well, that didn’t take long…

Nothing like throwing some high-tech explosives around to  a) boost your poll numbers, and b) distract from damn near everything else.

Especially if one of those things you wish dearly to distract from is your ties to Russia and this escapade provides an opportunity to appear like you’re seriously confronting Russian interests.

Even more especially if you pull a stunt like this mere hours after Hillary fucking Clinton—who just needs to fuck off and tend her retirement veggie garden and shut the fuck up—announced that bombing that very airfield was definitely the way to go.

Would you buy a used car from this man?

The observable fact that small children have been gassed aplenty by Assad’s functionaries on several occasions over the last few years didn’t deter Trump in the least from leaving Assad alone ‘cos “he’s fighting ISIS”,  and never mind that Trump has now flipped 180 degrees away from where he was just hours ago because he saw the latest horrible photo evidence of dead children.

Children who, if he had his druthers, would be prohibited from obtaining refugee status here in the US.

Never mind that plenty of children have been killed and maimed as collateral casualties with some regularity by US forces in various locations.

Never mind that Trump himself was shrieking just a short while ago that if President Obama wished to bomb Syria he would absolutely need to get Congressional approval, and never mind that the very GOP voices which loudly agreed with him then, and actually withheld congressional approval, are now praising their new Führer’s “decisiveness” for lobbing 60 or so missiles into Syria without any congressional consultation at all.

It was inevitable that Trump would start waving his dick around like this, though I did think it might take a little longer. But now I think about it some more, this is exactly what he could be relied upon to do given that the Russian election chicanery noose is starting to tighten.

This man will not allow himself to be revealed for what he actually is.   There is no crisis he’d be unwilling to precipitate in order to prevent that.  If this doesn’t work, there’s always North Korea, just like he said the other day. There is not the slightest reason not to think he means it. This is the guy who wanted a Red Square style military parade at his inauguration, remember.

This prick has few limits when it comes to burnishing his self-image and none whatsoever when it comes to self-preservation.  None.

And now I see a report from ABC suggesting that the heads-up warning given to the Russians also enabled the Syrian forces to evacuate both themselves and most of their equipment prior to the strike. If that turns out to be true, and that the damage to vital equipment and supplies was minimal, that will be embarrassing.

And people like Trump are at their most unstable, reckless and dangerous when embarrassed.

15 Responses to well, that didn’t take long…

  1. bluthner says:

    The Russians would have passed the heads-up on to the Syrians, without a shadow of doubt, so basically trump dropped 60 missiles on an empty stretch of tarmac. Russian is doing its best to look upset, but behind his hands Putin must be crowing. His ties to Assad are strengthened, and no substanial damage whatever has been done to Assad’s capability to wage war, and it looks to the naked eye like he and Trump disagreed on something.

    A few days of repair and the tarmac is back in business. This has been nothing but a PR exercise. With added Godly Talk® from the hairball. It changes absolutely nothing.

  2. NatashaFatale says:

    I really do own enough bibles to make a stack, and though they’re neatly filed away on various shelves, I metaphorically swear on them that I was about to make a comment that would have read, in its entirety, “Well, that didn’t take long…”

    I am not disagreeing at all with either of you (9 & Bluth), but I will add this: I’m quite sure that McMaster insisted that Trump make damn sure that there’d be no Russians in the target area. And the only way I can think of to do that is to warn Putin.

  3. bluthner says:

    Nat, I certainly wasn’t suggesting that we shouldn’t have warned the Russians. Christ knows where we’d be now if we’d gone in without warning them and blown up their planes and pilots and support staff and vehicles. In violation of the agreement they have now loudly cancelled at the very very least. So of course McMaster insisted. What I can’t imagine anyone involved arguing that we should do the opposite.

    What Trump might have done is bomb one of Assad’s palaces, I suppose. That would certainly have ‘sent a message’. But we would have had to warn the Russians about such a strike as well, and they would have put their foot down I’m sure. And then Trump would have had to back down. So an empty stretch of tarmac it had to be.

