners in war, and I ought to know that by now. Let this be the ground I shall plant myself in henceforth. And I shall start by being happy that Trump accidentally did something right by calling back the 2,000 or so Americans home from Syria, which is in an intractable civil war right now and looks to stay that way for the foreseeable future whether we are there are not-because we’re only dipping our toes in the conflict, just enough to annoy and stymie the Russians and Bashar Al-Assad. Now there is doubt that Trump will back up his mouth with some actual action, since he tweeted his decision without consultation with anyone familiar with a rifle and possessed with functioning grey matter. The pretext for Trump’s sudden exit from Syria, if you ask him, is that we have defeated ISIS. That’s hilarious, of course, if you ask the resistance. The “mission” ain’t accomplished by a long shot.
Now, I think that Trumpian nationalism is typically odious in the extreme, but honestly, leaving a warzone because we don’t need to “police” the world is by far not the worst thing ever uttered by an American politician. And it’s driving hawks apoplectic, which can only bear good fruit. Most of Trump’s detractors use the same logic I have in the past, that when the Russians win, we lose. The reality we are living in is at bottom a race for resources. We don’t give a fuck about Syria or Syrians, because absent from Donald’s declarations was a desire to settle refugees from the war. I certainly don’t think Trump is deep enough to be a tactician in the new cold war, and maybe that’s not to our detriment in regards to international conflict. A bit of naivete in the ways of violence is…OK.
I just can’t be moved to pile on Trump for this, even though there’s a lot wrong with the thinking that led him to leave Syria be. But let’s not kid ourselves. Our bombs don’t have freedom dust in them. Our reasons for staying there are not sound; the Kurds are already accustomed to everyone’s Janus tendencies towards them. Russia will still strafe and bomb and kill indiscriminately like they are doing now (just as we have done). And what for? A chit with Iran? We have Iraq. How about we take a rest from imperialism? Besides, it’s not like we are going to stop selling arms to our erstwhile allies. Point is, aligning the world in a binary fashion the way we do is exactly what causes world wars. We think we are wetting the fuse with our aggression by fighting the Russian axis wherever we go. Sorry. We’re shortening it.
Our fucktarded president is in quite a legal pickle. Several, in fact. It’s turning out he owes a lot to Vladimir Putin, and stepping out of Syria may yet be one more favor to someone who can crush him with kompromat. But I’m going to take the peace dividends where I can get them. I’m not going to call the president out for not wanting to be in a war anymore. Perhaps if you knew what it was like, you too would reluctantly agree with the basket-case-in-chief. If you don’t, use your fucking imagination.