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Russian Things

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.



Make-Believe

Donald Trump is going to die by his own hand. I think we’ve known this for a while.

Word is out that the Tomahawk strikes didn’t damage the runways of Al-Shayrat. Planes are still leaving from the base.

It’s turning out to be a rather expensive shot across the bow rather than a show of force.

But you wouldn’t know that by listening to President Numbnuts. He is satisfied with what was accomplished. A president wears many hats, and Trump has a construction helmet, complete with reflective vest, work boots and a spade in his collection. Check it-he’s an expert at public works:

“The reason you don’t generally hit runways is that they are easy and inexpensive to quickly fix (fill in and top)!”

When did you find that out- the last time you bombed a runway?

Donald, let me stop you at the word “reason”. I’ve been watching you for a bit now, and reasons and explanations are not your strong suit. I am no public works expert either, nor am I versed well in the destructive capabilities of our armaments. But I am pretty sure a thousand pound warhead makes a crater somewhat bigger than the ones you and I occasionally run over when we drive. Furthermore, a jet takes off at a rather high speed and I’m guessing that “filling and topping” is not something that can be done quickly or haphazardly. If I remember right, it took a few months, and a lot of concentrated resources and people to fix Baghdad International after we strafed it in 2003.

To wit: Tomahawks don’t make potholes. And a plane is not a car. Trump seems to think that a few shovelfuls of hot gravel is all it takes. Perhaps he has seen a hole in a road being repaired in Manhattan getting “filled and topped” from his limousine and drew an analogy. Adorable.

The Near-President needs to shut the fuck up. Desperate to spin the narrative of this story, he’s made a jackass out of himself yet again by injecting his moronic Twitter commentary into a very serious situation.

Surprise!

 

Here The Fuck We Go Again

I worry that the left (which I am a card-carrying member of) is overplaying its hand with respect to Donald Trump.

That is not me saying get off Donald Trump’s case. On the contrary-there’s an excellent chance that this past election was mangled and stolen by a shady cabal of GOP/Trump operatives in consort with Russia. I want to get to the bottom of it because it is unacceptable to mess with the integrity of our elections. If Donald Trump cheated, it needs to be known. If he is an illegitimate president, he needs to be shuffled out. Let the investigations go on and on until we get some answers.

I am not distracted one bit by what to me was Trump’s first real decision as the president. I’m talking about the hit on Syrian war assets.

But it sure seems like everyone else can’t stop talking about it. Those who claim that this is a distraction are very distracted by said distraction.

Everyone in my tribe is elbows and assholes working to scoff, minimize and rationalize the raid. Nobody seems to have the same angle-there’s no consensus as to what Trump accomplished and what he did not. Which means that we are guessing at best and making stuff up at worst. For example, liberals are making common cause with morons like Rand Paul, who said the attack was unconstitutional. Sigh. It wasn’t. Please refer to the War Powers Act and the AUMF.

Our response to the Syria attack is shattered like a pane of glass hit with a hammer. People I really respect are doing weird contortions to explain away what Trump did.

Sure, it does not compute that a potential Russian lapdog like Trump would go and piss in their cornflakes by attacking one of their allies. But to me, it’s a very Trumpian decision. He doesn’t understand politics. He doesn’t do details.  And he’s not afraid to bite the hands that feed him. Consequences are damned. It’s the kind of shit that his voters got off on.

Donald “No Puppet Here” Trump very much wants you to know that no one is the boss of him. He’s still much like a child in that respect. I mean, fuck, he’s turned on Bannon, Tillerson and Priebus in the last week alone.  But I will take what I can get from Twitler. If indeed he made Assad and the Russians angry, good. They’re never going to be our fucking friends, as I said in my last post. That’s not the world we live in. There are two shadows across the globe and ever it shall be because the alternative is oblivion. We are locked into this destiny and are doomed to fight by proxy. I know I sound like Max Boot but this is realpolitik we’re in, not hands across the globe.

It should go without saying that I still think Trump was/is the worst choice possible to do this job. He’s far too mercurial and belligerent and sniffs his own farts way too much. His amygdala seems to be overriding his cerebral cortex. But it’s very likely and probable that his decision on Syria was probably the same one that my preferred choice, Hillary Clinton, would have made. Actually, her response probably would have been even more trenchant. I watched those two debate three times and I know who has the bigger ballsack.

Alright. Having said all that, let’s please stop the “Wag The Dog” bullshit line of thinking, my liberal friends. Bill Clinton did not bomb Sudan to distract from the Lewinsky scandal. It was a sincere effort to destroy Al-Qaeda/Bin Laden assets. But the CIA, ever the colossal fuckups, gave Clinton bad intelligence. The Al-Shifa attack did not deter the impeachment at all, and neither should the Al-Shayrat bombing slow the pace of the Russia/Trump putsch inquiry. Once again, I repeat myself-things are a lot simpler than they seem. What you see is what you get from Trump-he’s a simpleton, not an evil genius.

Be done with this. Everything is not fucking sleight of hand and rope-a-dope, especially not with this group of screwups. The confusion we are experiencing is due to the fact that Donald Trump is a poor leader, and we’re trying to make sense out of what he does as if he were a smart person. Again, I repeat, that is giving the Near-President way too much credit.

“Wag The Dog” is a movie, developed from a book. I am not saying that a piece of art can have prophetic qualities, and we are indeed in an age where the absurd is possible. But we seem to be getting carried away by the emotions that Donald Trump stirs in us. He’s offensive in almost every way you can think of. I’m as nauseated as you are. I feel you and I understand you. But I must stick with my assertion that Duh Fuhrer is not much good at conniving. A cheap liar, maybe. No doubt about that. But he’s so fucking obvious to me.

There’s every chance I am dead wrong about #45. I could be naive as fuck about this guy. I’m reminded of that old saying that the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing people he didn’t exist.

I have way more respect for the devil than I do this two-bit grifter, though. And I’m an atheist.

The Near-President

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.

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