by baldilocks

Donald Herbert Walker Trump–Zman on the American missile strike in Syria:

Trump won the nomination and the presidency on one core issue. He would be the President of the United States, not the President of the world. That was his line. He repeated it often. It allegedly captured his one core belief. What is good for America is what is good for Americans and the government should always be working to further the interest of Americans, over the interests of foreigners.

The fact that something so obvious and sane has to be explained speaks to the degeneracy of our age. But, we live in a time when we have to debate physical reality with people who insist things like biology and math are a plot by a mystery cult of white men to keep down women and non-whites. Still, Trump running on a platform of rationality, and winning on the platform, gave a lot of people, including me, a spark of hope. Maybe what comes next does not have to be what always comes next.

Yesterday, the alt-right and even many seasoned geezers like me took a body blow when Trump abandoned everything he said over the last two years and embraced the idiocy of yet another war in the Middle East. Not only is he embracing the lunacy of the traitorous neocons, he is risking war with Russia. His “reason” for condemning himself to ruin is that his daughter got the sads over seeing pictures of dead kids in Syria. She takes to twitter over this latest agit-prop and in a day daddy is launching missiles at Assad.

Many who were gung-ho for the Trump candidacy and presidency are ticked off about this or at least questioning it. Thus, they are catching a lot of flak from the true believers, the Trump-worshipers.

Michael Savage is one of President Trump’s solid supporters and he believes that the basis for the missile strike is phony. A microbiologist by training, he says that sarin—a nerve agent–wasn’t even used and, while I’m no microbiologist by any stretch of the imagination, I received NBC training courtesy of the USAF—something which all troops stationed in Cold War Era Europe received–and Mr. Savage’s logic is sound. He posits that some other chemical agent was used. (By the way, in 2014, the Obama Administration asserted that Syria had no chemical agents.)

As a Trump-skeptic who voted for him in the general election—like Zman–I’m not upset that he broke a promise. After all, it isn’t the first one he broke. And, for certain, President Trump is, by far, not the first president to break a promise.

However, I am upset that he chose to break this particular one. What this strike looks like to me: another step in the “Arab” “Spring.” And I’ve always suspected that the purposeful destabilization of countries with large Muslim populations has one goal: clearing the deck for the New Caliphate.

I hope I’m wrong and that Peter is right.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done on April 2017! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

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Everyone is focused on Syria.  Literally, everyone.  To be honest though, was anyone surprised?  I wasn’t.  Syria’s best bet would have been to lay low and stay off the radar.  Instead, they became a very convenient way for President Trump to prove he was serious about the Middle East, show President Xi he was comfortable with military action, and distance himself from Russia.

If the video doesn’t make you say “‘Murica!” and love the Navy, you need to check your little red book at the door 🙂

But why is no one focused on this?

North Korea launched yet another intermediate range ballistic missile,” the statement read, according to CNN. “The United States has spoken enough about North Korea. We have no further comment.”

On top of that, President Trump says he is not afraid to act alone on North Korea.

None of this is accidental.  If you care about human rights, North Korea routinely ranks lower than even Syria.  It imprisons its own people on a massive scale, has massive issues providing enough food and medical care, yet finds the money and effort to build nuclear weapons.

From cartoonmovement.com

China has chosen to do nothing about North Korea because the country is convenient for them.  Not only does North Korea routinely rattle Japan, but they keep South Korea (with a very capable military) totally focused on the peninsula and not on China’s repeated expansion elsewhere.  With the rest of the world willing to condemn North Korea but take no actions, China is sitting pretty, able to continue expanding in the East and South China Seas, as well as in their western territories, while cheaply distracting Japan, South Korea, and to a lesser extent, the US.

Until now.

President Trump’s willingness to go it alone hits the soft underbelly of politics with China:

  • It would unite Japan and South Korea in a conflict.  China has always cited past Japanese aggression whenever it conducts diplomatic talks with South Korea.  A conflict would put Japan and South Korea working together, something that would likely bolster the stalled improvement of relations between both countries.
  • It would give China a massive immigration crisis.  There are easily over 200,000 people imprisoned in camps, and most of the ~25 million people in North Korea live in dirt-poor conditions.  China has always been a destination for illegal immigration, and if the North Korean state collapses, you would likely see a massive migration north.
  • It would create a low cost competitor.  When East and West Germany reunited, there was a massive economic boom in East Germany.  Although it’s likely the South Korean economy would take a bit of a hit, China is much more vulnerable, having based a large amount of its economic growth on low cost manufacturing.  An open North Korea would be a magnet for manufacturers and would likely tank the Chinese economy.
  • It would damage China’s reputation.  Asian culture in general is much more concerned about ‘saving face‘ than Western cultures.  China is trying to prove it is an international power, but to have the US walk in and clean up problems in its backyard is damaging to that image.
  • It puts the fight where China doesn’t want it.  China stations its best military units near Taiwan and (increasingly) in the South China Sea, and believes that in a fight there it will win.  Putting the fight squarely in their backyard, and with a combined South Korea and Japan, places them at a significant disadvantage.

We can joke all we want about North Korea being the short bus of nations, but a fight there would be nasty, and the humanitarian reconstruction afterwards would be massive.  Syria’s end state won’t change the map much, but Korea’s end state could significantly change the balance of power in that region.

