Superb piece by Glenn Greenwald on Donald Trump's unalloyed act of war against Syria, and why it is a very bad idea.
US politicians, including the supposed Democratic
opposition, and the US media are acting as little more than agents of
the military-industrial complex – and using their influence to goad
Trump deeper into the Syrian mire. The price will be paid, as ever, by
Extract from Greenwald:
Trump is going to see – and feel – the establishment and media respect
he craves, the sensations of strength he most lacks, by dropping bombs.
Every person, let alone Trump, would be tempted to keep pursuing war as a
result of this warped incentive framework. ... Those who instantly fall
in line behind Trump as he bombs people are ensuring that he will keep
doing it. ...
For months, those of us who have urged skepticism
and restraint on the Russia rhetoric have highlighted the risk that this
[Democratic] fixation on depicting him as a tool of the Kremlin could
goad Trump – dare him or even force him – to seek confrontation with
Moscow. Some Democrats reacted with rage yesterday at the suggestion
that their political tactics were now bearing this fruit, but that’s how
politics works. ...
A major reason why it’s so dangerous to
ratchet up rhetorical tension between two major nuclear-armed powers is
because of the ease with which those tensions can translate into actual
conflict, and the motivation it can create for Trump to use war to prove
he’s a patriot after all. ...
What happened to Obama as a result
of involving the U.S in a war that Congress had rejected? Absolutely
nothing, because Congress, due to political cowardice, wants to abdicate
war-making powers to the President. As a country, we have decided we
want all-powerful presidents – one who can bomb, and spy, and detain,
and invade with virtually no limits. That’s the machinery of the
imperial presidency that both parties have jointly built and have now
handed to President Trump. ...
Perhaps the most bizarre aspect of
the last 24 hours has been watching those who have vilified Trump as an
Evil Fascist and Bumbling Clown and Unstable Sociopath suddenly decide
that they want him to bomb Syria. Even if you’re someone who in the
abstract wanted the U.S. to attack Assad, shouldn’t your view that Trump
is a completely unstable and incompetent monster prevent you from
endorsing this war, with Trump as the Commander-in-Chief? ... Do [his
critics] experience no cognitive dissonance at all in having spent
months depicting Trump as a lying, deceitful fascist, only to now turn
around and trust him to bomb other countries with care, humanitarianism
and efficacy? ...
If humanitarianism is what motivated the U.S.
in Syria, it would take in massive numbers of refugees, but it hasn’t.
If humanitarianism is what motivated the U.S. bombing of Libya, it would
have given large amounts of aid to that country in the aftermath to
help it deal with the ensuing anarchy and misery, but it didn’t. That’s
because humanitarianism is the pretext for U.S. wars, not the actual
The idea that a war can be justified by appealing to
the vague imperative that we must “do something” is incredibly
irrational and immoral.