UnNews:US plays Trump card in Syria

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US plays Trump card in Syria

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7 April 2017

Missiles

A bright light in the east signals the start of a brand new day in foreign affairs.

SHAYRAT AFB, Syria -- After graphic video of Arabs doing gruesome things to fellow Arabs, the United States fired 59 cruise missiles at the former air base here, where Americans say planes had taken off with chemical weapons.

The event signals yet another U.S. President with an outlandish surname using the armed forces to send a message — and incidentally, un-stall domestic politics. This comes 17 years after Americans elected a second Bush on a promise to stop "nation-building" in the Middle East and a full 19 years after Bill Clinton bombed an aspirin factory in the Sedan on suspicions of "producing nerve gas" to get Monica Lewinsky off the Front Page.

Admit it, if the reader had thousands of cruise missiles, you would also shoot off a few dozen, from time to time, without debating casus belli and stuff like that. Especially if you were under investigation. Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton made a special effort not to sound giddy that Trump was carrying out her policies for her. "But continue resisting," she said. By comparison, Sen. John McCain did not make a special effort not to sound giddy.

No one knows whether any chemical weapons were destroyed, nor how many Syrians were killed, as the Syrian government does not count people and John Kerry had guaranteed that all Syria's declared chemical weapons are gone. Nevertheless, the operation was a success. Congressmen and Senators praised the military action without waiting for them to pass a Declaration of War — which they have not done since 1941 — while sternly warning that President Trump really must come to the Capitol and cut a deal before doing anything more. Sen. Marco Rubio stated that Trump had a legal right, a moral right, and a specific military strategy; in fact, the only falsehood in the battle theater is his own promise to "resign from the Senate" to defeat Trump. Even the Associated Press avoided referring to the move as an "embarrassing flip-flop," but called it a "striking reversal" for the President, compared to past tweets chiding Obama for doing the same thing.

“The only reason President Obama wants to attack Syria is to save face over his very dumb RED LINE statement. Do NOT attack Syria,fix U.S.A.”
~ @DonaldTrumpAcceptNoSubstitutes, September 5, 2013

Obama famously said Assad had to go (which he didn't but Obama did) and that use of chemical weapons would "cross a red line" (which he did but...never mind). Fortunately, Vladimir Putin intervened, propped up Assad, and built shiny new Russian air force bases. Even more fortunately, the U.S. avoided hitting any Russian assets with the missiles.

Today, Trump declared that "Assad choked out the lives of helpless men, women, and children," saying it would have been fairer to engage them in an honest fistfight. Autopsies have shown that chemical weapons were used in the attack, presumably dropped from the sky by Assad's forces — or else by the Russians, maybe Iran, or possibly someone on the ground who set them off to make it look like it was those other guys. Whoever did it, ISIS is now a bit freer to behead men, women, and children without worrying about fighter jets arriving.

Given an ex-President making "very dumb" threats and not backing them up, clearly it fell to Trump to back them up, to show the world that things had changed, bringing us to this week's savory mix of sarin and chlorine. Rex Tillerson said he informed the Russians of the attack in advance, so that they could move their own planes to a separate runway. The two nations agreed that America would call Russia "incompetent" in reining in its client-state, Russia would call America "reckless," and no cities in either country would have to be reduced to dust. The conversation was gentlemanly. (So far.) Otherwise, the CIA, which was never wiretapping Trump but only Putin, would have leaked the transcript to the New York Times by now.

Experts said advance notice was especially prudent in case Putin misinterprets the other news of the week, that Senate Republicans had voted to "go nuclear."

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