People are up in arms tonight over an airstrike the United States has launched to hit the Syrian government installation where a chemical weapon attack against rebels and civilians supposedly originated. This attack being the latest cause of outrage du jour over Syrian President Assad, which of course the dinosaur media took and spun into goading President Trump when he expressed disapproval of the attack and (completely rightly) put the blame on the situation on whatshisname. But tonight the source of outrage is coming from places that, until tonight, were 110% behind President Trump.
I’ve said I’ll be honest and while I’ll reflexively defend the President in many situations, I will not defend this course of action if it continues. Many, many voices are pointing out obvious faults and flaws in this story and screaming to the heavens that it’s a false flag, and pardon my tinfoil but they cannot be ignored. The Syrian rebels (who are not George Washington) have staged such an attack before to garner Western sympathy (or at the very least have blown themselves up by accident). For Assad to launch such an attack, in a war he is winning, scant hours after an announcement from the United States that we’re (correctly) going to let them sort out their own problems, makes absolutely no sense. Frankly I can’t tell if there is a good guy or bad guy in the Syrian civil war, but if there is a good guy it looks to me like it would be Assad, if for no better reason than it’s ISIS on the other damn side.
So let’s cut this down to what matters. This is a civil war. I have no issue with the United States intervening to protect or promote its interests around the world but there is no interest here–and President Trump knows it. Yes, people see gruesome images of displaced families and dead children and they react viscerally. And people fighting asymmetric wars, especially when they are losing, know the power of visceral reactions. But even if this is 100% legit, even assuming Bashar Assad took leave of his senses and deliberately set out to enrage the civilized world, I’m sorry if I sound cold but so what? Would it be more humane if he sent in stormtroopers with bayonets or grenadiers with napalm or infantry with machine guns or killed these people in some way other than a chemical weapon? The only ways to stop these people from killing each other are not going to sit well with most people. Either you have to roll in and wipe out one side (or both), or you take over and essentially occupy the territory and impose a puppet government. You know, the kind of thing that the left hated the guts out of and insisted wouldn’t ever work in Iraq. It’ll work, but it’ll be expensive, and is it worth it to us? Heck no it isn’t. Look, it’s a natural response to feel sympathy for people in these situations but pinning all the blame on Assad is juvenile and wrong, even if he is responsible for this latest attack. “Do something for the civilians!” is an infantile statement when you don’t even know who’s a civilian.
But tonight the outrage is burning like a thousand suns as people take the American response as “proof” that President Trump is not at all what we thought he would be and suddenly everything he has done is invalid because of one step. The InfoWars guys are losing their everlovin’ minds with Paul Joseph Watson declaring he’s off the Trump train, and peacenik anti-interventionist Stefan Molyneux is having a meltdown, while of course the media and the Democrats and even Dr. Pantsuit are praising this move by the President (which ought to tell him a lot). And I’m having a hard time not screaming at the screen for people to calm the hell down and not forget what the alternative was. No, this is not good, not okay, not a path we ought to be going down, and not something I support President Trump on, but that doesn’t mean it invalidates every last bit of good in his presidency–and it’s been overflowing. Of course the corollary is that the good he has done doesn’t mean we shouldn’t tell him when he’s taking the wrong tack.
Make no mistake, we’d already be well down this road if Dr. Pantsuit had won, but with President Trump we can rationally hope that this will not escalate further.
Paul, Stefan, and the rest have a lot of good points to make, that this is not what we elected President Trump to do and that nothing stirs the drums of war like pictures of dead children. At this juncture it is not irrational to hope and believe that this will be the extent of the response, that like Billy Jeff once did we will assassinate a building or two and go about our business. What is irrational is to throw up our hands and abandon the President every time he makes a misstep. Yeah people, his missteps are going to be expensive in terms of dollars and blood, that was the role he was signing up for. But I’ll take his mistakes over what Dr. Pantsuit and the Democrats would have done on purpose any day of the week. Even the best among us can get caught up in a heated moment. Let’s not abandon our champion in the time when he needs friendly voices to remind him of who he is.