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“In politics, when words and actions don’t mesh, we call that phoniness.”

7 April 2017

U.S. airstrike on Syria.jpg


Robert W. Merry, writing in The American Conservative where he is editor, eloquently expressed a view that I share. Commenting on Trump’s decision to launch a cruise missile strike on Syrian targets last night, Merry said this:


“It may be too early to tell for sure, but Donald Trump is looking more and more like a phony. He’s also looking like a weakling. And a political ingrate. All this is coming into stark relief with accelerating events involving Syria.”

and this:

“Of course the usual “senior American official,” one of the guys who always seem to find their way to the New York Times in such circumstances, told the paper that U.S. intelligence had established “with high confidence” that Assad was behind the atrocity. But we’ve seen this movie before. The intelligence community doesn’t enjoy a high level of credibility these days, not to mention some senior American official speaking anonymously on its behalf.

There are other possibilities, including a hit on a rebel storage facility containing chemical weapons or even an al-Qaeda action designed to unleash precisely the Western outrage directed at Assad that has materialized. As investigative journalist Robert Parry has asked, since Assad has gained a decisive upper hand in the civil war, why would he risk stirring up a Western military response with such an action?

Maybe he would. Perhaps he possesses that level of stupidity to match his brutality. But, if he did, the American people deserve to know the facts, solemnly and exactingly given, on what actually happened and what the overall military plan is.”

and this:

And this is where his weakness comes in. His campaign convictions seem to be devoid of the courage required to uphold them. In the campaign he talked big. He had the swagger down nicely. He conveyed the image of a man who wouldn’t be swayed by conventional vogues of thought or the opprobrium of elites. He would go his own way because that’s the only way he could drain the Washington swamp, craft new political dialectics, create a new governing coalition, reduce the level of American foreign-policy adventurism.  

But that takes real guts. It’s psychologically difficult to venture into entirely new political territory, where no one has gone before. Talking about it is easy; actually doing it requires a fortitude beyond the capacity of any political weakling.”


It took Trump less than three months in office to break one of his core campaign promises. He is doing just the sort of thing that he was criticizing Obama for just months ago. And he does it based on an alleged event (Assad ordering sarin gas attacks on his own people) that is very suspect.


Read all of Robert W. Merry’s article here.



4 Comments leave one →
  1. Siarlys5 permalink
    7 April 2017 6:21 pm

    Trump has never been SERIOUS about anything. He’s all wrapped up in self-worship, and he plays with things. Missiles are his toys as much as women’s private parts, no phallic symbolism intended. He doesn’t have a POLICY.

    I’m still prepared to defend people who voted for Trump because they just couldn’t stomach Hillary, from the “See what you idiots gave us?” line of agitation. But anyone who seriously believed that Trump was committed to a policy of nonintervention, or any policy at all, need to think again.

  2. Mike in Indiana permalink
    7 April 2017 6:53 pm

    An evident distraction from Trump´s domestic failures as president so far. But more to the point, it appears the militarists control Trump even more than they controlled Obama (in contradistinction to the avowedly, if Solomonically, neoconservative Secretary Clinton). Not only is Trump over his head, he has no head to speak of, no mind–mindlessness appears to be his natural state, at least as regards his political ontology (a particularly virulent and pathological form of lived nihilism). The executive branch of U.S. government is, in effect, acephalous, patently and grotesquely so, since with Trump it appears as a luridly living decapitation, a decapitated entity that nevertheless moves, gesticulates, gurgles, even talks, yet can produce no coherent pronouncement or rationalistic thought-action–not the fine tuned puppet that some accused Reagan of being, not even the poorly tuned puppet that many accused Bush fils of being, but a disturbingly, shockingly dry drunk babbler, way past being out of his depth, to the point of being psychosomatically out of control, i.e. to the point of uncontrollable paroxysms passing as acting passing as strategizing passing as principled governing. Extreme neurotic ressentiment is the only thing president Trump expresses with any cogency, consistency, or conviction: he really is that, a very resentful being.

  3. Michael Bauman permalink
    7 April 2017 9:05 pm

    If I had wanted to vote for a warmonger, I would have voted for Hillary Clinton. I expected better from Trump.

  4. astorian permalink
    8 April 2017 1:49 am

    Putin may be playing chess. Pretty sure Trump is playing Candyland.

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