Trump’s pivot to the Pacific has already begun.


This post represents only the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other federal agency.

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Citizen at New Orleans Party: But perhaps the general would at least tell us what his plans are?
General Andrew Jackson: Sir if the hair on my head knew my plans I would cut it off!

The Buccaneer 1958

Ian Howe: You know the key to running a convincing bluff? Every once in a while you got to be holding all the cards.

National Treasure 2004

One of the oddest things to me about the entire Syria Strike story is how so many people are so shocked that Donald Trump did what he did.

Anti-interventionists  were caught off guard and upset.  They see it as a neocon plot, leftists (who were blaming him for the gas attack the day before) consider it a distraction from the nefarious plot to steal the election from Hillary by the Russians, and papers like the NYT who were at the start of the week screaming Russian collusion are now worried about how this will affect our relationship with Putin.

Even Don Surber who has been right about Trump more than almost everyone else was caught off guard.

But when it comes down to it, Trump’s hit on Syria makes a lot of sense because it is so him.

First:  in terms of a deal, if Trump wants to make a deal to stop the war on Syria, to stop North Korea or to take the pressure off the Baltic states afraid of a future Russian invasion he needed to demonstrate a willingness to actually strike, not only did he do so, but he did so While the head of China was his guest, meaning he was willing to demonstrate that diplomatic niceties and timing mean nothing to him when he wants to act. That’s very Trump.

Second:  He was willing to do this without any public warning (yes he gave a private warning to the Russians so as not to back them into a corner since a US strike killing Russian soldiers would force Putin’s hand). There was no months of speeches, or weeks of muscle flexing, there was just action, and Trump is a person who believes in action.  It was right out of this scene of the movie the Buccaneer where Trump’s favorite president Andrew Jackson (back in his general days) dealt with all those who were in panic about the British and New Orleans

If you’re a potential enemy of America, from this point on you can’t be sure if crossing us will bring a shower of missiles down on you or not. That’s very Trump too.

Thirdly:   It was consistent with Trump’s sense of discipline, not in the sense that the media sees him, as an undisciplined speaker who acts rashly, but as in:  This is the way things are and you’d better get used to the idea

It was a moment right out of Captain’s Courageous:

Captain Troop, with the good of the ship and the livelihood of the entire crew to worry about, notes he can’t risk months of fishing on a boy’s yarn. When Harvey still rants Troop finally concludes: “I guess there’s nothing left for it.” He rears back and gives Harvey a slap that knocks him flat. Harvey for perhaps for the first time in his life doesn’t know what to say:
You HIT me!
“Now you just sit there and think about it.”

It is here, with the establishment of discipline, that the movie begins to shift.

This was the re-establishment of discipline on an international level, the United States back in the game and everybody at the table had better get used to the idea again. That’s Trump all over.

Fourth: It gave Donald Trump, who doesn’t like or trust, the UN a chance to not only demonstrate US power to it, but to show them the old games they like to play are now over, to wit:

The UN business of being on one side of the fence in public and the other in private isn’t going to be played against the US anymore, and every nation that counts on America to foot the bill allowing their diplomats and NGO’s to live high off the hog there are seeing it. It’s the art of the deal, so Trump.

(on a side note if Nikki Haley decides to run for president, this will play very well).

Fifth: By hitting now when the strike can be small it likely prevents him from having to hit harder later. Trump by his nature is, like many of his isolationist supporters who are now pissed off, a non-interventionist by nature. The problem with such a position is it tells the world that you can push me and push me and I won’t touch you.  Now if your goal is a weak US in retreat, as was the Obama administration’s ,that’s fine, but if your goal is a strong US that doesn’t have to fight everywhere, it’s not.

By making his point early on in his presidency, and on a small scal,e he is likely preventing a larger US involvement, not enabling it.  Think of John Wayne in this exchange in Big Jake as his party rides into town with a red box containing a million dollar ransom in front of everybody.

James McCandles: Isn’t this a bit showy Pa? That big red box and all the guns out?
Jacob McCandles: I hate secrets, never knew one to be kept. They’ve all heard what’s in that chest, they all want it, what we’re doing by this ostentatious display is telling them they can’t have it. Hell, we may be saving some poor miscreant’s own life by doing this, maybe even our own.

Big Jake 1971

Perhaps by this display he will restrain a few bad actors from making moves to provoke the US into a war we don’t want, which incidentally is exactly what his base that wants to stay out of things wants. It’s the Fram oil filter ad all over again, you can pay me now our pay me later. Trump’s a businessman, it’s good business.

Sixth and last: A person who is a pol looks at kids getting gassed as part of the great game of diplomacy and considers every possible angle and tries to minimize any event that brings risk.  A normal person looks at kids getting gassed to death and reacts saying: This will not stand. Why anyone would think that Trump would stand by and let this happen, when he has the power to stop it, or at least make these guys think about it long and hard about doing it again?  It’s completely beyond me that anyone would think a man like Trump who is a man of emotion and reaction would sit still.  Doing something that needs to be done, this is so very Trump.

This strike is completely in keeping Trump’s philosophy of doing things. What I don’t understand is why people don’t see it?


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