Train-Wreck Trump Goes to War

The United States military, under orders from President Donald Trump, just lobbed five dozen tomahawk missiles into Syria, allegedly in retaliation for a merciless nerve gas attack on US-backed “rebel held territory”, for which Russia-backed President Assad was immediately blamed though no evidence was produced. Images of grieving fathers carrying lifeless bodies of stricken children were marched in front of our eyes in the very moments leading up to, and during, the strikes—which were instantly heralded as “decisive” and “administration shaping” by the an erstwhile “fake”, but ever war-ready, corporate media.

Meanwhile, the veracity of days-old reports of a concrete building sheltering hundreds of now dead Iraqis—including many dead children and dead women—in Mosul being brought down upon them by “US-lead coalition” airstrikes were still being officially nuanced and “contextualized”. Far afield of our collective consideration is that by the same rationale, an unforgiving force of unimaginable destructive potential should avenge those innocents by reigning bombs down upon the US military’s own assets. Such an oft referenced “epicenter” is the Bangor Naval Base in Bremerton, WA—home of the Trident nuclear submarines.

According to a Seattle Times article from 2006: “Nearly one-quarter of America’s 9,962 nuclear weapons are now assigned to the Bangor submarine base on Hood Canal, 20 air miles northwest of downtown Seattle. This makes Bangor the largest nuclear weapons storehouse in the United States, and possibly the world.” Continuing the logic of the industrial military media complex, from this the world can conclude that the US strategically locates it’s strongest military assets next to large population bases, making it solely responsible for any collateral damage from such an act of international vengeance.

This is the same grim playbook employed by both Bushes in their depleted-radium & folly fueled marches to war in the Middle East. Only with Trump, there was no equivocating; there was no pause; there was no discussion; and there was no debate about debating. There was only…“decisiveness”, and the cleansing, uniting power of death. That President Obama did not even attempt to undo the Cheney-era expansion of executive war powers, which he himself evoked in by-passing Congress and the US Constitution in not declaring war in Libya, Yemen, Pakistan, etc ad nauseum, will always be a stain upon his otherwise thoughtful race-transcending, bank-bailing, free-trade negotiating imperial reign. As much as we miss him in this moment—and we do—his gambit that subsequent presidents’ hands would be as steady as his own shared the same deluded and self-defeating premise as the Democrats current strategy to “temporarily” strengthen the GOP’s grip on total control by provoking the filibuster-killing Nuclear Option in the Senate, all in a hope-and-change-springs-eternal belief that Trump’s own-goal follies will prove fatal for lock-step Republican candidates in the 2018 Congressional elections. Surely the people will come to embrace the bespectacled wisdom of Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who was last heard pontificating that for every one progressive lost by the DNC two steel workers in red states would be gained. Just as they will yearn for days when the Secretary Hillary Clinton—the much maligned “progressive who can get things done”—pushed for similar acts of planet-destabilizing aggression against Libya and, well Syria while being herself the rock thrown, at last, through the glass ceiling of the entitled classes for whom she spoke.

Surely a critical mass of United States citizens will awaken to the reality that Russia didn’t shut down polling stations during the Democratic primary, or set up a system of super-delegates that heavily stacked odds against a yugely more popular—and establishment-bucking—candidate. But it was clear even then that capital would rather risk pitting the short-circuiting corporate-bot of HRC against Train-wreck Trump than allowing the glimmer of hope that political space would open to socially democratic, new New Deal-ist sparks, which were then spreading across generational and cultural divides like wild fire.

But at the end of the day, good Putin-fearing progressive Americans across the land quickly let by-gones be by-gones (in regards to the DNC’s primary shenanigans) as the secret service warmed them over with titillating tales of Russian hacking and other such ill-substantiated intrigues. Trump’s lack of nationalistic allegiance, somehow, suddenly became the new mode de résistance of an unmoored and disoriented American left, and his 4AM Tweet’s decrying this neo-McCarthyite liberal witch hunt only served to satiate the snide sardonic self-certainty of emasculated, but loyal, establishment servants amongst our Democratic congress-people. What of Her ties to the Saudi royals…Trump is Putin’s bitch! Until the generals had their way with him, once they dispensed with Steve Bannon from the Big Boys Club at the NSC, redirecting his irritating, Ayn Randian administrative-state jihad against school breakfast programs. Big Alphas know what how to get little-handed alphas in line—force, aggression, growling, bearing teeth, and ritualized blood-letting—preferably someone else’s—regardless of base political considerations or life-sustaining aspirations of mere mortals and civilians. There’s a proxy war to be endlessly waged and never won, a big-muddy to press on!

So, the question remains—now that Trump has hit Russia where it hurts, wounding Assad further, will Putin extract the US from the Syrian quagmire a second time in spite of itself—giving Trump the benefit of doubt that he’s really in it for the hotel contracts—or will he now follow the clown barker, as Obama once lamented, squarely into the abyss? For now, the world awaits the president’s next dawning Tweet, most assuredly announcing investigations into the gassing of Syrian children and the bombing of their hiding places.

Matthew Smith is a NJ bred activist and architect who transplanted to the Seattle region in 2004.