  4. NatashaFatale says:

    So where does this leave Putin? I think it requires him to come up with some kind of measured retaliation. Otherwise, what is Russia’s friendship worth? “We’ve got your back – except, of course, against the Americans…”?

    I think that from the nature of this retaliation we’ll be able to figure out damn quickly whether Putin was in on this. If Trump can ignore the Russian response when it comes, yes. If he can’t, oh boy.

  5. bluthner says:

    I think a plane has already taken off from the attacked airfield -after the attack- todrop more (conventional) bombs on Khan Sheikhun.

    And Putin has publically cancelled the cooperation agreement that was in force with the U.S. forces in theatre.

    What Putin can do, and I’m guessing he probably will do, is bomb a Kurdish forces base or position somewhere. Which Trump will studiously ignore.

  6. Squirrel says:

    Walked into that with eyes wide shut, didn’t he?

    What Vlad will do I wouldn’t dare speculate, but I think we can be pretty sure it will not be to the advantage of any US interest, and probably very much to the Orange Utan’s detriment somehow.

    This is exactly what we worried about, isn’t it? Shoot from the hip making a big bang, then blithely tweet your way out of the consequences (and only Putin knows what they will be,) Oh, and have your friends in Israel cheering very, very raucously from the sidelines. While your elected politicians also cheer the ‘revival’ of American ‘power’ however short-lived that’s going to be.

    Except, of course, the knock-on effects are more likely to affect us Europeans (Berlin, Westminster, now Stockholm.)

    And of course, the picture of Trump with a kind of humane consciousness (and asking ‘god’ to ‘bless the world’ — ‘Urbe et Or be’— is a prime absurd spectacle.

    59 cruise missiles?

  7. bluthner says:

    I thought Likud were more or less on Assad’s side.

    Surely the entire incident was agreed beforehand between Putin’s people and Trump’s people, through some shady back channel. The closer the FBI et al get to proving a deal between Trump and Putin during the election campaign, the more the both of them need to pretend they are at loggerheads. So Putin arranges for some gas to be dropped, with no doubt whatever which airport the bombers took off from, so Trump can fire a couple of score cruise missiles at it (after it is cleared of anything important) and then they can growl at each other in the public sphere.

    Meanwhile as an added bonus for Putin, he has an excuse to stop informing the U.S. about his air missions, which gives him a freer hand to bomb anywhere he wishes in theatre, which includes postions held by the Kurds. It’s win-win for Putin, it’s win-win for Trump (because he takes no risk at all). Only losers are the Arabs fighting Assad, who no one likes much in any case, and the Kurds, who always get it in the neck anyway.

    I find it really astonishing that anyone is assuming that Trump and Putin did not have an understanding about what was going down. Maybe not the particulars, but certainly the general sequence of events.

  8. Walked into that with eyes wide shut, didn’t he?

    What this fireworks display did do, here in the US, is take an awful lot of wind out of the resistance movement’s sails.
    Especially the various ongoing investigations into his cozy relationship(s) with Russia. He can now claim that he just poked Putin in the eye and thus dismiss (not altogether implausibly, at least superficially, and nowadays superficiality is perfectly adequate most of the time) all those accusations. This takes a lot of heat off Trump, certainly domestically, and internationally too, at least in some circles.

    Of course, if Putin becomes convinced that he’s just been thrown under the bus (and there’s nobody Trump won’t throw under the bus if needs must, except maybe immediate family – Putin has to know that, surely?), I’d guess he’s in a position to give Trump a very rough ride indeed just with data leaks, and, if he wants, without spending a single kopeck on explosives.

    But yeah, this just ratcheted up the complexity in a big way, and neither Trump or anyone else can be certain of which way this is going to go now.

  9. NatashaFatale says:

    I’ve now read (or at least scanned) at least a dozen articles about the what the strike on the Syrian airfield means. With possibly one or two exceptions, all of them agree that it has to mean something.

