The “Do Something” Foreign Policy Returns!

Here’s the “Pat Political Point” segment from the 4/9/17 edition of WSGW’s First Day. President Donald Trump joins neocons, neolibs, and the big media, into another Middle Eastern mess. But why did Trump suddenly decide to “do something” about Syria?

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“Beautiful.”

That’s how Brian Williams of NBC News described the images of Tomahawk missiles firing from U.S. warships to their destination on a Syrian airfield.

Williams was just one of many in the entire corporate media sphere to dance with giddy glee that we had war porn to provide viewers across the country.

And President Donald Trump had fed the military industrial complex beast by impulsively bombing one target in Syria.

It was just a few years ago when Trump criticized President Obama for seeking congressional approval to attack the Syrian regime of Bashaar al-Assad, who’s been conducting a brutal war against his countrymen.

It was actually just a few days ago when Trump indicated he could deal with the al-Assad government!

Then, for reasons that continue to confound me, Syrian planes bombed missiles filled with sarin on the town of Khan Sheikun. Horrific images of civilians suffering from the chemical weapons attack filled the cable news airwaves. It served to remind the world that there’s a war happening in Syria.

Since those horrific images were shown repeatedly on cable news, President Trump made his first major foreign policy decision: To do something.

The American neoconservative and neoliberal foreign policy of “do something” made a sudden comeback during the week. Former diplomats, generals, so-called foreign policy experts, and journalists espoused the need for America to intervene after the chemical weapons attack.

President Obama had reservations about going in alone, and a Republican Congress refused to give Obama authorization to intervene. Knowing the mistakes of Iraq, and his administration’s mistakes in Libya, Obama wasn’t going in solo on Syria.

But today, the propaganda arm of the military industrial complex elites, the corporate media, are congratulating Donald Trump for being decisive, and “doing something.”

That the “doing something” faction even have a chance to lecture us on what the U.S. should or shouldn’t do on an international scale is beyond the pale.

The brutal Syrian civil war has been going on for 11 years, with al-Assad’s military using whatever means necessary to remain in power. To paint the civil war as al-Assad’s government against the citizens is grossly simplistic.

University of Michigan professor of Middle Eastern politics Juan Cole describes the Syrian conflict having a “domestic, a regional and an international dimension.”

There are rural Sunni fundamentalists groups opposing the Sunni Baathist party leader of al-Assad, who has secular Sunnis and even some Christian groups in the country on his side.

Professor Cole says that on a regional front, al-Assad enjoys the support of “Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon and Russia,” while Turkey, Egypt and the Gulf Corporation Council backs the more fundamentalists rebels.

On top of that, but terror groups ISIS and al Qaeda entered the Syrian civil war to fight against al-Assad, further complicating rebellion efforts.

Does that sound like a situation the U.S. should consider joining?

It’s not a black-and-white, good vs. evil fight in Syria.

Yes, al-Assad is a brutal dictator, but those pushing for regime change fail to remember past mistakes. Whenever we decide to lob Freedom Bombs and Freedom Fries at Middle Eastern countries, unintended consequences always happen.

Removing Sadaam Huissen and creating a privatized Iraq was going to special. It was going to change the Middle East. Of course, the war was the greatest foreign policy disaster since Vietnam, and our credibility has never truly recovered.

Now, the same “do something” crowd is lauding President Trump for lobbing 59 missiles at an insignificant target in Syria.

Trump says he was so moved by those disturbing images of the chemical attack that we just had to “do something.” For some reason, Trump was never moved by the hundreds of thousands who’ve died from conventional weapons. Nor was he moved to “do something” to help the thousands of Syrians trying to escape the civil war by accepting them here in the United States.

Instead, Trump pushed for travel bans, which included Syria.

I also always find it fascinating that several government officials believe that we can’t waste money on public school, Medicare For All, and Social Security, but trying to create democracies in countries overseas is money well spent!

Call me crazy, but I’m quite suspicious of this Trump attack.

Mr. 34% approval rating needed a quick change in the narrative. What better opportunity than to use missiles at a one-million dollar pop to change that narrative. It erased the Trump-Russia investigation from the headlines as Trump supposedly defied Russia by attacking its ally.

Of course, we gave fair warning to Russia of the attack.

Again, call me crazy, but why do I have this feeling that Trump and Putin agreed to the bombing to make Trump appear independent of Russia? Until I see evidence showing otherwise, I think that was the whole point of this exersice.

Otherwise, if those disgusting images really disturbed Trump, he’d be opening the door for the refugees ASAP.

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Beware of the military industrial complex, and its propaganda arm in the corporate media, who feed us exactly what the government wants us to know.

The Syrian civil war is filled with complexities that complicate matters completely. Getting involved in such complexities tends to lead to calamity.

Understanding complexity isn’t exactly Donald Trump’s strong suit.

That’s why “doing something” has gotten us into trouble, and is threatening to get us into trouble once again.

pat@wsgw.com

Photo courtesy of Fox News.

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