    I’m not persuaded. I’m not the least bit sure that it wasn’t a random act of impatience, petulance, and frustration. I’m incredulous that so many supposedly well-informed people simply assume that Trump – of all people! – now has a plan, a time-line, even a strategy in the usual sense of the word. That he has cogent expectations about what will happen next, and what he’ll do in response to what will happen next, and what will happen after he does that. What good, evidence-based reason does anyone have for assuming any such thing? Why isn’t it infinitely more likely that the strike was just a massive high-explosive tweet, a more successful than usual attempt just to change the subject, to change headlines and conversations for the next few days – change them away from his widely-perceived futility and his conjectured deals with Putin and back toward discussions about his decisive leadership and bold thinking? How is that not entirely consistent with his record, with what can easily be deduced from his public history?

    It almost seems to me as though the dozen or so authors of those dozen or so pieces had revisited their own files and pulled out their drafts of the essays they expected to finish when Hilary launched the preliminaries to her first Middle Eastern adventure.

  10. bluthner says:

    Could be that the only thing more frightening than contemplating one or other of the possible plans that Trump might have is to contemplate the notion that Trump fired off fifty million dollars worth (and fifty thousand pounds of high explosives) with no plan known to himself or others.

    Whether Putin somehow set up the outrage to give Trump the chance to change the subject away from the closing noose of the Russian-link investigations (and it is closing, slowly but inexorably), or whether the outrage just happened along, it’s not hard to imagine what happened next: Trump says to his military advisors: I want to act tough and blow some shit up, what are my options, and they present him with a range, but they don’t really offer him a range, they offer him cruise missiles aimed at a single airport, with Putin (and thus Assad) notified in advance. Of course they do, what else could they offer? No action was not on the the table, because Trump needed action of some kind to serve himself, and taking out Assad’s palace on the hill above Damascus was not on the table because all Hell would break loose.

    What happens now is that nothing will change very much from the way things were before last week. Assad will go back to using chlorine and cordite, Putin will go back to controlling the airspace and bombing who he pleases, and Syrian civilians will go back to suffering and dying. Trump isn’t the only one who has no viable plan for Syria. No one has a viable plan for Syria. Not Assad, not Isis, not Putin, not the so-called Rebels, no one.

    The only thing new about Trump, besides being a stooge of Putin, is that he doesn’t even pretend to have anything even approaching a viable plan about…. anything really. Peace in Syria at the end of a gun is as much of a nonsense as ‘clean coal’ or his constant promise of great cheap health insurance for all citizens paid for by the federal government. As Nat says: Trump never has had a plan, he only has his reactions to other people’s plans, and his reactions have no consistency whatever, except that when he reacts he does so, deeply consistently, in a way that, at the moment he is reacting, seems to him to be the most likely way to appear to be the toughest guy in the room. That’s it. (That and running backwards as fast as he can from the insanely stupid deals he made with Putin last year, amongst his many other high crimes and misdemeanors.)

  11. No one has a viable plan for Syria. Not Assad, not Isis, not Putin, not the so-called Rebels, no one.

    No one has a viable plan for anything, do they?

  12. Expat says:

    I’ve now read (or at least scanned) at least a dozen articles about the what the strike on the Syrian airfield means. With possibly one or two exceptions, all of them agree that it has to mean something.

    Marina Hyde agrees

  13. Expat says:

    ….agrees with you Nat that is

  14. Squirrel says:

    Once you start lying (sorry, I mean ‘expressing alternative facts’) you leave the way wide open for other people . . .who are much better at that game than you are.

    So, it seems Putin is presenting a whole bunch of pre-emptive ‘alternative facts’. . . .One thing’s for sure, KGB training gives people a peculiarly good practical insight into the psychology of people like Trump and his acolytes. . .

    Trouble is, I rather doubt either Trump or his Tillerman are up to undoing the probable mess(es). Headless chickens attempting the marathon rather come to mind.

  15. KevinNevada says:

    Expat;

    I saw that piece by Marina Hyde. She’s the best writer the G has operating, these days.

    Her snarky humor is well suited to the madness of these times.

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